1959 Chevrolet

1959 Classic Chevrolet - Engines and Drivetrains

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For 1959, engine refinements were directed toward better fuel economy. 5 to 10 percent in the six and slightly less for the V-8s.

With camshaft, carburetor, fuel injection and compression ratio options for the 283 cubic inch and 348 cubic inch engines, there were eight different V-8 choices, plus a six cylinder.

Top Horsepower output was a whopping 315 Horsepower on the Special Super Turbo Thrust V-8.

Engine Availability For The 1959 Chevrolets

The optional Turbo Thrust 348 cubic inch V-8 used in the 1959 Chevy, is essentially the same engine that was used in the 1958 Chevrolet. One exception was spark plug cooling modifications made in the engine block and heads. Many 1959 Chevy Impalla were equipped with 3 duces.

Turbo Thrust V-8 348 cubic inch - 250 Horsepower
9.5:1 compression ratio - 4 barrel carburetor

Special Turbo Thrust V-8 348 cubic inch - 300 Horsepower
11.0:1 compression ratio - 4 barrel carburetor
Special Camshaft and Modified Pistons

Super Turbo Thrust V-8 348 cubic inch - 280 Horsepower
9.5:1 compression ratio - 3 Rochester 2 barrel carburetors

Special Super Turbo Thrust V-8 348 cubic inch - 315 Horsepower
11.0:1 compression ratio - 3 Rochester 2 barrel carburetors
Special Camshaft and Modified Pistons

1959 Chevrolet Triple Two Barrel Carburetors
1959 Chevrolet Triple Two Barrel Carburetors (3 duces)

The standard 8 cylinder V-8 engine for most passenger cars was the Turbo Fire 283 cubic inch, two barrel carburetor equipped engine, with a compression ratio of 8.5:1. All 283 cubic inch V-8 engines came equipped with hydraulic lifters, except the special optional Ramjet Fuel Injection equipped engine with special camshaft.

Turbo Fire V-8 - 283 cubic inch - 185 Horsepower
8.5:1 compression ratio - 2 barrel carburetor

Super Turbo Fire V-8 283 cubic inch - 230 Horsepower
9.5:1 compression ratio - 4 barrel carburetor

Special Ram-Jet Fuel Injection V-8 283 cubic inches - 250 Horsepower
9.5:1 compression ratio

Special Ram-Jet Fuel Injection V-8 283 cubic inches - 290 Horsepower
10.5:1 compression ratio
Special Camshaft and Modified Pistons

The Hi-Thrift six cylinder engine is fundamentally the same engine used in 1958. Modifications that produced increased economy and performance included a low lift (.330 inches), high torque camshaft and new hydraulic valve lifters. Carburetion changes along with a redesigned intake manifold, provided a high performance economy engine. Very few 1959 Chevrolet Impala's were equipped the the Chevy Six.

Hi-Thrift 6 Cylinder 235.5 cubic inches - 135 Horsepower
8.25:1 compression ratio - 1 barrel carburetor

1959 Chevrolet 6 Cylinder
1959 Chevrolet Hi-Thrift 6 Cylinder

Transmission Availability For The 1959 Chevrolets

For 1959, Chevrolet offered the following transmission options with most engines.

  • (1) 4 speed manual transmission
  • (2) 3 speed manual transmission
  • (3) Close-ratio 3 speed manual transmission
  • (4) 2 speed Powerglide transmission
  • (5) Corvette 2 speed Powerglide transmission
  • (6) Turboglide Transmission

1958 Chevrolet 283 cubic inch Turbo Fire V-8
1959 Chevrolet
283 Turbo Fire V-8
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