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1955 Chevrolet Corvette - By The Numbers

Greg Ornazian's '55 Corvette

Feb 1, 2005
0502_CORP_08_z_047 048 NUM 2/1

General Information
Year: 1955
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Model No.: 2934
Engine: 265ci
Horsepower: 195
Transmission: Powerglide
Engine Code Suffix: FG

Cylinder Head
Casting No.: 3703523
Intake/Exhaust valve size: 1.72/1.50 in
Combustion Chamber: 67.4242 cc
Notes: This is the first small-block cylinder head. It is the only head that was available in the '55 model year. The first high-performance head was not offered until 1956. This cylinder head has staggered valve-cover mounting bolt holes.

Intake Manifold
Casting No.: 3711348
Carb Type: 4BBL Carter WCFB
Notes: First V-8 design 265 four-barrel manifold. There were 133 revisions made to this manifold between the dates of 4/22/54 and 3/9/57. This manifold has a '55-only carburetor base plate. It was used as a service replacement until 1967 under Part No. 3717211. This manifold has an oil splash shield.

Two Carter WCFB carburetors were used on the '55 model.
Type 1: 2218 S* (first design)
Part Number: 3717637
Air Horn Casting No.: 889, 6- (Early); 6-1020 (Late)
Main Body Casting No.: 0-900 (Early), 0-953 (Late)
Type 2: 2351 S** (second design)
Part Number: 3724158
Air Horn Casting No.: 6-1020
Main Body Casting No.: 0-953

Casting No.: 3703524
Main: Two-bolt
Notes: This block was used for the complete '55 model year for all applications including trucks. The bypass breather tube was cast into the back of the block above the bellhousing on the driver side and exits below the oil pan. This block had no oil filter provision. It also had only two motor mountings on each side. Thin wall 265 design.

Stamping No.: 1110855*
Engine/HP/Application: 265/195hp/All
Housing: Cast/bowl
Point: Single
Notes: Standpipe oiler/vacuum
*The primary difference between the No. 1110847 and No. 1110855 was that most of the early '855 distributors did not have a vacuum advance boss but instead had centrifugal weights inside.

Type: 30-amp
Stamping No.: 1102025

Transmission Specifications
Two-Speed Powerglide Transmission
Code location: Rear side of governor flange
Code prefix: C (Cleveland)
Main case: Cast iron
Torque Converter Housing: Cast iron
Tailhousing: Cast iron
Type: Automatic hydraulic torque converter with planetary gear system for Reverse and Low gear.
Gear Ratios: Drive 1.82:1; Low 1.82:1; Reverse 1.82:1Rear case No.: 3708134
Torque Converter Housing Casting No.: 3708188 (eight-cylinder)
Special Information: The only difference between the standard passenger car and the Corvette Powerglide transmission was the floor position of the shifting mechanism on the Corvette, which constituted the change of the tailhousing with three tapped holes to accept the shifter. Only the Corvette had this tailhousing.

'55 Corvette Rear Axle
This rear axle was used from 1953 through the 1955 model year. The rear axle was a semi-floating Hotchkiss drive-type differential. It featured a pressed-steel banjo that was of two-piece welded construction with a removable inspection cover. The axle center was much smaller than the passenger axle and the rear axles had a C-clip retention system similar to the late-model 12-bolt axles. The axles in this differential are the same as the '51-'54 passenger-car axles. This axle has an exposed, unsupported driveshaft. The overall specifications for the '53-'55 Corvette differential are as follows:
Rearend Type: 10-bolt, C-clip style
Ring Gear Diameter: 8.20 in
Pinion Diameter: 1.438 in
Pinion Splines: 17
Axle Splines: 17
Axle Spline Diameter: 1.155 in

Rear Axle Dimensions
Axle tube flange to axle tube flange: 5411/42 in
Between centerlines of spring perches: 4751/48 in
Axleshaft length: Right 2911/42 in, 231/44-in pilot; Left 2811/42 in, 231/44-in pilot
Casting No.: Right 3694756; Left 3694755

From Corvette By The Numbers by Alan Colvin, published in 2002, used with permission of Robert Bently Publishers.

This is the first of a new series of articles that will concentrate on specific numbers you need to spec out a Corvette.

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