1956 Duntov Corvette
1956 Duntov Corvette
Recently, this 1956 Duntov Corvette estate find has been found in the media. The original owner who was apparently a lifelong Corvette enthusiast was very meticulous about his Corvette. He purchased this Corvette new, kept all the dealership paperwork and sales information, order sheet, invoice, title and warranty paperwork, and he even kept a mileage and service log to monitor the performance of his Corvette. For unknown circumstances, the original owner made the decision to park his beloved Corvette in 1983, perhaps to preserve its 41,000 original mile condition, as the prices of vintage Corvettes had already been increasing during the previous eight years. Most importantly, not only was this a 41,000 original mile Corvette, but it was 1 of 111 Corvettes built and sold in the 1956 model year with the then brand new high performance Duntov camshaft.
The Duntov cam was a special grind developed by Zora Arkus-Duntov for high performance applications which had unique lift and duration specifications that trickled down the high performance and racing ladders in the United States. The concepts in the variations of lift, duration, and overlap led to spectacular horsepower increases in not only the General Motors Corporation and other U.S. automobile manufacturers, but to the high performance and racing aftermarket cam grinders that changed the landscape of the American Muscle Cars forever.
At some point in the past couple of years, the original owner was the victim of a violent home invasion and suffered serious injuries. These injuries were so severe that he required long term medical care. Financially, this was an albatross for him. Painfully, he made the decision to sell all of his belongings to maintain his health. This 1956 Corvette was his most precious belonging, but it had to go. I am sure he was hoping that it would be purchased by a fellow Corvette enthusiast who would care for his Corvette as much as he did for the past six decades.
So before I get into the features and details of this Corvette, I have something to say.
As a fellow Corvette owner and enthusiast, I relate to all the other owners out there, especially to the original owner of this 1956 Corvette. I too, am meticulous about not just my Corvette, but about all of my cars. I care for them as if they are members of my family, just as this owner did. When I purchase a Corvette either for my personal use or as an investment, the day I make the decision to sell my car, I expect potential buyers to respect my asking price and current market prices. In an estate sale when there is a loss of a family member or when property is sold on an emergency basis, families expect to receive appropriate payments for their property. Most families who have had a Corvette in their household for years or decades know exactly how valuable their car is and will not accept a price below a previously established price that was told to them over and over again by their husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, etc. who owned the car. So if and when you are in a position to purchase or make an offer for a barn find, garage find, estate sale etc., you better do the right thing and make an appropriate offer for the car. The worst thing that could happen these days with social media and instantaneous online news is that you brag about a low price that you paid for a Corvette or another collector car. Word will get around immediately about your actions which will be most difficult to correct. So please be respectful to the families who so lovingly took care of these cars for you to now enjoy.
The original matching numbers 265 cubic inch engine remains in as close to unrestored as possible with the #449 Duntov cam still installed in the unopened 240 horse power small block Chevrolet engine. The carburetors were recently rebuilt, but otherwise, what you see is what you get.
The original interior was easily cleaned up and is very presentable.
Note the radio delete block off plate.
If you look close enough, you can see that the three speed shift pattern plate was updated to a four speed plate. This was not a recent upgrade. The original three speed transmission and rear axle were replaced in 1962 with a 4-speed transmission and an updated 1962 Corvette rear end with 4.11 gears. The original rear axle is long gone, but the original three speed transmission was retained by the original owner and was included in the sale.
Amazingly, the original spare tire was still in the trunk!
This Duntov cam equipped Corvette proves that there are still many Corvettes still out there that are waiting to be rediscovered and shown to the public once again. Fortunately, this Corvette was purchased by a fellow Corvette enthusiast and should be well taken care of during his ownership.
If you have an old Corvette in your garage, and you want to sell it, please contact me!
Photos courtesy of Super Chevy