1959 Chevrolet Corvette - Purple People Eater Mk. III

Found at Carlisle, Restored to Glory


Nickey Chevrolet ordered a '59 Corvette for use as a road-race car, in the wake of their previous success with a '58 Corvette (SCCA National B/Production Champion with Jim Jeffords driving) and before it, a Corvette SR-2.

The '59 car they ordered for their racing program included the following factory options and special equipment:

>> 283ci, 290hp, fuel-injected V-8

>> Four-speed manual transmission

>> Posi-traction

>> Heavy-duty suspension

>> Heavy-duty brakes, including sinteredmetallic linings and "elephant ear" cooling shrouds

>> Radio delete

>> Heater/defroster delete

>> White body/black interior

>> Possibly built with one horn, which may have been removed by Nickey Chevrolet during race preparation

Race preparation by Nickey Chevrolet (4501 West Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL) for competition in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) B/Production class included the following items:

>> Removal of stock windshield, frame, and windshield wipers, and addition of small curved windscreen in front of driver

>> Addition of a chrome rollbar behinddriver seat

>> Addition of seatbelt and shoulder harness to driver seat

>> Removal of stock "dog dish" hubcaps, stock painted wheels and OEM tires; addition of chrome-plated stock wheels with Firestone Super Sport 170 6.70-15 racing tires .

>> Removal of rear bumper and stock headlights, and covering of headlight openings

>> Addition of hasp to rear edge of hood (to keep hood secure at race speeds)

>> Replacement of factory exhaust system with racing exhaust system, with ends routed through hole in rocker panel under right-side door

>> Addition of safety chains

>> Replacement of stock fuel tank with larger-capacity racing tank

>> Addition of snap-on covers over window openings at the tops of both doors.

>> Repainting body in metallic purple by Nickey Chevrolet's body shop

>> Addition of roundels with No. 1 to both sides, signifying car driven by defending SCCA national champion

>> Addition of "Purple People Eater Mk III" lettering to tops of both doors, with characteristic Nickey "reverse-K"

>> This car was restored to before-it-rolled-out-to-its-first-grid-of-the-'59-season condition by Ken Heckert, with pre-Concours detailing performed in 1993 by Corvette Repair, Valley Stream, New York

>> Purple People Eater stuffie: Not OEM Chevrolet or dealer-installed by Nickey Chevrolet


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