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Oldest Corvette to be Auctioned at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on November 17, 2005

#003, the oldest 1953 Corvette in existence, is expected to drive across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona during their “World’s Greatest Collector Car Event” January 14-22nd. The #003 convertible wears VIN plate number #E53F001003. As #001 and #002 were assembled and delivered to the Chevrolet Engineering Center for testing, #003 took a different path which is how it escaped the fate of the first two Corvettes. #001 and #002 served as test cars for the engineering center and were eventually destroyed. #003 also served as an engineering car for a shot time but was sold in the fall of 1953. Eventually it turned up at an auction in 1987 unpainted and not running where two collectors noticed many of the characteristics of an early production car including the hand-made ignition shielding and center grille bar. As the oldest survivor of the early production Corvettes, #003 underwent a meticulous and well documented 2-and-a-half year restoration. Completed in 1990, Corvette #003 earned Bloomington Gold, Corvette Hall of Fame and NCRS Duntov awards. It was last displayed at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. As part of the Barrett-Jackson auction, the #003 Corvette will be joined by approximately 100 of the rarest Corvettes in what the company calls the Most Comprehensive collection of Corvettes to be offered at a major auction at No Reserve. “It is hard to find a better selection of ‘America’s Sports Car’ than at America’s collector car auction this year,” said Craig Jackson, president of The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “We’re proud to celebrate our 35th anniversary with an unprecedented collection of Corvettes that symbolize this country’s automotive heritage. The collection ranges from the affordable, as represented by a 1977 T-Top Coupe, to the most desirable, like the 1969 L-88 Coupe and 1963 Z06.” Other Corvettes include: A NCRS Top Flight, award-winning original 1969 L-88 Coupe will also be sold. One of only 116, the numbers matching Corvette is among the top 1969 L-88s in condition, restoration and provenance. The one original owner, numbers matching, 1963 Z06 Coupe is a fuel-injected stunner that is one of only 199 Z06′s built. Restored in 1980 using original parts, it has won many awards including the NCRS Top Flight and NCRS Duntov award. Click here for a partial listing of Corvettes to be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event.

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