Lean-To Find: 1959 Chevrolet Corvette

Look at what’s hiding in the undergrowth! That’s a ’59 Corvette in there and it looks like the lean-to it was parked under may have caved in. Don’t let that discourage you though because it the body may have survived unscathed. The restoration is still going to be tough, but every classic Corvette deserves a chance. Find it here on Hemmings where it’s been listed by a private seller. Thanks goes to Brent for the tip!

Here’s a better view of what’s on offer. The as-found photos are more fun to look at, but this is what you want to see if you’re interested in buying. Besides the big round hole cut in the hood, the body looks decent. The seller mentions that the frame is rusty though so make sure you budget for a new frame or at least some major repairs. The hardtop in included as are the engine and transmission.

The seller states that they are not original, but doesn’t bother to mention any specs. Original options like a 4-speed transmission or dual carburetors could really affect the value here so details like that would be helpful. Especially when you are asking $26,500! That seems high to me, but perhaps I’m missing something? There is a clear title and I’m sure the seller would be willing to deal with a serious buyer.

Lets just hope that the seller is willing to take a realistic amount because it would be a shame to let such an iconic car deteriorate further. This is going to be a labor of love for a Corvette enthusiast, but it still needs to make financial sense. Then again, the best comparable we could find on the market right now is listed for about the same amount. So, what do you think about this lean-to find?


WANTED 1968-1977 Ford Bronco Have all their parts. Running engine or rust free not necessary. Prefer southern US Contact

WANTED 1960-1980 International Scout Looking for solid running driving Scout 800, Scout 2 or Scout Traveler. Contact

WANTED 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Looking for a nice 1981 Monte Carlo in fair to good condition in the southeastern United States Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Steve A.

    He’s dreaming

    • jdjonesdr

      People in Hell want ice water.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is one of my favorite Corvettes. I would really love to take a project like this one on. Full restoration followed by lots of enjoyable miles. If it isn’t red, I love the white with blue. One of these on a trip down the original Route 66; that would be a bucket list wish come true….

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I am with you Geo. Way out of my cash flow though. She will be brought back to life as a repop, but that’s OK with me. What else are you going to do at this point. As far as Marks comment goes, it is a shame, but many times old cars sit waiting for a resurrection for years. I know you have seen it from reading your posts. Sad but true. If Santa dropped this off at my garage about all I could do is sit behind the wheel and enjoy for a while. Fun fantasy. I would have to turn her loose to someone that could bring her back to her glory. A beauty. Take care, Mike.

      • Jeffro

        I’m with you, all I could afford to do is sit in drivers seat and make “vroom vroom” noises.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I used to work on my motorcycle during the winter. I often found myself astride the bare frame holding the handlebars in place and making putt-putt noises. Some of those winters out west could be long….

        Like 1
    • MSG Bob

      Geomechs, you too? My bucket list ‘vette for Route 66, however, includes the beautiful wife by my side, sharing the driving duties. Maybe after I retire in a couple years… Of course, in my case, it’ll probably have to be a C3 with auto trans (wife can’t drive a stick.)

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi MSG. My wife wouldn’t hear of my taking a trip like that without her tagging along. Only problem there is that we’d be pulling a tandem U-haul by the time we reached CA. My wife, I love her so much but she buys stuff every time we stop. We almost need a U-haul to tow behind the airplane when we’re down to NM visiting the family….

    • Metoo

      Is that you Bill Gates? Full restoration ain’t gonna be cheap.

  3. jw454

    I think people spent too much time watching Barrett-Jackson and Mecum auction shows.

    • Dennis

      I say it all the time. Too many auction watchers and don’t have any idea of the real world. Been restoring “old cars” for people 30+ years. There’s the rich man’s world and then there’s the world most others live in. Not all old cars are worth six figures, most in the low to mid five figures.

