Written by independent automotive journalist Roger C. Johnson
Content provided by Barrett-Jackson
America’s favorite sports car evolved from its interesting but tepid first steps in the marketplace to a full gallop in just a few short years. Those leaps in performance coincided perfectly with the car’s engineering development, physical styling and the enthusiasm it was generating with the public. Starting with the Blue Flame inline 6-cylinder engine and triple-carb induction, the Corvette would go on to showcase Chevrolet’s most notorious power plants. Here are two examples of the concept of this great automotive marque, both of which will be offered at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January.
This beautiful Silver Blue 1958 Chevrolet Corvette LS2 Custom Convertible (Lot #1288) is a sweet blend of classic ’50s styling and unrelenting modern technology, all hiding right under the factory skin. Here is your chance to truly enjoy the very best of two worlds. This excellent 1958 Corvette offered at No Reserve was methodically re-engineered by Greg Thurman of GTS Customs in Simi Valley, California, with countless out-of-sight technical advances that left the car’s exterior in virtually pure stock condition. Even the custom fabricated 17-inch aluminum wheels were fashioned to replicate the car’s period-correct wheel covers. Low-profile 55 Series whitewall tires keep the hidden technology glued to the pavement. The result has turned this 1958 Corvette into a modern, dependable and fast classic driver.
This project began with a fully updated factory chassis thanks to Paul Newman Car Creations. Once the basic platform was recreated with a variety of performance-oriented upgrades, this Corvette was ready to completely change its personality. Power comes from a C6 LS2 6-liter small block that develops an effortless 400 horsepower. Naturally, a compatible 6-speed manual transmission (also from the C6) stirs the horsepower mixture with ease.
Besides this car’s newfound street-fighter characteristics, attention to driver and passenger comfort was not overlooked for a second. Power windows, air conditioning, heated seats and custom leather interior add to the enjoyment of ownership.
Other details that shouldn’t go unnoticed include an original AM radio that has been converted to an AM/FM system, a factory steering wheel reduced in diameter and covered with matching leather, and a custom ‒ yet stock-appearing ‒ shifter plate. This Corvette’s entire electrical system has been modernized to assure there are no weak links in the chain of command. The original gauges have been modified to accurately reflect the status of all the normal systems within this completely modernized package.
Since its completion, this outstanding 1958 Corvette has been driven a mere 650 miles. Since then, it has been resting comfortably in a climate-controlled facility, just waiting for its new owner – the lucky person who has the winning bid.
The Corvette is likely the most provocative American car design of all time. Many of us can’t keep our eyes or hands off of them. Even though we love everything about Corvettes, we all have the urge to add this, that, or something else to complete the package to our own personal taste. This 1962 Chevrolet Corvette LS3 roadster (Lot #1319) in Black Cherry, set to cross the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale block at No Reserve, is a perfect example of this obsession.
Beginning with a fortified original frame, this Corvette flaunts a 525hp GM LS3 aluminum small-block V8, so it is already in the top 2 percent of the high-performance world. A beautiful custom engine cover hides the dynamite underneath from public view ‒ but there is so much more to this car.
Ceramic-coated headers and a custom stainless-steel exhaust system with matching MagnaFlow mufflers is designed to exit through the lower body section in front of the rear wheels for maximum sweet-sounding impact.
A Tremec 5-speed with a .64 overdrive ratio gives this powerful beast the flexibility to stretch its legs any time and any place, on a moment’s notice.
The upgraded suspension includes Jim Meyers tubular A-frames in the front in conjunction with Viking adjustable coilovers. Out back, the Currie-built Ford 9-inch rear end is fitted with custom Dutchman axles and 3.90 ring and pinion gears. The rear suspension geometry is a 4-link setup that also includes Viking coilovers.
The ’62 sits on 20-inch Budnik wheels that measure 8 and 9 inches front to back and help give the Corvette its delicious stance.
Despite all this performance, sometimes we just have to say stop. That’s why this exercise in imagination also packs 13-inch Wilwood front disc brakes with 6-piston calipers, and a similar system on the back with 4-piston calipers.
Inside, the car offers all the conveniences of modern technology, like power windows, air conditioning and a custom Kenwood stereo that includes Bluetooth and Sirius/XM readiness. The red leather seats, panels and dash are the work of Al Knoch Corvette Interiors. Countless additional touches of classy details abound, such as its Dakota Digital gauge cluster. Even the renowned Ringbrothers have their fingerprints all over this car’s one-of-a-kind grille.
In 1962, the Corvette was one of the best and most modern-looking cars on the road. This particular one proves that 50 years later it is still the machine our imagination always runs away with.
It is often said that the modern Corvette represents the best value on Earth when it comes to price and performance. That can only be true if the car’s DNA is impeccable. What we have here are two links in that chain of automotive domination. Every car collection should have at least one magnificent Corvette, if not two.