Ex Drag Car: 1959 Corvette

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Do former drag cars instill a sense of awe in you, wondering about the days they charged down the strip? Or is it just a used-up muscle car that would have been far more valuable if left intact, with its original drivetrain still bolted in? I wonder this every time I look at a listing like this one for a 1959 Corvette here on craigslist in Maine, where the seller believes it is a former drag car out of New York State. Anyone recognize it? 

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To me, unless the car had some tremendous following or was driven by a highly-regarded drag strip master, the drag history just means it’s a bigger project than if it were a rough-but-complete survivor. Now the question is do you try and hunt down the original colors, numbers and sponsors to try and re-create the drag strip version of this Corvette, or do you sympathetically restore it back to original condition, albeit with non-numbers matching components?

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The issue I find with cars like these is they often have no real historical significance, but sellers price them as such. Sure, it’s neat to think there’s a poster in an old garage somewhere that shows this thing storming down the 1/4 mile next to a vintage Camaro, but does that justify a higher price? Or do you look at this as an attempt to build an authentic ’59 with a great story to tell about its colorful past?

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The seller is asking $16,500 – is that a fair price? To me, it doesn’t seem awful if the claims about the solid body and frame are true, but you’d have to tread carefully given how often drag cars are hacked up to fit aftermarket equipment. If pictures could be found showing what it looked like in its competition heyday, a re-creation would certainly draw a crowd; but so, too, would a fully-restored ’59. Which way would you choose to go?

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Comments

  1. Tony S

    Wow I had one (a roller) EXACTLY like that in high school (early 80s). Never got it going and sold it to a guy who wanted the posi rear and windshield frame (which were the only usable parts really). It was too far gone…

    That treatment to the front end and blocks between the frame and front suspension must have been popular back in the day…

    • franque

      It’s called a gasser… it was common in the ’50s – ’70s. Supposedly it really helped weight transfer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasser_(car)

      • Tony S

        Yeah I know – I meant these particular modifications to a C1 Corvette…

        Gassers typically had a solid front axle.

        Like 1
      • Bobsmyuncle

        There doesn’t appear to be an engine, which if I’m correct would be why it’s riding high.

        EDIT – Willis confirms, there is no drivetrain.

  2. DAN

    not sure I want to sell, but willing to listen

    SURE ENOUGH TO PLACE ADD……….

  3. Willis

    Just went and looked at the car, only a hour drive for me. Was alright needed lots of fiberglass work especially front fender, frame had a couple holes in it. DOES have the original vin on it which is sweet not all of them do. It’s not a posi rear end which sucks. Overall a nice car, I just don’t have the 16.5

    Like 1
    • Bobsmyuncle

      What’s with “ignorant”?

      • Willis

        Ignorant means awesome, Maine slang, like wicked awesome. Wicked ignorant.

  4. JW

    So is there a drivetrain ???

    • Willis

      No drivetrain

  5. Ck

    Why restore it nothing about this car is original I say make it your own with a crazy 60’s or 70’s metal flake paint job .put a small block stroker motor in it with a 4 or 5 spd standard trans ,keep the drag car look and i garentee it will turn heads and be the center of attention at the local cruze nite

    Like 3
  6. Rick

    I’d build it as the drag car it already is, it could still be way cool if done right. All the missing parts (bumpers, mouldings etc.) make it way too $$$ to restore. Is why its only $16.5.5

    Like 2
  7. Bert Persichetti

    Bert live in Ga now It looks like my car. I had a different hood. I have pics. Had car in college purchased in 1968. Are you sure it is not a 1958. I had a 69 Z28 302 with a full race cam tunnel Ram with a 500 CFM Holley ran H Hot Rod tuning mid 12 sec held the record and than got married and kids. Had car for 4 years was a street driver. I would be interested in purchasing. Hey by the way I paid $1,000.00 for the car

    Like 1
  8. Big. E..

    You’re totally nuts to pay $100,000 for that car.. yes it could be worth it but you have to put a ton of time and money into it I don’t know if it’d be worth it.. but if you did keep it as a race car and not turned it into original you could be okay

    • onit

      Hey Big E… Decimals Matter… 😂

  9. Mullet Man

    yeah, I recognize it! it’s every C1 drag car EVER!

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