C1 1953-62

1955-1964 Corvette Exhaust Manifold ID

All early Chevrolet Corvette factory exhaust manifolds are cast iron. Since the manifolds are cast, the actual casting number and date are raised above the actual surface of the part. Most casting numbers are visible when the manifold is installed on the engine. The casting number location and casting date location will vary from year to year and sometimes manifold to manifold. Some manifolds will not carry a casting date at all. Small block manifolds do not carry a year designation. 2" outlet small block manifolds will have a casting date, while most 2 1/2" outlet manifolds do not have a casting date. There were two types of manifolds being cast for Corvette, the first from the Flint, Michigan built engines, which were cast in Saginaw, Michigan. All small block Corvettes used these manifolds. The second type was cast at the Tonawanda Engine plant and all Corvette big block engines used these manifolds. The big block manifolds will be discussed and identified in the second installment of this article.

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Classic 1955-65 Corvette Camshaft ID

The camshaft is the one part of the internal combustion engine, which has the most bearing on how that engine will operate. The basic function of the camshaft is to control the timing, the length, the speed, and the height of the intake and exhaust valve openings inside the cylinder head. The camshaft in all Chevrolet engines is located within its own bearing chamber below the cylinder head face and above the oil pan rails. There have been some minor changes in rear camshaft bearing face design, but for the most part the camshaft has remained the same from 1955-82. It is important to verify which type of block, rear bearing face and camshaft bearing you need before you invest in a camshaft.

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Two C1 Corvettes Found in an Illinois Barn

“You’ll never find the barn. Meet us at the Dairy Queen in town. Call us when you get there.” Larry Fisette was about to embark on another old-car hunt, this one for Corvettes — both C1s — preserved on blocks in the same barn since 1973. Fisette, who lives in Wisconsin where he runs the De Pere Auto Center, got this phone call a week earlier from a man in Illinoi

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Corvette Trivia

Corvette Triva. The C1-C3 Corvettes were very popular in the muscle car era, and still are to this day. They’re considered by many to be the most beautiful 2-seater sports car ever produced by General Motors.

The Corvette was conceived in 1951 by GM designer Harley Earl and his special projects crew to compete with the European sports cars, in hopes that this new GM sports car would win at the track.

In 1953, the Corvette debuted at the Motorama in New York City. Chevrolet quickly set up a temporary plant in Flint Michigan, where 300 Corvettes were all hand built.

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1962 Pro Touring Corvette

After restoring several ’57 Chevys and selling all of them, it was time to restore something different. I'd always wanted to build a Corvette, but I never could find one at a reasonable price.

I had known about a locally-owned ‘62 for many years right here in my hometown, but each time I offered to buy it the owner wouldn’t agree to sell. However, I guess timing is everything because he finally agreed to sell the car to me due to my persistent interest in his car – and I think his advancing age might have been his motivation to sell it as well.


Now that I owned the car and it was safely in my garage, I began to plan my restoration. I decided to go with a tube frame for maximum stability and handling. I contacted Mike Stockdale at SR111 Motorsports near Chicago because he could build one using stock Corvette C-4 Suspension Parts. Thus began a three year restoration project.

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Building the first Corvette

Building the first Corvette. The American auto enthusiast didn’t even know they wanted a sports car; that is until they were introduced to the new Corvette at the GM 1953 Motorama. One look at the new Chevrolet two-seater Corvette was all it took. The Corvette line was here to stay.

After its introduction, Chevrolet faced the fact that they needed a place to assemble their newest model. A temporary assembly line was set up in Flint, Michigan. A total of 300 Corvettes were built that first year in Flint. All 300 were painted Polo White and featured red interiors. The standard engine was the Blue Flame six-cylinder engine, backed by a Powerglide automatic transmission.

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