By Wayne Moyer
GM originally intended the 1958 Corvette to look very much like the ’56 Olds Golden Rocket Motorama car. But problems with a new truck line and demands of the all-new ’58 passenger cars took priority and the ‘Vette was relegated to a facelift and an expanded option list at the last minute. Many critics felt that facelift was a step backwards from the previous car’s clean lines. It included quad headlights, fewer grille teeth, fake hood louvers and covers at the front of the side coves, and a pair of big chrome stripes down the trunk lid. It was also nine inches longer and 200 pounds heavier than the ‘57, but an optional fuel-injected 283 V-8 with 290 horses made up for that.
AUTOart’s new ’58 Corvette looks right from every angle and the excellent two-tone Signet Red and Snowcrest White paint matches GM color chips perfectly. The hardtop snaps into place and fits very well. All those ‘58 details are present and accounted for; the multi-color hood and deck badges and crossed-flag emblems are 3D photo-etched pieces and everything else is done with nicely scaled plated parts. Lift the hood and lock its sliding support in place to check out the wired and plumbed carbureted engine.
Doors pivot to show the accurate upholstery, soft carpet, photo-etched wheel spokes, and fully detailed dash, but the factory seat belts are missing. Skinny tires are correct but the whitewalls could be a bit wider. Look closely; those chrome wheel covers have Corvette logos and emblems engraved in the fake knock-offs.
1:18 Scale | $170