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Former Racer: 1957 Chevrolet Corvette “Fuelie”

A picture is worth a thousand words; sometimes, a single image defines a classic car. This 1957 Chevrolet Corvette demonstrates that. The fifty-one trophies visible in this shot aren’t window dressing because this ‘Vette earned every one of them in the cut-and-thrust world of drag and circuit racing. Its competition days are behind it, but the seller guarantees the buyer won’t forget this classic’s history. The sale includes the trophies pictured and a vast collection of paperwork documenting its success. This retired racer is listed here on Craigslist in Bemidji, Minnesota. It could be yours for $130,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting this retired racer.

The seller is this Corvette’s third custodian, rescuing the car from hibernation in 2012. It had sat for many years, but the years in hiding had not done it any harm. The fiberglass is in excellent condition, with no signs of damage or fatigue cracks. Onyx Black was the color to have in 1957, with over 63% of buyers selecting that shade. It is unclear whether this ‘Vette has been refreshed, but the lack of chips and marks suggests it has undergone a light cosmetic restoration. The process included applying racing numbers to recapture the car’s racing glory days. The seller states the frame has never been restored or repaired, retaining its original factory markings. The trim is exceptional, while the wheels and rollbar are appropriate for this car and its racing history.

Chevrolet introduced significant changes to its Corvette range in 1957. The V8’s capacity was increased from 265ci to 283ci. However, the talking point was the introduction of fuel injection to the range. The Fuelie option was expensive, adding at least 15% to the car’s sticker price. That figure soared to nearly 23% if the buyer selected the 579E option. I don’t believe this is one of those cars. It lacks the distinctive cold-air intake, but the interior houses the correct column-mounted tachometer. This V8 produces at least 283hp and 290 ft/lbs of torque. There has always been a belief that both figures were understated, although the headers on this motor will probably push power and torque higher. The ponies feed to the road via a four-speed manual transmission, giving this classic an official ¼-mile ET of 15.2 seconds. It is unclear how much faster this beauty went on the strip, but the extensive included records will reveal the truth. In its glory days, it scored the Californian State ¼-Mile Championship in its division in 1958, proving it was a formidable competitor. The ‘Vette sat for years in hiding but was revived by specialists. It is a turnkey proposition that would undoubtedly generate interest at a show or a Cars & Coffee.

Ordering a ’57 Corvette in Onyx Black brought an interior trimmed in Beige or Red. This car features the latter, providing a striking visual contrast. The distinctive tachometer is intact, and the car’s competition history makes the lack of a radio unsurprising. The interior presentation is as impressive as the exterior, with nothing justifying criticism. The upholstered surfaces are spotless, the dash is excellent, and there is no wear on the carpet or wheel. The tach is one nod to the Corvette’s racing heritage, while the rollbar is another.

C1 Corvettes have taken a hit in the classic market over the past year, but the situation has stabilized. It is unclear whether they will return to their previous levels or if this is more of a market correction. The seller’s asking price for this car looks competitive for a numbers-matching example, but this car rewrites the rules. Some enthusiasts have their hearts set on owning a vehicle with racing credentials and a successful competition history, and this Chevy ticks those boxes with flying colors. The trophies and documentation tell its story more clearly than mere words, guaranteeing it will draw crowds on the show circuit. Will it find a buyer at the asking price? I would be amazed if it didn’t. Do you agree?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo gbvette62

    The seller is a member of the Corvette Forum and has the car listed for sale there too. The Forum listing includes a video of the car if anyone’s interested.

    https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c1-and-c2-corvettes-for-sale-wanted/4811000-1957-corvette-fi-racer.html

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Steve R

    Cool car, better than coffee and cars, this would be right at home either making exhibition runs at a nostalgia drag or road race. If the owner so chooses it would stand out in the paddock of those style events. At the local NHRA national event every year they have a paddock filled with “nostalgia” style race cars, it’s a mix of cars that actually raced back in the day and cloned race cars and your obligatory row of fake “gassers”. This corvette would be unusual in that it has an extensive history and shows how simple many the cars raced in that era actually were. It’s a nice find, hopefully it finds a good home with someone that respects its history.

