On its fourth birthday, the Corvette lost four teeth! The 1958 Corvette saw an extensive body redesign, updated interior, and two additional headlights. Part of the extensive redesign included the removal of four teeth from the grille, which reduced the total number from thirteen to nine. The updated design included spears on the side coves, and was the only year to include louvers on the hood and spears on the trunk.
Chevrolet designers also redesigned the Corvette instrument panel for the 1958 model year. The designers moved the instrument cluster from the center of the dash to positions centered on the steering wheel. The tachometer moved from out of the line of sight of the driver to directly underneath the speedometer, which on some cars, went all the way to 190mph.
Chevrolet sold 9,168 Corvettes in 1958. The base model roared off the dealer lot with 230 horsepower and a three-speed manual transmission. Multiple engine options existed for this year, but the two most popular were carbureted 245 horsepower model and the fuel injected,290 horse model. In 1958, for the first time, each of Chevrolet’s Corvettes shipped from the factory with seatbelts. This addition helped drivers stay firmly planted in the seats of their Corvette, and helped them maintain control when pushing their cars fast.
Originally selling for a base price of $3,591, a base model ’58 sells for anywhere between $32,000 and $100,000 in today’s market. The most desired model of the 1958 Corvette is the 290 horsepower version, which sells for an average of $85,000.