The 1959 Corvette featured slight changes from the previous model. The new edition boasted clean, pure styling, due to the loss of unneeded chrome and hood louvers. It was overall, mechanically unchanged from 1958. Several other design changes were introduced including new Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer finish to keep it looking brilliant for years to come, and a luxurious cockpit that was designed for navigator comfort. A new instrument panel with glare-reducing, concave instruments was introduced. The seats and door panels were redesigned, and the addition of a shelf under the dash was new for 1959. The ’59 offered a variety of power teams engineered for driving fun.
Tops for Year-Round Driving- You are the master of any weather with the choice of the standard easy-to-operate manual soft top or quick-to-change removable hardtop. Both tops were available as well as an optional power-operated soft top for an additional cost.
All-Weather Windows for All-Weather Comfort- Here’s true comfort for sports car living at its finest. Crank-operated roll-up windows are standard equipment! There are no flaps or curtains to fasten on when the weather changes fast. Power-operated windows are available for greater convenience. New dual sunshades are another comfort-inspired feature.
Handy for Rally Enthusiasts- New shelf, located under the padded assist bar, provides a convenient stowing place.
Luxury Unlimited- Corvette’s jewel-box cockpit achieves a new standard for luxurious sports car appointments. Beautiful interiors are keyed to exterior finishes. New foam-rubber padded vinyl bucket seats are individually adjustable, more comfortable than ever. Instruments can be read at a glance, new concave lenses reduce distortion and glare. Controls are located at finger-tip touch. Even the radio and ash tray are placed for driver and navigator convenience.
Your Corvette Concours-Bright- Gem-hard and lustrous, exclusive Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer is the most durable, sparkling automotive finish ever developed. It protects and enhances the Corvette’s show-car beauty up to three years with only regular washings.
Born and bred for sports car PERFORMANCE
Sports Car Engineer’s Dreams Come True- Corvette’s light, strong, safe fiber-glass and plastic body is three times thicker than steel, yet it’s almost half the weight of a comparable steel body. This enables the Corvette to attain a high horse-power to low-weight ratio- a true measure of sports car excellence. The modern miracle of fiber glass and plastic means other significant and important benefits: the Corvette’s body is rustproof and highly resistant to road corrosion.
Air-Cooled Brakes for Safe, Positive Stopping- Durable, husky brakes are a vital part of sports car driving- and the Corvette’s got the brakes to do the job. New slotted wheel discs permit air to cool the innermost areas of the big 11-inch hydraulic brakes, help maintain constant high-brake efficiency and add extra lining life. Brakes are self-energizing with fade-resistant, bonded linings.
New Radius Rods Improve Performance- New rear suspension, with radius rod rear axle control, is an outstanding engineering refinement in the Corvette. Radius rods relieve rear springs from axle housing torque reactions during acceleration and braking, thus improving performance and stability through a smoother flow of power. Rear axle steering movements are free of the torque influence, giving consistent handling precision.
Luxury and Fun on the Go- Corvette’s rugged, durable Powerglide automatic transmission is America’s favorite automatic. In the Corvette, it is especially for people who like sports car looks and action, yet desire the convenience and luxury of an automatic shift for town and country driving.
Four Speeds for Skill- Enjoy the satisfaction of finger-tip control over your gearbox in the Corvette’s 4-Speed Close-Ratio Synchro-Mesh transmission, fully synchronized in all forward gears with a manually operated control on the floor-mounted shift lever to prevent unintentional reverse engagement during shifting. Ratios are so placed you can up and down shift with unsurpassed dexterity and ease for a real thrill on every curve and corner. Or, you can choose the standard 3-speed Close-Ratio Synchro-Mesh gearbox- easy to master, a joy to command!
Power with the Sweet Sound of Action- The life blood of Corvette performance comes from its Chevrolet-engineered 283-cubic-inch (4.7 litre) Corvette V8. This V8 was available in five versions, ranging from the standard 230-h.p. V8 with 4-barrel carburetion to the 290-h.p. Corvette V8 with Ramjet Fuel Injection, attaining over one h.p. per cubic inch of displacement.
Corvette Specifications and Special Equipment Options
- Corvette Engines are 283-cubic-inch displacement valve-in-head V8’s with 3.88″ bore and 3.0″ stroke.
- 230-h.p. Corvette V8 with 4-barrel carburetion, 9.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic valve lifters, standard equipment.
- 245- h.p. Corvette V8 with twin 4-barrel carburetion, 9.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic valve lifters.
- 250-h.p. Corvette V8 with Ramjet Fuel Injection, 9.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic valve lifters.
- 270-h.p. Corvette V8 with twin 4-barrel carburetion, 9.5:1 compression ratio, special camshaft and high-speed valve system with special valves and mechanical valve lifters.
