1959 C1 Corvette – Specifications


1959 C1 Corvette

1959 C1 Corvette – Specifications

1959 Corvette Overview Specs VIN/Options Issues Gallery

1959 C1 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 1959 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door convertible, front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri
CONSTRUCTION: Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, steel frame with steel and chrome structural & chassis components.
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN): J59S100001 – J59S109670
VIN PREFIX: CQ: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
CR: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
CS: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
CT: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
CU: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
DG: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
DH: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
DJ: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 3737739 (EARLY PRODUCTION),  3756519
HEAD NUMBER: 3748770, EARLY PRODUCTION
3755550, EARLY PRODUCTION
3767465, LATE PRODUCTION
CARBURETOR NUMBERS: CARTER 2613S #3741089: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, FRONT CARB
CARTER 2614S #3741090: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, REAR CARB
CARTER 2626S #3744002: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, FRONT CARB
CARTER 2627S #3744004: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HPR, REAR CARB
CARTER 2818S #3756676: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HP
FUEL INJECTION NUMBER: ROCHESTER 7014900: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER
ROCHESTER 7014900R: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER
ROCHESTER 7017200: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER
ROCHESTER 7017250: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER
DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER: 1110891: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HORSEPOWER, 270 HORSEPOWER
1110914: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER
1110915: 283 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER
1110946: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORSEPOWER
GENERATOR NUMBER: 1102043: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HP, 245 HP, 250 HP, 270 HP
1102059: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER, FIRST DESIGN
1102173: 283 CUBIC INCH, 290 HORSEPOWER, SECOND DESIGN
AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AH: 3-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION (3.70:1 RATIO)
AE: POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (3.55:1 RATIO)
AN: LIMITED SLIP DIFF (3.70:1 RATIO)
AP: LIMITED SLIP DIFF (4.11:1 RATIO)
AQ: LIMITED SLIP DIFF (4.56:1 RATIO)
AS: LSD, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (3.70:1 RATIO)
AT:LSD, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (4.11:1 RATIO)
AU:LSD, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (4.56:1 RATIO)
FJ: MANUAL TRANSMISSION,LSD. AND METALLIC BRAKES, (3.70:1 RATIO)
PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE: SEP, 1958: 100409, OCT. 1958: 100623, NOV. 1958: 101587, DEC. 1958:102641, JAN. 1959: 103962, FEB. 1959: 104921, MAR. 1959: 106033, APR. 1959: 107144, MAY 1959: 107934, JUN. 1959: 108702, JUL. 1959: 109437, AUG. 1959: 109670

1959 C1 Corvette Price & Options

CODE DESCRIPTION QUANTITY RETAIL PRICE
867 Base Corvette Convertible 9,670 $3,875.00
101 Heater 8,909 $102.25
102 AM Radio, signal seeking 7,001 $149.80
107 Parking Brake Alarm 3,601 $5.40
108 Courtesy Lights 3,601 $6.50
109 Windshield Washers 7,929 $16.15
121 Radiator Fan Clutch 67 $21.55
261 Sunshades 3,722 $10.80
276 Wheels, 15 x 5.5 (5) 214  $0.00
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70 x 15 8,173  $31.55
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 1,878 $199.10
419 Auxillary Hardtop 5,481 $236.75
426 Power Windows 587 $59.20
440 Two-Tone Paint Combination 2,931 $16.15
469 283ci, 245HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 1,417 $150.65
469C 283ci, 270HP Engine (2×4 Carburetors) 1,846 $182.95
473 Power Operated Folding Top 661 $139.90
579 283ci, 250HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 175 $484.20
579D 283ci, 290HP Engine (Fuel Injection) 745 $484.20
675 Positraction Rear Axle 4,170 $48.45
684 Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension 142 $425.05
685 4-Speed Manual Transmission 4,175 $188.30
686 Metallic Brakes 333 $26.90
1408 Blackwall Tires, 6.70 x 15 Nylon
1625 24 Gallon Fuel Tank

