Crazy Cool 1959 Corvette Convertible

This ’59 Corvette may look a little ratty, but there are some clues here that lead me to believe that it was customized in the seventies. It was parked for many years, but the seller has cleaned it up and gotten it running again. Most people would want to restore this back to original condition, but I have a different picture for it in my mind. Keep reading to get the vision and let us know what you think in the comments below. The car is located in Portland, Oregon and is listed here on eBay with no reserve.

We would love to show you a photo of the engine, but the seller forgot to include one in the auction listing. They do mention that it’s a 283 that has been bored out to 301 cubes. It was supposedly rebuilt by Precision Engine Specialist in Seattle Washington 15-20 years ago and never ran. They also mention an old Edelbrock intake, Mickey Thompson valve covers, and Cyclone headers. They have done the worked needed to make it run again and claim that it starts right up.

You won’t want to go too far though without doing something with that interior. This Corvette obviously went through a seventies style makeover. There’s bright metal flake paint on the outside and sparkly vinyl on the inside! The seller believes that the original color scheme was white over red and there is some visible evidence to back that up. It would be handsome in that combo, but all that green does make it different…

That Hurst shifter is attached to a Borg Warner T10 tranny. The T10 was offered in ’59 so it could be the original gearbox, but the seller mentions a scattershield. Perhaps this Corvette experienced some drag racing action back in the day? It would be fun to see some photos of this car when it was all done up and looking good. I’m sure there’s some good stories to tell here. The previous owner had the car since ’74 so perhaps they could help you find out more about the car’s past?

Not only did the seller get the engine running, but they went through the brakes and flushed all the fluids. That means you can drive the car short distances, but those bias ply tires are going to keep you from getting too crazy. The steel rims and hubcaps look good, but seem like a strange choice on a car that has been completely customized. Perhaps the Cragars and chunky tires are still up in the rafters of the garage where this was found?

There are lots of obvious needs here, but at least the frame is claimed to be solid. It runs, stops, and isn’t going to fall apart, so I’m going to propose something crazy here. Most Corvette guys would want to restore this to factory fresh condition, but there are already a ton of restored Vettes out there. So why not do something different and keep the crusty custom look? Clean everything up, redo the interior in the same materials, and slap some new tires on there! I guarantee you’ll draw a larger crowd at a car show than you would with a shiny version of itself. Anyone brave enough to try?

Fast Finds


  1. LAB3

    I agree with the author, get some tires do something​ to make the interior a bit more inviting and drive it! As mentioned there’s plenty enough resto machines out there but far too few survivors.

    Like 1
    • Carol VanDerNeer

      Survivor ??? There is NOTHING original on this car …No pics of the engine was by design, NOT an oversight …

      • LAB3

        If you read the ad you’d see it has a mid sixties replacement 283 so no, the anal retentives amongst us won’t see it as a survivor. Sorry for living in the real world where the people who actually work on their own cars live.

        Like 1
    • Mike Babinetz

      Drive it.I bought a 64 vette in 2010 that had been off the road since 1995.rusted out frame and an Earle schiebs paint job.its fourth paint job.i rebuilt the frame put a 350 crate motor in it with a/c and cruise .lettered it like a 60,s race car and I drive the wheels off it.i even flat tow it behind my Rv .

      Like 1
  2. 74 vette

    Looks pretty awesome the way it is, new tires but keep the wheels/caps.

    Maybe an LS motor & 6sp for more sleeper fun.

    Like 1
    • Loco Mikado

      No LS or 6 spd.

      Like 1
  3. Alan

    I agree, enjoy the drive. A person could can add cosmetics as affordable. These cars are meant to be driven., no trailer queens in my garage, that’s for sure.

    Like 1
  4. KevinW

    Other than safety issues, I wouldn’t change a thing. Someone needs to return this beauty to the streets!

    Like 1
  5. Squanto

    Beautiful example! As stated above, new tires and off you go.

    Like 1
  6. junkman Member

    Hey Jesse, What is with all the ads on the “ad free” members section?? Something going on with your server! keeps kicking out to “barn not responding” took 6 minutes to get this typed in.

  7. Gunner

    Love em all sweaty like this! As long as everything is in good working order and safe, just drive it like you stole it!

    Like 1
  8. Blyndgesser

    Fix the interior and drive!

  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    Everyone is free to do what he wants to this car if it shows up in their driveway. However, for me, the ’58-’62 Vette is my favorite. Having said that, I also love them bone stock; they do all I want in that form. I’d undo a lot of the stuff to the engine that has already been done. I’d get rid of the headers and get a set of stock manifolds; they flow all the exhaust I need to flow and keep the engine bay temperature down to a bearable level. I’d go with the stock carburetor and manifold too. Boring to 301 was a common trick to hotrod a 283 back in the 60s. I’d probably keep that. Definitely fix the interior then start to work on the outside. By the time I was through it would be a decent driver, complete with the dog dish hubcaps and red/white paint job. If I had the resources, I’d probably pull it completely down and do it all to a driver quality restoration but I DON’T have the resources….

