In the Air Tonight. ’57 Airbox Corvette. Only on Velocity. Watch it now!

'57 Airbox Corvette

Fire Powered. Air Cooled.

How do you cool a high-performance engine?

This is one of the questions automotive engineers have struggled with since the first internal combustion engine. The sheer explosive propulsion of fuel-fired pistons could theoretically result in limitless power. But at some point, that power becomes destructive, warping the very pistons it was designed to move.

For years, engineers have pushed the envelope, trying to balance maximum power with optimal cooling. Most of these experiments, by design, result in cam seizures, blown gaskets, or thrown rods. They self-destruct.

But the rare ones live on. In 1957, GM engineers thought they had an answer to performance engines’ thorniest problem. And the answer was so simple, it made perfect, head-slapping sense.


The Airbox Corvette is one of the great experiments in engine cooling, and the crazy thing is that it almost worked. Find out how the engineers ingineously designed airflow, and what ultimately went wrong, tonight. Only on One of a Kind: Cars. Only on Velocity at 9:30.

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