The World powerplant was hoisted down into the engine bay and bolted to the Corvette's T10 four-speed gearbox. The rear was opened up and filled with 4.11 gears spinning the Posi-traction differential. A pair of Kook's stainless headers and full-length exhaust now tunnels the spent gases out the stealthy factory outlets fixed in the rear bumper. Seeing the danger of doubling the Corvette's original output, Joseph was wary about fully opening up the 454 for fear of quickly discovering the roadster's weak points. A set of trick MT whitewall slicks wrap around the Vette's original wheels, while the capricious '59 brakes remain the same.
Other tricks and subdued modifications reside on this re-invented drop-top, including a highly altered factory air-cleaner tin that was made to accept the dual Edelbrocks, nickel-plated valve covers to resemble the factory pans, but with tiny "454" monikers, and a very modern sound system. A 10-disc CD changer was mounted to the bottom of the trunk's spare cover panel. Tucked in the hub of the fullsize spare, the changer is surprisingly safe from vibrations and jostling that would cause persistent skipping and interruptions. The CD control pod is found in the center waterfall between the bucket seats, but the overall enjoyment of the personalized stereo system is dubious once the blaring roar of the built stroker motor fires up.
Though the '59 has not seen an official track time for fear of snapping something, Joseph keeps his foot to the floor on sunny days and weekend jaunts. A jack of all trades, the roadster shuts down would-be street racers, as well as taking first place at a local car show, and wowing the crowds at national Corvette meets and concours events.
Though the drop-top was initially purchased for his wife, Joseph's persistent inability to leave well enough alone has made it a little too wild for her tastes. Joseph will never admit if that was the intended strategy or not, but we have a pretty strong inclination when we see his smile as the pedal is pinned to the floorboards.