Custom Vette: 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

When it comes to cars with an attitude, this 1958 Corvette Roadster would have to be up there with the best of them. This is a car that is anything but standard and should possess enough performance to make your hair stand on end. If it appeals to your sense of adventure, then you will find it located in Brea, California, and listed for sale here at Hemmings. At $34,250 OBO, it also seems to represent a pretty decent sort of buy.

Finished in a custom shade of red, complete with ghost flames, the appearance of the Corvette is nothing if not striking. The panels and paint look to be superb, while the photos reveal no signs of rust. The frame appears to be very clean, and the underside of the car presents very nicely. If you took away the flames, the wheels, and that enormous (and functional) hood scoop, the Corvette could almost fool you into believing that it was largely original. However, when you peer under the rear and spot the fact that the car has been tubbed, those illusions are soon shattered.

The interior of the Corvette is clean, tidy, and very functional. The seats wear fresh leather covers, while the custom dash is extremely clean and free of clutter. The roll bars are there for a specific purpose because the Corvette did spend part of its earlier life traveling very rapidly, a ¼ mile at a time. With its racing days behind it, the owner has performed a lot of work to ensure that this beast is completely street legal in its native California. For those of you who would be inclined to return some originality to the Corvette’s interior, the owner is including a complete and very nice original dash with the car.

If you fancy your Corvette with a splash of Tabasco, not to mention a dash of wasabi and some Ghost Chilli, then this car might just be the one for you. The original 283ci V8 in this Corvette has made way for a Chevy Big Block, and while it has never seen a dyno, the indications are that this is a potent piece of kit. The engine wears a Weiand tunnel ram intake, and a pair of Holley carburetors. Burnt gases find their way out of the engine via a beautiful set of stainless steel headers. If you scroll to the bottom of his article you will find a photo gallery, along with a video of this engine running. It sounds really strong and clean and makes me want to get behind the wheel and give the gas pedal a bit of a poke. Behind that mighty Big Block is a Turbo 400 transmission, while the Corvette features a Dana 60 rear end. The owner’s attention to detail continues when you look at the car’s handling and braking package. QA1 coil-overs smooth out the ride in the Corvette, while all four corners of the car benefit from the stopping power provided by Wilwood.

This Corvette is a car that could potentially offend the classic car the purists, but for those readers who appreciate a nicely completed and engineered custom build, this is probably a car that they will find interesting. It might not appeal to everyone’s taste, but I agree with the owner when he says that you couldn’t build a replacement car for the price that he is asking for this one. That makes it a custom that is worth a serious look.


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  1. Corvette collector

    Could not build one for that price

    Like 5
  2. Tony Primo

    I would lose those imitation velocity stacks on top of the Holley carburetors and install some proper air filters before returning this car to the street.

    Like 6
    • JOHN Member

      Agreed, lose the stupid velocity stack trash, heck, I’d let the tunnel ram stick out of a cut out flat hood, not a fan of the scoop at all.

      Like 9
      • Steve Phillips

        I agee, get rid of the dumb aftermarket stuff and take it back to stock

        Like 2
    • PatrickM

      Some people just like running bad engines and having to rebuild them and buying new carbs and…. “Gee, Hank!! Is that all a new air filter costs???” All that being said, this is trouble looking for a place to happen. The only way I would drive this on the street is to a Thursday night cruise-in, provided it wasn’t more than a few miles away for home.

  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks like a love or hate car. As a race car, looks pretty good. Not something I want at this time but it’s personal opinion here. Definitely not something I’d want to take on the street.
    Also the missing trunk chrome (if desired) will be expensive to reacquire, not to mention the missing emblems.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      This is not a race car. It’s a Pro Street car, built to look like a race car. They were popular in the 80’s and early-90’s. Very few ever saw the track, on the rare occasion one showed up, they tended to be very slow.

      Steve R

      Like 2
      • Camaro guy

        Also the rear tire/wheel combo is way too small for the size of the fender opening and you’re right Steve most of those pro streeters were kinda slow mostly just for profiling “Pro Fairground”

        Like 2
      • PatrickM

        They still are popular…

  4. Steve P

    When it comes to classic cars, I’m a traditionalist. Upgrading safety items like brakes and suspension makes good sense. Otherwise, at least for me, leave it original

    Like 1
    • JOHN Member

      I’m a traditionalist at heart, but also a bit of a hot rodder. I’m pretty much a “restification” kind of guy. My older cars have improved braking and suspension, one is now EFI, but is stock appearing, and modifications are more of a “day two” thing.This car, who knows what it looks like underneath, or how much is left to restore to more or less stock condition. It would need an entire interior, including the entire dash assembly. I would do what I mentioned, lose the Mickey Mouse air filters and that cowl hood. Either no hood, or just a simple cut out to clear the tunnel ram. I might even go backwards with some period corect aluminum slotted wheels. To me, it’s just a cruise night car!

  5. TimM

    Pro street corvette is pretty cool but I’d prefer pro touring so I could drive it somewhere besides the track!!! I bet it’s fast though!! 10 seconds of pure smiles!!!

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