Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

1959 Chevrolet Corvette by POGEA RACING

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

This is how Eduard Pogea, head of POGEA RACING GmbH outlines the '59 model Corvette convertible modernised by his company on a customer's orders. And continues: "Within the space of only one year we developed, produced and adapted current technology to fit in an American Old timer. Our objective was to marry contemporary driving characteristics, a terrifically powerful engine, dependable brakes and a refined vehicle interior with classic bodywork."

The chassis for this demanding project consists of an in-house tube frame manufactured in cooperation with Foose Design in the USA. This frame not only significantly improves the convertible's torsional stiffness, it also forms a solid base on which to mount the heightadjustable coilover suspension, as well as the modern drive and brake systems.

1959 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: POGEA RACING GmbH

When it came to looking for an engine befitting its heritage, POGEA opted for a Corvette LS3. This engine, used in the current Corvette (MY 2011), was fitted out by POGEA with extra components to increase its performance. Besides LS7 fuel injectors, aggressive camshafts and a direct, open intake with tip cone filter, the exhaust flow above all was tuned to optimum level. Henceforth the 6.2-litre engine is free to howl its zest for life through 45-millimetre diameter Edelbrock exhaust manifolds coupled with a stainless steel exhaust system with only 2 silencers. At the same time as that V8 sound massages your eardrums, the engine performance increases to an impressive 485 HP / 357 kW at 4400 rpm and 585 Nm at 6200 rpm. The engine power reaches the rear wheels via a manual 5-shift gearbox with ceramic clutch and a Dana 44 differential.

With these modifications, the completely reconditioned Classic puts out excellent performance: from 0 - 100 kms/h in a mere 3.9 seconds and with a top speed of 288 kms/h, the two-seater is decidedly superior to the original basic model.

A generously-sized sports brake system taken from the Corvette LS5 provides contemporary deceleration values. Perforated, internally ventilated brake discs , sized 330 mm (front) and 300 mm (rear) are actuated at the front by six-piston and at the rear by four-piston callipers.

The appropriately-styled 3-part POGEA RACING wheels, 9.5Jx18 at the front and 12Jx19 on the rear axle, were specially developed for the increased demands of the souped-up convertible. Bridgestone Potenza 265/40 R 18 and 305/30 R 19 tyres were selected as the ideal combination.

A clever trick allows POGEA to house the enormous wheels in the rear wheel-wells: widening them by doubling the original mudguards. As a result the rear end grows by a handsome 37 centimetres to 2.09 metres overall width and is equipped with 4 LED rear light clusters to become a real eye-catcher. The complete paint job in the original Ferrari colours Rosso and Bianco contributes to the effect.

Red and white also dominate the vehicle interior with its perfect look and feel. A combination of carpeting and smooth leather turns the vehicle interior into a sophisticated control centre. A Vallelunga steering wheel with flattened lower rim and seats out of the Cobra ensure more legroom compared to the standard interior. Together with an Alpine multi-media system including satnav, a retro-fitted AC unit and servo-steering, POGEA upgraded almost all of the car's electronics to prepare the Corvette for reliable use in everyday traffic.