    • LAB3

      Not having the resources, I hear ya there but if you left it alone you’d have a lot of fun teeing off the snobs and purists!

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        That might be worth it…

        Like 1
  10. Terry J

    Scatter shield could mean drag racer. Could mean an experienced car guy. My brother Dale was doing a shift under power on his Chevy Suburban 4×4 and the clutch blew up, through the bell housing and up through the floor board and tore out the gas pedal assembly from beneath his right foot. Grazed his left ankle. That stuff really happens. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
    • Mike F.

      Yeah, the cast aluminum bell housing with fiberglass transmission tunnel always made me a little nervous…

      Mike F.

      Like 1
    • Rocco

      I had one blow at a 6K rpm shift from 1st to 2nd(’75). what a mess, but I still have my feet. Lakewood scattershield.

      Like 1
  11. DRV

    Having built a 58 and knowing every nut and bolt, It would be a waste to restore this to original. Make it run good and do a correct black interior and use it. My coves were body color and that’s the way I like the 56 to 61s. This one already has an image in my head that’s cooler than a restored one. Memorable.
    I’ve never seen a more crystallized window in an old hardtop….must have been stored really hot.

    Like 1
  12. Dolphin Member

    Maybe leave the exterior paint, but…..I just could not enjoy being in that interior. And I’m pretty sure there would be very few people I know who would want to go for a drive in that passenger seat.

    But you pay the price—now about $30K—you get to do whatever you want. But a buyer needs to understand there will be no rubber anywhere in the car that isn’t perished, and it will be a surprise if many functions that the seller hasn’t already R&R’d still work.

    Like 1
  13. Rustytech Member

    While I like this generation vette’s, the collectors have pushed the prices into the stratosphere, this thing is already pushing $30k and it needs everything! After it’s $100k resruration, it’s just going to be another trailer queen hidden away in some rich guys garage. It’s a shame because this thing deserves to be driven!

    Like 1
  14. Metoo

    Leaving it the way it is would just make it be “craptastic”.

  15. moosie Craig

    I really hate saying this but back in the day I had two of these ’59’s , but not at the same time. Both were only rollers, that is no motor or trans and both were cleaned stripped down to bare fiberglass. My plan back then was to build a nice street machine, a nice sedate 350/350 with a C/R Muncie or ST-10, I was enjoying the hell outta my newly purchased ’71 LT-1 Ontario Orange Roadster to actively work on an “OLD CAR” so I let it sit, eventually selling it for the kings ransom of $250.00 which was never paid forcing me to repossess it and eventually finding another buyer for $ 500.00, lucky huh ? Well no more then 2 months later another ’59 finds me and the same story ensued, that one eventually sold after yet another repo for an unpaid $500.00 for $1000.00. Hard to believe the prices they are getting for these C-1’s today, I’d have to say that LT-1 Roadster was too nice to mess with any ’59. Besides we were too busy drag racing that ’67 Camaro. Yeah I can kick myself in the azz for some moves I’ve made.

    Like 1
  16. ccrvtt

    There’s something brutally honest about this car that should be preserved. Make it drivable, of course, and do something about those seats. Or not. But I think the overall look seems to accentuate the really gorgeous sculptural shapes. The ’56 & ’57 are in some ways purer designs, but the ’58-’60s are my favorites.

    Going out on a limb here, but I don’t think that’s a factory color…

    • JCW Jr.

      I do not like green and do not like rat rods. However this car has a look to it. For me a nice set of 17″ toque thrust some black wall tires. Maybe a 4 wheel disc brake conversion and drive it. If you end up with engine or transmission troubles then Ls and 6 speed. Of course any safety and interior problems address as needed.

  17. ACZ

    Everyone has different ideas about what to do. When I look back on all the cars I’ve had that I turned into silk purses from sow’s ears, the one truth is that I’ve had the most fun with the most imperfect ones. When they get too nice I get afraid to use them. Then they sit and get sold. This one has “Fun” written all over it.

    Like 1
  18. Wayne

    My father and I rebuilt/restored a 1958 after doing a 1955.
    My father has passed on. And I miss him terribly. I would have to redo-it as a driver in the metallic blue with silver sides. Not perfect. Just a driver.

  19. Rocco

    I’m a little suspicious about the Corvette dog dish hub caps(crossed flags) & 15″ tires. Isn’t that the way the big brake Vettes came back then? Somebody with more knowledge chime in here please.

  20. geo

    Restore inside and clear coat the outside. Sweet ride

  21. Fran

    Motor???? Engine pictures. So far every old corvette I have looked at either has the wrong motor, different motor, or is the wrong color, changed. And they want top $$$$. NOPE!

  22. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $30,300.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.