The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette is a classic American sports car that has become an iconic part of automotive history. With its stylish redesign, advanced performance, and refined road manners, the ’58 Corvette set the stage for later generations of the car while maintaining its sporty essence. In this article, we will explore the history, features, and specifications of this legendary vehicle that still captivates car enthusiasts today.
The first generation of the Chevrolet Corvette spanned from 1953 to 1962, with the 1958 model year marking a significant turning point for the car. The ’58 Corvette underwent a major styling evolution, with a more upscale and refined design that gave the car a more sophisticated look.
The quad round headlights, simplified grille, newly sculpted faux hood louvers, and redesigned trunk lid with an integrated lip spoiler and chrome trim spears made the car appear lower, longer, and more elegant. This transitioned the Corvette from a functional sports car into a legitimate grand touring machine.
Features and Specifications
The 1958 Corvette came standard with a 283 cubic inch Chevy small block V8, producing 245 horsepower with a 4-barrel carburetor. However, the big news for 1958 was the introduction of fuel injection, which was offered as an option on cars equipped with the 283 cubic inch V8 engine.
The fuel injected V8 produced an impressive 290 horsepower, allowing a fuel-injected 1958 Corvette to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 6.9 seconds.
The ’58 Corvette came standard with a 3-speed manual transmission, but a 2-speed automatic transmission was available at extra cost.
The 1958 Corvette underwent a comprehensive makeover focused on sophistication and European-inspired styling. The quad round headlights gave the car a distinctive high-tech look, complemented by a simplified grille with just nine vertical teeth.
The hood featured newly sculpted faux hood louvers, and the redesigned trunk lid incorporated an integrated lip spoiler and chrome trim spears. These styling updates made the 1958 Corvette appear lower, longer, and more elegant.
Chevrolet revamped the 1958 Corvette’s cockpit to increase daily livability and comfort. The all-new interior design featured improved instrumentation and higher quality materials.
The speedometer and tachometer were relocated directly in front of the driver, while a new centralized quad-gauge cluster provided an instant view of fuel level, oil pressure, ammeter, and coolant temperature.
Corvette engineers also added more padding and support to the seats, as well as additional sound-deadening material to reduce cabin noise.
The 1958 Corvette offered exceptional performance for its time, with the fuel-injected V8 producing an impressive 290 horsepower. The optional RPO 684 performance package offered stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, and a host of other track-focused upgrades.
The Corvette continued to excel in racing events, with some of the most notable factory-backed Corvettes of 1958 being driven by famous racers Dick Thompson and Dr. Dick Doane.
The 1958 Corvette was a pivotal milestone that still feels fresh and exciting to this day. Surviving 1958 Corvettes are highly sought after among collectors today, with models featuring fuel injection and legitimate racing history being especially valuable.
According to Hagerty’s pricing guides, an average 1958 Corvette in good #3 condition trades hands for around $75,000, while top concours quality examples can fetch over $200,000 at auction.
The 1958 Chevrolet Corvette is a classic American sports car that remains an iconic part of automotive history. Its stylish redesign, advanced performance, and refined road manners set the stage for later generations of the car while maintaining its sporty essence. The ’58 Corvette’s lasting appeal is a testament to its engineering prowess and enduring legacy.
What was the original base price of a 1958 Corvette?
The 1958 Corvette carried a base price of $3,601 when new. With popular options like fuel injection, the final sales price approached $5,000 – very expensive for the late 1950s.
What was the engine size and horsepower rating?
All 1958 Corvettes came standard with a 283 cubic inch Chevy small block V8. Horsepower ranged from 245 horsepower with a 4-barrel carburetor up to 290 horsepower with Rochester fuel injection.
How many 1958 Corvettes featured fuel injection?
Only 771 of the 9,168 Corvettes built for 1958 had fuel injection. This makes FI cars rare and desirable today.
Did the 1958 Corvette offer a manual transmission?
Yes, a 3-speed manual transmission was standard equipment. However, a 2-speed automatic transmission was available at extra cost.
How many 1958 Corvettes are still in existence?
According to theNational Corvette Museum, it is difficult to determine an exact number of surviving 1958 Corvettes. However, it is estimated that around 10-15% of the 9,168 Corvettes produced in 1958 still exist today.
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.