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Corvette Engines from the '50s


'53 Blue Flame.jpg (24193 bytes)

The "Blue Flame" 6 as installed in '53 and '54

54 Blue Flame Six.jpg (98880 bytes)

A "Blue Flame" 6 installed in a '54

GM almost canned the Corvette because of its anemic 6 cylinder engine.  This all changed in 1955 when the then Corvette Chief Engineer, Zora Duntov (often called the granddaddy of the Corvette), dropped a 195 HP 265 CID V8 in the 1955 Corvette.  Thanks for this photo to fellow NCRS member #182, Roy Baatz.  The Corvette this engine is installed in is featured in a Vette Magazine article you can read here.

57 579A.jpg (10168 bytes) 59 579rt.jpg (50582 bytes) 59 579lft.jpg (46197 bytes) 

Three views of the RPO 579A fuel injected 283CID (4.6 ltr).  Installed in slightly varying configurations from 1957 - 1960.  It had a 9.5:1 compression ratio and produced 250 HP.  

59_290hp_283.jpg (55922 bytes) 59_290hp_283_1.jpg (59187 bytes)

For the first half of the model year in 1960, the 579A was available with aluminum heads, had a 11.0:1 compression ratio, and produced 275 HP.  Note the addition of the ignition shielding.  Thanks for these photos to NCRS member Dave Freeman.

59 base 283.jpg (77550 bytes)

The 1958 - 1960 "base" engine.  It had a displacement of 283 cubic inches and produced a respectable-for-its-era 230 HP.


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