Eckler's warehouse is open, shipping daily and ready to meet all of your automotive needs. Curbside pickup is now available at our Florida location Learn More

Corvette C1: 1953-1962

Shop All

C1 Corvette History

This first generation corvette over time became widely known as the C1 Corvette. The C1’s production run lasted from 1953 – 1962 with the first year just turning out 300 units. You could order any color in 1953, as long as it was in white, and all 300 were convertibles. By the end of the run though, Chevrolet was producing greater than 14,000 C1 Corvettes per year and in multiple colors, but all still as convertibles. The Corvette was invented in 1951 by GM designer Harley Earl, who was inspired by the great European sports cars of the day and wanted to create an American sports car that could compete and win at the race track. The name "Corvette" was borrowed from a line of small, fast navy ships used in World War II.

For many of us, our first recollections of this iconic vehicle are tied to the classic TV short, Route 66, in which two buddies traveled the country in a 1960 Baby Blue C1 searching for adventure. For many, the C1 Corvette still embodies the perfection of the true American sports car – a two-seater convertible with a tremendous combination of speed and handling.

The C1 saw multiple cosmetic refreshes during its 10 year production run with perhaps the most significant being in 1958 where it received an external and internal facelift - the nose was noticeably lengthened, the single headlights gave way to dual side by sides, and the interior and dash were redesigned.

From a performance standpoint, the early C1 Corvettes came with an inline-6 but by 1955 Chevy was offering a 265 cu. In. V8’s as well. Soon after came four speed manual transmissions and beefier brakes and suspension, perhaps a hint of what was ahead for America’s most popular sports car. The last year of production, 1962, also saw the replacement of the 283 with a 327 cu. In. small-block V8. Chevrolet was proud of the increase in horse power that made the ’62 the fastest of the C1 corvettes.

With its combination of limited production numbers and significance as the birth of the American sports car, the C1 Corvette is arguably the most coveted and collectible of all the Corvette generations. The good news for the C1 enthusiast is that Eckler’s specializes in C1 Corvette parts and has been a trusted source for more than 50 years. We have all the C1 Corvette parts you need to restore your C1 Corvette to as new condition. And, we have the C1 Corvette parts to keep your classic piece of Americana maintained and tuned to perfection.

fun facts:

The 1953 Corvette was the first American 2-seater production sports car.

The 1953-1954 Corvette was only available with an automatic transmission (something not seen again until the 1982 production year).

1953-1954 Corvettes came with the Blue Flame Six 6-cylinder engine. It was also available in 1955 but only 7 were sold (since that was the first year of the V-8).

ALL 1953-1962 Corvettes were convertibles.

1957 was the first year of available fuel injection (known as “fuelie” Corvettes) and it was the first year of the 283 C.I. V-8.

C1 Corvette Specifications

 

1953 Corvette Specifications

1953 Corvette

1953 Corvette Ad

It was new, it was different, and it was beautiful. The now rarest of all Corvettes ever produced 1953 Corvette came was produced in Flint, Michigan in a temporary GM factory. The first generation 1953 Corvette was the first American 2-seater production sports car, had an all fiberglass body and was available in a sleek white with a bold red interior. While it looked fast, the performance of the 1953 Corvette wasn’t as impressive, with only a 150 hp Blue Flame Six engine and a Powerglide transmission. Only 300 Corvettes were produced in 1953, making this one of the most sought after collector Corvettes to this day.

Total Production: 300 Roadsters

 

OPTIONS

RPO

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

2934
Base Corvette Convertible
300
$3498.00
101A
Heater
300
$91.40
101B
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
300
$145.15

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1953
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15

1954 Corvette Specifications

1954 Corvette

1954 Corvette Ad

The 1954 Corvette took style to a new level, even though it still had the Powerglide transmission from 1953. 1954 Corvette now came with exterior choices of red, blue and black, and customers could now opt for a beige interior instead of the bold red.

Total Production: 3,640 Roadsters

 

OPTIONS

RPO

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

2934
Base Corvette Convertible
3,640
$2774.00
100
Directional Signal
3,640
$16.75
101
Heater
3,640
$91.40
102A
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
3,640
$145.15
290B
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
3,640
$26.90
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
3,640
$178.35
420A
Parking Brake Alarm
3,640
$5.65
421A
Courtesy Lights
3,640
$4.05
422A
Windshield Washers
3,640
$11.85

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Polo White
3,230
---
Sportsman Red
100
---
Pennant Blue
300
---
Black
4

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

---
Beige Vinyl
---
Red Vinyl

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1954
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15

1955 Corvette Specifications

1955 Corvette

1955 Corvette Ad

While most 1955 Corvettes were equipped with the usual Powerglide automatic transmission, the new Chevrolet 265 cubic inch, 195 hp V-8 engine and 3-speed manual transmission were now available. 1955 was a tough sales year for the Chevrolet Corvette, as the Ford Thunderbird roared through great sales, nearly wiping out Corvettes sales in the process.

