At the recent Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event, SPEED TV commentator Steve Magnante took a look at a couple of 1957 Corvettes that were on display there. Both were very nice examples, one being a dual quad setup and the other a Rochester fuel injected version.
Magnante’s enthusiasm for the cars is self-evident when he attributes 290 hp output to the Rochester configuration. Mentioning that only 713 units were built, he apparently refers to Option 579B which standard GM reference documents indicate was rated at 283 hp. Individual engines, of course, may have put out more than advertised.
In addition to the Option 579B, there were three others for fuel injected cars. Options 579A and 579C are not clearly distinguished as to differences, but Option 579E does specify that a ‘Fresh Air Intake’ was included. Together, these three options account for another 327 fuel injected Corvettes that year, bringing the actual total to 1040 units.
Regardless of the hair-splitting, Magnante also reminds us that the early years of the Corvette were somewhat rocky, and that the car was almost canceled. Had it not been for the release of the 2-seater Thunderbird by Ford in 1954, there might not be a Corvette today as GM management viewed the more luxury-oriented ‘Bird as a competitive threat.