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Turn-Key Garage Find! 1957 Corvette Fuelie

Finding a great American classic stashed away in a barn or garage seems like a great way to celebrate the 4th of July. In this case, it’s a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette, and it’s for sale here on craigslist out of Galena, Ohio. Big thanks to Ikey Heyman for the tip!

In the minds of many automobile aficionados, the mid-1950s was a peak time in American motoring. Horsepower numbers, chrome trim and new-car options were on the rise, the Interstate Highway system was shiny and smooth, Drive-Ins were hopping, gas was cheap, and life was a lot simpler for most people. For Chevrolet, their American-sports-car experiment was finally beginning to pay off. A young man by the name of Duntov had figured out an exotic mechanical fuel injection system that was ready to sit atop the new 283-cubic-inch V8. A new four-speed gearbox and limited-slip “Posi-Traction” were on the list, and the promise of one-horsepower-per-cubic-inch-displacement rounded out the neat stuff that could be had on your new fiberglass toy.

We turn now to look over this car. Right away, we notice the lack of paint on the nose, and primer on the door – a concern at first, but we’re told that the previous owner did that on purpose, for a restoration that never materialized.  The seller gives us the critical information that it had been garaged for 40 years and has had a quick mechanical refresh, such that it is roadworthy. The seller tells us that it was a Fuelie, but the engine currently sports a carburetor – the missing components are apparently available at additional cost. We can see in the pictures that it’s in nice overall shape, with power windows, but we can’t quite make out if it’s a three- or four-speed transmission. The interior, engine compartment, trunk and trim all look to be in good order, albeit dusty and/or in need of refreshing.

For me, this is a refreshing view of a “project” ’57 Vette. The last one about which I wrote was this one, that had been badly damaged in a fire, so you can imagine my concern when my editor hands me another one! It pained me to even look at that one, let alone write about it. This car, however, looks like a really solid base from which to start. I personally am not keen on their asking price of $49,000, but in fairness, I wager that I’m not the demographic to which they hope to sell it. Regardless, this is pure Americana at it’s best. I can totally dig and appreciate this car for what it is, how about you?


  1. DRV

    What cowl tags or any tag on these can tell you it was a Fulie other than the pad on the block?

    Like 4
  2. gbvette62

    “The cowl tags tell us that it was a Fuelie, but the engine currently sports a carburetor” How did the writer of this post come to this conclusion? 57 Corvettes don’t have a cowl tag, or anything else on the car that would identify the original engine. The seller makes no claim the car is a fuelie, and instead says it “may” have been a fuelie. Items I see, such as the exhaust manifolds, are from a carburated 57, not a fuelie.

    Overall it looks like a decent 57 project car, priced somewhat reasonably. It’s a shame the dash appears to have been cut for the aftermarket radio, and may have been cut to install the Sun tach. Also, I’d like it more if it had a soft top, especially considering that a complete reproduction top and frame is $4300. It’s not a big deal, but it’s probably not the original hardtop either, because hardtop’s on beige interior cars would have a beige headliner.

    Like 6
    • jim

      for that money the FI unit will likely be part of the deal.
      at least 25k to restore with the new owner doing most of the work, or 50-60 k in a shop.

      Like 1
  3. George mattar

    GM did not identify in the Corvette VIN engine codes until I believe the 1972 model. Restored correctly, which will cost a ton, this car is worth maybe $90,000 on a very good day

    Like 1
    • DRV

      In the engine VIN codes was the tranny and engine spec.. The code didn’t have chassis info.

      Like 0
  4. Dave

    When this car was new, construction on the Interstate Highway System had just begun. I still recall our vacation trip from Pittsburgh to Virginia Beach in 1964. Once off the Turnpike at Breezewood, the rest of the trip was an adventure of segments of four lane punctuated by two lane drives through small towns. This was in an un-air-conditioned 1959 Edsel Villager wagon.

    Like 10
  5. Butch

    Way out of my dream league but nice find. Of this body style I like the 58s best.

    Like 1
  6. Jnrindian

    Price is excessive!

    Like 2
  7. Russell Glantz Staff

    I wrote this, and I made a syntax error. I meant to say, and should have said, “cove tags” as in the fender scripts, instead of “cowl tags”.
    I admit it, my error completely.

    Like 9
    • DRV

      We’re a tough crowd on these over ID sensitive Corvettes! Imagine if Chevy did a real thorough ID of them. Half of their industry would go away.

      Like 0
  8. Jack Quantrill

    Test drove a ‘57 Fuelie 4 speed sitting on a used car lot. Salesman said put a $1 worth of gas in it and be careful. This was in 1958. Heard it would do 60 mph in first gear, they were right!

    Like 3
  9. Andrew Franks

    Russell, it looks like the front of the car was either in flames or a flood, or some other disaster that isn’t mentioned by the Seller.
    I know about Corvette markets and I think the prices are excessive. The price on this one is the same, but then I’m not an enthusiast of these cars. The ’57 happens to be one of my favorites however, along with the mid Sixties models, and the very early cars.

    Like 1
  10. Danko

    Russell Glantz it’s a 4 speed

    Like 0
  11. Gaspumpchas

    hm 50 large, might be a real fuelie, but wait–you cant have the Fuelie unit with it. Wonder what he;s asking for the fuelie package? Like Jim said, the guy should throw it in for that price. I’m thinking someone will snap this beauty up- maybe they could do a deal on the FI if the guy buys the car. Very nice. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 0
  12. TimM

    It doesn’t seem right advertising a fuelie and not getting those parts with it!! Finding and buying those parts after paying big money for this car just seems wrong!! Besides what can you do with those parts after you sell the car!! Try to make more money selling them to the new owner????

    Like 0

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