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1958 Corvette: A New Look

Vette Day -- 1958 Corvette by Roger Hector

"Vette Day" by Roger Hector. Purchasing info is available at RogerHector.com

1958 Corvette, Signet Red
1958 Corvette fender The 1950s were heady times for American automobile stylists, with bold, sometimes even outrageous designs appearing every year for a given model. Corvette stylists got a break however, with a new design required only once every two years.

The 1958 Corvette was redesigned mostly in the front, with the most distinguishing feature being the four headlights (below). Popular for the era, they were emphasized by a long chrome trim piece (right) that ran the length of the fender.

The new style, credited to Harley Earl, had a more aggressive, almost mean look to it. It was also physically larger, increasing width by 2.3" (to 72.8") and length by 9.2" to 177.2". Also up was the weight, by approximately 100 lbs., with a corresponding performance penalty. Radius rods were added to the rear suspension, which cured some behavioral problems under hard acceleration.

1958 Corvette Front Grill, Quad Headlights

1958 Corvette For Sale

1958 Corvette Roman Red, Black
Price: $55,000
Exterior: 0
Interior: 0
Miles: 0
Location: Costa Mesa, CA

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1958 Corvette VIN J58S105799 NOM 350/300 hp. 5 speed manual transmission. Power steering. Detailed engine compartment (more)

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1958 Corvette washboard style hood 1958 Corvette trunk spears
Left: 1958 Corvette hood, with non-functional louvres. It was affectionately known as the "washboard hood". Right: The trunk featured two spears (nicknamed "suspenders") that ran the length of the panel. Both items identify the cars as 1958 Corvettes as they were not used on any other year.

Below: The 1958 grill was similar to the previous five years, except that the number of vertical bars went from 13 to nine. The two grill areas to the sides may appear to be ducting cool air to the brakes, but were actually blocked off.

1958 Corvette grill

1958 Corvette Dashboard The Corvette office area got an upgrade, and not a moment too soon. All the instruments (except the clock) were placed in front of the driver, allowing him/her to use them while still paying attention to the important business: driving. Most prominent was the all-important 6,000 RPM* tachometer. The refined layout drew rave reviews from buyers. The center console housed the clock, heater controls and optional radio.

*270 hp, 290 hp engine tachometers read to 8,000 RPM.


Below: A "grab bar" was installed for the benefit of the passenger, which was probably often appreciated considering the Corvette's performance potential. GMs press material referred to it as an "Assist Bar" for the passengers but detractors referred to it as the "sissy bar".
1958 Corvette Grab Bar


1958 Corvette Specs

Body Specs

Wheelbase 101.85 inches
Front Track 57.00 inches
Rear Track 59.00 inches
Length 177.2 inches
Width
Including Bumpers / Moldings
72.8 inches
Width
Not Including Bumpers / Moldings
70.3 inches
Front Overhang 33.0 inches
Rear Overhang 42.2 inches
Height (at Windshield) 49.2 inches
Height (Loaded, Hard Top) 51.9 inches
Height (Loaded, Folding Top) 52.0 inches
Hood Opening Front (reverse alligator)
Finish (paint type) Lacquer
Turning Diameter 38.38 feet (right); 38.99 feet (left) wall - wall
36.55 feet (right); 36.93 feet (left) curb - curb
Steering gear ratio 16:1
Tire Size 6.70-15 4 Ply Rating
Three Speed Transmission 1st Gear 2.21:1
2nd Gear 1.32:1
3rd Gear 1.00:1
Four Speed Transmission Close Ratio 1st Gear 2.21:1
2nd Gear 1.66:1
3rd Gear 1.31:1
4th Gear 1.00:1
Axle Ratio 3.70:1; Optional: 4.11:1, 4.56:1
Automatic: 3.55:1
Transmission Synchromesh Three Speed: 2nd and 3rd Gears
Four Speed: All Four Gears


Weight

Shipping - Powerglide (Automatic) Transmission 2,889 lb.
Curb - Powerglide (Automatic) Transmission
Shipping + fuel (107 lb.),
water (38 lb.)
3,034 lb.
Loaded - Powerglide (Automatic) Transmission
(Two Passengers @ 150 lb. each)
3,344 lb.
Shipping - Three Speed (standard) Transmission 2,781 lb.
Curb - Three Speed (standard) Transmission
Shipping + fuel (107 lb.),
water (38 lb.)
2,926 lb.
Loaded - Three Speed (standard) Transmission
(Two Passengers @ 150 lb. each)
3,226 lb.
Optional Hard Top 55 lb.
Weight Differentials
Automatic (Powerglide) Transmission +104 pounds
Power Steering +25 pounds
Power Brakes +11 pounds


Engine Specs

Type: V8
Valve Location: In Head
Bore / Stroke: 3.875" / 3.00"
Displacement: 283 Cubic Inches
Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
Crankshaft Material: Forged Steel
Camshaft Material: Cast Alloy Iron
Oil Pump Type: Gear
Normal Oil Pressure 35 psi @ 2,000 RPM
Oil Pressure Gauge Electric
Crankcase Oil Capacity (less filter) 5 Quarts
Recommended Oil Grade Above 32°: SAE 20W or SAE 20
To 0°: SAE 10W or SAE 10W-30
Below 0°: SAE 5W or SAE 5W-20
Fuel Tank 16.4 Gallons
Fuel Filter Strainer
Fuel Pump Mechanical
Fuel Pressure 5¾ - 6¼ PSI
Carburetor Carter 3746384 Single 4 barrel
Carburetor
Optional dual four barrel carburetors Code 469
Carter 3744002 (front) / 3744004 (rear)
Cooling System Capacity 17 Quarts (with heater)
16 Quarts (without heater)
Cooling System Frontal Area 380 sq. in.
Radiator Cap Relief Pressure 6 ¼ - 7 ¾ PSI
Thermostat Type Choke
Thermostat Opening 160° F
Battery Delco 2 S1r 53-W (12 volt, nine plate)
53 Amp-hour @ 20 hour rate

