Timeless Elegance: Unveiling the Allure of the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie Racing Icon -136

Introduced for the 1953 model year, the Corvette wasn’t exactly a match for European sports cars from that era due to the Blue Flame straight-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 12-volt system compared to the six-pot's six-volt setup.

The Corvette got into the groove in 1957 due to fuel injection, hence the “Fuelie” nickname of the track-focused model we’re covering today. Chassis number J59S104283 features the 283 from the first Scaglietti Corvette, backed up by a four-speed manual box and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Rated at 290 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and just around 290 pound-feet (393 Nm) of torque, the solid-lifter-camshaft engine is complemented by a posi-style rear differential and heavy-duty suspension.

Equipped from the factory with courtesy lights, a deluxe heater, and a windshield washer, this black-painted time capsule used to retail at $5,227 when it was brand-spanking new. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $48,800 or $12,195 less than the most affordable specification of the eighth-gen ‘Vette.

Originally purchased by Gene Cormany, the vice president of engineering at piston supplier Zollner Corp., the open-top racing car has been raced throughout the Midwest in 1959 and 1960, scoring four wins out of 12 top-three finishes 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 braced roll bar, side-piped exhaust, and steel wheels.


Currently riding on period-correct Firestone rubber boots, the Corvette further sweetens the deal with a full-width cutdown windshield that utilizes the original mountings. Easily convertible to street driving, the fuel-injected racer will be crossing the block on August 13th at the Quail Lodge Auction.

Fully documented and professionally restored, the car is estimated to fetch anything between $180k to $220k according to the Bonhams auction house.

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