If there’s a better way to spend warm summer evenings than behind the wheel of a car that looks and drives like this, I can’t imagine what it is. Fully-sorted and ready to tear up the roads, this classy Corvette mixes a hot dual-quad V8 with a tough Borg Warner 4-speed and enough style to make your high school math teacher look cool. Literally everything about this classic will make you smile: how it sounds, how it feels, how it accelerates, and how it draws appreciative glances from random people on the street. And if you’re looking to add a little spice to your weekend routine, it’s the perfect way to take Sunday drives to a whole new level! Are you in the market for a solid, first generation Corvette that you can enjoy on sunny days and cruise to local shows? Then we have the car for you!
The beneficiary of an extensive, ground up restoration, this stunning roadster’s rock-solid body was stripped, layered in a glossy Roman Red basecoat and trimmed with clean Ermine White door coves. Like most C1s, the car was originally assembled at GM’s new-for-1954 St. Louis manufacturing facility; and like most restored C1s, its fit and finish presents much better than it did 53 years ago. Given their fiberglass construction, curved bodies and increasing age, first generation Vettes are difficult projects that do not hide major repairs well. Judging by the looks of this roadster’s smooth fuselage, there’s no evidence it has ever seen any catastrophic damage or botched fix jobs. And presently, the car sits as a fully-sorted classic that can be proudly shown and reliably driven day in and day out.
1958 to 1962 was a banner era for the Corvette, as Chevrolet wanted to prove its new flagship could run with the best cars in the world while retaining classic style that would eventually bear an American icon. At the front of this sensational drop-top, aggressive chrome grilles ride between chrome-trimmed T3 headlights, extravagant header ornamentation and small, chrome-trimmed parking lamps. In front of those grilles, intricate bumpers bend around dramatic fenders which frame sporty cross-flag emblems in sharp stainless trim. Between those fenders, a sculpted hood leads the eye to a classy wraparound windshield that’s cleared by bright stainless wipers and capped by a fresh white top. At the back of that hood, lightweight doors hang a small mirror above traditional chrome handles. And at the back of those doors, a sculpted ‘ducktail’ decklid hangs a translucent Corvette roundel between chrome-trimmed tail lights, trick exhaust tips and more bumpers that bend around equally dramatic quarters.
Tilt this roadster’s lightweight hood and you’ll find a 283 cubic inch, dual-quad V8 that proudly displays a correct 3756519 casting number behind a matching 109407 partial VIN. Consistently chosen over Rochester’s much-hyped Ramjet fuel injection as GM’s ultimate hot rod option, this stout small block is widely regarded as the starting point of Chevrolet’s amazing performance legacy. The car’s reliable 4-barrel carburetors, which breathe through a small, louvered air cleaner, funnel life into a traditional aluminum intake. At the sides of that intake, cast iron heads hang finned Corvette valve covers over fully restored exhaust manifolds. Behind those manifolds, a chrome-capped ignition system sequences fire through chrome-sleeved ignition wires. And in front of those wires, a beefy radiator circulates coolant around a rebuilt Delco-Remy generator. In addition to its killer powerplant, this Corvette offers a thoroughly detailed engine bay that’s complete with stainless fluid lines, an old school fuel bowl, fresh tower clamps and a reproduction Delco battery. And the car’s first rate aesthetics, which mix smooth, Satin Black framing with a bright, Chevy Orange core, create great texture and excellent contrast.
Flip this C1 upside down and you’ll find a solid, road-ready X-frame that’s bolted to clean, damage-free floor tubs. Behind the hot motor, a tough Borg Warner T10 4-speed twists torque through a correct rear end and beefy, 4.11 gears. At the ends of the floors, a fully restored double A-arm front and solid axle rear suspension has been completely returned to factory specifications. At the corners of the car, standard equipment 4-wheel drum brakes complement good handling characteristics with solid and confident stops. Exhaust is managed by big, true-dual pipes which run from the aforementioned manifolds to familiar turbo mufflers. Power flows to the pavement via standard 15-inch steelies, which spin fresh 205/75 Coker Classic whitewalls around traditional stainless covers. And everything, from this Corvette’s manual steering rack to its leak-free fuel tank, is fully sorted and ready to log miles.
In keeping with this roadster’s high performance theme, interior options were kept minimal. A simple Red interior provides everything necessary without sacrificing good looks and, thanks to the car’s high quality reboot, its textured seats still have years of life left in them. There’s stain-free carpet which, thanks to color-keyed floor mats, still features a clean, fibrous sheen. Front and center, stylish, retro gauges, a Wonder Bar radio and a small chrome mirror look great decorating Chevy’s traditional, dual-cowl dash. In the middle of the floor, a petite chrome shifter is as handsome as it is stylish. In front of the driver, a speed-drilled steering wheel spins a glossy red rim around a polished cross-flag horn button. At the sides of the passengers, scuff-free door panels center perfectly placed armrests in pristine stainless trim. And behind the car’s retracted top, a fully restored trunk shows virtually no signs of usage.
The sale of this classy C1 includes a small album of restoration photos.
A highly desirable drop-top that wraps a professional restoration around a hot V8 and tough 4-speed, this slick Corvette has a little something for everyone. And what’s better: it’s exactly the kind of classic that provides endless fun on the highway and celebrity status in the parking lot. Where else can you get such an excellent combination of style and performance for such reasonable money? Don’t miss this opportunity to experience a stellar piece of American history!