1959 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1959 Chevrolet Corvette needed some TLC to become the amazing vehicle it is today.

The owner of this Corvette purchased this vehicle in the 60′s for less than a thousand dollars and drove this car everywhere.   It saw multiple trips from coast to coast and never knew what a garage was as it was his daily driver. After several years, he painted it red with black coves.  The original combination was silver with white coves.

The vehicle stayed on the road until the mid 70′s when due to some significant mechanical issues, the vehicle was “parked”.  During the last 35 years, the car was disassembled in preparation for the day the owner would meet up with DRS FantomWorks.  He’s overjoyed his project has now being restored. We stripped the vehicle down to the bare fibreglass body and frame then we stripped every part of the car down to its base material.  We rebuilt this vehicle from the ground up, including a custom interior.

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Entering the 1950s, no corporation even came close to General Motors in its size, the scope of its enterprise or its profits. GM was twice as big as the second biggest company in the world, Standard Oil of New Jersey (forefather of today’s ExxonMobil), and had a vast conglomeration of businesses ranging from home appliances to providing insurance and building Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, GMCs, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs and locomotives. It was so big that it made more than half the cars sold in the United States and the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division was threatening to break it up. In the diversified 21st century, it’s almost hard to imagine how overwhelmingly concentrated corporate power was in GM back then.

The year 1955 brought the single most important development in the history of the Corvette: Chevrolet’s brilliant small-block V8. Originally displacing 265 cubic inches, the first small-block was rated at 195 hp in the otherwise almost unchanged ’55 Corvette (the most notable tweak was the oversize “V” in the lettering along the front fenders). Still saddled with the Powerglide transmission, performance was still less than scintillating (Road & Track had a ’55 getting to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds), but the potential was obvious. With many ’54 Corvettes still clogging dealer lots, GM restricted production of the ’55 model to just 700 cars, with all but maybe a half dozen of them being powered by the new V8.

Both the interior and exterior of the Chevrolet Corvette were significantly restyled for 1958.

Dual headlights, simulated hood louvers, a full mine’s worth of chrome and needless side scoops marred the ’58’s exterior appearance. Inside, the cockpit theme was even more exaggerated than before with a grab bar in front of the passenger instead of instrumentation. The interior was actually pretty good, but the exterior was just overdone.

Again, the engine bay could be filled with any one of four different variations on the 283 small-block. At the base was the single four-barrel version now making 230 hp, dual-quad versions were rated at 245 and 270 hp and the fuelie engines now made either 250 or 290 hp.

Garish or not, the ’58 Corvette was a hit and Chevy built 9,168 examples. For the first time, say some sources, GM made a profit with the Corvette.

Cleaning off some of the chrome excess (and those hideous fake hood louvers) resulted in the much cleaner-looking 1959 Corvette, but the car was very much a carryover otherwise. Chevy put a full 9,670 of the ’59 Corvettes on the road.

Read more about Corvettes at: http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/corvette/history.html