Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Rat Rod Corvette? 1958 C1

It isn’t very often you see an early Corvette with a patina like this 1958 has. Since Corvettes are fiberglass, they don’t show layers of paint and primer over surface rust like other cars. This one was originally Silver Blue Metallic with Silver coves. As you can see, someone painted it red and white at some point and that paint has worn off in spots revealing the original blue. It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $45,000, although there is only one bid, so it’s hard to tell if that is legitimate or not. Located in Carbondale, Colorado, the seller says the car can be driven as-is. If you’ve been looking for a project you can drive while you improve it, this might be the one. Take a look.

The current engine is a 350 cubic inch small block with 283 heads. The seller does say that the “correct casting numbered” and “date-coded” 283 block come with the sale. They also have a dated intake manifold with some other parts. According to the ad, the transmission has the correct numbers on the front half with what appears to be a 1960 Chevy rear half.

As you can see the interior is just as “ratty” as the exterior. The seller says all the lights and gauges work with the exception of the tachometer. The wipers and power windows also work but the horn, heater motor, radio, and clock will need to be addressed.

Overall, this is certainly not the kind of condition you normally see Corvettes in. Are you a fan of patina rides like this or would you rather see a bright and polished paint job? Does it matter that this is a Corvette? Should patina paint jobs like this be reserved for pickups and hot rods? Let us know what you think.


  1. Dins74 Member

    You don’t see Corvettes with patina like this because this is not patina. Some soulless, valueless, owner sprayed or more likely brushed on red paint over that classic sliver blue metallic factory paint. A CRIMINAL !!! or maybe he had to hide it in a divorce,

    However, for the price, I think this is a great project car – the bright work, gages and glass look to be in good shape. The eBay photos show the body in good shape and all the super expensive stuff looks to be there. The needed interior pieces are available, Square away the engine, suspension, parts are available. Then tackle the paint, which is going to be expensive.

    I like this project car for the price. BUT I am a rookie with only a couple corvette restos under my belt. I am anxious to hear from some of the pros.

    Like 14
    • Sam fragomele

      I’ll give you 30,000 to much work needs to be done

      Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    In our shop the fiberglass bodies got stripped down to bare surface and brought up from there. No other way to do it right but it’s labor intensive and expensive. Corvette specialist in town told his full body paint customers “come pick it up this time next year”.

    Like 14
  3. Dins74 Member

    Touché bobhess in both of my Corvettes the paint alone, done right, took several months – I realize you guys find all kinds of expensive lil surprises once you start removing paint on a 60 + year old car.

    I am seeing restored 58’s are going from 60 to 100K. I am really interested in this one as a DIY as a project only not to turn it over for profit.

    Like 6
    • Jon Pankin

      You couldn’t restore this car for less than $100K all-in, and probably a good deal more, so would have to be a labor of love. Much easier to find an already sorted example.

      Like 8
  4. Maggy

    Why did someone put the 283 heads on a 350 of who knows what year? Why not rebuild the original mill.Looks like a money pit imo.It’ll take 75k at least to restore this one.
    The blue and silver is nice.The red and white yuck imo.So common imo.

    Like 9
    • ACZ

      If the original 283 block had a rod hanging out the side would be a good reason. But, I would think a 283 would not be terrifically hard to find. Correct date codes would be a whole other story.

      Like 2
    • Randy jones

      Rough.old vette..58 vettes are very ancient..wonder if it c even drives..or brakes.or steers….I will pass..I’m not a 58 fan…I like C2 vettesand 65s..some one has dollars to lose$$$$$.and a lot of extra time with shops and vendors.to lose money with.this car….last word..it’s a capital money pit..

      Like 2
    • Grape Ape

      Blue and silver is nice yes

      Like 1
  5. DRV

    My 58 had been painted green then yellow over white. I spent a weekend scraping it down to the presentable original white with single edges razor blades. After being white fore a few years I scraped it down to the original primer and had it painted charcoal.

    Like 5
    • G

      Looks good, road worthy,
      I’m good with that. No problem.

      Like 2
    • CeeOne

      ” I spent a weekend scraping it down to the presentable original white with single edges razor blades. ” I have a black 62 that has gold paint over gray primer. I’m using a single edge razor, in one of those “handles” to get it down to the original black.

