1959 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 283cid/230hp 4bbl
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The 1959 Chevrolet Corvette has very few visual changes to differentiate it from the 1958 versions. In 1959, the chrome strips along the trunk of the ’58 model were ditched for a cleaner look, but it retained the chrome strips that run back from the headlights. Another visual change was on the hood. Gone was the closed louver “washboard hood” of the ’58 Corvette. Instead, the surface of the hood was flat.
This was the first year that an all-black interior was offered. These are easy to cover up blemishes, but can get quite hot in the sun. Other interior colors included blue, red, and turquoise. The instrument panel became more concave, which reduced glare from the sun, and a storage bin was added to the passenger side of the cabin.
Engine choices were carried over from 1958 unchanged, and all were varying versions of the 283 cid Chevy small-block V-8. Output ranged from the base 230 hp version up to the fuel-injected 290 hp offering. Transmission options were a 2-speed automatic, 3-speed manual, and 4-speed manual. Those who opted for the 4-speed manual found that it now came with a T-style shifter with a reverse lockout function.1959 also saw the addition of trailing rods to the rear suspension, resulting in a softer ride and sharper handling.
General Motors sold 9,670 Corvettes for the 1959 model year. Three particularly special 1959 Corvettes were the Scaglietti-bodied versions. Three were made in collaboration Gary Laughlin, Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby. This was Shelby’s first attempt at blending American power with European styling.