Total Production: 700 Roadsters

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

2934-6
Base Corvette Convertible, six-cylinder
---
$2774.00
2934-8
Base Corvette Convertible, V8
---
$2909.00
101
Directional Signal
700
$16.75
101
Heater
700
$91.40
102A
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
700
$145.15
290B
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
---
$26.90
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
---
$178.35
420A
Parking Brake Alarm
700
$5.65
421A
Courtesy Lights
700
$4.05
422A
Windshield Washers
700
$11.85

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

567
Polo White
325
596
Gypsy Red
180
570
Pennant Blue
45
573
Corvette Copper
15
632
Harvest Gold
120

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Beige Vinyl
887
---
Red Vinyl
2,580

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1955
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15

1956 Corvette Specifications

1956 Corvette

1956 Corvette Ad

The 1956 Corvette was introduced with roll-up windows and a new sleek streamlined body. These roll-up windows meant the Corvette roadster would be truly known as a Corvette convertible. The 255 hp, dual 4-barrel carbureted 265 cubic V-8 was the most popular consumer choice, among three new choices for 1956. As for transmissions, the choices were split almost evenly between 3-speed manual units and autos.

Total Production: 3,467 Convertibles

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

2934
Base Corvette Convertible
3,467
$3120.00
101
Heater
---
$123.65
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
2,717
$198.90
107
Parking Brake Alarm
2,685
$5.40
108
Courtesy Lights
2,775
$8.65
109
Windshield Washers
2,815
$11.85
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
---
$32.30
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
---
$188.50
419
Auxillary Hardtop
2,076
$215.20
426
Power Windows
547
$64.60
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
1,259
$19.40
449
Special High-Lift Camshaft
111
$188.30
469
265ci, 225hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
3,080
$172.20
471
Rear Axle, 3.27:1 Ratio
---
0.0
473
Power Operated Folding Top
2,682
$107.60

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Onyx Black
810
---
Polo White
532
---
Venetian Red
1,043
---
Arctic Blue
390
---
Aztec Copper
402
---
Cascade Green
290

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Beige Vinyl
887
---
Red Vinyl
2,580

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1956
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15

1957 Corvette Specifications

1957 Corvette

1957 Corvette Ad

The 1957 Corvette, one of the most popular cars of its day – and to this very day. This fast car was popular in factory sponsored racing competitions, because the new optional 283 cubic inch engine, fuel injection and amazing 4-speed transmission made this one of the fastest Corvettes ever. This was the first year of the “fuelie Corvette”.

Total Production: 6,339

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

2934
Base Corvette Convertible
6,339
$3176.32
101
Heater
5,373
$119.40
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
3,365
$199.10
107
Parking Brake Alarm
1,873
$5.40
108
Courtesy Lights
2,89
$5.40
109
Windshield Washers
2,555
$11.85
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
51
$15.10
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
5,019
$31.60
303
3-Speed Manual Transmission, Close Ratio
2,886
$0.00
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
1,393
$188.50
419
Auxillary Hardtop
4,055
$215.20
426
Power Windows
379
$59.20
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
2,797
$19.40
469A
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
2,045
$150.65
469C
283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
1,621
$182.95
473
Power Operated Folding Top
1,336
$139.90
579A
283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injection)
182
$484.20
579B
283ci, 280hp Engine (fuel injection)
713
$484.20
579C
283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injection)
102
$484.20
579E
283ci, 283hp Engine (fuel injection)
43
$726.30
677
Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1
327
$48.45
678
Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1
1,772
$48.45
679
Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1
---
$48.45
684
Heavy Duty Racing Suspension
51
$780.10
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
664
$188.30

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Onyx Black
2,189
---
Polo White
1,273
---
Venetian Red
1,320
---
Arctic Blue
487
---
Aztec Copper
452
---
Cascade Green
550
---
Inca Silver
65

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Beige Vinyl
1,315
---
Red Vinyl
5,021

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1957
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
7.10-7.60 x 15

1958 Corvette Specifications

1958 Corvette

1958 Corvette Ad

The 1958 Corvette was loaded with bling, maybe a little too much. Fake hood louvers, chrome trim everywhere, the ’58 Vette was style upon style. While some at the time thought that this one-year overload of design was over the top, today this look is highly sought after by Corvette collectors everywhere. Interestingly, while it may have been overdone in the style department, this didn’t stop it from winning race after race, which of course help sell a lot of Corvettes.