      Like 1
  6. Gary Russell

    I believe Corvette started matching numbers, VIN/engine/transmission, in 1960. If so, the numbers game doesn’t apply here other than date codes.

    Like 2
  7. Rw

    Hot rods to hell tribute.

    Like 3
  8. WDJ

    This car wears its character like a badge of honor. Plus you can drive it. That makes it way cooler than some rich guy’s gleaming, soulless, numbers-matching restoration. It reminds of the one that Bob Seger drives in his music video for “Like A Rock.” What could be cooler than that?

    Like 4
  9. Dins74 Member

    Well this one went for 45.7K. The seller appeared very up front in the listing on eBay.

    Like 3
    • Peter Jurickovich

      I rode in a 58 to kindergarten & home in a 57 thunderbird I’d drive tell I got the way way I wanted. I learned from my father to paint wire rebuild the motor & transmission it would be less than 30K if u got if the internet & did the work forget about numbers a 400 & 6 speed would be the way to go like my 69 roadster

      Like 0
  10. David Crawford

    Being a C1 enthusiast and restored C1 in the course of many years, it is a labor of love. I would loke to know tje condition of the frame. If the buyer wants matching numbers car, he, she should be concerned with the date codes of when the engine, transmission, etc were produced. Good luck to the winning bidder.

    Like 1
  11. Steve

    That’s not patina. It’s just a crappy paint job.

    Like 9
  12. Bill Bell

    It seems most vintage Corvettes are ‘overestored’ numbers matching mid life crisis escapes.This car has honest character…leave it alone and enjoy..!!

    Like 5
    • Rick R

      There’s nothing but shame for a Corvette rat rod, fix it or scrap it!

      Like 0
  13. david steele

    i would clean it up and drive it/have fun, no rule says you have to make this a trailer queen, get it on the road and drive it a bit beat

    hot rod to hell and back

    Like 5
  14. ACZ

    I think I would take a pressure washer to it first. Chances are you could get more of that stuff off. The original colors look salvageable. Almost looks like this was a hurry up paint job, like trying to hide a stolen car. Maybe it would be wise to start checking numbers before going any further.

    Like 7
  15. Doug M

    The condition of that car is just slightly better than the 1961 car I bought in 1974 for $500.

    Mine didn’t come with any motor or trans, though.

    I still have the car, three restorations later.

    Like 2
  16. Shuttle Guy Shuttle Guy Member

    I’ll paint any car for $29.95…Earl Scheib.

    Like 9
  17. Bob THE ICEMAN

    “Patina” usually describes a dulling of a surface finish, caused by oxidation via exposure to elements such as the sun, water vapor, oxygen, or ozone. How about we all revert to alternative terms such as “rust”, “corrosion”, “rot”, “incorrect application of paints” etc. my mom’s silver service had patina, the brass knob on our front door had patina.

    Like 2
  18. Nova John

    In the 90’s, I used a product called Spray Strip. I bought it thru a Vette parts vendor and it showed up with a metal 1 gallon can of the stuff and a spray bottle. I stripped my 67 convertible of its Marina blue paint and the red oxide primer in a few weekends. The stripper was best applied in the shade, with low 70’s temp and no breeze or in the garage. After letting it set a few minutes, another spray coat would then get the paint to ooze. A body putty spatula would then be used to scrape the lifted material into a cardboard box. The red primer was weakened enough to scrub it off with water and a green scotch brite. I remember being amazed that the ‘glass didn’t get wrecked and I had a car that was ready for epoxy primer. I did hand sand it for any repairs, imperfections etc. and to bring out the peaks in the body, but it’s not the “hell, fire and brim stone’ process that some people allude to. If you want something bad enough, it can be done. This ’58 looks like it has potential and I hope that some hard working soul sees it and makes his/her dream come true. I did and I am better off for it. What a nice project car ; )

    Like 3
  19. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $45,700.

    Like 0
  20. 64 Bonneville

    “this item is no longer available” “winning bid $45,700 (5 bids) The starting bid was $45,000, so 5 additional bids later it only increased by $700.00? I am guessing the seller discontinued the offer, or withdrew the listing. Even looking as ratty as this one does, a running, driving 1958 Corvette seems like it should go for more money than the $45,700. Just my opinion.

    Like 0
  21. CeeOne

    I have my father’s 62, but wish I had his 58: Black, base engine with a 3 speed. He used the spears on the trunk as his radio antenna.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.