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The 1959 Chevrolet Corvette

1959 Red Convertible Corvette

The 1959 Corvette was mechanically unchanged from the 1958. It did have the new reverse lockout t-handle on the 4-speed shifter as well as an optional black interior. The fake hood louvers and chrome spears on the trunk were removed this year as well. The seats and door panels were redesigned and a shelf was added under the dash. A new instrument panel with concave instruments to reduce glare was introduced. The tachometer, seat belts, outside rear view mirrors, electric clock and dual exhast were now standard equipment. Sunvisors were offered as optional equipment. Interestingly the seat pleats on the 1959 run from side to side where the 1958 and 1960 run up and down. This was also the only year the turqoise soft top was available.

1959 Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1959 Corvettes Built - 9,670 - All Convertibles

Serial Numbers: J59S100001 through J59S109670

The serial number (Vehicle Identification Number -- VIN) is located on a plate on the left front door hinge pillar.

Position Character Description
1 J Corvette
2 & 3 59 1959
4 S Assembled in St. Louis, MO
5 to 10 100001 to 109670 production sequence

Engine Serial Number

Position Value Description
1 to 7 0001001 and up Sequential Production Number
8 F or T Flint, MI or Tonawanda, NY
9 to 10 Carburetion & Transmission
  • CQ: Three-speed manual transmission
  • CR: Three-speed manual transmission with fuel injection
  • CS: Three-speed manual transmission, high lift camshaft, and fuel injection
  • CT: Three-speed manual transmission and dual four-barrel carburetors
  • CU: Three-speed manual transmission, high-lift camshaft and dual four-barrel carburetors
  • DG: Powerglide automatic transmission
  • DH: Powerglide automatic transmission and fuel injection
  • DJ: Powerglide automatic transmission and dual four-barrel carburetors

Cars with optional four-speed manual transmissions used the same engine code suffixes as cars with three-speed manual transmissions. The body number plate is located on the engine side of the cowl. Fisher Body Style Number 59-867 identifies a Corvette.  

RPO Description MSRP Production
867 Base Convertible $3,875.00 9,670
101 Heater Deluxe $102.25 8,909
102 AM Radio, Signal Seeking $149.80 7,001
107 Parking Brake Alarm $5.40 3,601
108 Courtesy Lights $6.50 3,601
109 Windshield Washers $16.15 7,929
261 Sunshades (right and left) $10.80 N/A
276 Wheels, Five 15"x5.5" (provides hubcaps in place of wheel discs) $0.00 214
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70x15 $31.55 8,173
313 Powerglide Automatic Trans. (with 230/245 or 250hp engine only) $199.10 1,878
419 Auxiliary Hardtop
   In place of folding top:
   In addition to folding top:

426 Power Windows $59.20 587
440 Two-Tone Paint Combination $16.15 2,931
469 283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carbs, regular cam) $150.65 1,417
469C 283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carbs, high-lift cam) $182.95 1,846
470 Top, Folding; Optional fabric colors $0.00 N/A
473 Power Operated Folding Top $139.90 661
579 283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel injected, regular cam) $484.20 175
579D 283ci, 290hp Engine (fuel injected, high-lift cam) $484.20 745
675 Positraction Rear Axle (3.70:1) $48.45 1,362
675 Positraction Rear Axle (4.11:1) $48.45 2,523
675 Positraction Rear Axle (4.56:1) $48.45 285
684 Heavy Duty Racing Suspension - includes heavy duty brakes (with 3&4-speed trans and 270 or 290 HP engine only) $425.05 142
685 4-Speed Close Ratio Synchromesh Manual Trans. (replaces standard 3-speed close-ratio trans.) $188.30 4,175
686 Metallic Brakes - Heavy-duty; Metallic facings (with 3&4-speed trans and 270 or 290 HP engine only) $26.90 333
1408 Blackwall Tires, 6.70x15 N/A 1,497
1625 24 Gallon Fuel Tank (Special fiber glass fuel tank offering greater mileage without refueling. Replaces standard tank. Available only with the removable hardtop (RPO #419)) N/A N/A

Color Options for 1959

RPO Exterior Ditzler # Dupont # RM # Interior Soft Top Production
N/A Inca Silver N/A N/A N/A Black/Red White/Black 957
N/A Tuxedo Black N/A N/A N/A Red/Black/Blue White/Black 1,594
502A Frost Blue N/A N/A N/A Blue/Red White/Blue/Black 1,024
504A Crown Sapphire DDL-12001 2930-L (acrylic lacquer)
Duco 92945 (nitrocellulose lacquer)
A-1137 (acrylic lacquer)
1137 (nitrocellulose lacquer)
Turquoise White/Black/
506A Roman Red N/A N/A N/A Black/Red White/Black 1,542
508A Classic Cream N/A N/A N/A Black White/Black 223
510A Snowcrest White N/A N/A N/A Blue/Black/

Interior Colors

Color Ditzler # Dupont # RM # Production
Black N/A N/A N/A 2,062
Blue N/A N/A N/A 1,303
Red N/A N/A N/A 5,124
Turquoise 59C24 Duco 92945 DL-12067 1,181

1959 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Wheelbase 102 in.
Track Front/Rear 57 in. / 59 in.
Length 177.2 in.
Width 72.8 in.
Height 51.6 in.
Frontal Area N/A
Ground Clearance N/A
Curb Weight 3,092 lbs.
Weight Distribution Front/Rear 53%/47%
Fuel Capacity 16.4 gal.
Coolant Capacity 16.5 qt*

* = with heater

Interior Dimensions

Headroom 34.7 in.
Hip Room 21.5 in. per bucket
59.6 in. total
Leg Room 46.5 in.
Shoulder Room 49.4 in.

Engine Specifications

  Base 469 469C 579 579D
Bore N/A N/A N/A 3.875 in. N/A
Stroke N/A N/A N/A 3.00 in. N/A
Displacement 283 ci 283 ci 283 ci 283 ci 283 ci
Compression Ratio N/A 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 10.5:1
Horsepower 230 bhp 245 bhp 270 bhp 250 bhp @ 5,000 RPM 290 bhp
Torque N/A N/A N/A 305 lbs.-ft. @ 3,800 RPM N/A
Redline N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Carburetion Carter four-barrel Type WCFB Model 2816 2x4 bbl 2x4 bbl Rochester Fuel Injection Fuel Inj.
Oil Capacity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Valvetrain N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


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