1959 Chevrolet Corvette - SOLD
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Very well restored perhaps 10 years ago, this Corvette was built to drive, not sit on a show field.

Beautiful older restoration in great colors. Strong-running later 327 cubic inch V8. Newer top. Subtle upgrades like leather interior, aluminum radiator, and Goodyear radials. A gorgeous early Corvette that you can drive every day!

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 pressure off 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.

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. The steering wheel is not cracked or broken and the gauge faces are bold and bright, surrounded by neat chrome bezels. The radio and clock are sadly not working, but 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, with a clear rear window and recent weatherstripping, 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 327 cubic inch mill from a 1965 Corvette. It’s 44 cubes bigger than the original 283 and considerably more muscular with 300 horsepower on tap. It’s friendly with whatever gas you can feed it, and there’s a big 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 all the ignition shields are in place. Better yet, it runs even better than it looks, lighting off easily 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 V8’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 horsepower makes 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 Magnaflow 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 205/75/15 Goodyear wide whitewall radials 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!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 120018
Odometer Reading: 13,978
VIN: J9S107732
Engine: 283 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.7
Wheelbase: 102 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 205/75/15 Goodyear wide whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Roman Red
Interior Color: Red vinyl
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