I’M NOT FUSSY
Especially, when it comes to Dream Cars – make, model, color, trim, specs, year.
“I love what I like.”
And, really, what’s not to love?
FIRST GENERATION (C1)
While any Corvette model manufactured from 1953 to 1962 will do in the matter of daydreaming …
When in comes down to the finer points of crafting an American automotive icon:
“I’m a guy who enjoys sweating the small stuff.”
Unbridled emotion that drives me – my puns are always intentional – to pick my favorite Classic Corvette of all time.
While I love waxing poetic about collecting vintage cars from my birth year,
It’s the 1958 model that checks all the right boxes on My Dream Car List.
“How does one argue aesthetic preferences without subjective slants on which model is best?”
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE SEXY BEAST
Several appealing body and interior styling enhancements over the previous model year:
- Quad headlamps with chrome bezels
- Chrome strips running between each pair of lights
- Rear bumper exiting exhaust tips
- Hood louvers (admittedly, a polarizing feature)
- Twin trunk chrome ‘Suspenders’
- Chrome grill with four fewer vertical bars (from 13 to 9) giving the ’58 less toothy dental work, uncluttered and cleaner lines
- One of those discarded chrome elements made its way onto the horizontal accents of the new body cove, adding a third strip
HOW I’D SPEC IT BACK IN THE DAY
Like picking a favorite child …
With 8 enticing paint color options, it comes down to Mono-tone (solid) exterior color vs. Two-tone (a $16.15 option), and coordinating interior (charcoal, red and blue-grey vinyl).
Ever so slightly, I favor Regal Turquoise with Snowcrest White body cove and Charcoal interior.
All because I’m an insatiable sucker for pastel tones in period correct cars, and this exterior combination was amongst the rarest specified – only 252 built – for the 1958 model year.
Signet Red/White (Two-tone) with Red interior – Diabolical
Snowcrest White (Mono-tone) with Red interior – Pure Lust
Silver Blue/White (Two-tone) with Blue-Grey interior – Sweetness
Upgrade the base 283 small block V8 engine (230 horsepower) to the top end, fuel-injected version …
Producing 290-hp (@ 6,200 rpm) and 290 (lbs.-ft. torque @ 4,400 rpm)
And, 4-speed manual transmission.
0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
Top speed of 120 mph.
It ran the Quarter Mile in 15.6 seconds at 95.0 mph.
In The Day it went plenty fast.
WHAT DID DREAMS COST?
9,168 models were built for 1958 with a base price of $3,591.
Check all the right options, totalling $2,119, in non-negotiable performance goodies, say:
290 horsepower engine, 4-speed manual, Heavy Duty Brakes & Suspension, Positraction Rear Axle, 4.56:1 and, essential comfort features (power windows), plus the pretty things (white wall tires, two-tone paint), and this Bad Boy tops out at $5,710.
Adjusted for inflation over the past 62 years: about $51,390 in 2020 dollars.
WHAT DO DREAMS COST?
Market value of good to excellent (top restorations) of similarly specified models may be found from over $50,000 to well north of $200,000.
The average American salary in 1958 was $3,674. Average home price $4,650.
A gallon of gas was only 24 cents.
A gallon of milk was a dollar.
Image by Davids Classic Cars