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1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype : Classic Cars

The Corvette was launched with 300 hand-built polo white convertibles produced for the 1953 model year. It was a styling sensation but did not have the performance to back up its looks. But by 1955 a new V-8 was available. A new body was introduced for the 1956 model year featuring a new 'face' and side coves. The taillight fins were gone as well.

Chevrolet entered racing with the Corvette in 1953 with a stock-engine car. Over the ensuing years Corvettes raced in the Pan American Race at Daytona and Sebring. By 1956, the Sebring 12 Hours had become second only to Le Mans in international significance as huge crowds descended every spring on the tiny Florida town that by now was synonymous with elite sports car racing.

This Corvette prototype Sebring racer finished first in B production and 9th overall at the 1956 Sebring 12 hour race and was Corvette's first entry into sports car racing. The car was driven by John Fitch and Walt Hansgen. Fitch was responsible for Chevrolet's effort at the 1956 Sebring race, which included this prototype and three production Corvettes. It was the first Corvette to have a four-speed transmission and a 307 cubic-inch engine, which was the largest engine at the race and entitled it to be number '1'.

The success of this car led to a Chevrolet ad campaign calling this Corvette the 'Real McCoy.' It's widely believed that had this car had not been successful at Sebring, that the Corvette may not have survived

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Sources : 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype Photo | 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR Prototype Article


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