Updated: Aug 30
It Was a Long Time Coming, But this 1958 Corvette's Restoration is Complete
This week, I enjoyed seeing my friend's fully restored 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible for the first time since its return. It was purchased in 1977 and has toiled away in his garage for 44 years. Sure, there were the occasional small trips, but the unit urgently needed some TLC.
The group of us had heard the story of this 1958 Corvette Fuelie and my friend's mission to have it restored. After 20 years of stories, it was finally time. Two years ago, he and his wife took it upon themselves to have the unit picked up from his garage and delivered to the restorer. The original plan was to do the restoration themselves, but this was going to take the expertise of professionals.
Over the years, the vehicle was returned to primer gray as they had not entirely decided on a color. In 1958, Chevrolet offered this vehicle in 8 possible colors – Tuxedo Black, Snowcrest White, Signet Red, Silver Blue, Regal Turquoise, Panama Yellow, Silver, and the color my friend decided upon Charcoal.
A larger racing engine had been dropped into his current ride, and it would need to be removed and replaced with the standard 283 Cubic Inch 290 horsepower V-8 (Fuel Injected/Fuelie). The 1958 Corvette was four years into its production, and it had undergone a makeover. This was the first use of quad headlights. The car's body was lengthened by 9 inches over previous model years. My friend's car's body would need severe repair (pictured).
The restoration was a daunting task, and the pandemic exacerbated it. Several dates were missed, parts were delayed, and labor became hard to find. I recall preparing to see the finished vehicle at a car show earlier this year, only to find out its completion would be delayed even longer. You could only imagine how the owners felt if I was getting impatient.
What the finished product will do for a person's overall mentality is fantastic. Even on the day it was delivered, we discussed how frustrating it was that he had not received the car yet. When it showed up in his driveway, the frustration washed away, and a sense of euphoria set in. This is what he welcomed into his home.