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1960 Chevy Corvette Roadster - Red No More

This rare-optioned 1960 Chevy Corvette Roadster will soon be getting its OEM colors back.

Scott Ross Jul 30, 2012
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When you see this '60 Corvette at Carlisle this year, it will still have its rare, original dual-quad 283, but one of its rarest features will have already been restored by the time you read this.

That means the red interior and exterior colors you see here will be history.

Brad Bean bought this C1 back in the early '90s. "The car was in the process of being restored before I bought it," he recalls. "We found a couple different colors at different places in the car. We found Ermine White in the gas-tank filler area, and Tasco Turquoise on the kick panels. That would have made sense if those were the only two colors on the car."

But he also found Cascade Green on the '60's front body clip. The rarest of all '60 Corvette colors, the metallic-green hue was only sprayed on 140 Corvettes that year, 65 of them RPO 440 two-toned with Ermine White coves. "Based on the fact that we actually found some [Cascade Green] on the body, we're going to go with that," says Bean, who happens to be vice president of the National Solid Axle Corvette Club. "I want to go back original, but between Ermine White and Cascade Green, one was the most prevalent color, and one was the rarest. I'm going with the rarest."

This also means an interior-color change. "If you had a red interior on a Cascade Green car, that would look like a pimento olive, as my wife pointed out," says Bean. "So, if you ordered a Cascade Green car, the only interior color for it was black."

No changes are planned for under the hood, now that a correct 270-horsepower dual-quad 283 is in the car. "It didn't have [that engine] when I bought it, but the previous owner told me that it had had one," he says. Two years ago, Bean installed a correct RPO 469C 283, complete with solid-lifter "Duntov" camshaft, two Carter WCFBs, and a factory 2x4 intake, all located behind a new-for-1960 Harrison aluminum radiator.

So, why was the car painted red? According to Bean, that choice also involved green--the pocket-filling kind. "When [the previous owner] restored it, he did it to sell, and that's why he did it in red," he says. "That's why he also put the base 230hp 283 back in there, because it was cheaper than putting the original engine back in."

Bean's love of the first-generation Corvettes goes back a long way. "I had always wanted a '58, '59, or '60 Corvette," he recalls. "That goes back to my early childhood, when a bank near us had a grand opening, with a Tasco Turquoise Corvette-bodied go-kart on the counter. If you opened a new account, you got a chance at that go-kart. I begged my mother to open me a new account, even though I was seven years old, so I could have a chance at that car."

That love for the early Vette eventually led him to rid his garage of another two-seater. "I had a Porsche 911 Targa," says Bean. "I finally decided to get rid of that and find an old Corvette."

How is Bean's '60 to drive? "It's kind of like a Mack Truck, only lower to the ground," he says. "It does have some nice horsepower to it, for a car that size."

Bean adds that will come in handy on roads near his new home. "We bought a place here in the Carolinas, and one of the things I plan on doing is bringing the car up here and getting some use out of it on some of these back roads."

Though you'll see Bean's '60 at Carlisle this year--in the National Solid Axle Corvette Club's booth, near Gate 3--that doesn't mean it's treated like other Vettes you'll see there. "It's not a trailer queen, though I do trailer it long distances," he says."It's not a Top Flight candidate. Even though we're redoing it very nicely, it's a driver."

If you've got the urge to seek out a vintage Vette, Bean says there's something you must do before you buy one. "You have to drive one first. A lot of people have a love affair with the image of the car, but it depends on what you want it for."

He adds, "It doesn't drive like one of today's cars. It doesn't have the responsiveness, it doesn't have the steering, it doesn't have the horsepower, but it's fun to drive!"

Spec Sheet

'60 roadster

Owner Brad Bean; Miramar Beach, FL
Block Stock iron, casting No. 3756519
Displacement 283 ci
Heads Stock iron, casting No. 3774692
Valves Stock
Camshaft Stock “Duntov” solid lifter
Pistons Stock cast aluminum
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Crankshaft Stock cast iron
Rods Stock cast iron
Intake Stock RPO 469/469C cast aluminum
Carburetors Two Carter WCFB four-barrels; PN 3741089 (front), 3741090 (rear)
Fuel Pump Stock mechanical
Ignition Stock Delco Remy points-style
Exhaust System Stock dual
Transmission Stock Borg Warner T-10 four-speed manual (RPO 685)
Driveshaft Stock
Suspension Stock unequal-length A-arms, coil springs/tubular shocks (front), semi-elliptic leaf springs/tubular shocks (rear)
Brakes Stock 11-in manual drums
Wheels Stock 15x5 stamped steel with full wheel covers
Tires Reproduction Goodyear Silverstone wide-whitewall bias-ply, 6.70-15
Current Mileage Approximately 115,000



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