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A True 1959 Corvette Survivor?

The Corvette is one of America’s most iconic Sports cars and set the bar for what a sports car should be. With European influenced engineering and American power, the Corvette offered both great handling and good acceleration. First generation Corvettes are highly sought after and unmolested ones are becoming difficult to find. The seller of this 1959 Corvette claims that the car is a survivor, but we have our doubts, and is being offered here on eBay.

The seller claims that this Corvette is a survivor, but there is one thing that is making us question this claim. In 1959 Chevrolet offered a couple power-train options, but all of them were based on the 283 cui V8. The seller of this car states it is powered by a 327 cui, which wasn’t offered in the Corvette till 1962. Either the seller listed the wrong engine size or this car has a different engine. The seller didn’t list any photos of the engine bay, but says they are going to add photos of it. Hopefully it will help clarify what engine this car really has.

While there is question about the engine, the interior looks to be original and is in amazing shape. The interior doesn’t have a lot of wear, but the car only has 81,000 miles. Supposedly, the gauges are in working order, but the speedometer is in need of grease. The car also still has its original radio, but the seller doesn’t know if the radio works.

This car looks great, but we question its survivor status. The paint and interior maybe original, but if the engine isn’t original is it really a survivor? We hope the seller has the original wheels for this car and that they are available. Even if this car isn’t a true survivor, it’s still a great car and may end up being a great deal.


  1. J. Pickett

    Let’s see, he has a 1959 Corvette for sale but he doesn’t know what engines were offered? He is selling the car, obviously took pictures and doesn’t know if the radio works? Can’t turn the on/off knob? Something fishy here, I’d love the car survivor or not but I’m sure it will bid out of sight. The Cragars aren’t even period, rather 5 or 6 years into the 60’s.

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  2. Mark

    I doubt the paint is original, the hood gets heat from both sides and tends to check and blister and most of the body seams check and blister, black paint is the worst BUT ya never know.

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  3. Dolphin Member

    I agree that there are reasons to question whether this car is truly an unrestored survivor. According to the description, everything mechanical that it needs to drive right and be reliable has been replaced or redone—-even the gas tank and rear leaf springs. The frame is described as being “mint”, and some other components like the exhaust seem like they might also be new. Although a lot of the description would lead someone to think that the car is “original”, the description does not actually say that the interior and body/paint are original. The small things that are mentioned, like cracking of the paint around the headlights, could have happened in the years since an earlier repaint or even a decades-earlier earlier restoration.

    It can be very tempting to ride the coattails of the “original unrestored” mania these days, and unfortunately it can be impossible to know the complete history of a decades-old car. Maybe the best way to think about this one is that you are buying what you see—a nice C1 Corvette with a replacement engine. If you really want “original unrestored”, then you better bring one of those super-expert Corvette restoration society guys with you when you look at the car during your PPI. Don’t leave home without him.

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  4. Tony

    My ’60 has Mickey Thompson mags. Period correct. If this has the dual quads that would be cool.

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  5. 05C6NPlano

    Reserve met at $30,000. I smell a fish.

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  6. Horse Radish

    ….something to be said for rejecting the bids that he did.
    Looks like a genuine private owner who doesn’t want flakes or out of country bids….

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  7. DRV

    A flake would know it should be a 283. The onlyway to tell is from the cast number of the block, and stamp number to see if it is a corvette number from ’59. Everything looks original except the deep dish spare wheel and the trunk should be red inside. Not seeing checked plastic in the tailight lense and Corvette badges is uncommon at that age. The fit on the grill surround and headlight trim/spear is factory and unusual to find one that hasn’t had the nose punched . The top is old but not original if the date numbers aren’t in the bottom passenger corner and I didn’t see them.
    Regardless, it is worth 30k as a driver and more if it is an original all day long.

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  8. Bob

    In 75, my dad and I drove his 62 from Los Angeles to Tulsa. Thought people would go crazy over the car. But it was just an old car.

    In 84, I drove the car back to Los Angeles. In just those few years, it had become super desirable. Got my first offer at the first gas stop.

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  9. karl

    I love this car, but isn’t “European-influenced engineering” a bit of a stretch? Wasn’t the first generation based on the early-fifties Chevy sedan chassis?

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  10. T. Pat

    I seriously doubt that this car is a ” survivor “. What would a BG judge say ? It appears to have been restored (good job based on the photos) I wonder what documentation it has.Be careful. Well bought and well sold around 33K.

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