Horsepower
Standard Engine 230 hp @ 4,600 RPM;
Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
Code 469A
(Two Four Barrel Carburetors)
245 hp @ 5,000 RPM;
Torque: 300 ft-lb. @ 3,800 RPM
Code 469C
(Two Four Barrel Carburetors, Special Camshaft)
270 hp @ 6,000 RPM;
Torque: 285 lb-ft @ 4,200 RPM
Code 579A Fuel Injection 250 hp @ 5,000 RPM;
Torque: 305 lb-ft @ 3,800 RPM
Code 579B
(Special Camshaft)
290 hp @ 6,200 RPM;
Torque: 290 lb-ft @ 4,400 RPM

Fuel Injection
Manufacturer Rochester Products
Model 7014900 (Code 579B, 283 hp)
Recommended Fuel Premium
Fuel Pump Mechanical
Fuel Pressure 5 ¼ - 6 ½ PSI
Inlet Manifold Cast Aluminum
Air Cleaner Type Dry
Air Meter Location Engine Left Side
Plenum Chamber Integral With Inlet Manifold
Ram Pipe Length 12 Inches
Fuel Induction Metered as Function of Air Flow
Air / Fuel Ratio Control Vacuum Sensitive Diaphragm Located on Air Flow Meter
Fuel Meter Pump Type Gear
Fuel Meter Pump Location In Fuel Meter Assembly
Fuel Meter Pump Drive Gear Driven by Flexible Shaft From Distributor
Fuel Meter Pump Pressure 300 PSI
Injection Nozzles Quantity 8
Injection Nozzles Material Brass
Injection Nozzles Location Mounted on Inlet Manifold Above Intake Ports
Injection Nozzles Orifice Size - Fuel .0118 inch
Injection Nozzles Insulation Bakelite
Automatic Choke Type Electric, Time Temperature Type
Automatic Choke Location On Air Meter Assembly
Automatic Choke Current Draw 2 amps @ 70°
Automatic Choke Fast Idle Cam Yes

Ignition System
Coil Delco-Remy 1115091 (FI Engines: 11151007)
Coil current rating 4 amps (engine stopped)
1.8 amps (engine running)
Breaker Gap .018"
Ignition Timing 4° BTDC @ 600 RPM idle
Ignition Timing Centrifugal Advance 28 ° @ 3,700 RPM
Ignition Timing Vacuum Advance
Standard Engine
15° @ 15.5 inches Hg
Ignition Timing Vacuum Advance
Two Four Barrel Carburetor
Fuel Injection with Special Camshaft
None
Spark Plug AC 46
Spark Plug Thread 14 mm.
Spark Plug Torque 20 - 25 lb.-ft.
Spark Plug Gap .035 inch
Firing Order 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2

1958 Corvette Options, Prices

Code Description Production Price
101 Heater 8,014 (87.41%) $95.85
102 AM Radio, Signal Seeking 6,142 (66.99%) $144.45
107 Parking Brake Alarm 2,883 (31.45%) $5.40
108 Courtesy Light 4,600 (50.17%) $6.50
109 Windshield Washers 3,384 (36.91%) $16.15
276 Wheels, 15x5.5 (5) 404 (4.41%) n/a
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70x15 7,428 (81.02%) $31.55
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 2,057 (22.44%) $188.30
419 Auxiliary Hardtop 5,607 (61.16%) $215.20
426 Power Windows 649 (7.08%) $59.20
440 Two-Tone Paint Combinatio 3,422 (37.33%) $16.15
469 283 cu. in. 245 hp Engine two 4 bbl. carburetors 2,436 (26.57%) $150.65
469C 283 cu. in. 270 hp Engine two 4 bbl. carburetors 978 (10.67%) $182.95
473 Power Operated Folding Top 1,090 (11.89%) $139.90
579 283 cu. in. 250 hp fuel injected Engine 504 (5.50%) $484.20
579D 283 cu. in. 290 hp fuel injected Engine 1,007 (10.98%) $484.20
677 Positraction Rear Axle, 3.70:1 1,123 (12.25%) $48.45
678 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.11:1 2,518 (27.47%) $48.45
679 Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1 370 (4.04%) $48.45
684 Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension 144 (1.57%) $780.10
685 4-Speed Manual Transmission 3,764 (41.06%) $215.20

Total Production: 9,168
Convertible: 9,168 (100.00%)

Notes: Base Corvette with 283 cu. in. 230 hp engine and three speed manual transmission: $3,591.00

Colors

Code Exterior Quantity Interior Soft Top Wheels
Charcoal 1,631 (17.79%) Beige / Charcoal / Red Black / White Silver
Snowcrest White 2,477 (27.02%) Beige / Charcoal / Red Black / White / Beige Silver
Silver Blue 2,006 (21.88%) Beige / Charcoal Beige / White Silver
Regal Turquoise 510 (5.56%) Charcoal Black / White Silver
Panama Yellow 455 (4.96%) Charcoal Black / White Silver
Signet Red 1,399 (15.26%) Charcoal / Red Black / White Silver
Tuxedo Black 493 (5.38%) Charcoal / Red Black / White Silver
Inca Silver 193 (2.11%) Charcoal / Red Black / White Silver
Note: Clicking on an image with this symbol (Boxes) will lead to a larger image.


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