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Rare Fuelie Project: 1958 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1958 Corvette Fuelie is a project that stalled before it could start. It was purchased by the owner 8-years-ago with a lot of good intentions. Unfortunately, he only got as far as buying some of the parts required to return this classic to its former glory. He has decided to part with the vehicle, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. The Corvette is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the auction action has been pretty intense. There have been 57 bids submitted up to this point, which has pushed the price along to $35,600. However, the reserve has not been met.

The once Signet Red Corvette has seen better days. It is not beyond help, but it will require a patient person to completely dismantle the car if it is to be returned to its former glory. The frame has a heavy coating of surface corrosion, but the rust that you see in the rear cross-member appears to be the only penetrating rust in the frame. The body looks like it is quite good, but the primer that has been applied over the original paint looks pretty ordinary. I don’t think that a lot of effort went into the surface preparation, so all of this will need to be stripped away before a fresh coat of paint can be applied. The trim and chrome pieces all appear to be present, and anything that isn’t perfect would appear to be suitable for restoration. The owner has accumulated a lot of smaller parts like light lenses over the past 8-years. He will include all of these pieces in the sale.

This Corvette is a Fuelie, and it comes with a complete drivetrain. The 283ci engine block, 4-speed transmission, and the rear end are all numbers-matching. It isn’t clear whether the cylinder heads are original, but the owner admits that the Rochester fuel injection system isn’t. The engine block code indicates that this is the 290hp version of the Fuelie V8, which was about as good as it got back in 1958. The drivetrain combination should be capable of launching the Corvette through the ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds. It will probably be a while before the vehicle is capable of that sort of performance, but it is something to aim for in the future.

Apart from the carpet, the Corvette’s interior is complete. There will be plenty of work required inside the car, but it must have been a pretty striking classic in its prime. Signet Red paint and Black interior trim would have made the Corvette stand out from the crowd. The gauge cluster is complete and features the correct 8,000rpm tachometer mounted directly in front of the driver. The 1958 model year saw more comfort and convenience features finding their way onto the Corvette’s options list. This car doesn’t offer a lot in that area, although the AM signal seeking radio is a welcome addition.

There is no doubt that this 1958 Corvette Fuelie could be returned to its former glory, and it would seem that doing so would be well worth the effort. The fuel injection option was not cheap in 1958, and that is why a mere 1,007 buyers chose to equip their cars with the 290hp version. That makes this a relatively rare classic that would seem to be worth restoring. If the next owner completed a high-end restoration, this is a car that would have the potential to command a six-figure value. From a financial perspective, that should make it a viable project. However, if you are the sort of person who makes decisions with their heart rather than their head, the thought of cruising along some sunny piece of road behind the wheel of a Signet Red ’58 Corvette would be almost too tempting to resist. Is it enough to tempt you to bid on this beauty?


  1. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    This car is going to require a replacement frame. The lack of underside pictures would keep me far away from this one.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Chuck

      Just weld a few patches on the worst part of the frame, add a reasonable (but not concours) paint job, buy some new tires, and drive this buggy.
      It’s a convertible corvette, no less…put it on the street and it will be admired every single day.

      Like 5
  2. Avatar photo 86_Vette_Convertible

    Agree on the frame. They need to look at some of the ones that allow suspension upgrades to things like C4 suspension. There are a number of companies that make and sell them so take your pick.

    Like 4
  3. Avatar photo benjy58

    It’s junk needs a frame the motor is apart and the interior is trash. Needs a ton I would walk away.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo tony di mondi

    the trunk even seems wrong , never will be a complete survivor , at the least replacement frame , a resto rod maybe but u will have a $100K in it. plus years of work. buy one done and enjoy the ride.

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo George Mattar

    More money than brains to the masochist that buy a this. Agree the lack of underneath photos is hiding rust. A 63 year old car is still 63 years old. 10 grand more and you could get a driver 67 needing three quarters as much work.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo John B. Mc

    What is with the radio antenna? Even better is the bumper jack included in one of the pictures. It’s the little parts that will drive you nuts when you restore a car like this-but it’s still desirable!

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Jack Cobin

    Not with a 10 ft pole. The chrome on the back is missing.

    Like 1

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