1953 Chevrolet Corvette
Sold For $184,800Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 24 - 25 AUGUST 2018 - Offered on Friday
- Number 245 of the 300 produced for 1953
- Restored by noted Corvette restorer and C1 expert Brett Henderson
- Signed by the surviving factory employees from 1953
- Owner’s manual signed by Zora Arkus Duntov
- Highly desirable first year of America’s Sports Car
First introduced as one of the GM Motorama Dream Cars, the Chevrolet Corvette was put into production in June 1953. Born somewhat by accident, it was built as a show car and skeptics thought of it merely as a publicity model. In order to get the car into production quickly, the body was built of fiberglass, rather than taking the lengthy time needed to mill dies and produce the car out of steel. Although considered a production model, each car was essentially hand-crafted. The powertrain was really quite simple, a 150-hp “Blue Flame Six” with three side draft carburetors and shifted via a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. All were finished in Polo White with red interiors and black tops. With a base price of $3,513, just 300 were made.
Chassis no. 245 was restored by noted first-generation Corvette expert Brett Henderson of Pendleton, Indiana. Henderson purchased the car in 2001 with restoration completed in 2003. As his personal ’53 C1, it was restored to his exacting standards with great effort to maintain its authenticity. According to Henderson, no. 245 was built in late-November 1953 and is one of the first to have a press-molded front end as steel molds became available that month. The rear fender wells feature a 90-degree lip (ledge) and the front lower valance has an approximately 1-in. wide front fender well lip as a scant few cars did between chassis nos. 235–261. Correct EX 179 trunk hinges are fitted as well. After the car was purchased by the consignor in 2011, Henderson comprehensively freshened his restoration. The objective was to thoroughly dial in the factory-correct presentation and make this example the finest 1953 Corvette extant. The chassis, a correct replacement unit, is stamped with the appropriate stencil markings just as they would be from new. The overall presentation is said to be extremely authentic with correct markings throughout, proper factory finishes, and even correct paint thickness that reveals the fiberglass pattern beneath.
Number 245 has known ownership from new and was featured at the 50th Anniversary of the Corvette in Flint, Michigan, where the spare wheel housing was signed by all the surviving factory employees involved in building the car. Included is the factory owner’s manual signed by Zora Arkus Duntov, two Corvette operators manuals, as well as a serial numbered commemorative brick, #01245, from the Corvette assembly plant in Flint. Furthermore, along with the spare tire is a factory jack and pair of side curtains in their respective bags. The Corvette has been freshly serviced, including the carburetors and fuel system, and is in proper running order for the new owner to drive and enjoy.
Never shown or judged at National Corvette Restorers Society events, this exceptional ’53 Corvette is sure to impress at its inaugural outing.