1959 Corvette With A Nose Job!

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For those of you who either know about or have attended the variety of car shows and swap meets in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, you likely know that there’s a community of weird and wonderful vehicles that reside in the nearby communities. Call it an energy that attracts the oddballs, but whatever it is, I blame it for this creation here on craigslist – a 1959 Corvette with a snout that gives it the appearance of a frightened anteater.

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Really, I can’t imagine someone thinking this would look good. I’m a kit car fan and have seen plenty I’d like to call my own, but not this. The family that just sold it off has owned it for 40 years, so clearly it meant something to them – were they also the original creators of this custom ‘Vette? Who knows, but at least it’s a manual with an engine that’s believed to be original. It doesn’t look terribly rusty, either.

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There’s where it was drug out of (couldn’t the seller have thought to take a photo before it saw daylight for the first time?) As mentioned earlier, Carlisle is car show heaven with events all throughout the year (except winter) and the seller will be bringing this car to the upcoming Corvette show, Corvettes at Carlisle, happening the 25th through the 28th. Today is the first day of the show and it sounds like the seller is bringing the car out this weekend.

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Does anyone remember this nose conversion being a popular enhancement back in the day? I can see the slight emulation of a Formula 1 car, or possibly a hammerhead shark. It may just be my eyes, but it appears the fenders were cut out, too, in the front. This Corvette has lots of stories to tell and significant work to be done to bring it back to stock, but it sure is a conversation piece! Would you chop the nose off?

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Comments

  1. 68custom

    uglier than the ugliest butt, I mean butt ugly! yuck!

    2
    • rockribbedrushy

      And people will always remember your car, maybe not you, but they will remember.

    • Walt

      Perfect! Put a turbine in it & paint it green & give it 2 the Riddler so Batman an chase him around Gothem city

  2. RayT Member

    There was a Corvette show car produced by GM Design somewhere in the 1959-’61 period that had a similar — but much more graceful — nose. Can’t find any images of it right now, but remember it pretty clearly. I’d guess someone was trying to copy it, minus the design and fabrication resources of The General.

    That’s one of the bad things about fiberglass. The basics of working with it encourage people to try their hand at “personalized” cars. I suspect it wouldn’t be difficult to track down a replacement front end, which is what I’d do if I glommed onto it. But considering the price and condition — and the three-speed transmission, which suggests a low-spec engine — I’d give this one a pass.

    1
    • rockribbedrushy

      Is this what you were looking for?

      3
      • JNRINDIAN

        There was a Corvette museum outside of Daytona about 20 years ago that had a similar Corvette on display.

  3. PackardMike

    I’d love to have a ’59 Vette again. Sold mine in ’85 for 10k, hard top and all. I think this one is hard to look at and would cost too much to make beautiful again. Good luck to the seller & the buyer.

  4. Dan

    Looks like an xp700 kit on a 58 vette

    1
    • John Johnson

      I owned on like it ( a 1960) in 1973

  5. VR LIVES

    It was bad enough when we had to look at the burned up “accident” remains of that ’61 Vette. But to realize that someone intentionally .ruined. this car is wrong. They should be drawn and quartered. Nuff said.

  6. Racer417

    The inspiation for the nose can be found here:

    http://wikicars.org/en/Corvette_XP-700_concept

    1
  7. ronebee

    modeled after Corvette XP700 concept car, you guys should know this, somewhat common mod back in the day, I’d buy those rims, hell, i’d buy that whole car (but I’d put the nose back to stock)

  8. Francisco

    Aardvark

  9. SunbeamerStu

    Put a Hoover bag in it.

    1
  10. David

    It does look like the builder was trying to copy the nose of the xp700. We should be grateful he wasn’t a plastic surgeon.

    1
    • 68 custom

      whats so special about that? I prefer the stock lines all day long!

    • AMX Brian

      If he was a plastic surgeon, I imagine he would resemble the plastic surgeon played by Bruce Campbell in Escape from L.A. with Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken.

    • Steven lindsey

      Im working on this actual car at work. We were told it is a barris car but never confirmed it.

      1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Nice. Please keep us updated on your progress!

        1
      • Danny74

        Any updates?

  11. jeff6599

    Youse guyse are all too young. This is a famous cover car from Hot Rod magazine back in the early /mid 60s. Restore it and display it proudly and then when tired of it sell it for a nice profit. You cannot FIX famous art

    1
  12. Jesse

    Looks like the nose off of Speed Racer

    • 68 custom

      the Mach five however looks bad ass!

  13. Houndawg

    No title either.

