One of the great aspects of the Bloomington Gold show each year is seeing the rarest of the rare Corvettes. You never know what’s going to show up on that last weekend in June. This year’s big surprise was 1953 Corvette VIN 009. That’s right, the 9th Corvette ever built. It was being displayed for the first time since being discovered in Oregon in 2010.
VIN 009 is prominently featured in Noland Adams’ book Corvette: American Legend where its unique history is documented throughout. Its primary was as a styling car by General Motors showcasing various future design proposals. In this case the car was essentially split in two in order to showcase different features on each side of the car.
Like most styling cars, VIN 009 features a number of unique aesthetic features. In this case they vary from side-to-side. Note the standard headlight cover on the left hand headlight and the split chrome bezel on the right hand headlight. Other features include different side gills on each front fender where one set consists of separate bezels while the other side is inset into the body. There are also Chevrolet emblems at different heights on each door. Up front you’ll see the left and right turn signals are at different heights on each side of the car. Out back note where the original exhaust outlets have been glassed over and moved outboard like on later C1’s.
Mechanically the car was bone stock, but VIN 009 has worn several shades of paint while on duty at GM. It was painted 3 times alone by the plant. Colors worn include the original Polo White, a silver-blue, green, 1955’s Harvest Gold, and lastly black when it was discovered a couple years ago. You can see the remains of each color in various spots on the car.
The car was being displayed at Bloomington by its new owner Roger Roberts in bare fiberglass. This was the first time the car had been seen in public in decades. Next up for VIN 009 is a removal of the body and completion of the remainder of the restoration.
We’re looking forward to seeing the finished product and we’ve asked Roger to keep us in the loop throughout the restoration. Our photo gallery of VIN 009 is below. For more information the car be sure to pick up a copy of Noland Adams’ Corvette: American Legend.