Rough Racer: 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Can you see the potential in this car?  While rough on the outside, this car has the bones to be a worthwhile project for someone.  This is a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette and is part of the C1, or first-generation Corvettes, that were produced from 1953 to 1962. The car is for sale here on Hemmings with an asking price of $29,950 and is being advertised by Beverly Hills Car Club in California.

It’s a little hard to figure out the history of this car.  There are not many details in the ad and it looks like there are quite a few missing parts.  Obviously the car was a racer at some point.  The hole in the hood and transmission tunnel indicate speed parts that are long gone.  I bet in its prime, this was a pretty sweet ride and probably a blast to drive.

The ad doesn’t have details as far as the current engine and transmission specifications.  I’m guessing this is an ordinary Chevrolet small-block, but it’s hard to tell from the photos.  Obviously stripped of several major components, it will take a lot to get this car running and driving again.

There are many ways you could take this project.  A full restoration back to the original factory specs?  Sure.  How about a blown race car with wide slicks out back?  Absolutely.  A custom cruiser with a reliable small block and comfy interior?  Perhaps.  Or how about a Bruce Springsteen tribute car?  Epic.  How about you?  What would you do with it if it was yours?


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  1. Classic Steel

    Toasted car…. but hey its for sale by Beverly Hills…

    Just add additional 10-15K for the name..

    Then spend 35 grand minimum putting back together knowing the original pieces are missing and you will always be under on value of car..

    • Newton

      Beverly Hills sells almost all rough unrestored cars for high dollar value..I have not seen anything sold by them to be worth the dollar they sell it for.You get buried in everything dollar wise if you take on one of their projects and there are far better deals out there.

  2. ccrvtt

    I want this car! In my dreams, of course. This looks remarkably clean for your typical BHCC car. Must be why they’re asking twice what it’s worth.

  3. Mr. Bond

    They must sell some cars, or they’d be out of business. Be interested to know their “ask to sell” price ratio. Lots of different approaches to doing business out there, I guess.

  4. Steve A.

    Imo, way too much money for what’s here. But,…I’m sure someone with too much money and not enough brains will pay it.

  5. Suttree


  6. healeydays

    You have to admit that BHCC finds stuff, be it most is junque. These guys are the west coast version of Gullwing motors of NY. Probably wouldn’t buy from either one them.

  7. Luki

    Europeans buy this kind of stuff all the time. They send it to Eastern Europe to be restored where there is skilled labor that will work very cheap.

  8. gbvette62

    Somebody cut a hole in the hood, to clear a carb on a too tall intake, and butchered up the tunnel, to put some kind of aftermarket shifter in it. I don’t see anything about that car to indicate that it was ever a “race car”.

    To me, it looks like it was your typical modified Corvette from the 60’s or early 70’s. Now it’s just a tired and abused old Corvette.

    It’s rough, but most of it’s there. $29K is a little strong, but I can see someone giving low 20’s for it.

  9. benjy

    I’ll bet it smells as bad as it looks. I’d leave it as a rodent castle.

  10. grant

    The hole in the transmission tunnel indicates a missing shifter…

  11. ROAR

    That’s the way to buy them but for VERY little, If you’re going to restore it EVERYTHING will come apart and be refurbished or replaced so there’s no advantage for getting anything decent.
    I bought an MG-A WRONG paint, upholstery, even tyres, it was a decent driver–if you didn’t know/care that EVERYTHING was wrong but it was whole, complete AND CHEAP!

  12. Steve R

    If it isn’t too rusty and you can get it for the right price, make it into an 60’s period hot rod with an engine combination mild enough to drive anywhere. It probably doesn’t make sense financially to restore to original, so why bother. If someone did their research and selected a handful of key period performance parts it would be less expensive to build and will stand out wherever it goes.

    Steve R

  13. Dick Johnson

    Send her to Bloomington and have a C 1 rebuild seminar with donated parts like the “T” gang did. Many charities could benefit from such effort.

  14. PatrickM

    I like the basic car, but not this one. Too much wrong for that price. Engine looks like a 283, but could be a newer 327. They had the same outside dimensions, as I recall.

  15. buzz madsen

    2018 Collector Car Price Guide shows a “Restorable” car like this at $10,200. Add $3,000 for the correct 4 speed.

  16. Bob

    I like the car, but agree that they are asking too much for what is there. It would cost a bundle just to make a driver out of it.

  17. simon marshall

    Beverly Hills car club buy cheap and double the price. (like Gullwing).
    If you really need it, you know you can get it there, but generally they’re for guys who buy, and pass on to someone else to restore. They will find out later that the buying price plus restoration cost doesn’t equal selling price!

  18. ACZ

    It makes you wonder if anyone is stupid enough to buy from this outfit.

    • Paul

      I went by this shop once, it’s in a very industrial area of LA, not Beverly Hills by a long shot. My wife would not get out of the car because of the area.

  19. Tom

    Way, way too much money. It would take at least $60,000 to $70,000 and a lot of capability to bring this Vette close to as original. It would be very unlikely to get you a realistic return on investment. Perhaps a restormod or a mean machine for the track.

  20. carl french

    It looks like a Mad Max corvette.

  21. Lawyer George

    $5000.00 tops

  22. Webco

    Always amazing to me how many unrestored classic cars pop for sale day after day! And how can people let them get so trashed in the first place? This one’s a nice candidate for someone…

    • John S

      excellent eye, it’s the same car.


    Personally, I think some would have to be a couple of bricks shy of a full load to pay any where near the asking price. But as was mentioned some people have more money than brains. good luck.

  24. Jerry

    How could anyone allow that to happen to a Corvette? Shame, Shame, Shame. That poor Corvette, if I had the funds, I would provide a loving home for it. But $30k? dont think so.
    Poor car…

  25. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    why would anyone pay tribute to Bruce Springsteen?

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