1959 Chevrolet Corvette - $74,900
     Play Video
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
  • Image Gallery
Very well restored perhaps 10 years ago, this Corvette was built to drive, not sit on a show field.

If you have not owned or driven a first-generation “solid axle” Corvette, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try. It’s difficult to explain how an old Corvette makes you feel, and it’s far more than simply nostalgia at work. Yes, the Corvette is an icon, perhaps the most American thing on four wheels, but until you’ve driven one, you might not understand. There are plenty of faster cars, more comfortable cars, more nimble cars, and more practical cars—but none of them will make you feel the way you will behind the wheel of this bright red 1959 Corvette. It is a siren song to which many of use believe we are immune, but if you give in even once, you will find that it’s impossible to stop thinking about putting one of these in your garage. I know because I felt the same way for many years, but after driving so many of these early ‘Vettes, I have resigned myself to the fact that I must have one on my own personal collection someday soon.

This 1959 Corvette gets a lot of things right. It’s certainly the right color, Roman Red, which remarkably was only the third most-popular color in 1959. But once you see it on the ‘Vette’s curving fiberglass body, you might wonder how anyone could choose anything else. Very well restored perhaps 10 years ago, this Corvette was built to drive, not sit on a show field. It wasn’t numbers-matching anyway, so that takes all the heat off of you when you turn the key and head out on the road. However, you need to be prepared for the never-ending chorus of appreciative horn toots and “thumbs-up” gestures you’re going to get from fellow motorists, and if you can get out of a gas station in less than 20 minutes, you’re doing well, because everyone wants to know the guy who owns this car. The Snowcrest White side cove is the car’s signature styling cue and the combination is just intoxicating. Finish quality is extremely good and someone invested a great deal of time and money to get this Corvette into shape. You’ll note that the doors close evenly, the hood sits flush, and the deck lid snugs down between the bulging rear fenders without any drama. There is zero evidence that this car was ever wrecked or damaged and it’s quite likely that this car is in better shape today than the day it hit the dealer’s showroom floor in 1959. GM just wasn’t doing it this well back then.

As a product of the 1950s, you should expect a lot of chrome, all of which has been fully restored and is in outstanding condition with no notable blemishes to note. Yes, I suppose you could examine the car from a few inches away and find a ding here or a microblister there, but if you seek perfection, it costs more. Remember this Corvette is the one you drive. The emblems fore and aft are clear and not cracked and the wrap-around windshield has an appropriate Sof-Ray tint that only looks right on certain GM cars. The only notable demerit might be some discoloration around the exhaust openings on the rear bumper, but we also have to admit that we like the look of tailpipes cut flush rather than sticking out to prevent this particular issue. The car just looks right.

GM’s interior designers were the best in the industry throughout the 1950s, and even the simple 2-seat Corvette received a beautifully detailed interior that was the envy of the industry. Comfortable bucket seats are neatly integrated into the rear deck, which drops down between them in what Corvette designers called “the waterfall.” A big steering wheel has three spokes that recall the European sports cars of the 1930s and the gauges are space-age cool. Everything inside this red roadster is new, from the seat covers to the beautifully bound carpets to the ornately detailed door panels with bright metallic inserts. The steering wheel is not cracked or broken and the gauge faces are bold and bright, surrounded by neat chrome bezels. They are all fully operational save for the fuel gauge. There’s a modern AM/FM/cassette stereo piping sound through the original speaker at the top of the dash, and the factory heater controls still keep it comfortable on cool evenings. Clutch take-up is smooth and the small block V8 has enough torque that shifting the 4-speed’s Hurst shifter is often optional, although it works so well, you’ll do it just for the way it feels. Color-matched floor mats keep everything tidy and I suppose there’s a chance at some point your passenger will appreciate the grab handle in front of their seat. The white convertible top is in good shape, showing some very minor wrinkles and discoloration, but the rear window is clear and the weather-stripping is in good order, so it seals up as well as can be expected. And remarkably, you get a good-sized trunk in your C1 Corvette, which has a matching red rubber mat with a full-sized spare stowed underneath.