  4. Tyler

    Maybe it’s because I really don’t care for C1 Corvettes, but I just can’t imagine a 59 in this condition being worth that kind of money without the original drivetrain, especially with a rusted frame. For $26,000, I can be driving a heck of a nice C3. But it’s an early Vette, so I’m sure somebody will shell out the coins for it.

    • Shawn D

      Well, he seems to have both a C2 and C3 in similar condition based on the pictures at Hemmings…Maybe he’ll give you a deal on that C3.

  5. sir mike

    Good price…oh wait I thought it was $2650.00 sorry

  6. Mark

    I don’t understand people…….even if one is flat broke and not able to buy so much as a fuse, unless you are up in years and either don’t remember you have such a car or physically can’t take care of it, there is zero excuse for letting a Vette of this vintage sink into the earth up to the frame or not trying to cover the top.
    But to each his own. None of my business, just looking in from the outside.

    • Alford Pouse Member

      Mark outside Reading, Pa. There is a 63 convertable sitting behind a house. been there for about 30+ yrs. Northwest of Reading there was a 57 vette sitting on a farm with a tree growing out of the engine compartment but both trans and engine in barn. Story I heard on the 63 was it was the sons car and he died. The 57 from the owner was I’m going to fix it up one of these days. They all have a story or reason sometimes the story ends up being better then the shape of the cars! LOL

  7. Maestro1

    The price is absurd. You are looking at North of $100,000 to even consider driving it. As far as making a show car out of it you’re even in it more money.
    There is a lot of upside in this car, but not at the acquisition cost.

    • Metoo

      Yep. Show car means NOS parts only. Whoever buys it better have a BIG bank balance.

  8. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    Dig those Funky ET MAGS, Any way to verify that this was a Fuelie? (qas the scripts on the side indicate) Any FI components? If so then that price is a steal

  9. MikeSuperSport

    The ad isn’t clear whether the NOM power train is included. Regardless, this is a candidate for an Art Morrison frame and LS3 conversion since these C1’s don’t ride that well but the styling is great. Price is too high.

  10. TC

    Not many restorations make financial sense. It’s a labor of love. Lot’s of love. lots of labor. And, lots of the green stuff.

    • Jeffro

      You forgot lots of band-aids, lots of pizza/beer (you’ll have lots of friends helping), and lots of patience!

  11. Rustytech Member

    The add says he has an eng. with intake and CARBURETOR, so no fuelly parts. I don’t think in current condition it would be worth $26k plus if the fully was in it and running. Let’s see $26.5k + $1000 shipping add $110k restoration. Auction sale $130k – commission $13k. Something don’t add up! Sorry to bust your bubble.

  12. Levi


  13. Larry Q

    Here we go again. .HEY its a VETTE!!! It’s been sitting for years. It’s rusted all to crap. Will take a pile of money and time to even get it roadworthy. But it’s a freaking VETTE!!! Let’s ask for $26G.really people lmao

  14. PackardMike

    Paid $1100.00 for a 59 Vette with hardtop in 1969. Paid $1050.00 for a paint job in 1980. Sold it with hardtop in 1986 for $10,000. Loved the sound of that little 283 on a nice evening. Still miss it sometimes…….

    • Metoo

      But the large profit (in 1986) must have eased the pain of loss certainly.

  15. geoff a

    These have reached the Porsche absurdity almost, lets see a rusted 356 with non matching no’s is nothing more than a Volkswagen with 2 carbs and you want how much . Same deal in my opinion and ride and drive about the same , Go buy a C3 or 4 and have a much nicer car

  16. Mark S. Member

    I quess if you could get this at a reasonable price you could get a lot done on it if your skills and tool crib were up to the task. A rusty frame would not scare me off the fact is most frames are made of heavier material than bodies are, unless it is completely turned to dust there should be no reason it couldn’t be rebuilt. Major rust tends to be where water pools and is seldom the entire part. If it were to far gone a guy could Waite for one of those burned vettes to appear that we’ve seen on here and make a two into one car.

