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Rear Engine? 1959 Chevrolet Corvette

Certainly a project of sorts, this ’59 C1 Corvette is a fair start to a restoration and maintains many of its parts. Needing some body work, and other various work, this ‘Vette is offer for the asking price of $25,900. Take a look at this roadster project here on craigslist out of Buckeye, Arizona. Thanks to reader Michael for this C1 submission!

At some point someone was anxious to keep this car “together” after it was torn down to bare bones, but I will say that the trunk of a C1 Corvette would have been low on my list of places to store an engine. Overall the short block doesn’t look terrible except for the there being surface rust that starts on the deck of the block and trickles down into the cylinders. The heads were pulled and the plugs left in place. There is no word as to whether or not the engine is original, but hopefully it is for the trouble of storing it in the trunk. This is a stick shift car, and it appears that the transmission is still in the tunnel.

There are a few colors to find on this car, but it appears that the car is currently wearing primer on its exterior, as well as on the interior. Much like the exterior, the interior is partially disassembled and awaiting restoration. There are some odds and ends inside, but one of the items appears to be a small welding bottle.

The Cragar wheels and stickers on the hardtop are advertising some flair, and boy are those rear wheels wide. Although the body is in primer, there are a few cracks to be found that need to be repaired. Both rear corners of the body suffer from cracking, and there is also cracking to be found in the front end around the grill area. None of the crack issues appear extensive, but they need to be cleaned and glassed. I would also imagine that the body needs a solid spray of primer and some block sanding to really dial in the body work. With a fair start to either a restoration or a restomod, what would you do with this C1?


  1. Steve R

    I wouldn’t hold my breath and assume it has matching numbers, the presence of a Holley double pumper and the wide wheels point at a history as a hot rod and would make it a long shot. I think it would be much more interesting done up as a 60’s-70’s street racer than just another restored early Corvette. If a buyer went that route, pick a date, then build accordingly. You wouldn’t need to spend a fortune, a few well selected period speed parts will successfully create that look.

  2. DayDreamBeliever Alan (Michigan)

    Another jigsaw puzzle car, not for the person who has little knowledge of the C1, if it is to be put back together anywhere near like it was completed originally. Looking at the dash, I just get the feeling that someone found the car in a field, and thought that a quick splash of fresh paint might bring a payday. This car was not in the process of a decent restoration, it was being lipsticked.

    The condition of the shiny bits lead me to believe that this car sat outside for an extended period of time. That means care should be taken to thoroughly inspect the frame. Funny the comment about the short block being in the trunk, look at all of the stuff stashed in the engine compartment!

    As far as the transmission being “still in the tunnel”, that’s not what I see. It appears to be (with the bell-housing) on the passenger floor! And the “welding bottle” looks more like a “cherry bomb” style glass-pack muffler. The tuck-and-roll diamond pattern upholstery means this car was partially redone way back when.

    Of the C1 variants, I have always been a fan of the ’59, maybe because the tail light treatment just suits my sense of style. If the bright bits and lenses are available somewhere, this could become a beautiful car again. But not without a ton of work. Even a resto-mod job would be tough.

    Like 1
  3. stanley kwiecinski

    earl shibes. 29,95 guaranteed!

  4. Andy

    Numbers matching?!!! Got 4’s? No? Go fish!

  5. 8banger dave Member

    I concur with the tranny in the pass floorboard with its tail shaft resting on the seat. Speaking of those seats – love ’em!

  6. Daniel Wenzel

    Block casting looks like 1961 to 1964 283. Co

  7. Chuck Simons

    THis car had it’s Butchered Glory days in the 60’s to early 70’s. Rode hard put away to rest in the desert.

  8. Bob
  9. Camaro guy

    Would make a great straight axle Gasser 302,tunnel ram 4sp 10,000,RPM 12″,wide M&H’s sounds like fun to me just sayin

  10. Raymond Francis Pittam

    I was a partner with Brown Chevrolet of Troy, Kansas and we had one of these on the Floor plan for two years before it sold..It was a special ordered car with the larger engine as well as many other added attractions. When it sold the man from east of St. Joseph, Missouri bought it and paid cash for it. It was not even registered yet and still-on the floor plan when he took it off the lot and hit Highway 36 East doing three heavy cut Donuts then laying rubber for many feet east bound zig zagged back and forth before straightening out then a second short lay of rubber and off he went. Less than ten to 15 minutes the Fire Trucks, Ambulance and Highway Patrol and Sheriff whizzed past the Car Lot. And I made a remark I bet the guy that bought they Corvette lost it. Well it was half way between Troy and Wathina Kansas and that Corvette entered the rear end of a loaded hay truck and ended up all the way up at the rear duels of the tractor and was full of flames. There was not enough left to even tell what it or the truck was. The driver from Sparks Kansas survived and said it was like being in the war and his truck exploding from a bomb. I think his last name was Twombley.

  11. Clay Bryant

    At least it appears that most of the parts are there although not in the best of shape. When you go to paying 600 plus dollars for pieces like half of the grill surround, etc. you can really run the tab up. At least a little bit cheaper sending them to a chrome shop………..Price maybe a little high but that’s the owner’s right……………

  12. chad

    sure like em when they still had that “rear end body” style…

  13. justbob

    you could get upside down real quick at 25,9.
    restored a 62 years ago, heaven only knows what the parts cost now.

    Like 1
  14. Bob

    Stick with this to the end and YOu’ll see why I’m posting it here:

  15. Bob

    <.It was a special ordered car with the larger engine as well as many other added attractions

    All the engines in 61 were the same size, 283 cubic inches.

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