Lot Number
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Barris Custom Roadster

CHASSIS NO: J58S102126
• Built by Barris Kustoms as a promotional vehicle for Accessories International
• Customized from new with Bill Mitchell’s GM XP-700 as design inspiration
• Equipped with many Accessories International items and widely exhibited

327 cid V-8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with A-arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102"

Since the late 1940s, Barris Kustoms profoundly influenced the custom car world. After moving to Los Angeles following WW II, George and brother Sam pioneered the techniques and styles that set the standard for the hot rodding world. During the mid-1960s, George Barris was commissioned by Accessories International to build a show-stopping promotional vehicle to highlight their line of aftermarket parts and accessories. For their part, Accessories International supplied various bolt-on accessories including wheel spinners, voltage-regulator covers, and valve-cover dress up kits, since many Accessories International parts were already sold with Barris Kustoms’ renowned branding. As the basis for their promotional vehicle, Accessories International chose a 1958 Corvette that was purchased new by the company and handed it over to Barris to work their magic. George and his craftsmen quickly set to work heavily modifying the Corvette, using GM designer Bill Mitchell’s XP-700 Corvette concept car as the project’s inspiration.

The GM XP-700 was itself based on a 1958 Corvette that was heavily reworked by Mitchell and his staffers as a GM “Dream Car,” which Mitchell used as a daily driver for the first year of its life. Among its many features, the XP-700 had a pronounced, extended frontal section, oval grille, and double headlight pods in the front, deeply sculpted bodyside coves, and lots of sweeps highlighted by crisp feature lines. It was revised in 1959, when Mitchell added a Plexiglas bubble top sprayed with vaporized aluminum reflecting the sun’s heat. Subsequently, the XP-700 formed the basis of the XP-755 “Mako Shark” of 1961, which predicted the landmark second-generation ‘C2’ Corvette Sting Ray that debuted in late 1962.

For Barris’ part on the Accessories International Corvette, he began with a dramatic restyling of the front end, extending the “quad” headlights outward on a set of more pronounced pods. The radiator grille drew directly from the XP-700, featuring a dramatic oval shape with integrated side scoops. An additional hood scoop fed air to the engine’s carburetor, and the signature 1958 ‘Vette hood louvers and trim were smoothed out. At the rear, the heavy 1958-specific chrome trim pieces were removed and smoothed, and sharply pronounced “Jet Age” fins were grafted onto the tops of the rear fenders. A 1958 Chevy Impala roof vent was grafted into the Corvette’s hard top. The car was then painted in a vivid shade of blue with silver side coves and the hard top was painted silver, mimicking the aluminum-tinted Plexiglas top of the GM XP-700. The Corvette was then fitted with the whole range of Accessories International parts, from the wheels on up, and it soon toured the country as the poster child for Accessories International products at custom car shows, trade shows, and other special events.

Today, the Barris Kustoms/Accessories International 1958 Corvette presents in very good condition with the original Barris modifications and Accessories International parts still in place. As offered, it is a super cool and highly authentic period piece, down to the whitewall bias-ply tires mounted on genuine Ansen magnesium custom wheels outfitted with Accessories International spinners. The drivetrain consists of a 1960s-vintage 327/four-barrel engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter. The passenger compartment is also highly original, with black-upholstered seats and a period wood-rimmed Grant steering wheel. This very interesting and unique piece of Kustom history presents in wonderful and very well-preserved condition. Real Barris Kustoms cars are highly collectible pieces of Americana, and this particular car’s unique history and array of period parts and accessories add further layers of desirability. This 1958 Corvette is sure to be a hit at vintage hot-rod events everywhere.

1958 Chevrolet Corvette Barris Custom Roadster
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