    Steve R

    Like 17
  3. Avatar photo Al camino

    Just reading an article on these c1s the other day saying how the value on these dropped and then this one comes around!

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo James

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1957-chevrolet-corvette-55/ didn’t get anywhere near the love it deserves on BAT

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Artyparty

    Recently for sale on BAT and stalled at $76k. Certainly deserved more, but I guess the guys who really hankers after these cars when they were young are now, sadly, dying out or just getting too darn old. There’s certainly been a slackening of prices for cars and motorcycles from this period. BSA Goldstars and Vincent’s are coming down all the time from what I can see in the auctions, so high are the best guide. Private sales and dealers obviously want to keep prices up, but the prices they are asking are not what they are getting. A lovely car though and I would love it in my garage if I had the money.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo BlondeUXB Member

      If you reference the BAT listing you will see many related photos and discussion from posting commenters…

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Sal Monella

      BaT is a legitimate auction site where cars usually bring what the market dictates ,.,Craigslist is not where quality cars are listed …
      $75-$85K is a fair number in my opinion ..

      Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Marshall

    Ever who wrote the article must have gotten corsair mixed up with corvette lol

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Nice car, but don’t think it’s worth the asking price. Also, no way would I put the car on the drag strip or a race track with that roll bar. I see it as a neat street cruiser.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Paul Alexander

    I bought a totalled 57 Vette for $500 in my junior year of highschool. I did work at the salvage yard to pay for it, and the shop owner helped me with the fiberglass work. The original motor/trans was gone, so I used a 265/3-speed from a 56 sedan. Finally got to drive it a bit, but had to let it go a couple years later, due to family needs. Sold it for $2500 in 1967. $130K boggles my mind. Wish I had found a way to keep it.

    Like 6
  9. Avatar photo Mike O

    I don’t care if it’s a period piece, the first thing I would do is remove that hideous roll bar. Some grade school is still looking for their missing soccer goal.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Tony_C

    My cousin had one, it was green and the panels on the side were white. He got in a fight with his girlfriend, jumped in his car and slammed it thru the gears. The car lurched and got scratch between each gear. That was the fastest, I had seen a car move.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo chrlsful

    i think this is the “1st yr of the good rear” (up to ’60) so I’d give ‘em a trophy too. Now onto the 1 w/better paint scheme further down today’s page. Lookin for one w/a better dash than this (I like the ‘double cove’ where each – driver’s and passenger’s sides – have that sweeping curve-in).

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Frank D Member

    Nice, however not at $130K. Someone needs to look at pricing and the economy. Market is slowing down.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Jack Barley

    Generally race cars end up loosing their original, motors, transmissions and even rear axles. The seller needs to post the motor’s casting date code and block casting number as well as the date code on the transmission and rear.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Jack Barley

    Does anyone know how to find the list of racers that were in the SCCA during the 1960’s?
    I have tried to find a list of race car drivers from that era on the internet but have been unsuccessful.
    Thanks for any help.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Steve R

      I’d check with local chapters first. If that doesn’t help call some of the organize that sanction nostalgic races, many will only allow cars with a verified history to run their events. Another source may be newsletters. I once bought a stack of an obscure racing weekly newsletter that focused on Motorsports in California, the issues were from mid-1957 through late-1959. The had results from nearly all drag strips, SCCA sanctioned events and many car shows, as well as general automotive news. It didn’t give you entry, but had the names of every class winner and often a few pictures from the event. Publications like this aren’t hard to find on eBay and generally don’t sell for much money.

      Steve R

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Jack Barley

        Hi Steve R,

        Great advice. Thank you.
        I’m looking for any photos or articles of a friend’s father that raced during the 1960’s.
        Thanks again.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Lowell Peterson

      NHRA Museum in Pomona Ca has archives.

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Jack Barley

    Hi Steve R,

    Great advice. Thank you.
    I’m looking for any photos or articles of a friend’s father that raced during the 1960’s.
    Thanks again.

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo John Brockage

    This Corvette looks like another black one that raced in Northern Cal in the late 50s and early 60s called The Glass Loafer, a takeoff of the Glass Slipper Dragster at that time.

    Like 0

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