  17. Madmatt

    How has this car gone so long without
    someone buying it,was it truly hidden,must have been?
    It is unbelievable that anyone would have let a vintage
    Vette sit to rot,and not even try to cover it in some way!
    after lean to collapsed they should have gotten it out then.
    These are the same kind of people that want a large sum for
    a really rough project,that they were always gonna restore,
    the same ones who love “money”more than classic autos.

  18. hank

    There’s a 66 featured right below it for 38,500–IT’S FINISHED. If you want a Vette, that would be one to buy.

  19. RicK

    Amazing how these C-1s keep turning up. I know of several C-1s in similar condition (non-running builders) except they are no longer sitting outside rotting but are now inside waiting for restoration. And you could do it pay-as-you-go if you were a car guy with the tools, know-how and space to do it (and as long as you are not in a rush) pretty sure you could make a nice presentable driver for way less than $100K

  20. John

    No pictures of the motor – to me, it looks like if it has one, its not under the hood. That round hole in the hood will be a source of endless speculation, but it does’t look like anything that might have been put there in support of the F.I. system.

    But in this goofy market, the two “Fuel Injection” badges will probably finance a good part of a mild crate motor.

    I wish I had the skills, time, and money to take this one on. I could be a beauty in the right hands.

  21. Del

    This is scrap. Its disgusting how it has been stored.

    The after-market wheels are worth more than the car.

    But as some great American President once said—” there is a sucker born every minute”.

  22. Jack Quantrill

    People come across these things for free, and ask ridiculous amounts for them! Pity the fool that pays this. The seller should be pilloried! Greed, greed, greed.

  23. Bobby

    I’d like to know what is on the left side of the Vette in picture 13. Kind of looks like a 54 Kaiser.

  24. CJ

    $26,500! Please, GMAB!

  25. KKW

    Oh, the grim reality of it all. Lol.

  26. Henryfrederick

    Around 1980 I was on a service call to repair a television. As I glanced out the window of the customers house, sitting in their neighbors back yard, sunk in the ground and covered in pine needles was a 63 swc. Had the knock off wheels and the emblems that said fuel injection. Dropped what I was doing and inquired about it. Told me not for sale and don’t ask again. It was gone a few yrs later. Don’t know what became of it.

  27. Bob
  28. Clay Bryant

    Has anyone here just bought a car just to have something worthwhile and creative to do for the next few years. Those that shell out 60-65 grand for something to go out and dust off must get a kick out of just dusting a car 99% of the time. There’s a lot of guys out here that take pride in their craftsmanship and it’s the journey , not the destination. I wonder how many people commenting here buy a finished boat for 40 grand, use it about 2% of the year and watch it go down in bucks. Of course you can go out and sit in it with your fishing pole, bounce your hook off the garage door and say “Boy! That could have been a big one”! The guy that finishes this off gets to take it to car shows, tell “the truthful story” and gets years of congrats from 1,000s of people. Had my share of these and the looks one gets just driving down the street is payback enough. I sure read a lot of jealousy on here by ” non achievers” and those don’t include those that truly can’t afford to buy one. I got a giant thrill out of building models of them with pride when I was younger and my time finally arrived……….To each his own.

    • KKW

      Journey? You will have spent half of the journey before you even got started. Lol. If it’s such a smokin deal, go for it. Lol

      • Clay Bryant

        Spent half the journey before you even get started? You’re a tad bit slower then the rest of us in restoring something………….lolx2

  29. tommy

    $265.00 maybe!

  30. KKW

    Hello there Mr Clay Bryant wise guy. I was referring to the ridiculous money spent just buying the rotted out crate.

  31. Pete

    LOL I would rather buy a MB 190SL and sink a fortune into that. Never have been a fan of these plastic cars. I think GM made a mistake when they chose not to have metal bodies on Vettes.

    • Clay Bryant

      Sink a fortune……….sounds like a Titanic project to me.

  32. Dave

    I’m with Steve on this one he’s passed dreaming he’s got an optical illusion

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