  14. Christopher

    I know where there is a 61 Vette nose like that, it was off off a 58 or 59 body. The owner claims it is a kit to clone a popular Bonneville car of the era. I don’t know how true that is, I just know when painted correctly, it looks really good. Polish that t**d and see what you get! :)

  15. Bobsmyuncle

    I’ve seen that face before…

    • Dan h

      you beat me to it!!!

  16. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    The XP700 was Bill Mitchell’s experimental design. He was GM’s Corvette guy who sometimes went overboard just a little.

    Fortunately Mitchell got Larry Shinoda, a terrific designer, to do the Mako Shark, above, reportedly on the very same chassis as the XP700, and the rest is history.

    1
    • 68 custom

      the Mako Shark was a great looking concept!

  17. BradL

    Definitely an XP700 kit. Even the front of the side coves has been filled.

  18. Zaphod

    It’s quite lovely actually. Nicely proportioned and anyone can have a stock 59.
    I’d much rather have an oddball like this.

    1
  19. FXtech

    If this car was possibly part of a GM project , it could be worth some money.

  20. Rounder

    A virtual ringer for this car appeared in Montery last week claiming to be a George Barris creation.

    • tugdoc

      My thoughts when I first saw it a Barris or Ed Roth. Remember this was built at a time everyone was into rockets and jets. “Goggles down helmets buckled stand clear of the intakes!”

  21. Tom

    It does look like something that might have been done for Bonnieville racing and is a period appropriate kind of mod for speed record kind of racing.

  22. Jeffro

    If a Formula 1 car and Corvette had sex…this would be the result.

  23. Alan Brase

    There are many of these. I suspect some fiberglass repair parts company made them. The main thing was, you crashed your Vette, and you could graft this nose on for half the price.
    That’s what happened with a local one.
    Wow the Mako Shark was a near prototype to the 63 Corvette!
    Al

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      I think Mitchell and Larry Shinoda saw the Mako Shark as a ‘study’ (as it’s called in the business) for the new Corvette.

      IMHO the XP700 just wasn’t good enough for the next Corvette, and that might be the reason why it didn’t go any further, and why the Mako Shark study was built on the old XP700 chassis.

      What happened to the XP700 body isn’t clear, but after the Mako Shark was designed I doubt that many people in GM design cared very much about what happened to it.

  24. Doc

    Can anyone say

    can anyone say “electrolux”?

  25. Alan Brase

    It all looks good from the driver’s seat. I like the looks of the Ferrari that inspired it. I’d whack off about 6″ and find a grille that makes it look like a Ferrari. Live with it a while. Might grow to like it. Not quite a pretty as a Scaglietti or Zagato, though!
    Al

  26. ROTAG999

    Maybe Dr Paul from Botched can fix that nose.

  27. Moose Feather

    If you look up the definition of Fugly ….

  28. Danny

    The all new “Fugly” for ’59!

  29. Lee Hartman

    This nose conversion or one similar used to be sold from an ad in the back of Hot Rod magazine. Can’t remember the name of the company. (Fiberfab?) One of my high school friends had a Corvette with a nose something like this one.

  30. Ric Parrish

    We actually saw many of those in the sixties and seventies, always considered a former front end total. Many wrecked Vettes ended up with these, in Iowa where I lived.

  31. Blackta1

    What it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with ugliness.

  32. Paul

    I’ve definitely seen these conversions before, I was actually looking for an example of one these and surprisingly, this was the only example I could find online. They must have been pretty popular because I remember seeing several ’58-’62 Vettes with these snouts in old issues of Corvette magazines from the late 70’s. Most of them were on drag cars from what I remember.

  33. Danny74

    So, are there any updates on this?

  34. Bob Baird

    A friend who raced in CA in the 1960s went to a body shop one day and found all these pieces they were taking off this “ugly” 1956 Corvette, which included a 37-gallon steel tank and a funny-looking nose. They gave him the tank and he put it in his ’57 Corvette, then he put it in another ’57 that a friend and he raced that I am now restoring, and then it got sold to probably go back into the same “ugly” 1956 Corvette that turned out to be an SR-2!

    And a few years ago, the purple Corvette in the attached pic turned out to be the missing 1960 LeMans #1 Corvette, somewhat customized as you can see.

    Both are seven-figure cars. So, it’s always best to do some research on an oddball Corvette before you turn it back into what it was “supposed” to look like.

  35. Ric Parrish

    I’m from Waterloo, Iowa. Home of John Deere Tractor Works. Our town had several of these Corvettes with this front end kit. After totaling the frond ends of these Vettes, guys would often times instal one of these. Maybe they were laid up somewhere near us or something, I have seen many of them.

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