Total Production: 9,168

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

867
Base Corvette Convertible
9,168
$3591.00
101
Heater
8,014
$96.85
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
6,142
$144.45
107
Parking Brake Alarm
2,883
$5.40
108
Courtesy Lights
4,600
$6.50
109
Windshield Washers
3,834
$16.50
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
404
$0.00
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
7,428
$31.55
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
2,057
$188.30
419
Auxillary Hardtop
5,607
$215.20
426
Power Windows
649
$59.20
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
3,422
$16.50
469
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
2,436
$150.65
469C
283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
978
$182.95
473
Power Operated Folding Top
1,090
$139.90
579
283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injection)
504
$484.20
579D
283ci, 290hp Engine (fuel injection)
1,007
$484.20
677
Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1
1,123
$48.45
678
Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1
2,518
$48.45
679
Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1
370
$48.45
684
Heavy Duty Racing Suspension
144
$780.10
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
3,764
$215.20

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Black
493
---
Snowcrest White
2,477
---
Signet Red
1,399
---
Silver Blue
2,006
---
Regal Turquoise
510
---
Panama Yellow
455
---
Silver
193
---
Charcoal
1,631

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

---
Charcoal Vinyl
---
Blue-Gray Vinyl
---
Red Vinyl

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1958
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
6.70 x 15

1959 Corvette Specifications

1959 Corvette

1959 Corvette Ad

The 1959 Corvette finally came with an all-black interior as an option. Gone were the chrome trunk lid spears. While the Corvette was still winning races and leaving no doubt that this car was not just about looks, the ’59 Vette sold less than 10,000 units.

Total Production: 9,670

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

867
Base Corvette Convertible
9,670
$3875.00
101
Heater
8,909
$102.25
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
7,001
$149.80
107
Parking Brake Alarm
3,601
$5.40
108
Courtesy Lights
3,601
$6.50
109
Windshield Washers
7,229
$16.15
121
Sunshades
3,722
$10.805
261
Windshield Washers
7,229
$16.15
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
214
$0.00
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
8,173
$31.55
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
1,878
$199.10
419
Auxillary Hardtop
5,481
$236.75
426
Power Windows
587
$59.20
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
2,931
$16.15
469
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
1,417
$150.65
469C
283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
1,846
$182.95
473
Power Operated Folding Top
661
$139.90
579
283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injection)
175
$484.20
579D
283ci, 290hp Engine (fuel injection)
745
$484.20
675
Positraction Rear Axle
4,170
$48.45
684
Heavy Duty Racing Suspension
142
$425.05
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4,175
$188.30
686
Metallic Brakes
333
$188.30
1408
6.70x15 Blackwall Tires
---
$---
1625
24 Gallon Fuel Tank
---
$---

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Tuxedo Black
1,594
---
Snowcrest White
3,354
---
Roman Red
1,542
---
Classic Cream
223
---
Inca Silver
957
---
Frost Blue
1,024
---
Crown Sapphire
888

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Black Vinyl
2,062
---
Blue Vinyl
1,303
---
Red Vinyl
5,124
---
Turquoise Vinyl
1,181

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1959
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
6.70 x 15

1960 Corvette Specifications

1960 Corvette

1960 Corvette Ad

The 1960 Corvette was nearly identical in appearance to the 1959 Corvette. One difference was that the 1960 Corvette now had an aluminum radiator. In addition, the fuel injected engine with automatic transmission option was no longer available.

Total Production: 10,261

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

867
Base Corvette Convertible
10,261
$3872.00
101
Heater
9,808
$102.25
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
8,166
$137.75
107
Parking Brake Alarm
4,051
$5.40
108
Courtesy Lights
6,774
$6.50
109
Windshield Washers
7,205
$16.15
121
Temperature Controlled Radiator Fan
2,711
$21.55
261
Sunshades
5,276
$10.80
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
246
$0.00
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
9,104
$31.55
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
1,766
$199.10
419
Auxillary Hardtop
5,147
$236.75
426
Power Windows
544
$59.20
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
3,309
$16.15
469
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
1,211
$150.65
469C
283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
2,364
$182.95
473
Power Operated Folding Top
512
$139.90
579
283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injection)
100
$484.20
579D
283ci, 290hp Engine (fuel injection)
759
$484.20
675
Positraction Rear Axle
5,231
$43.05
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
5,328
$188.30
686
Metallic Brakes
920
$26.90
687
Heavy Duty Brakes and Steering
119
$333.60
1408
6.70x15 Blackwall Tires
---
$15.75
1625
24 Gallon Fuel Tank
---
$161.40

