Unheard to most people, this GM factory option became available in passenger cars and the Corvette in 1957 for the 238 cubic inch V-8 engine. In an era when increases horsepower added to retail sales, GM knew fuel injection could add to their financial bottom line.
It was successful for the German car manufacturer Mercedes Benz, so GM “took the plunge” into this extra. It would be so new to American car buyers! Raising the hood of a fuel injected V-8 car in a dealers showroom created quite a surprise to anyone that was accustomed to seeing a carburetor fueled engine.
This creation was never expected to be marketed for a half ton pickup truck! American car buyers still considered a ½ ton to be used as a truck. Pickups did not yet have the “sex appeal” as a top of the line Chevrolet Tudor hardtop or a Corvette. Light trucks were workers! They were usually put away on Friday night and a passenger car was used with friends for social transportation. The lower geared ½ ton differential would add nothing to the want of a pickup by the growing performance public.
Cameo Fuel Injection
There was one Chevrolet exception produced in 1958. Scott Phaneuf in Massachusetts has a factory fuel injection Cameo! His research has shown, the Chevrolet Truck Division produced only two with this unusual feature. Why? As in the old saying, “Follow the money!”
These two Cameos (top of the line in appearance for pickups) were used in major city auto shows that year as an attention getter. After all, their 238 V-8 engine was almost identical to that in the passenger car and Corvette. Thus, there was little extra expense to add this option to a Cameo. The attention it received by the thousands of city show
participants in big cities was well worth Chevrolet’s minimum extra advertising expense. It certainly made truck buyer’s wonder what was coming in the near future in pickups.
The following photos are from a Chevrolet Fuel Injection Shop Manual.