Corvette History

Select a year and a model to view the vast history of Corvettes.

All Models 1958

When the T-Bird arrived, Ford ads showed the sporty two-seater with coupes, sedans and wagons. It took Chevy awhile to realize a sports car could draw buyers of other cars into showrooms. By 1958 it got the message. “Nothing goes with springtime like a bright new Chevy!” said a full-page ad. Illustrated were a Salmon-colored Impala and a Black-and-Silver Corvette. The Impala was “gull-wing glamour” and the Vette was “America’s only authentic sports car.”  
The Vette was a jazzed up for ‘58. The four chrome-rimmed headlights had fender length chrome strips between each pair. Fake louvers decorated the hood. The grille was like 1957, but had four fewer vertical bars. Three horizontal chrome strips graced the side coves. A couple of vertical chrome bars trimmed the trunk. The wraparound front and rear bumpers were larger and heavier.
 The interior changed dramatically with gauges clustered together in front of the driver. A center console and passenger assist bar were added. Seat belts became standard equipment. There were six exterior body colors: Charcoal (Black or White soft top), Silver Blue (White or Beige soft top), Regal Turquoise (Black or White soft top), Signet Red (Black or White soft top), Panama Yellow (Black or White soft top) and Snowcrest White (Black, White or Beige soft top).
The 1958 Corvette sold for $3,591 and weighed 2,781 lbs. Standard under the hood was a 283-cid 230-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression, hydraulic lifters, a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. This 283 was also available with dual four-barrel carburetors and 245 hp. A fuel-injected version produced 250 hp. Solid lifters upped the dual-quad V-8 to 270 hp. The top option was a fuel-injected solid-lifter V-8 with an 11.5:1 compression ratio and 290 hp at 6200 rpm.
Transmissions were the same as in 1957. Factory options included a heater ($96.85), signal-seeking AM radio ($144.45), parking brake alarm ($5.40), courtesy lights ($6.50), windshield washers ($16.15), white sidewall tires ($31.55 extra), an auxiliary hardtop ($215.20), electric power windows ($59.20), optional cove colors ($16.15) and a power-operated folding top mechanism ($139.90).
The Powerglide automatic transmission cost $188.30. Racing enthusiasts could get a four-speed manual transmission for $215.20. Those interested in higher performance could get the 245-hp engine ($150.65), 270-hp engine ($182.95) or 250-hp fuel-injection engine ($484.20). A Positraction axle with 3.70:1 or 4.11:1 ratios was $48.45 (with a 4.56:1 ratio $45). A heavy-duty racing suspension was $780.10 and five 15 x 5.5-inch wheels were a no-cost option.
Production of 1958 Corvettes began Oct. 31, 1957. A car with the standard 230-hp V-8 and 4.11:1 rear axle could do 0-to-60 mph in 9.2 sec. and the quarter mile in 17.4 sec. at 83 mph. It had a top speed of 103 mph. With the optional 250-hp fuel-injected V-8 and 3.70:1 rear axle it took 7.6 sec. for 0-to-60 mph and 21.4 sec. for 0-to-100 mph. This option was good for a 15.7 sec. quarter mile in 15.7 sec. 90 mph and top speed of 120 mph. With the beastly 290-hp fuel-injected engine 0-60 mph took only 6.9 sec. Almost 11 percent of the 9,168 Corvettes made this year were powered by the 283-cid 290-hp fuel-injected V-8.

Corvettes for 1958 were numbered J58S100001 to J58S109168. The first symbol J = Corvette. The second and third symbols 58=1958. The fourth symbol S=St. Louis, Mo., assembly plant. The last six symbols were digits representing the sequential production number.
Type: V-8
Bore and stroke: 3.875 x 3.00 in.
Displacement: 283 cid
Brake hp: 230 at 4800 rpm.
Induction: Carter or Rochester 4-bbl.
*283-cid/245-hp w/ two 4-bbl. carb
*283-cid/250-hp w/ two 4-bbl. carb
*283-cid/250-hp w/ Ram Jet fuel injection
*283-cid/270-hp w/ Ram Jet fuel injection
*283-cid/290-hp w/ Ram Jet fuel injection
Original Price: $3,631
Production: 9,168
Wheelbase: 102 in.
Length: 177.2 in.
Tires: 6.70 x 15
1958 was the last year for the “cumulative” tachometer that kept track of engine revolutions and it was not installed in all ’58 models either.
Acrylic lacquer paint was used on all ’58 Corvettes, not just Inca Silver cars.
A show car Corvette with a retractable hardtop was built for the 1958 GM Motorama.