1959 Corvette Production and Performance Numbers

Model Year Highlights:

  • First year for the reverse lockout T handle on the 4-speed shifter
  • First year for a black interior color to be offered on a Corvette.
  • First year for metallic brake linings to be offered.
  • First year for the rear axle upper radius rods.
  • First year for the package tray under the instrument panel grab bar.
1959 Corvette Options and Production
RPO Description MFG's Price 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 NA
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 NA
473 Power Operated Folding Top $139.90 661
579 283ci, 250hp Engine (fuel inj., regular cam) $484.20 175
579D 283ci, 290hp Engine (fuel inj., 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 NA 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)) NA NA
Total Production (all convertibles): 9,670

Color Options
RPO Exterior Ditzler # Dupont # RM # Interior Soft Top Price Production
NA Inca Silver DDL 31425 NA NA Black/Red White/Black NA 957
NA Tuxedo Black DDL 9300 NA NA Red/Black/Blue White/Black NA 1,594
502A Frost Blue DDL 12018 NA NA Blue/Red White/Blue/Black NA 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/Turq. NA 888
506A Roman Red DDL 70961 NA NA Black/Red White/Black NA 1,542
508A Classic Cream DDL 81092 NA NA Black White/Black NA 223
510A Snowcrest White DDL 8160 NA NA Blue/Black/Red/Turq. Blue/Black/White/Turq. NA 3,354
527B Silver/White NA NA NA Black White/Black $16.15 NA
Interior Color Codes
RPO Color Ditzler # Dupont # RM # Production
NA Black DAL 9000 NA NA 2,062
NA Blue DL 12018 NA NA 1,303
NA Red DL 70961 NA NA 5,124
NA Turquoise DL-12067 Duco 92945 59C24 1,181

Performance Review
Magazine GM Spec. Motor Trend Road and Track Sports Car Illust.
Pub. Date NA Apr. 1959 Jan. 1959 1960
Engine NA 579 469C 579
Axle NA 3.70 4.11 3.70
Transmission NA NA NA 4-Speed
0-30 mph NA NA 3.1 sec 3.2 sec
0-40 mph NA NA 4.2 sec 4.2 sec
0-50 mph NA NA 5.1 sec 5.2 sec
0-60 mph NA 7.8 sec 6.6 sec 6.6 sec
0-70 mph NA NA 7.5 sec 7.9 sec
0-80 mph NA NA NA 10.1 sec
0-90 mph NA NA NA 12.3 sec
0-100 mph NA NA 15.5 sec 15.6 sec
1/4 Mile (sec/mph) NA 15.7/90.0 14.5/96.0 14.9/98.0
Top Speed NA NA NA 125 mph (est.)
Braking NA NA NA NA
Handling NA NA NA NA
From Sports Car International:

"The washboard-like phony louvers on the hood and the Pontiac-like silver streaks on the trunk lid are now things of the past. Inside there are recontoured seat cushions, a reverse lock-out on the four-speed's shift lever, and an open-at-the-top catch-all which fills the opening in front of the 'sissy-bar'; also the door-knob and armrest have moved."

"The sissy-bar is unfairly named, it's quite the thing for hanging on when the dirver is trying to prove something or other."

"Having carefully selected our option list, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Chevrolet Division could put such a sample at our disposal immediately. Seems a fellow named Arkus-Duntov has a company car fitted out identically but for one exception. His car also has the quick steering adaptor (3.25 instead of 3.7 turns lock to lock). Generally available only as part of the heavy-duty suspension kit, it's worthwhile on its own if you can stand the noticeably stiffer steering. And if you can get it!"

"What comes as a considerable surprise is the dualistic personality of the particular car tested. In the twinkling of a throttle linkage, it turns from a submissive, sidewalk stalker to a fierce, roraring eater-upper of metallic monsters. Just as quickly, it reverts to silent smoothness, its exhaust murmuring, barely audibly, 'Who, me?'"

"Acceleration, while breaking no SCI records, is tops for pushrod equipment, and at the top end, quite similar to the 3.0 liter Ferrari 250GT tested last year."

"It's not a low price car, and it's none too cheap to operate, but it goes well and with reservations, it corners well, too. For all around performance per dollar, the Corvette is hard to beat!"