1959 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie racing car is beautifully retro

Introduced for the 1953 model year, the Corvette was not exactly up to par with European sports cars of that era due to the Blue Flame inline six engine. Thanks to legendary engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, the small-block V8 entered the scene in 1955 with 4.3 liters of displacement, 195 horsepower and a 12-volt system compared to the six-pot’s six-volt setup.
The Corvette entered the groove in 1957 due to fuel injection, hence the “Fuelie” nickname for the track-driven model we cover today. Chassis number J59S104283 includes the 283 from the first Corvette Scaglietti, supported by a four-speed manual transmission and hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes. Rated at 290 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and around 290 lb-ft (393 Nm) of torque, the solid pushrod camshaft engine is complemented by a posi-style rear differential and rugged suspension.

Factory-fitted with courtesy lights, a deluxe radiator and a windshield washer, this black-painted time capsule retailed for $ 5,227 when it was brand new. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $ 48,800 or $ 12,195 less than Vette’s most affordable eighth-gen spec.

Originally purchased by Gene Cormany, vice president of engineering at piston supplier Zollner Corp., the open-top race car raced throughout the Midwest in 1959 and 1960, scoring four of 12 wins among three firsts out of 22 events. Restored at great expense in 503A Solid Black and 490D Red Leather, the vehicle still retains unique racing equipment such as the reinforced roll bar, side-pipe exhaust and steel wheels.

Currently riding on vintage Firestone rubber boots, the Corvette further sweetens the deal with a full-width cut windshield that uses the stock mounts. Easily convertible to street driving, the fuel-injected racer will cross the block on August 13 at the Quail Lodge auction.

Fully documented and professionally restored, the car is valued between $ 180,000 and $ 220,000 according to auction house Bonhams.

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