1959 C1 Corvette

1959 C1 Corvette Exterior/Interior Color Templates

EXTERIOR TOTAL BODY COVE COVE TOTAL SOFT TOP WHEELS INTERIOR
Tuxedo Black 1,594 Silver 496 Black, White Black Blue,Black,Red
Classic Cream 223 White 89 Black, White Black Black
Frost Blue 1,024 White 361 Blue, Black, White Black Blue,Red
Crown Sapphire 888 White 420 Black, Turquoise, White Black Turquoise
Roman Red 1,542 White 805 Black, White Black Black,Red
Snowcrest White 3,354 Silver 535 Blue, Black, Tq, White Black Blue,Black,Red,Tq
Inca Silver 957 White 220 Black, White Black Black,Red

Exterior Color Templates

Interior Color Templates

1959 C1 Corvette Powertrain Specifications

Description 4-barrel Carb Dual Carb Dual Carb w. Special Cam Fuel Injection
Fuel Inj w. Special Cam
Standard RPO 469 RPO 469C RPO 579 RPO 579D
Type: 90 V 90 V 90 V 90 V 90 V
Number of Cylinders 8 8 8 8 8
Displacement (cid): 283 283 283 283 283
Horsepower (gross @ rpm): 230hp @ 4,800 245hp @ 5,000 270hp @ 6,000 250hp @ 5,000 290hp @ 6,200
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm): 300 @ 3,000 300 @ 3,800 285 @ 4,200 305 @ 3,800 290 @ 4,400
Bore Spacing (C/L to C/L) 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches
Bore x stroke (in.): 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00
Redline (rpm):
Compression ratio: 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1
Idle Speed (RPM) 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed
Engine Weight (Dry)
  Automatic 779 779 779 779 779
  Manual 678 678 678 678 678
Firing Order: 18436572 18436572 18436572 18436572 18436572
Cylinder Number System;
  Left Bank: 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7
  Right Bank: 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8
Recommended Fuel: 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane
EPA – Four-Speed Manual
Transmission – Average:
14.3 mpg (Motor Life) 14.6 mpg (Motor Trend) 10 mpg (Sports Car Illustrated)

