I have included on this site some information about my Corvette Clubs & Corvette affiliations as well as some of my past and current projects.
Many people ask me about the difference between a 1959 & 1960 Corvette. They have trouble telling them apart, Do You? Well I hope this information below helps and that I did not leave out some differences.
The 1959 Corvette verses the 1960 Exterior.
1. With the door open, the top down or the hard top off you can tell that there is a difference in the stainless trim piece at the upper rear of the door. The metal piece is formed different in 1960 and has a little raised wing to the inside that help with water diversion, I believe. In 1958 the piece was smooth but had no attachment hole in the top. In 1959 the piece remained smooth but an attachment hole was used to secure the part through the fiberglass door panel using a Phillips machine screw and a special tube nut that held the weather seal below.
The 1959 Corvette verses the 1960 Interior.
1. One of the most noticeable items is the bucket seat. The panels or pleats of material run differently between the two years. The 1959 panels run from left to the right side of the car while the 1960 panels run from the front to rear of the car.
2. Another item that is striking in difference is the metal insert that is in the door panels. The 1959 metal insert is made with small squares or a checker pattern while the 1960 is formed with a pattern of dimples or dots as I have heard them called.
3. The speaker grill was mounted under the dash by bounding in speaker studs for 58 & 59 and then the design changed, I believe, to mounting through the pad to help hold the pad inplace. The later used a painted screen and a ring type bezel system to secure the speaker to the dash.
4. There was a slight change to the dash insert in 1960 by the addition of a red and blue bars above and below the Corvette inscription imprinted into the insert.
5. The Tachometer face changed in 1960 with the addition of a green field from 500rpm up to the 5000rpm or 6500rpm warning areas of the tachometer.
6. The end of the dash trim as it meets the door is secured with small stainless plates in 1959 while the 1960 and later uses a painted cap to cover the trim edge.
7. A change was made to the trunk mat for 1960 where it has more of a cutout area in the forward area of the mat behind the driver.
The 1959 Corvette verses the 1960 Chassis.
1. Another item that is striking in difference is the metal sway bar that was added to the 1960 and later models.
2. The front sway bar was redesign to have a different shape.
The 1959 Corvette verses the 1960 Power Train.
1. The valve covers and heads changed from 1959 to 1960 by the relocation of the valve cover attachment holes. The 59 has what is known as staggered holes while the 60 and later heads us the straight across design for the attachment holes.
2. The radiator shroud design changed in 1960 to a smaller or shorter shroud (Depth from the radiator to the motor). The change was to make room for the clutch fan that was being offered as a option.
3. The option of clutch fan and a optional aluminum radiator of 1960 used more room than the earlier design copper radiator, thus reducing the shroudís size on each car. A spacer was used with the fixed blade fan when the option clutch fan was not purchased.
4. If a person purchased a FI car in 1960 there was an additional air hose brace added to the area of the hood prop to hold the air vent hose away from the prop in the folded position.
5. In 1959 and earlier the carburetor air cleaners where sealed units which changed in 1960. They became separate parts (bottom, top & element) which could be taken apart and the element cleaned or changed.
6. The bellhousing design changed from cast steel metal used up through 1959 to cast aluminum in 1960. The new design also lost the bellhousing mounting ears that where used on passenger cars of the late 50's for mounting but never used in the assembly of the Corvette.
The 1959 Corvette verses the 1960 Body parts.
1. One item that is not noticed until the hood is raised is the change made to the hood latches and pins. The straight pins of the 1958 & 1959 hoods where changed back to the knob type pins used in earlier years. This also caused the change to the latches.
2. A big item that changed from 1959 to 1960 was the location, material type and method of identifying the vehicle with a VIN tag. The tag changed from a stamp imprinted aluminum tag to a reverse embossed stainless steel tag. Itís location moved from the left front door pillar in 1959 to the steering column in the engine compartment in 1960. The method of attachment changed from a Phillips screw filled with bond in 1959 to being spot welded to the steel steering column tube in 1960.
3. Some people think that all hoods from 1959 through 1962 are the same but they are different. The 1959 hood changed for 1958 by losing the formed lovers. In 1960 the hoodís underside bracing at the radiator needed more clearance and was redesigned. Later years required clearance for the radiator attachment to the ("horse collar") radiator support and was modified making them different.
4. Starting in 1960 a brace was added to the left front hood lip at the hood prop area. The stress of opening and closing the hoods caused the fiberglass to move and stress so the brace supported this area by being bolted to the metal filler attached to the inner fender.
Thank You for stopping by. I think that I have covered most of the differences between a 1959 Corvette and a 1960 but I may have missed some. This description will put you far ahead of most people when it comes to the identification of these Corvettes. I hope you enjoyed your visit.
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