Guide for the 1956 Corvette

The 1956 Corvette is a landmark classic car that should be in any Corvette lover’s collection.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 17, 2023
The 1956 Corvette is a cornerstone of the legendary sports car’s long and illustrious history. While by today’s standards, it doesn’t have the oomph or the technological prowess of modern ‘Vettes, it’s still a classical masterpiece of American carmaking. And owning one means owning an important part of Corvette's history.
The 1956 Corvette may not have been the first model year for this definitive American sports car, but it’s certainly one of the most influential. In a bid to compete with the newly introduced Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet gave its still-fledgling sports car a complete makeover, which set the tone for Corvette styling over the next few decades. This was the year that saw the introduction of the Corvette’s signature coves in its bodywork, exposed headlamps, and the removable hardtop that would be a Corvette staple for years to come.
If you’re in the market for one of these landmark convertibles, you can expect to pay the same amount you would for a brand-new Corvette. Suffice to say, this is a purchase meant for the quintessential classic car enthusiast eager to own one of the most stylish and influential Corvettes in the lineup.
If that sounds like you, then
car insurance
is here to help. We’ll guide you through the pros and cons of owning a 1956 Corvette, including known issues, insurance prices, and even where you can find one, so you’ll be fully prepared when it comes time to park this piece of history in your own garage. We'll even show you how to save on
Corvette insurance costs
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Ownership costs for a 1956 Corvette 

It’s difficult to ascertain the true ownership costs of a 1956 Corvette because, as a classic car, it’s going to have different functionality than a modern vehicle. It will likely not be your primary mode of transportation, so you’ll have to take into account storage fees. You’ll also need less traditional
classic car insurance
, and the cost of maintenance and repairs will likely be higher because of the lack of original/available parts. 

Where to buy a 1956 Corvette

With only 3,467 units produced, finding a ‘56 ‘Vette for sale is no easy feat. But the aptly named website
Classic Cars
frequently lists 1956 Corvettes for sale in excellent condition. Expect prices to be on the higher end of the 1956’s typical retail average, between $64,000-$94,800, especially if you get one with state-of-the-art (for the time) options like roll-up windows, a transistorized signal-seek radio, and a power-operated convertible top.

What does the 1956 Corvette bring to the table? 

The 1956 Corvette not only secured the brand’s place in sports car history that was once threatened by the Thunderbird, but its styling remained a benchmark for pretty much every model that followed. Even the modern, more angular ‘Vettes retain some of the stylistic elements of the 1956 model. The first Corvette in 1953 may have launched a brand, but the 1956 model launched a legacy.

Strengths and weaknesses of the 1956 Corvette

Despite the fact that the ‘56 is recognized today as one of the most definitive ‘Vettes in the lineup, at the time of its birth, it wasn’t the most coveted choice. While it kept Chevrolet in the running against the newly launched Ford Thunderbird, it was criticized for its lower horsepower engine.
Because the Corvette was made of fiberglass rather than steel, rust wasn’t an issue. But fiberglass also cracks easily from minor bumps and collisions, which means accident repair is likely going to be your first job should you snag one that hasn’t already been professionally restored. And preventing future damage means keeping road driving to a minimum.
On the plus side, these days, the ‘56 ‘Vette is recognized for its contributions and is now considered a collector’s piece. Coupled with its low production number, this means that its value is unparalleled, especially if you’ve found one to restore. This is because it’s surprisingly easy to find comparative reproduction parts, and the Corvette’s 265 engine is considered quite easy to rebuild. 

The bottom line—which 1956 Corvette to buy

Because of the limited number of 1956 Corvettes actually produced, collectors and enthusiasts can’t exactly be picky about the one they want to own. But if you’re presented with options, the Corvette to buy is dependent on why you want one in the first place.
You likely won’t be buying one to drive around on the daily, so what is the purpose of owning one? Is it for nostalgia’s sake? As a collector’s item? Or as an investment piece, as it may very well be more valuable down the road?
If your reason is the latter, if you can, go for the Corvette that has the most optional extras, such as the power-operated hardtop roof, seatbelts, or automatic roll-up windows. These were considered breakthroughs in technology in the 1950s and add to the resale value.

How to save money on car insurance for the 1956 Corvette

You’ll need a very particular type of insurance for your Corvette, and you may not know where to start with finding it. But no matter what kind of insurance you need, even the specialized sort like classic car coverage can be secured quickly and easily with
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