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Tuxedo Black
1,268
---
Ermine White
3,717
---
Roman Red
1,529
---
Tasco Turquoise
635
---
Sateen Silver
989
---
Horizon Blue
766
---
Honduras Maroon
1,202
---
Cascade Green
140

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Black Vinyl
3,231
---
Blue Vinyl
1,032
---
Red Vinyl
4,920
---
Turquoise Vinyl
1,078

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1960
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
6.70 x 15

1961 Corvette Specifications

1961 Corvette

1961 Corvette Ad

Chevrolet introduced the 1961 Corvette with a great new look. The quad taillight arrangement was introduced this year. The recognizable two-tone side cove paint treatment would be gone after this year, as well as the 283 engine.

Total Production: 10,939

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

867
Base Corvette Convertible
10,261
$3872.00
101
Heater
10,671
$102.25
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
9,316
$137.75
242
Positive Crankcase Ventilation
---
$5.40
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
337
$0.00
290
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
9,708
$31.55
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
1,458
$199.10
353
283ci, 275hp Engine (fuel injection)
118
$484.20
354
283ci, 315hp Engine (fuel injection)
1,462
$484.20
419
Auxillary Hardtop
5,680
$236.75
426
Power Windows
698
$59.20
440
Two-Tone Exterior Paint
3,368
$16.15
468
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
2,827
$182.95
469
283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carburetor)
1,175
$150.65
473
Power Operated Folding Top
442
$161.40
675
Positraction Rear Axle
6,915
$43.05
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
7,013
$188.30
686
Metallic Brakes
1,402
$37.70
687
Heavy Duty Brakes and Steering
233
$333.60
1408
6.70x15 Blackwall Tires
---
$15.75
1625
24 Gallon Fuel Tank
---
$161.40

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Tuxedo Black
1,340
---
Ermine White
3,178
---
Roman Red
1,794
---
Fawn Beige
1,363
---
Sateen Silver
747
---
Honduras Maroon
1,645
---
Jewel Blue
855

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Black Vinyl
3,487
---
Blue Vinyl
1,331
---
Red Vinyl
4,459
---
Fawn Vinyl
1,662

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1961
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
6.70 x 15

1962 Corvette Specifications

1962 Corvette

1962 Corvette Ad

The 1962 Chevy Corvette introduced the 327 cubic inch engine. The old solid axel Corvettes and car trunks were last seen this year of Corvette production, until the 1998 Corvette convertible was introduced. The new engine change and the great look would cause Corvette sales to jump by almost one third.

Total Production: 14,531

OPTIONS

RPO#

DESCRIPTION

QTY

RETAIL

867
Base Corvette Convertible
14,531
$4038.00
102
AM Radio, Signal Seeking
13,076
$137.75
203
Rear Axle, 3.08:1 Ratio
---
$0.00
242
Positive Crankcase Ventilation
---
$5.40
276
Wheels, 15x5.5
561
$0.00
313
Powerglide Automatic Transmission
1,532
$199.10
396
327ci, 340hp Engine
4,412
$107.60
419
Auxillary Hardtop
8,074
$236.75
426
Power Windows
995
$59.20
441
Direct Flow Exhaust System
2,934
$0.00
474
Power Operated Folding Top
350
$139.90
488
24 Gallon Fuel Tank
65
$118.40
582
327ci, 360hp Engine (fuel injection)
1,918
$484.20
583
327ci, 300hp Engine
3,924
$53.80
675
Positraction Rear Axle
14,232
$43.05
685
4-Speed Manual Transmission
11,318
$188.30
686
Metallic Brakes
2,799
$37.70
687
Heavy Duty Brakes and Steering
246
$333.60
1832
6.70x15 Whitewall Tires
---
$31.55
1833
6.70x15 Blackwall Tires
---
$15.70

 

EXTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Tuxedo Black
---
---
Ermine White
---
---
Roman Red
---
---
Fawn Beige
1,851
---
Sateen Silver
---
---
Honduras Maroon
---
---
Almond Beige
820

 

INTERIOR COLORS

CODE

COLOR

QTY

---
Black Vinyl
---
Blue Vinyl
---
Red Vinyl
---
Fawn Vinyl

WHEEL & TIRE SPECS

YEAR

MODEL

WHEEL LOCATION

WHEEL SIZE

OFFSET

BACKSPACING

TIRE SIZE

1962
Corvette
Front/Rear
15" x 5"
(+) 14mm
3.1"
6.70 x 15
 
Optional
Front/Rear
15" x 5.5"
(+) 11mm
3.2"
6.70 x 15

C1 - Customer Gallery


1953

1954

1955

1956

1957
 

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962