Few cars inspire more romance than an early Corvette. Imagine peeling back the top on this gorgeous 1959 roadster and hitting the road for adventure, the song of the cackling fuel-injected V8 behind you, your best lady by your side, and everyone you pass wishing they were you. Motoring doesn’t get much better than this, and resto-mods this good deserve to be driven and enjoyed regularly.
OK, so the body is fresh fiberglass by Downs, but the look is classic early Corvette, perfect in detailing and proportion, and elegantly styled by the best in the business during the ‘50s. The menu was extensive in 1959, and while the light blue finish isn't quite authentic, you have to admit that it looks awesome, especially with the white side cove. Subject to an extensive (and expensive) build, it is simply spectacular in person. Subtle and sophisticated, the light captures the essence of Corvette without being brash about it. Fiberglass work is show-quality, with surfaces that are far straighter and flatter than the factory was doing in 1959 and modern technology gives it a gloss that was only a fantasy back then. The chrome trunk “straps” were gone, but there’s still plenty of brightwork to give this Corvette real flash, and all of it has been professionally restored to show standards, including the toothy front grille and intricate rear bumpers with exhaust outlets in their centers. If you didn't see those big wheels, you probably wouldn't even know this one was so extensively modified, which is how the best customs always end up.
The matching blue and white leather interior is almost as nice as the bodywork, with only light signs of use since it was restored. The buckets are firm, and thanks to subtle side bolsters that keep the original look but add a little bit of support, they're ideally suited for use in this 'Vette. The carpets are fresh, and the three-spoke steering wheel would look right at home in a vintage racer, although it's a bit fatter than 1959 specifications and sits on a tilt steering column. The door panels are beautifully rendered in two-tone blue vinyl with bright engine-turned inserts and stylish armrests that suggest someone at GM worked overtime to make them look so good. Modern Auto Meter gauges are comprehensive, with a cool carbon-fiber insert that fits in the original domed speedometer's spot and puts everything in the driver’s line of sight. Who says the ‘50s were about style over ergonomics? The radio is carbon-fiber panel with a Pioneer entertainment system, A/C vents, and the controls for the Vintage Air system. The trunk is also beautifully finished with more shiny blue paint and fresh carpets that are simple yet effective.
There's a small block under the hood, but nothing in 1959 looked like the Ram Jet 350 living there now. That tall intake manifold, gorgeous chrome valve covers, and plenty of chrome distinguish the high-level Corvette engine from lesser small blocks, and it runs even better than it looks. Modern accessories, including the generator and A/C compressor, spin on a serpentine belt setup and there's a giant aluminum radiator up front. A 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission makes for effortless high-speed cruising and the entire chassis has been reengineered to handle late-model Corvette suspension pieces and a 9-inch Ford out back. The exhaust burbles, the 4-wheel disc brakes are effective, and detailing is exceptional. The staggered 17-inch billet wheels and Yokohama rubber offer a clean look that suits the vintage 'Vette just fine.
So don't worry, purists, no real Corvettes had to die to build this incredible roadster. We won't tell, however, so when the new owner takes it out, nobody will be the wiser. The car is titled as a 2008 Assembled Vehicle here in the state of Texas much like all the newer built kit cars. Call today!