German tuning house Pogea Racing – whose customized Abarth 500 we reported on back on 2010 – has taken an original '59 Corvette roadster and given it a thoroughly modern makeover. Starting with the chassis itself, Pogea went back to the drawing board and built a new tube frame to which it has mounted a new suspension, brakes and powertrain.
The latter comes courtesy of a modern 6.2-liter Corvette LS3 V8 engine, upgraded with new injectors, camshaft, intake and exhaust to drive 485 horsepower and 431 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed manual with ceramic clutch to a Dana 44 differential. Modern Corvette-sourced ventilated brakes with six-piston calipers up front and four-pots in the rear were fitted to keep the power in check, mounted behind 19-inch modular wheels on low-profile Bridgestone Potenza rubber.
Pogea also widened the track, fitted LED tail lights in the shape of the originals, and refurbished the interior with fresh leather and carpeting, Cobra buckets, Vallelunga wheel, Alpine stereo with sat-nav and upgraded electronics. The result is a stunning package that has all the charm of the original (minus, perhaps, the rear quarter vents...), but with a 3.9-second run to 62 and a 179 mph top end. Check it out in the high-res image gallery and press release after the jump.
Back to the Future – POGEA RACING updates 1959 Corvette with latest technology
"This Corvette unites classic automobile design in balance with the latest in modern vehicle
This is how Eduard Pogea, head of POGEA RACING GmbH outlines the '59 model Corvette
convertible modernised by his company on a customer's orders. And continues: "Within the
space of only one year we developed, produced and adapted current technology to fit in an
American Old timer. Our objective was to marry contemporary driving characteristics, a
terrifically powerful engine, dependable brakes and a refined vehicle interior with classic
The chassis for this demanding project consists of an in-house tube frame manufactured in
cooperation with Foose Design in the USA. This frame not only significantly improves the
convertible's torsional stiffness, it also forms a solid base on which to mount the heightadjustable coilover suspension, as well as the modern drive and brake systems.
When it came to looking for an engine befitting its heritage, POGEA opted for a Corvette
LS3. This engine, used in the current Corvette (MY 2011), was fitted out by POGEA with
extra components to increase its performance. Besides LS7 fuel injectors, aggressive
camshafts and a direct, open intake with tip cone filter, the exhaust flow above all was tuned
to optimum level. Henceforth the 6.2-litre engine is free to howl its zest for life through 45-
millimetre diameter Edelbrock exhaust manifolds coupled with a stainless steel exhaust
system with only 2 silencers. At the same time as that V8 sound massages your eardrums,
the engine performance increases to an impressive 485 HP / 357 kW at 4400 rpm and 585
Nm at 6200 rpm. The engine power reaches the rear wheels via a manual 5-shift gearbox
with ceramic clutch and a Dana 44 differential.
With these modifications, the completely reconditioned Classic puts out excellent
performance: from 0 - 100 kms/h in a mere 3.9 seconds and with a top speed of 288 kms/h,
the two-seater is decidedly superior to the original basic model.
A generously-sized sports brake system taken from the Corvette LS5 provides contemporary
deceleration values. Perforated, internally ventilated brake discs , sized 330 mm (front) and
300 mm (rear) are actuated at the front by six-piston and at the rear by four-piston callipers.
The appropriately-styled 3-part POGEA RACING wheels, 9.5Jx18 at the front and 12Jx19 on
the rear axle, were specially developed for the increased demands of the souped-up
convertible. Bridgestone Potenza 265/40 R 18 and 305/30 R 19 tyres were selected as the
A clever trick allows POGEA to house the enormous wheels in the rear wheel-wells:
widening them by doubling the original mudguards. As a result the rear end grows by a handsome 37 centimetres to 2.09 metres overall width and is equipped with 4 LED rear light
clusters to become a real eye-catcher. The complete paint job in the original Ferrari colours
Rosso and Bianco contributes to the effect.
Red and white also dominate the vehicle interior with its perfect look and feel. A combination
of carpeting and smooth leather turns the vehicle interior into a sophisticated control centre.
A Vallelunga steering wheel with flattened lower rim and seats out of the Cobra ensure more
legroom compared to the standard interior. Together with an Alpine multi-media system
including satnav, a retro-fitted AC unit and servo-steering, POGEA upgraded almost all of the
car's electronics to prepare the Corvette for reliable use in everyday traffic.
Length mm 4501
Width mm 2090
Height mm 1271
Wheelbase mm 2591
Unladen weight kg 1130
Power-to-weight ratio kg/HP 2.3
V8 cylinder, 6162 cm³, 485 HP / 357 kW at 4400 rpm, 585Nm at 6200 rpm
Optional automatic gearbox
Top speed kms/h 288
Acceleration 0-100 kms/h 3.9
POGEA RACING GmbH is a company with a vocation as a workshop specialising in vehicle
enhancement. Besides chip tuning on a Dynojet all-wheel-drive test bench for all current
vehicle models and restoring Old timers as well, they are enthusiasts when it comes to
individual and offbeat vehicles. They are the creators of numerous unique specimens. In
particular POGEA RACING provides refinements to vehicle interiors, as well as optimising
performance and aerodynamics.
This upgraded '59 Corvette has been created as a result of the combination of these skills
and by choosing the right partners for the venture. It is the symbiosis of American roots and
quality workmanship "Made in Germany".
Further Information on POGEA RACING's exclusive, sporty range of refinements can be
POGEA RACING GmbH
TEL: +49 (0)7544 949 8475
FAX: +49 (0)7544 949 8469