1955 Chevrolet

1956 Classic Chevrolet - Engines and Drivetrains

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With the horsepower race more important than ever, performance and styling competed for customer attention in 1956. "The Hot One's Even Hotter" said one ad. "Loves to Go and Looks It!" said another.

On Labor Day 1955, a disguised Belair Sport Sedan charged up Pikes Peak in 17 minutes and 24 seconds to set a new American stock sedan record. It was a full 2 minutes and 3 seconds faster than the previous best.

This car was powered by the new "Super Turbo Fire" V-8, available at extra cost on any 1956 Chevrolet. The new "Super Turbo Fire" was the existing 265 with a special "Power Pack" kit comprising of a special intake manifold, higher lift cam shaft, dual exhausts, four barrel carburetor and a compression ratio of 8.0:1.

Horsepower was 205 at 4600 rpm, 14 percent above the 1955 power plant’s 180 HP. Pushed by Ford in a horsepower race in 1956, Chevrolet upped the ante by making the Corvette engine an option. With a compression ratio of 9.25:1, new lifters, lighter valves, larger intake and exhaust passages, Duntov Corvette cam plus a twin four barrel carburetor this new mid year engine's was rated at 225 HP at 5200 rpm.

1956 Chevrolet V-8 and 6 Cylinder Engines
1956 Chevrolet V-8 and 6 Cylinder Engines

By the end of the production year 1956 4 different V-8's would be available. The base 265 cubic inch V-8 produced 162 HP at 4200 rpm with a 2 barrel carburetor and a three speed transmission. Adding a power glide transmission added 8 more horsepower for a total of 170 at 4400 rpm. Adding a 4 barrel carburetor boosted the horsepower to 205 at 4600 rpm and this is the engine referred to above as the new “Super Turbo Fire”. In 1956 if you wanted even more power out of a 265 two 4 barrel carburetor were added which increased horsepower to 225 at 5200 rpm. Other improvements on the 265 for 1956 included a revised automatic choke for a quicker warm up on cold days, hotter plugs and a stronger clutch.

Nobody complained about the performance. The basic 170 HP 265 went from 0-60 mph in 11.9 seconds and had a top speed of 98 mph. The 205 HP version recorded 8.9 seconds going from 0-60 mph and had a top speed of 108.7 mph. Stock rear axles were same as the 1955 - 3.70:1 (standard), 4.11:1 (overdrive cars) and 3.55:1 with a powerglide. The "Super Turbo Fire" 56 was the fastest Chevy yet and one of the years quickest production cars at any price. The 225 HP version was even faster. Chevy’s old six wasn’t ignored either. Now called Blue Flame 140, it also offered a 8:0.1 compression ratio. Road testing and competition results soon confirmed that the 1956 “Super Turbo Fire” 1956 Chevrolet was truly, the "Hot One" even hotter.

1956 Chevrolet 140 HP Blue Flame Six Cylinder
1956 Chevrolet 140 HP Blue Flame Six Cylinder

The new "Blue Flame 140 was the most powerful most efficient 6 Chevrolet had ever produced.  It offered Chevy economy and dependability with it's higher compression ratio (8 to 1) and greater horsepower.

Engine - Transmission Specifications and Availability for 1956

Six 235ci, 3.56X3.94 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 140 HP@4200 rpm, 1 bl carb
3 speed transmission, 3 speed overdrive transmission and powerglide transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 162 HP@4400 rpm, 2bl carb
3 speed transmission, 3speed with overdrive transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 170 HP@4400 rpm, 2bl carb
powerglide transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 205 HP@4600 rpm, 4bl carb
3 speed transmission, 3 speed overdrive transmission and powerglide transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 9.25:1 comp ratio, 225 HP@5200 rpm, 2-4's
3 speed transmission, 3 speed overdrive transmission and powerglide transmission

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