1956 Corvette

My Dad has a shirt that says, “I may be old, but at least I got to drive all the cool cars,” and, boy, did he ever.  Not only did he drive them, he owned many of the very coolest cars.  One of his favorites was this 1956 Corvette.

He bought this ’56 Vette in 1958, while he was still in high school.  And no, he wasn’t some spoiled rich kid.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  My Dad was what was known as a “South Sider”.  The kids on the South Side had it a little tougher, so they had to be a little tougher.  My Dad was only able to afford this dream car in 1958 because he had been working as many as 60 hours a week since he was 15 years old at Charlie’s Mobil, a car lot and service station located right on the Lincoln Highway in Kearney, Nebraska.  Working at a car lot meant this Vette was just the latest in a long line of incredible horsepower he had already owned, cars like a 1936 Ford Tudor hot rod, a 1947 Merc, lowered and painted Bahama Blue, a 1949 Oldsmobile fastback and a 1933 Ford with suicide doors, 16 coats of black lacquer and a Cadillac engine, just to name a few.

This beautiful little Vette was painted white with red sides and a red interior.  It came with both tops, the hardtop and the fabric one, and a Wonderbar radio. The transmission was the optional Powerglide automatic transmission. Under the hood was a 265-cubic inch, 225-hp “Turbo-Fire” V8 with duel 4-barrel carbs and factory high power exhaust headers:

Keep in mind that all that power was really just a safety feature (at least according to the sales brochure):

I am not sure how much “safety” was being practiced the day Dad raced his Vette against a new 1958 Pontiac down the Lincoln Highway at 138 mph.  The Vette did come out the winner that day, albeit with a partially melted bumper from the heat of the exhaust. 

Dad worked for Charlie until he was 19 and wouldn’t trade those days for anything, especially because he was working when he met his future wife.  They have been married since 1961, and this is a picture of them taken around that time:

Two things stand out about this picture. First, my Dad is about 40 pounds lighter than usual because he had been dieting at Fort Leonard Wood boot camp, and second, he must have really loved her to let her sit on that 1957 Olds.

4 Replies to “1956 Corvette”

  1. I remember this well! I felt so special when he gave me a ride in his car, my brother was my hero!! And I knew he had found the perfect girl, she felt like family immediately. Feels like a life time ago but I feel the same today. Love you big brother, you have stayed true to yourself❤️

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