The C1 1959 Corvette Restoration Project


If your dashboard is all shiny and clean and all the gauges are working correctly as intended while you driving your own corvette gives you a real kick.  So this means that also some work is to be done to get this right.  Luckily there are no difficult issues outstanding so an investment of a few evenings of polishing and greasing should be sufficient to get this job done.

Dusting and Polishing, Clock, Cigarette Lighter, Ashtray, Dashboard Lighting, Firewall, Oiling


Dusting and Polishing

After careful dusting with a non-fluffing cloth the dashboard itself and all the gauge lenses have a proper appearance.  Also the windows should be as transparent as possible (front, side and rear-window).  Be sure when cleaning the rear-window not to use an aggressive fluid, clean water with a bit of soap should do the job.  Also make sure the cloth is clean and therefore doesn't scratch this window!

Also the chrome on the dash and center panel show look like a mirror, as it was delivered yesterday.


Sadly the clock in the center panel didn't work.  Initially I hoped it would start running when I connected the 12V connector back onto the clock but this was not the case.  Plan B was to open the clock work to check what the problem was.  The four 5/16" bolts of the center panel were quickly unscrewed to enable the unmounting of the clock itself.

Again miss Fortune wasn't smiling at me, the inner side of the clock was badly corroded.  The actual clock work itself was still functioning but the electrical part which is responsible for winding the clocks spring was in a bad state.  After repairing two wire breaches my multi-meter told me the coils were still broken.  Also a small spring was missing so I eventually decided to send the clock to CorvetteStop to get it restored by a specialist.  Currently I'm waiting for it to return.


Dashboard lights

The day I had to get me car approval test done my dashboard lights stopped working which turned out to be a partly melted light switch.  After replacing this switch still some lights were simply missing or not burning.  Replacing some of the faulty bulbs was done in a few minutes but also some light bulb holders were simply cut of the dashboard wiring harness.  After ordering the needed bulb holders and re-connecting them to the harness all the lights (including the cigarette lighter and clock light) burned again.


The firewall of our car was in very bad condition.  Replacing the firewall isn't such a hard job, especially when the heater box is already unmounted.  Only the bit on the driver side is a bit harder.  Replacing the dried out seals and grommets is a good idea when you are doing this job.

Cigarette Lighter

The cigarette lighter unit was not connected at all since the housing was completely broken.  Also the knob on the lighter wasn't correct and needed replacement.  This was easily solved by ordering a complete new unit (titlehough both Simone and I are non-smokers) and mounting and wiring this unit back where it belongs.


The chrome on the ashtray which came with the car wasn't in a good state.  To resolve this we also ordered a new ashtray to replace the existing one.



Supplying a drop of ordinary oil (used for sowing machines or bicycle repairs) does wonders in making the sliders work seamlessly again (e.g. for the airflow and temperature control and the headlight switch).