1956 Chevrolet Corvette - SOLD
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  • Overview & History
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It’s correct, it’s beautiful, it’s documented, and it’s ready to enjoy at almost any level.

The best Corvettes get everything right: specification, pedigree, documentation, awards, and this stunning 1956 Chevrolet Corvette nails it in every single category. Here’s the short version: one of 3467 built, loaded with every single option you could get except the high-lift cam, known ownership history from new, and a heavily documented body-off restoration good enough to win NCRS Top Flight awards at the national level. You simply will not find a better one.

This Corvette was originally purchased by Clarence Kennedy and he checked all but two of the options on the list:

Heater
AM signal-seeking radio
Parking brake alarm
Courtesy lights
Windshield washers
6.70-15 whitewall tires
Auxiliary hardtop
Power windows
Two-tone exterior paint
225 horsepower 265 cubic inch V8 with two 4-barrel carbs
Power convertible top

The two options he didn’t select? PowerGlide automatic transmission and the race-only high-lift cam (RPO 449). He also specified Venetian Red with a beige cove insert (it is not and never has been white) with a red interior, which was by far the most popular combination in 1956. Oddly enough, Mr. Kennedy only kept the car for two years, selling it in 1958 to Charles Goodwin of Plaistow, New Hampshire on July 21, 1958 for $2500 (we have the bill of sale and 1958 New Hampshire vehicle permit). Mr. Goodwin seemed to like the Corvette quite a bit and the documentation suggests that it was still in his possession in 1968. At some point it was sold to a Corvette Dealer in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and ultimately to its most recent owner in 1986.

During those 35 years of ownership, the car was restored twice: once in the early 1990s where it was simply repainted and the engine rebuilt; and then a second, comprehensive restoration in 2017 that transformed it into the award-winning car it is today. The bodywork was completely stripped to bare fiberglass and refinished in two-stage urethane that makes the original Venetian Red paint look incredibly deep and shiny. It’s a bit orange, but the contrast with the beige side cove is just gorgeous—it’s a very sophisticated look. Fit and finish are surely better than new, but the guys doing the work knew that perfection is not a good idea if you’re going to compete at the highest levels, so it isn’t perfect. It’s merely Corvette perfect. The doors open and close easily, the trunk latches down easily, and you can close the hood with a gentle push. The chrome was all refinished to show standards and all new emblems and lenses were installed.

The interior was also restored to as-new condition. The textured vinyl seats, low-nap carpet, and ornate door panels are just as they were in 1956, and you can see most of the options here: power windows, AM radio, and the courtesy lights, all of which are fully operational. The dashboard is largely the same as 1955, painted in the same beige as the side coves, and all the gauges work as they should, including the clock and the unique total revolutions counter on the tach. A 3-speed manual was standard equipment (there were no 4-speeds in 1956) and it’s reasonably crisp and clutch action is light. The driving position is very much old-school performance, with a big wheel right in your chest so you can do the maneuvering with your shoulders rather than your arms. The radio pulls in stations loud and clear and broadcasts through the single speaker in front of the passenger. Tan canvas was optional for the convertible top, which is technically power actuated, although the system does need the driver to release the latches and the deck lid to allow it to stow itself underneath. There’s also a fully restored matching hardtop, complete with textured headliner that is the same as the seat upholstery. The surprisingly spacious trunk has a correct rubber mat and there’s a full-sized spare stowed underneath.

RPO 469 was a 265 cubic inch V8 with two 4-barrel carburetors making 225 horsepower—a fairly robust figure for 1956. The engine was rebuilt during the 1990s restoration and with very little use there was no need for a second rebuilt, just new gaskets and fresh paint to make it look correct under the hood. Finned valve covers were standard equipment, as were the miniature louvered air cleaners which were like smaller versions of the single 4-barrel unit. It carries a correct aluminum intake manifold and correct cast iron exhaust manifolds, which show just the right amount of Chevrolet Orange engine enamel overspray. Correct ignition shielding, a generator with built-in tachometer drive, new wiring, correct hoses and clamps, and all the other little things that make for a show-winner are there. It starts easily and idles well, and on the road there’s plenty of punch at any speed which is what owning a Corvette is all about, right?

Underneath, the frame was sandblasted bare and repainted satin black and even the factory stencils were replicated on the outer frame rail. The 3-speed manual transmission shifts crisply, and with 3.70 gears, this roadster is quick even in today’s world of 700+ horsepower Corvettes. Everything is rebuilt, including brakes, suspension, and steering, and details are exact, including a reproduction A/C oil filter and the heat shields that protect the fiberglass floors from exhaust heat. Correct spiral shocks are in place out back, along with the original canvas check straps on the axle, which are a little brittle but still in place. It’s surprisingly tight and supple, totally dispelling the rumor that Corvettes are rattle-traps, and the exhaust bark is worth the price of admission all by itself. Steel wheels carry attractive spinner hubcaps and correctly-sized 6.70-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewall tires.

This car includes a substantial file full of receipts, invoices, ownership documents, and owner’s manual. Awards that accompany the car include both a regional NCRS Top Flight award and a national NCRS Top Flight award earned at the national meet in Lake Placid, NY.

Like I said, this Corvette gets everything right. It’s correct, it’s beautiful, it’s documented, and it’s ready to enjoy at almost any level. The investment in the restoration was considerably more than the asking price, and the 1956 Corvettes are among the rarest of Chevrolet’s plastic fantastic. Call today!

Harwood Motors welcomes and encourages personal or professional inspections of any vehicle prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1956 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 116094
Mileage: 87,123
VIN: E56S003317
Engine: 265 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.7
Wheelbase: 102 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 6.70-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown whitewall
Exterior Color: Venetian Red
Interior Color: Red vinyl
Untitled Document

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