Its hard not to like the futuristic, swoopy styling of 56-57 Corvettes. Even the essentially stock, chrome-accented bodywork blends seamlessly with modern 17-inch rolling stock. Its hard not to like the futuristic, swoopy styling of 56-57 Corvettes. Kudos to Chuck for retaining the centrally mounted gauges and two-pod dash cluster. Auto Meter gauges replaced the stock meters, installed without any clearancing of the factory holes. The stock speedometers backing plate was painted to match the silver faces. Kudos to Chuck for retaining the centrally mounted gauges and two-pod dash cluster. Auto M Dont let the docile-looking aqua rocker covers fool youyoure looking at a monster of a small-block mill. Winston Cupinspired Buick-style symmetrical-port Dart heads allow the cfm numbers to support over 530 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Dont spend too much time looking for the master cylinder eitherits hidden inside the passenger compartment, leaving the firewall totally smooth. The hydraulic-clutch master cylinder that engages the Richmond six-speed transmission is also hidden under the dashboard. The result is a tasty, uninterrupted view of the engine, braided stainless hose, and ceramic-coated pipe. The underside of the car is done just as cleanly. All the hoses and lines run through the frame tubing. Dont let the docile-looking aqua rocker covers fool youyoure looking at Its easy to understand why some people choose modern performance cars over vintage machines. Modern cars are just thatmodern. Their engines are tame, yet powerful; their interiors are comfortable, yet purposeful; their styling is clichéd yet inconspicuous. The latter is why we drive old cars at the expense of technology and refinement. We want distinctively styled cars that we can identify from a block away. Chuck Olsons 56 Corvette is such a car. Arguably the most beautiful of the early solid-axle Corvettes, the 56-57 cars wont be mistaken for anything else. However, Chucks car no longer has a solid axle. In fact, all that remains of the stock suspension is the wheelbase. You see, Chucks got this friend, Bob Fuller of C&F Race Cars, and together they slipped a custom tube-frame chassis fitted with 92-Corvette independent suspension under the 46-year-old bodywork. Of course, the body wasnt always as nice as it is now. The 56 was found in the back of a body shop in 1992 having been used as payment for its former owners unpaid debts. Four flat tires, broken windows, and a poorly repaired body didnt sway Chuck from hauling the whole mess home. He wanted a car that was so far gone he could justify making extensive mods. The tube frame didnt clear the stock floorpan, so it was sliced out and replaced with a custom pan produced from a mold that Chuck whittled out of plywood. Stock wheelhousings were cut and replaced with widened tubs made from Chucks wood veneer molds. And since the cars poor condition required extensive bodywork anyway, the two craftsmen reshaped the rear wheel openings to appear more symmetrical with the front. The hoodscoop is a one-off hand-laid piece, too. Its there to funnel atmosphere into the fire-breathing 400-cube small-block. And considering this car weighs less than 2,600 pounds with Chuck at the wheel, its 532 hp is wretched excess for most, and just enough for a car crafter. Heck, some motorcycles are lucky to manage a power-to-weight ratio under five pounds per horsepower. Most of us will only dream of building a car of this caliberwere not sure we could ever carry something this radical through to completion. But although we may never achieve the superlative, we cant help but be inspired by it. Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!