We don’t know what happened to the original engine, but it was already gone when restoration started. The restorer took that as an opportunity to drop in a modern GM ZZ3 crate motor. With 350 cubic inches, it’s 67 cubes bigger than the original 283 and considerably more muscular. It’s friendly with whatever gas you can feed it, and there’s a big Holley 4-barrel on top, so it has the right sound and feel. It’s neatly dressed with finned valve covers, a chrome air cleaner, and a polished Edelbrock intake manifold, so opening the hood is a reward. Better yet, it runs even better than it looks, lighting off easily thanks to an electronic ignition system and idling well even when it’s cold. For authenticity’s sake, there’s still a generator making the electricity and it includes the original tach drive. A big radiator up front means it never gets hot or fussy, and you already know the small block Chevy is just about the most reliable machine ever conceived by man. Just get in and drive, man!

It’s possible that the 4-speed manual transmission is original to the car, and it certainly feels right racking it through the gears. Thanks to the crate motor’s big, flat torque curve, it’s impossible to stall this car and it doesn’t take much revving to get it off the line. That makes it relaxing in traffic. But put your foot into it and the extra 100 or so horses make a significant difference in the way this ‘Vette plays, bolting away from slower traffic with ease in any gear. We believe there are 3.70 gears out back, which explains that punchy feel, although it never seems to be working very hard, even at modern highway speeds. The undercarriage isn’t detailed for show, but it’s clean and tidy with no signs of accident damage or neglect, and certainly no rust (obviously the floors and rockers are fiberglass). The brakes and steering have been rebuilt, so it tracks straight and the 4-wheel manual drums are effective enough for the car’s performance. A reproduction exhaust system has a modest V8 burble but nothing annoying, which wouldn’t be right on a car like this, and ride quality is better than you’d expect for something whose suspension design dates to the late 1940s. Factory steel wheels with spinner hubcaps are always the right choice on an early ‘Vette, with these carrying 6.70-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whites for a pure 1950s look.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you: driving this car will be addicting. Zora Arkus-Duntov knew how to make his cars dance, and by 1959, the Corvette was the best partner you could have. With a bit more power, it becomes a bit more of what it always was, and when you’re behind the wheel you will never think twice about buying this car. It’s right in so many ways that nothing else will matter. Call today!

Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $74,900
Stock Number: 115038
Mileage: 23,334
VIN: J59S106955
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.7
Wheelbase: 102 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 6.70-15 BFGoodrich Silvertown whitewall
Exterior Color: Roman Red
Interior Color: Red vinyl
Untitled Document

Contact Us

Local: 440-565-5335
Toll Free: 844-565-5335
Fax: 440-565-2352
Email: CLICK HERE

Get Connected

Subscribe To Our Mailing List
Like Us On Facebook
All images & content copyright © Harwood Motors
DISCLAIMER: While we do our best to present all vehicles as honestly and accurately as possible, Harwood Motors Ltd. cannot guarantee the veracity of the information contained herein. This site and all advertising information may be updated without notice whenever new information is obtained and may contain mistakes and inaccuracies. Information is provided to the best of our knowledge and that of the owners of the vehicles, and we make no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, truth, suitability, or reliability of such information. We cannot be responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies contained in information provided by third parties. Harwood Motors Ltd. is not an expert in the construction, metallurgy, engineering, finishes, materials, and componentry of every single vehicle ever made. Harwood Motors Ltd. strives to perform extensive visual inspections on all vehicles we represent but we do not disassemble vehicles or components for inspection purposes and therefore it is always possible that there is hidden damage that is not readily apparent. We cannot guarantee the fitness of any components beyond a visual inspection and normal operation of the vehicle. We do not perform internal examinations, so we cannot guarantee the condition of unseen internal components such as crankshafts, bearings, gears, and other mechanical equipment. This also applies to electronics such as radios, clocks, gauges, light fixtures, switches, or other electrical devices. Buyer should personally inspect the vehicle and satisfy himself as to its mechanical and cosmetic fitness. We always welcome inspections by Buyers and/or third parties who wish to undertake such examinations at their own expense. Harwood makes no warranty or representation regarding mileage unless otherwise stated. Listed prices do not include additional fees, state, federal, or local taxes, or shipping and delivery costs. Harwood Motors Ltd collects a $150.00 documentation fee on every vehicle purchase. Buyer is entirely responsible for satisfying himself that the car is as-represented prior to purchase and there are no warranties, expressed or implied, involved in the sale of any motor vehicle represented by Harwood Motors Ltd.
Website Designed by Rood's Media