Carburetor Engine Component Specifications

Description Standard 230hp RPO 469 245hp RPO 469C 270hp
Upper Compression Ring:
  Material Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron
  Width .184 — .194 .184 — .194 .184 — .194
  Thickness .0775 — .0780 .0775 — .0780 .0775 — .0780
  Gap .010 — .020 .010 — .020 .010 — .020
  Ring Clearance .0012 — .0017 .0012 — .0017 .0012 — .0017
Valve Springs:
  Length & Pressure
     Valve closed 1.696@ 69 — 79 lb. 1.696@ 69 — 79 lb. 1.696@ 69 — 79 lb.
     Valve open 1.306@ 159 — 169 lb. 1.306@ 159 — 169 lb. 1.306@ 159 — 169 lb.
     Free length 2.08 2.08 2.08
  Damper:
     Number of coils 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12
     Free length 2.00 2.00 2.00
Tappets:
  Type Hydraulic Hydraulic Hydraulic
  Material Steel Steel Steel
Carburetor:
  Make Carter Carter Carter
  Model 3756676
     front 3744002 3741089
     rear 3744004 3741090
  Type 4 barrel, down-draft 4 barrel 4 barrel
  Choke Automatic Automatic Automatic
Camshaft:
  Ramp inlet
     Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long .0067, 18° long
     Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long .0067, 18° long
  Ramp exhaust
     Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long .0107, 29° long
     Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long .0107, 29° long
  Tappet Lift
     Inlet .26581 .26581 .2625
     Exhaust .26581 .26581 .2625
  Valve lift
     Inlet  0.3987 0.3987 0.39375
     Exhaust  0.3987 0.3987 0.39375
 Valve lash (normal driving)
     Inlet Zero Zero .012 hot
     Exhaust Zero Zero .018 hot
  Timing Diagram Data:
     Inlet
       Opens (theoretical) 12° 30′ BTC 12° 30′ BTC 35° BTC
       Closes (theoretical) 57° 30′ ABC 57° 30′ ABC 72° ABC
     Exhaust
       Opens (theoretical) 54° 30′ BBC 54° 30′ BBC 76° BBC
       Closes (theoretical) 15° 30′ ATC 15° 30′ ATC 31° ATC
Clutch:
  Type Semi-centrifugal Semi-centrifugal Semi-centrifugal
  Number of coil springs 9 9 9
  Spring pressure (lbs.) 1620 Initial 1620 Initial 1620 Initial
  Drive Lug Lug Lug
  Lining area (sq. in.) 90.72 90.72 90.72
  Rated torque capacity (lb. ft.) 326 326 326
Air Cleaner:
  Make and Type AC oil wetted  AC oil bath  AC oil bath
  Capacity  –  1 Pint  1 Pint
  Filter Element Aluminum wire cactus fiber  cactus fiber
Oil Filter:
  Make AC, Full flow AC, Full flow AC, Full flow
  Capacity (Quartz) 1 1 1
Dual Exhaust System:
  Muffler Type Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
 Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
  Body Size 24×4.06 24×4.06 24×4.06
  Manifold Center take down each branch serving two cylinders Center take down each branch serving two cylinders Center take down each branch serving two cylinders
  Exhaust Pipe Size O.D 2.0 2.0 2.0
  Tall Pipe I.D 1.81 1.81 1.81
  Suspension Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Fuel System:
  Fuel Tank Two stamped pans
seam welded
Two stamped pans
seam welded
Two stamped pans
seam welded
  Capacity (gallons) 16.4 16.4 16.4
  Mounting   Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat
  Filler In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door
Cooling System:
  Radiator core
     Make Harrison Harrison Harrison
     Type Cellular Cellular Cellular
  Size .20x.560 x 2.00 .20x.560 x 2.00 .20x.560 x 2.00
  Frontal Area (sq. in) 340 340 340
  Capacity 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater

Fuelie (Fuel Injected) Engine Component Specifications

Description (RPO 579 250hp) (RPO 579D 290hp)
Upper Compression Ring:
  Material Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron
  Width .184 -.194 .184 – .194
  Thickness 0775 – .0780 0775 – .0780
  Gap .010 – 0.020 .010 – 0.020
  Ring Clearance .0012 – .0017 .0012 – .0017
Valve Springs:
  Length & Pressure
     Valve closed 1.696@ 69 — 79 lb 1.696@ 69 — 79 lb
     Valve open 1.306@ 159 — 169 lb. 1.306@ 159 — 169 lb.
     Free length 2.08 2.08
  Damper:
     Number of coils 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12
     Free length 2.00 2.00
Tappets:
  Type Hydraulic Hydraulic
  Material Steel Steel
Manifold assembly, inlet:
  Material Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Fuel:
  System Fuel Injection Fuel Injection
  Make Rochester Products Rochester Products
Fuel Filter:
  Make AC AC
  Model GF43 GF43
  Location Mounted on engine top cover Mounted on engine top cover
Camshaft:
  Ramp inlet
     Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long
     Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long
  Ramp exhaust
     Opening .00474, 10° long  .0107, 29° long
     Closing .00670, 15° long .0107, 29° long
  Tappet Lift
     Inlet .26581 .2625
     Exhaust .26581 .2625
  Valve Lift
     Inlet .3987 .39375
     Exhaust .3987 .39375
  Valve lash (normal driving)
     Inlet Zero .008 hot
     Exhaust Zero .018 hot
  Timing Diagram Data:
     Inlet
       Opens (theoretical) 12° 30′ BTC 35° BTC
       Closes (theoretical) 57° 30′ ABC 72° ABC
     Exhaust
       Opens (theoretical) 54° 30′ BBC 76° BBC
       Closes (theoretical) 15° 30′ ATC 31° ATC
Clutch:
  Type Semi-centrifugal Semi-centrifugal
  Number of coil springs 9 9
  Spring pressure (lbs.) 1620 initial 1620 initial
  Drive Lug Lug
  Lining area (sq. in.) 90.72 90.72
  Rated torque capacity (lb. ft.) 326 326
Air Cleaner:
  Make AC AC
  Type Dry Dry
  Filter Element Paper Paper
Oil Filter:
  Make AC, Full flow AC, Full flow
  Capacity (Quartz) 1 1
Dual Exhaust System:
  Muffler Type Diffusion & resonance, reverse flow Straight thru
  Body Size 24×4.06
  Manifold Center take down each branch serving two cylinders
  Exhaust Pipe Size O.D 2.0
  Tall Pipe I.D 1.81
  Suspension Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Fuel System:
  Fuel Tank Two stamped pans seam welded Two stamped pans seam welded
  Capacity (gallons) 16.4 16.4
  Mounting   Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat
  Filler In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door
Cooling System:
  Radiator core
     Make Harrison Harrison
     Type Cellular Cellular
  Size .22x.550 x 2.00 .22x.550 x 2.00
  Frontal Area (sq. in) 380 380
  Capacity 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater

Manual Transmission / Gear Ratios

3-Speed Close Ratio 4-Speed (RPO 685)
1st Gear: 2.21:1 2.20:1
2nd Gear: 1.32:1 1.66:1
3rd Gear: 1.00:1 1:31:1
4th Gear: N/A 1.00:1
Reverse: 2.51:1 2.26:1

Powerglide Automatic Transmission RPO 313/ Gear Ratios

Drive 1.82-1:1
Low 1.82:1
Reverse 1.82:1

 

Suspension – Front

Unitized, Independant, Short and Long Arm

Front Springs: Own, coil
  Make & Type Chrome alloy steel .547 — .553
  Material & Gauges Total 9.75; active 7.94
  Number of Coils Outside 4.30; pitch 3.752
  Diameter Free 13.45; working 9.62@ 1245 lb.
  Height 9.72
  Height Under Curb Weight 800 lb.
  Capacity At Ground
  Deflection Rate
     At Spring 300 lb.
     At Wheel 110 lb.
Front Shock Absorbers:
  Make & Type Delco, direct double acting
  Mounting Vertically from lower control arm through coil spring to front suspension crossmember
  Model Number 538F
  Valve Code 3.5G6/axr/P 1.25
  Piston Diameter and Travel 1.00×4.68

Suspension – Rear

Outrigger mounted semi-elliptical leaf springs

Rear Springs: Own, coil
  Make & Type Own, semi-elliptic
  Material Alloy steel
  Length & Width 51×2.0
  Spring Slips Clinch type = 3, Bolt type = 1, Total = 4
  Number of Leaves 4
  Leaf Thickness Number 1 & 3 = .282, Number 2 = .313, Total = 1.159
  Capacity At pad = 575 lb., At ground = 725 lb.
Rear Shock Absorbers:
  Make & Type Delco, direct double acting
  Mounting Stem attached to slotted holes in flanged “U” shaped rear crossmember, eye attached at bottom to an anchor bolt on rear spring “U” bolt and shock absorber anchor bolt plate
  Model Number 560P
  Valve Code 4D6/oxh/j 1.25
  Piston Diameter and Travel 1.0×6.69

 

 

 

 

1959 C1 Corvette Brakes & Wheels

Brakes:
Type: Servo – 4 Wheel Hydraulic (Heavy Duty, RPO 684 Optional)
Power brake type: None
Drum diameter, front (in.): 11
Drum diameter, rear (in.): 11
Effective area (sq. in.): 157 (121 with Heavy Duty brake option)

 

