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Bloomington Auction Preview: Two 1953 Corvette Roadsters

by Keith Cornett on June 13, 2007

Why do we like the Bloomington Gold High Performance Auction so much? It’s a pure Corvette event featuring over 500 Corvettes for sale, surrounded by the faithful who make the annual pilgrimage every year. Where other auctions are higher profile and attract the crazy money like Barrett-Jackson’s two events, the Corvette auction at Bloomington is a real harbinger of where the Corvette Market is. And that’s why we are very interested in the two 1953 Corvette Roadsters that will be hitting the auction block. 1953 Corvettes are special because they were the first. For the most part these Corvettes were hand assembled and had their issues. It was more of a touring car than sports car with its 6 cylinder Blue Flame engine. The 300 Corvettes produced during the first year of the Corvette is the lowest production number for any year since and that is part of its mystique. While performance junkies have driven up the pricing of midyears and fuelies over the last five years, the 1953 Corvette has for the most part sat quietly by and waited for its turn. So is 2007 the year the 1953 Corvette Roadster finally makes its move in the Collector Car market? These Corvettes don’t come up for sale very often, but already this year we’ve seen three 1953 Corvettes sell and with each sale, the bar is raised. And because of the low production, three Corvettes are significant as they represent 1% of the entire production quantity, and that’s making the assumption that all 300 are still around. In reality, the number is probably in the 250 range at best. The trend started in January at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale. There, an NCRS Top Flight 1953 Corvette Roadster sold for $298,350. At the Houston Classic in May 2007, a 1953 Corvette Roadster was sold for $396,000. And then, just last weekend, the 1953 Corvette with a 12 year old Bloomington Gold certificate was sold for $440,000. All three sales prices include the auction commission. Here are the two 1953 Corvettes being offered this weekend by Mecum at the Bloomington Gold Auction:

1953 CorvetteLot S53 is expected to hit the block around 5:00pm on Saturday. It is Chassis #210 and has been housed in a climate controlled garage with the same owner for the last 13 years. The side curtains are included and stored in the trunk.
1953 CorvetteLot S91 is expected on the block at 6:45pm on Saturday. The Roadster is Chassis #107 and has a Bloomington Gold certificate. The Corvette is matching numbers and has just 120 on it since restoration. It’s a complete Corvette with the Convertible top, Side Curtains, Jack and Handle. This will be the one to watch on Saturday.
Will the trend continue at Bloomington or are we in for a reality check? Will we see these Corvettes get bid up but not reach the reserve price, thereby guaranteeing one or both will be trailered to Scottsdale in 2008? We’ll find out on Saturday and bring you the results next week.
Source:
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