Archival Road Test: 1958 Chevrolet Corvette is “Fast, Furious & Wonderful”

Archival Road Test: 1958 Chevrolet Corvette is “Fast, Furious & Wonderful”
Years before a certain movie franchise co-opted the phrase, that ’ s how Motor Trend subscriber Joe H. Wherry described the 1958 Corvette in a December 1957 “ First Feel Behind the Wheel ” driving impression.

The 1958 model is best known, for better or worse, for its outside redesign. GM as a hale was going through a “ more is better ” phase with styling elements, and the Corvette didn ’ t escape the swerve. The car was a few inches longer and wider, but the most obvious changes were the add-ons : quad headlamps, larger front man bumpers with cosmetic ducts behind them, a restyled wicket, chrome pare on the fender tops and fake louvers on the hood. The side coves now had their own simulated air ducts and chrome shave, and there was more chrome in bet on in the form of two trim strips running the duration of the decklid. Reactions to the newfangled exterior were mix, to say the least. But the car received closely consentaneous praise for its inside remake, which grouped all the necessity gauges properly in front of the driver. mechanically, the 1958 model was little changed from the previous year, with just the addition of a few horsepower to the standard carbureted 283 and top-line fuel-injected version.

“ Does it go ? ” Wherry asked about the new car. “ indeed and it should with its 230 bhp. ” With a 4.11 Positraction axle and optional close-ratio four-speed, the Corvette sprinted to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds and 80 miles per hour in 11.0. ( The horsepower Wherry quotes would indicate he drove a Corvette with the standard single-four-barrel V-8, though the underhood photograph in his article shows a fuel-injected engine. Our guess is the engine stroke came from a different cable car. )

It seems Wherry ’ sulfur time behind the steering wheel was brief, as he was limited to evaluating the Corvette at the GM Proving Grounds. But it was enough to come away with some identical cocksure impressions of the new car. The Corvette ’ s four-speed was “ smooth as silk ” and its sceneshifter “ exceptionally handy. ” The bucket seats were “ ampere comfortable as you could wish for. ” Dual reflectors inside each door were “ possibly one of the most intelligent standard items of newly vintage. ” The Corvette ’ sulfur manage, “ like all holocene Corvettes, ” was “ without fault. ” even the car ’ mho style, he felt, was “ keep in lineage with the dreams of enthusiasts. ” vitamin a long as those enthusiasts dream of lots of aglitter chrome. Vette photography by Joe H. Wherry, Petersen Publishing Co. Archive

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