Wheels/Tires
Wheel Type (Standard): Short Spoke Disk, Pressed Steel
Tire Size 6.70 — 15 — 4 Ply Tubeless (standard), 6.70 — 15 — 4 Ply White & Blackwall (optional)
Front & Rear Wheels: 15″
Tires, type: Rayon Cord
Revolutions at 30mph: 760
Inflation (cold) 24 lbs. Front & Rear

 

Steering
Type: Semi-reversible recirculating ball
Make: Saginaw
Ratio: 16.0:1
Wheel Diameter (in): 17
Turns, Stop to Start
Turn Diameter (curb to curb) 36.5 ft. right — 37 ft. left (outside front), 38.5 ft. right — 39 ft. left (outside front)

1959 C1 Corvette

1959 C1 Corvette Exterior Dimensions

1959 C1 Corvette Hardtop Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions Hardtop
Wheelbase: 102 Inches
Overall Length: 177.2 Inches
Total Body Width: 72.8 Inches
Overall Height: 51.5 Inches
Front Track Width: 57 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 5.9 Inches

 

Interior Dimensions Hardtop
Headroom: 35.1 Inches
Shoulder Room: 49.4 Inches
Hip Room: 59.6 Inches
Leg Room: 45.1 Inches

 

1959 C1 Corvette softtop Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions Softtop
Wheelbase: 102 Inches
Overall Length: 177.2 Inches
Total Body Width: 72.8 Inches
Overall Height: 51.6 Inches
Front Track Width: 57 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 5.9 Inches

 

Interior Dimensions Softtop
Headroom: 35.3 Inches
Shoulder Room: 49.4 Inches
Hip Room: 59.6 Inches
Leg Room: 45.1 Inches

 

Capacities Specs
Passenger Capacity: 2 Passengers
Curb Weight (LBS/KG):
  Manual 3,033
  Automatic 3,135
Interior Passenger Volume (cu.ft):
Interior Trunk Volume (cu. ft): 4.474
Fuel Capacity (gallons): 16.4
Engine Oil Capacity (qts.): 5 (capacity of crankcase less filter – refill)
Coolant Capacity (qts.): 16.5 (with heater)
Battery: 12 volt, 54-plate, 53AH

1959 C1 Corvette

 

1959 C1 Corvette Performance

Performance Results Standard RPO 469 RPO 469C RPO 579 RPO 579
3-Speed Transmission
Performance weight (lbs.) 3204 3214 3214 3191 3191
Pounds/gross horsepower 13.93 13.12 11.90 12.78 11.00
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 11.33 11.36 11.36 11.24 11.24
 Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866 .954 .883 1.025
 Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 228.7 228.7 228.7 228.7 228.7
Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 142.94 142.94 142.94 143.34 143.34
 0 – 60 mph (seconds) 9.2 7.6 –
 Top Speed (mph) 103.1 112
Powerglide Transmission
 Performance weight (lbs.) 3305 3314 3288
 Pounds/gross horsepower 14.37 13.53 13.15
 Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 11.68 11.71 11.62
 Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866 .883
 Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 219.5 219.5 219.5
 Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 132.83 132.47 133.52
 0 – 60 mph (seconds)
 Top Speed (mph)
 4-Speed Transmission
Performance weight (lbs.) 3217 3227 3227 3204 3204
Pounds/gross horsepower 13.90 13.17 11.95 12.82 11.05
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 11.37 11.40 11.40 11.32 11.32
Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866 .954 .883 1.025
Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 228.7 228.7 228.7 228.7 228.7
 Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 142.18 141.74 141.74 142.76 142.76
 0 – 60 mph (seconds) 6.9
Top Speed (mph) 113.6 118.7

(0 – 60 and top speed times courtesy of ML – Motor Life, September 1959, MT – Motortrend, April 1959, R&T – Road and Track, January 1959)

See Also 

C1 ’53 54 ’55 ’56 ’57 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’61 ’62
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7

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