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  Chevrolet Corvette SS

  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1957
Numbers built:1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWhen first introduced in 1953 the Corvette wasn't really suited to racing. Pitched against the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, weighing about the same but with better brakes, handling and a hundred extra horsepower, the 'Vette just didn't stand a chance. When the OHV V8 was introduced Zora Arkus-Duntov, the father of the Corvette, started work on modifying the engine and chassis for racing.

American racing driver John Fitch fielded four Duntov-modified Corvettes in the 1956 Sebring 12 hours. These racers featured revised suspension and a modified engine. Fitted with a revised cam, ported manifolds and 2 two four-barrel Carburetors the engines produced 250 bhp. Best finish was a ninth for the Corvette driven by Walt Hansgen and John Fitch.

For 1957 Duntov set out to design an all new sports racer after the promising performance of the Fitch cars at Sebring. A new magnesium body was designed and fitted on a tubular spaceframe chassis. The live rear axle was replaced by a DeDion axle. Dubbed ss the V8 racer made its debut at Sebring in 1957.

John Fitch was chosen to pilot the ss around Sebring for the 12 Hours race. Performance on the opening laps looked promising, with Fitch posting very competitive lap times. Unfortunately bad-luck struck on lap 23 and the ss was forced to retire.

Later in the year the ss was fitted with a plastic bubble top for testing. Although it proved competitive at Sebring the experimental Corvette was never raced again. In 1958 the ss was used as practice mule for the Stingray competition Corvette.

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  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications