This is a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette that was disassembled for a restoration over 40 years ago, sadly the rebuild stalled and it’s been sitting in its current state waiting for a new owner to finish the job ever since.
1958 was an important year for the Corvette as it was when the new quad headlamp style debuted that would characterize the look of the car into the 1960s. This car comes with two engine options, the original 283 bare V8 engine block and a complete 327 V8 that is currently installed in the car.
Fast Facts – The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette
- The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette represented a major milestone in the history of the first generation C1 Corvette as it’s when the switch from standard twin headlights to quad headlights took place. They also had more prominent grilles, a faux-louvered hood, and for the first time a tachometer was placed directly in front of the driver
- The first generation Corvette laid the foundations for the seven generations of the model family that would follow, the model is now in its 70th year of production with the new mid-engined C8 Corvette.
- The C1 Corvette was one of the first production cars to use a composite body, fiberglass in this case, which helped simplify production and significantly reduce the vehicle’s curb weight.
- The C1 Corvette you see here has been waiting 40 years for its restoration to be completed. It’s now being offered for sale out of Michigan on eBay Motors with a Buy It Now price of $52,500 USD.
C1 Corvette – Origins and Development
The first generation Chevrolet Corvette, commonly known as the C1, marked the beginning of a remarkable automotive journey that would span over six decades and counting.
The first Corvette was introduced in 1953 and produced until 1962, the C1 established the Corvette as a symbol of American Jet Age sports cars and by the latter years of its production run it had become a genuine challenger on race tracks across North America and in Europe against the best in the world.
The C1 Corvette was the result of a collaborative effort between General Motors’ Harley Earl, a visionary designer, and Ed Cole, a talented engineer. The duo aimed to create an American sports car that would rival European models from Jaguar, MG, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.
Their vision culminated in the Corvette, a unique blend of style, performance, and affordability that would quickly capture the imagination of the American public.
The C1 Corvette featured distinctive and elegant styling characterized by its rounded, flowing lines and pure 1950s Jet Age design language. The initial models were hand-built using a revolutionary (for the time) composite fiberglass body, a lightweight and cost-effective material that contributed to the Corvette’s performance and ease of production.
The car’s styling evolved over its production run, with the addition of dual headlamps in 1958 and the incorporation of a more pronounced rear “ducktail” in 1961, which would become a signature Corvette design element.
C1 Corvette – Performance and Engineering
The C1 Corvette underwent significant performance upgrades throughout its lifespan. The initial 1953 model was equipped with a somewhat modest 150 bhp, 235 cubic-inch inline-six engine known as the “Blue Flame.” Initially the car was only offered with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, and so its sporting credentials left something to be desired.
The Corvette’s performance credentials were elevated in 1955 with the introduction of a 265 cubic-inch small-block V8 engine – V8 engines would become a cornerstone of Chevrolet performance for decades to come.
Subsequent models saw improvements in suspension, brakes, and engine offerings, including the iconic fuel-injected 327 cubic-inch V8 engine in 1962, which produced 360 bhp and was quickly nicknamed the “Fuellie.”
Early Corvette Milestones
- 1953 – The Chevrolet Corvette made its debut at the GM Motorama in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria, it received an overwhelmingly positive response from both the general public and the motoring press of the time. Production began later that year, with only 300 units produced, all in Polo White with a red interior.
- 1955 – The introduction of the small-block V8 engine provided a significant performance boost, increasing the Corvette’s appeal and competitiveness against European sports cars.
- 1957 – The introduction of fuel injection and a four-speed manual transmission elevated the Corvette’s performance capabilities, with the fuel-injected 283 cubic-inch V8 engine producing an impressive 283 bhp.
- 1960 – The C1 Corvette made its mark on the international racing scene with a class win at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, solidifying its status as a world-class sports car.
The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Shown Here
As noted in the introduction this car has waited far longer than most for its restoration, a rebuild originally began back in the 1980s however it was never completed. Life sometimes has a way of getting in the way of these things.
The eBay listing explains that the car comes with what they believe is the original 283 V8 engine block, however it’s currently fitted with a fully built and running 327 Chevrolet V8 – so it’ll be up to the new owner if they want to opt for originality over a little extra power.
It appears as though much of the chromed brightwork is accounted for, as well as a wiring loom and of course the chassis, suspension, brakes, and body are all bolted together as a rolling package.
This car is fitted with the more desirable 4-speed manual transmission which tends to be preferred by enthusiasts over the automatic transmissions of the time.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual project car or register to bid you can visit the listing here on eBay. It’s being offered for sale out of Saugatuck, Michigan with a Buy It Now price of $52,500 USD.
Images courtesy of Chicago Car Club
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