Lot 252 - 1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1
|Odometer reading||34,401 miles|
|Estimate||£75,000 - £80,000|
The legendary North American motor-car designer, Harley J. Earl, convinced GM that they needed to build a two-seat sports car after seeing the offerings from Jaguar, MG and Alfa Romeo landing in the USA from Europe; many being repatriated by GIs returning from the Second World War. In 1951, Earl and his Special Projects crew began working on a new car, which was code named 'Opel'. The result was the 1953 Corvette, unveiled to the public at that year's Motorama car show. Taking its name from a small, maneuverable fighting frigate called a corvette, the first Corvettes were virtually hand built in Flint, Michigan in Chevrolet's Customer Delivery Centre. The outer body was made from, what was then, a revolutionary new composite material called fibreglass; selected in part because of limited steel quotas left over from the Korean War. Underneath that radical new body were standard Chevrolet components, including the 'Blue Flame' inline six-cylinder truck engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission and drum brakes.
We are delighted to offer this stunning 1954 Corvette finished in the classic combination of Polo White with Al Knoch Sportsman Red interior. This Corvette, model designation 2934, is fitted with the correct specification of the ‘Blue Flame’ engine with three single-barrel Carter side-draft carburettors attached to an effortless ‘Powerglide’ automatic transmission. The chassis/VIN number E54S004574 may be broken down to identify the following; the E denoting that this is an early 6-cylinder engined Corvette, 54 denoting 1954 as the year of manufacture, the S denoting the final assembly plant at St. Louis and the final numbers, 003647, denoting the production number. On inspection, the coachwork finish, chrome and interior are all museum quality and the car comes complete with original spare wheel and jack with side screens. The original Blue Flame 6 engine runs very well and includes the often missing, correct ignition shielding. The interior is equally stunning and includes the Wonderer radio as well as all the correct gauges, all in working order. In addition, this Corvette has recently been fitted with wide whitewall tyres whilst the wheels still retain their lovely original hub caps. The Corvette will arrive at the sale complete with its UK V5C registration document and a fresh MoT test certificate.
Imagine for a moment how this fabulously designed post-war dream impacted upon a middle America that was looking towards modern prosperity after emerging from recent World War. Period advertising called it the “first of the dream cars to come true” and we may only wonder what that may have felt like in 1954; but fortunately for us we can still experience a prime example of that post-war dream today.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.