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1953 to 1962 Corvette Service Repair Manual

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1953-1962 Corvette Shop Service Repair Manual

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01: 1956-1957 Corvette Exterior


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A new fenderline, new side panel and hood treatment, together with restyled bumpers and wheel trim disks account for the basically new exterior appearance of the Corvette for 1956.


As in previous models, the body, fenders, hood and deck lid are of fiberglass. Light in weight, this material is non-corrosive and has excellent damping qualities.


Redesigned bright metal fender guards, elliptical in section, wrap around either front fender corner, complementing the grille and guards which are retained from the previous model. The headlights, relocated to an extreme forward position on the redesigned fenders, figure more prominently in the front view. The headlights are of the same improved sealed beam design as used in the 1956 conventional passenger car. Parking lights are in a new position, directly beneath the headlights.


A new hood, hinged at the front as in the previous model, features two elongated wind splits which taper rearward. The new hood emblem, almost four inches in diameter, has a gold Vee added beneath the Corvette crossed flags.


More upright, the bright metal windshield frame accommodates the increased glass height and more vertical angle of windshield slope. The sides of the windshield frame are designed so that the vertical channels for the lowering side windows fit flush when the doors are closed.


Bright metal wheel disks are full-diameter, with spoke-like radial embossments surrounding the hub area. Simulated at the center of the disk is a bright knock-off hub with black crossed flags and the words "Chevrolet Corvette" on a brushed circular plaque. A circular depression, to the rear of the hub, has a brushed finish to contrast with the bright knockoff lugs.


The decorative molding used on the 1955 body side panel is replaced by a wide depression which begins at the rear of the front wheel opening and tapers rearward into the door. This side panel depression is painted either body color or in contrasting tones to harmonize with overall color, and is outlined by a narrow chrome molding which continues over the wheel opening to the front bumper.


Front and rear fenders are redesigned to render an entirely new Corvette profile.


The front fender is higher and projects farther forward, and the outer circumference of the headlight bezel is painted body color, further extending the fender1ine. A simulated air scoop, with bright metal grille, is located on either front fender, just ahead of the windshield. The addition of push button type door handles and key locks is apparent on the door panels.


Fin-like rear fender projections of previous models are eliminated, the rear fender approximating the contour of the rear deck lid. The gasoline filler door remains in the same position on the rear .fender, immediately to the rear of the door.


New in contour, front and rear wheel openings rake back at the trailing edge. The flare which formerly framed the ,wheel opening is eliminated.


New vertical bumpers follow the contour of the rear fenders. Spinner-like projections in the bumpers house the tail pipes, and help to direct exhaust gases away from the body,


A chrome recess at the crown of each rear fender houses the new conical tail light, which is surrounded by a narrow red reflex band. The radio antenna is mounted on the left fender immediately forward of the tail light.


The license plate, formerly located in a recess in the rear deck lid, is lowered to an exposed position, just below the deck lid. License lights are built into spinners which flank the license plate. Horizontal guards originating at these spinners end just short of either fender. An emblem, carrying the same design as that used on the hood, is centered on the rear deck lid. The lock cylinder is relocated to a position beneath the emblem.


Either the manually operated convertible top or plastic hardtop can be obtained as regular equipment. Mechanism for power operation of the folding top is available at extra cost.


Although the redesigned convertible top is virtually the same height as its predecessor, it is flatter in profile. Reshaped side window openings and a wider, higher rear window together with the more expansive windshield provide a 7. 7 per cent increase in total glass area.


The removable plastic hardtop, available in body color, is attractively trimmed in bright metal, and provides a glass area approximately 37 per cent greater than that of the 1955 convertible top. The hardtop feature s fixed rear quarter windows and wrap-around rear window, and the headlining is of waffle-pattern vinyl corresponding to seat and sidewall trim.


Overall height with the convertible top and hardtop is 51. 1 and 51. 0 inches respectively. Both of the new tops decrease slightly from the previous height of 51.3 inches . Corvette overall width is decreased to 70.5 inches from 72.2 due to the new fender and side panel treatment. License light housings at the rear increase overall length to 168 from 167 inches. Front and rear treads are unchanged and the Corvette wheelbase remains 102 inches.  


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