Every auto fan has probably heard of Mecum Auctions. Started in 1988, this family-owned auction company is currently ranked No. 1 for the sheer number of classic cars they offer in auctions around the country — more than 20,000 every year.
This year, their main attraction is a stunning piece of Chevrolet history, a 1953 Corvette being auctioned off in Chicago.
The 1953 Corvette
Everyone loves a good Corvette, but this limited edition model from 1953 is more than just good — it’s a piece of history.
Chevrolet didn’t begin production of the ’53 model until June of that year, after the Corvette Motorama Show Car was so well received. Chevy knew then that this car would be a hit, but still only produced 300 of the 1953 model. Production went up to more than 3,500 vehicles in 1954, so the classic ’53 with white exterior and sportsman red interior quickly became collector’s items.
The ’53 came equipped with a six-cylinder, 235-cubic-inch motor and an automatic transmission. It may not be the fastest car, at least by today’s standards, but in 1953, an 11-second 0-60 time and 17-second quarter-mile helped Chevy launch the two-seater sports car that still remains popular to this day.
This particular model is numbered — 91 of only 300 manufactured in 1953 — and was purchased new from C.W. Krum and Son in Michigan in 1953.
The car was the “cover model” on The Corvette Restorer magazine in 1983. Look for the Vol. 10, No. 1 summer edition if you’re interested in picking up a little bit of history while you’re browsing eBay.
The No. 91 Corvette is still equipped with its original 235 CI engine and two-speed Powerglide automatic, though it was fully restored in 1997. This fantastic little car has only driven 50 miles, total, since its restoration, and has an astonishingly low 59,396 miles on the odometer. Amazing, considering it was purchased new more than 60 years ago.
It’s also still the same color it was years ago — with a Polo White body and a Sportsman Red interior. The soft top for this convertible is black, providing a fantastic contrast as well. In addition, the car itself received an Award of Excellence at the Concours d’Elegance in Dayton, Ohio. It may not be a “survivor” — a classic car that has not been rebuilt or restored in any way — but it is still a piece of history, a reminder of the iconic first year of Corvette production.
Chevrolet has been producing Corvettes every year since 1953, except for one — the “missing year,” 1983 — and it’s still one of the most popular sports cars of all time.
If you’re interested in owning this piece of history, the car goes up for auction as Lot #F145 on Friday, October 6th in Chicago. Be prepared to dig deep into your wallet, though — the car is valued at more than $360,000 based on current trends, and we can probably expect to see that price climb as hardcore collectors place their bids.
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