- 290-h.p. Corvette V8 with Ramjet Fuel Injection, 10.5:1 compression ratio, special camshaft and high-speed valve system with special valves and mechanical valve lifters.
All engines have independent operating mechanism for each valve. Precision-machined forged steel crankshaft, five main bearings. Full pressure lubrication system with full-flow oil filter. 12-volt electrical system. Engines precision balanced after assembly. Finned aluminum rocker covers on optional engines. Buffed aluminum oil-wetted type air cleaner (special paper element tube intake type with Fuel Injection). Full dual exhaust system.
Choice of Transmissions
3-SPEED CLOSE-RATIO SYNCHRO-MESH, standard equipment. Ratios: 2.21:1 low; 1.32:1 second; 1:1 third; 2.51:1 reverse. Floor mounted gearshift.
4-SPEED CLOSE-RATIO SYNCHRO-MESH. Ratios: 2.2:1 first; 1.66:1 second; 1.31:1 third; 1.1 fourth; 2.26:1 reverse with manually operated mechanism on floor mounted shift lever to prevent unintentional reverse engagement during shifting.
POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC available with 230-,245- and 250-horsepower engines. Floor mounted range selector lever.
CLUTCH. 10″ semi-centrifugal coil spring.
Power-Matched Rear Axles
STANDARD REAR AXLE RATIOS: 3.70:1 with 3-Speed or 4-Speed Synchro-Mesh; 3.55:1 with Powerglide.
POSITRACTION REAR AXLE RATIOS: choice of 3.70:1, 4.11:1, or 4.56:1 ratio with either 3-Speed or 4-Speed Synchro-Mesh.
Box-girder, X-member reinforced frame. Independent coil spring front suspension with stabilizer bar. Rear suspension by radius rods and outrigger-mounted semi-elliptic leaf springs. Direct double-acting shock absorbers. Unit-balanced tubular propeller shaft and universal joints. Full anti-friction steering gear and balanced linkage-17:1 overall ratio. Hydraulic 11-inch self-energizing brakes with fade resistant, bonded linings, heavy-duty sintered-metallic brake linings optional. Mechanical parking brake on rear wheels. 16.4 gallon fuel tank. Black 6.70 x 15 4-ply rating Tyrex cord tubeless tires; white sidewall tires optional. Vented chrome wheel covers with simulated knock-off hubs.
Special Equipment For Sports Car Meets
Heavy-duty front and rear springs and larger shock absorbers with stiffer valving heavier front stabilizer and fast steering linkage that gives a 16.3:1 overall ratio. Special brakes with ceramic-metallic facings, finned cast iron brake drums and vented flange plates with air scoops. Used with Positraction rear axle, this equipment is available with 3-Speed or 4-Speed Synchro-Mesh and 270-or 290-h.p. engines. Wide-base wheels with 5 1/2″ rims available. Also nylon cord tires available.
Fiber-glass reinforced plastic body-sculptured side panels. Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer finish in seven solid colors: Tuxedo Black, Classic Cream, Frost Blue, Crown Sapphire, Roman Red, Snowcrest White, Inca Silver. These colors also available in optional two-tone exteriors with color-keyed Inca Silver or Snowcrest White in the sculptured side panels. Front hinged hood. Three-unit front grille. Dual headlights in front fenders. Push button door handles with key lock. Cowl ventilator. Large luggage locker with spare wheel under floor. Concealed well for folding top behind seats. Folding top available in white, black, turquoise or blue. Chrome-bound windshield. Frame-mounted front and rear bumpers. Dual exhaust ports in rear bumpers. Choice of manually operated rubberized cotton fabric folding soft top or easily removable plastic hardtop (or both at an extra cost). Power-operated mechanism for folding soft top also available.
Interior colors in black, blue, red or turquoise keyed to exterior colors. Foam rubber padded, all vinyl trimmed bucket seats, individually adjustable. Safety belts. Long padded armrest on each door. Recessed safety reflectors in door sidewall panels. Crank-operated windows, power-operated optional. Vinyl-covered instrument panel crown and doors. Passenger assist bar in instrument panel cove. Stowage bin below passenger assist bar. Carpeted floor, metal door scuff panels, sills and step plates. Competition-type steering wheel. Speedometer, tachometer, ammeter, fuel level, oil pressure, and coolant temperature gauges, starter-ignition switch, and light switch on instrument panel. Directional signals, cigarette lighter, outside and inside rear view mirrors, dual electric windshield wipers, electric clock. Ashtray and glove compartment with key lock located between seats. Transistorized radio, heater, parking brake alarm, courtesy light, right and left hand sunshades, and push button windshield washer also available.
Wheelbase, 102″. Overall length 177.2″. Overall height: Soft top up, 51.6; top down, 49.7″; hardtop, 51.5″. Height at door 33.5″.Road clearance, 6.0″. Overall width 72.8″. Tread: front, 57″; rear, 59″.