1959 Corvette

1959 Chevrolet Corvette


The C1 was the first generation Chevrolet Corvette, produced from 1953 to 1962.

There were not many changes for the '59 Vette. The louvers on the hood were now gone, as were the chrome strips running down the trunk lid. Also, a storage shelf was added below the grab bar on the passenger side of the dash.

The base 283 engine gained 10 horsepower and was now rated at 230 hp. The top fuel-injected engine gained 25 horsepower and was rated at 315 hp.

1959 Corvette Key Differences

Key differences of the 1959 and 1960 Corvettes include a hood without louvers, and no chrome strips running down the trunk lid.

For 1959, Corvette seats had pleating that ran the width of the car (from left to the right), while for 1960, the seats had pleating that ran the length of the car (from front to back).

Similar Years

The 1958 to 1960 Corvettes shared the same basic body design. The '59 and '60 Vettes are virtually identical.

How to Identify a 1959 Corvette


  • C1 Corvette body style (1953 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Hood

  • The hood on the 1959 Corvette no longer had fake louvers (1959 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Trunk

  • For 1959, the chrome strips running down the trunk's lid were gone (1959-1960)

1959 Corvette Seats

  • For 1959, Corvette seats had pleating that ran the width of the car (from left to the right)
  • For 1960, the seats had pleating that ran the length of the car (from front to back) (1960 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Interior

  • A shelf was added under the passenger side grab bar (1959 - 1962)
  • Arm rests on the door panel were moved (1959 - 1962)
  • Interior door panels featured a new one-piece design (1959 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Dash

  • The driver's instrument cluster remained basically the same, but gained new concave lenses to reduce reflection (1958 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Headlights

  • Dual headlights with a chrome divider strip running down the length of the front fender (1958 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Grill

  • Main front grill is set between the front bumpers and had nine vertical bars (1958 - 1960)
  • Tips of the front bumpers extend over the front grill (1959 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Rear Bumper

  • Exhaust tips still exit through the rear bumpers (1953 - 1960)

1959 Corvette Tail Light

  • Tail lights have flush-mounted lenses blending into the leading edge of the rear fenders (1958 - 1960)

1959 Corvette Side Cove

  • The side cove remained the same with three horizontal chrome strakes (1958 - 1961)
  • Recessed side cove panel could optionally be painted a different color (1956 - 1961)

1959 Corvette Trunk Emblem

  • The trunk emblem continued without change (1956 - 1962)

1959 Corvette Wheel

  • The hubcaps were new for this year and now had slots around the perimeter (1959 - 1962)

More 1959 Corvette Pictures

For more photos of vintage 1959 Corvettes, visit the C1 Corvette Image Gallery at the Muscle Car Jungle.

If you have any comments, or would like to report any errors or omissions, contact us at feedback@oldcarsguide.com

Field Guide to American Autos

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