Story Teller: 1958 Chevrolet Corvette

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

How many times have you seen a car and thought to yourself, “If only this car could talk, oh the stories it would tell”? Well there is no doubt that this ’58 Corvette has lived an interesting life, and hopefully still has more interesting stories to accumulate in the future. Certainly an interesting project, this early American sports car needs a lot of love but this Corvette does have a sweet heart with dual quads! With little time remaining in the auction, bidding has reached $12,100. Check out this colorful find here on eBay out of Hamilton, Ohio. Thanks to reader Peter Rettig for this interesting submission!

While no back story is given on this Corvette, we can certainly draw some conclusions about this car. The Dual Quads indicate that this thing was a rocker and a roller, and the wire wheel are an interesting choice maybe indicating that this was once a racer or “street racer” in its past? In fact there is a lot of speculation for me in regards to this car as so little information is offered. Although the car has a neat appearance, the frame is completely rotted along the passenger side. I would also imagine that the engine and Dual Quads are a beautiful paper weight by this time as it is clear that this Corvette spent a lot of time outdoors. The interior is bare for the most part, with a few parts scattered inside and in the trunk.

The front clip is a replacement unit that looks to be fitted rather well, but will need further body work. A portion of the driver side rocker is missing, and I am sure that there are other cracks and dry spots to be dealt with. The seller feels that the hardtop is not a factory unit, and there are no soft top parts with the car.  I would guess that the car lived outdoors with no top and no front end for many years with the frame resting on the ground. Despite its issues, I think this is an awesome car, and the dual quads and wire wheels have me sold on this car’s “cool factor”. Would you take a chance on this interesting story teller?

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Comments

  1. Bob Baird

    Even if this Corvette were free, the restoration costs are going to be huge. The best starting point is as complete a car as possible (even if apart) and as minimally damaged/rusted as possible. And higher HP options beat lower HP any day of the week for an identical car since the restoration costs for either would be basically the same, but the higher HP car will be worth more. This one has a much later 350 engine, so you’ll have to have a “restoration engine” (less value for your car) or find an original (good luck!). Pay the bucks for as complete and minimally damaged/rusted as possible and your savings in time and $$$ will be well worth it.

    4
  2. Steve R

    NHRA rules long ago prohibited the use of wire wheels on all full bodied cars.

    It was probably a boulevard cruiser, it would have looked good in its heyday driving down the street with shiny paint and chrome wire wheels. Opening the hood at a drive in would have added to the impression. A car like that just has to look fast, not be fast. That how it worked then just as it works that way now.
    Steve R

    3
  3. MFerrell

    A wicked fast but kinda ratty C1 seems like it would be a lot of fun. More fun than a polished perfection C1.

    1
    • Balstic

      From the perspective of this particular Corvette I would have to agree. I have done a complete restoration of a C1 with non matching body and chassis and it was an experience I’m glad has only happened once. At least this one can logically have a V8 and get close to an original, not a Blue Flame 6.

  4. Dan

    And aftermarket hardtop…..

  5. nrg8

    This car is saying, kill me. It feels like it’s being turned into Frankenstein, and it’s not cool being loved once a year and the villagers er judges exposing you and showing how little value it holds pieced together. Pieced together T-Rex skeletons hold their value as there are none that are 100% complete without some extrapolation. Looks like it has parts from alot of swap meets. Too much dollar-o’s for what’s there.

    5
  6. J.P.

    Kind of like the wire wheels on that era corvette.

    2
  7. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    I was OK with this ’58, even with the tacked-on front clip, until I saw the interior…and underside…… Now my eyes hurt.

    At least it comes with its washboard hood, which might be one of the most valuable parts in this lot.

    3
  8. Howard A Member

    This the 1st real fast car I rode in. Just out of HS(1972) a friend, who was older, had a ’58 Vette, 327, 2, 4bbls. cam. One night, like all the rest, we were hanging out at McDonalds and Drew comes lumpity-lumpin’ in with the Vette. I asked for a ride, he said, get in, still clutching my bag of french fries. Pulls out of the lot, bags it, the french fries went flying, I though he pulled the front wheels off the ground. The shift to 2nd was useless, as I remember it had a severe traction problem. Favorite Vette, maybe because of that ride.

    4
  9. Steve

    Why would anyone let a car like this just rot away? Some people have no respect for classic cars!

  10. Cj

    If cars could talk, most of them would say something like “I had one bearing go bad and they parked me in this &@$!?% barn for 30 years. That’s all I know!”

    1
  11. Jack Quantrill

    Some cars are more than the sum of their parts. Why do you think we name them. The longer you have one , it becomes part of you. That’s why it’s hard to sell them. It’s a mystery.

    3
  12. ben

    Junk! It’s a great parts car. Top is aftermarket you could buy a nice one for what it would cost to restore it.

  13. Mike

    Serious Steve? I see it just the opposite. Someone has taken the time to start resurrecting this car from the crusher. Maybe they ran out of money, motivation or died. How many old, beat up Vettes never got the second chance this one still has?

    4
  14. TriPowerVette

    It was early morning, in the Fall of 1970, I believe. The sun wasn’t up, yet.

    As was my habit, I was sitting in the parking lot of Mesa Community College before class started, in my midnight blue metallic 1968 4-speed Mustang fastback. Since I had a full-time job as well, this was the time that I usually found to get in some studying.

    As I slogged through the deliberately dry texts, my gaze fell on a bright yellow, 1958 Corvette at the other end of the parking lot. There were several people gathered around it, and I began to perk up.

    There was a sound of Chevy starter activating, wafting over the still early-morning air. Sudden ignition of a heavily cammed, high compression V8 ripped into the quiet. It no more than settled into an uneasy idle, when an angry ‘braam’, then 2 more.. ‘braam’, ‘BRAAAM’, provided the punctuation. Then, instantly, the relative peace was restored as the echoes faded. Without the Corvette moving perceptibly, the rear (opened up) wheelwells were engulfed with the smoke of war!

    It didn’t, but I felt my jaw trying to go slack. As this was happening, I was sitting in the Mustang with which I would later win my class at Beeline Dragway.

    Some time afterward, I was told I had seen Tripp Schumake, just before he was to launch his successful NHRA Funnycar career, at first driving L’il Hoss, for Johnny Loper. The ’58 was his current competition car; Chuck Forstie’s Mellow Yellow Corvette.

    I was glad he didn’t compete in my class.

    We all miss Mr. Schumake. He was killed by a wrong-way driver (in much the same way as John Milner, in ‘More Graffiti’), some 15 or so years later.

    Maybe poetic, but such a waste!

    2
  15. Gaspumpchas

    sold

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