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C1 Corvette

1966 Corvette Coupe offered by Fred and Terry Michaelis

Over 500 Corvettes are expected to be offered at this year’s Bloomington Gold Auction which gets underway this afternoon. While many collectors consign a number of Corvettes to the country’s largest Corvette-only auction, this year’s event has a special collection of 42 Corvettes that have been hand-picked from the personal collection of Fred and Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvette fame.

Many of these Corvettes are already Bloomtington Gold certified and represent the best of the best. These low mile, high horsepower and unique-optioned Corvettes will be offered over the two day event. After the jump are some of our favorites.

1966 Corvette Coupe offered by Fred and Terry MichaelisAnyone reading this blog for any length of time knows that I’m a sucker for Black Corvettes. And honestly, what could be better than this 1966 427/425 hp Tuxedo Black Coupe? With just 27,725 miles on the odometer and a super rare unique interior color combination of a Bright Blue dash and carpet with white leather seats, this Corvette offers the buyer the complete trifecta mentioned above. Other options include the M-21 4-speed transmission, F-41 special heavy duty brakes and full documentation includeing the warranty book and Protect-O-Plate. The selling time for this midyear coupe is Saturday at 2:10 pm.

1953 Corvette #93 offered by Fred and Terry MichaelisLast year we saw a run on 1953 Corvettes with eight being sold at public auctions throughout the Country with average prices of just under $320,000. Terry and Fred are bringing one of the finest 1953 Corvettes to Bloomington this year which will give us a chance to see if the market is still hot for the first year Corvette. This 1953 is VIN #93 and is considered one of the best 1953′s in the World. Like all 1953 Corvettes, this one is Polo White with Sportsman Red interior, has the Blue Flame straight-six powerplant coupled to a Powerglide transmission. Other options include the Wonderbar radiom, E-brake warning light, windshield washers and Courtesy Lights. This 1953 is nationally known with multiple NCRS Top Flught awards and a NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence Award in 2005. This Corvette is expected to sell at 3:00 pm on Saturday.

1959 Resto-Rod Corvette offered by Fred and Terry MichaelisWith Proteam’s reputation for high quality original Corvettes, its kinda interesting to find a resto-rod in Fred and Terry’s collection. But like all restor-rod Corvette lovers, they were probably intriqued with having a Corvette that combined with the early model classic looks with late model Chevy performance. This resto-rod was built utilizising a 1959 Corvette Convertible body on a special Paul Newman chassis that was built to hold 1994′s LT4 350 ci 300 hp engine and 6-speed transmission. Like the Grand Sports built in 1996, this Corvette has a Grand Sport Admiral Blue exterior and Black leather interior. All the comforts of late model Corvettes are built into this 1959 Corvette include air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, AM/FM stereo with CD changer and halibrand knock-off wheels. The Corvette comes with documenation of the build process and includes a matching gas powered Corvette go-cart. This resto-rod Corvette will be auctioned on Friday.

For a full list of Corvettes being offered at this year’s Bloomington Gold Auction, check out the Cars List at Mecum Auctions. Look for lots beginning with X to denote that the Corvette comes from the Fred and Terry Michaelis special collection.

We’ll have more coverage of the auction as well as results as soon as their offered.

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Spotted on Craigslist: Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop

by Keith Cornett on May 7, 2008

Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop

I spotted this oddity on Craigslist today. The seller states the following: “Unsure of origin. This top is wired for the lights to work. This was not made in someone’s back yard. It may be a GM original concept. Sold the car last year.”

Anybody got a clue? More photos after the jump.

Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop Unique 1954 Corvette Hardtop


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[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1955 Pennant Blue Corvette

by Keith Cornett on May 5, 2008

A Pennant Blue 1955 Corvette Roadster

1955 was the turning point for Corvette with two significant changes that kept the 2 seat roadster from becoming extinct. The first was the introduction of the V8 engine – a 265 ci 195 hp small block that ushered the beginning of continual performance upgrades in the Corvette. The second was the introduction of Ford’s Thunderbird. Ford sold just over 16,000 Thunderbirds in its inaugural year compared to the Corvettes 4,600 during its first three years of production. Some say GM execs were too embarrassed to quit in light of Ford’s success. Let’s be glad they persevered and built Corvette into the iconic symbol it is today.

The 1955 Corvette was the second lowest year of Corvette production with just 700 built. The new 265 cubic inch V8 was mated to a powerglide automatic, although the straight six Blue Flame was offered in seven cars. To signify the V8 change, an enlarged gold “V” was added to the Chevrolet script of those Corvettes offered with the new V8.

Five exterior colors were offered with Pennant Blue being the second least produced color with just 45 examples. Polo White remained the most popular of color choices at 325 while the rarest of all colors were the 15 painted in Corvette Copper.

This Pennant Blue 1955 Corvette was auction by Mecum during their Muscle Cars & More event televised on HD Theater. It features the V8 engine with a powerglide transmission. Other options include the Wonderbar radio, side windows, window bag, shielding and coil cover. It is sequence number 30 out of 700 produced and is just 1 of 45 Pennant Blues produced. In 2002 it was awarded the prestigious Bloomington Gold certificate.

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1955 Corvette - Serial #1

Mecum Auctions has announced they will be selling a collection of three serial number one Corvettes at June’s Bloomington Gold High Performance Auction in St. Charles, Illinois. The Collection of early C1 Corvettes includes VINs 0001 from 1955, 1956 and 1957. It’s a rare sale when any serial number one Corvette is sold, but a collection of three in sequential model years is simply unheard of. The auction for this troika of 0001′s is sure to the highlight of the High Performance Auction held June 27-28th.

The 1955 Corvette is the last of the early C1 body style and the first to offer a high performance 265 ci 195 hp V8 engine. In 1956, Corvette received its first redesign with the cove body style that has become one of the most famous designs in American automotive history. Finally, 1957 Corvettes marked the last year for the single headlights and are known for their performance.

1955 Corvette - VIN 001 1956 Corvette - VIN 001 1957 Corvette - VIN 001

The collection was amassed in Rockford, Illinois in the late 1970′s by Tom Harmer, a collector who recognized the significance of owning serial number one Corvettes. In the early 1980′s the collection was sold to Gene Morton who moved them to Alaska where they were stored and protected. The three Corvettes resurfaced in Prescott, Arizona around the year 2000 where they were purchased by renowned collectors Al Wiseman and George Swartz.

Al Wiseman is well known for his restoration work, having restored and sold several 1953 Corvettes over the last few years. Back in December, Al auctioned his collection of serial number #39 Corvettes which included a 1953 Corvette and its 2003 50th anniversary counterpart. A commemorative 1953 Corvette pedal car rounded out the collection.

Dana Mecum, President and Founder of Mecum Auctions said “This is the only collection of three sequential serial one Corvettes known to exist in the world. Al and George have restored these three Corvettes to the highest Bloomington Gold standards and to the magnificent state they are in today.”

The cars have never been entered or shown at the Bloomington Gold Corvette show or any other event since restoration. The three sequential serial number one Corvettes will be offered for sale as a collection.

Mecum Auctions

[VIDEO] Matched Set of 1953/2003 Corvettes sell for $390,500

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Mecum Collector Car Auction

Last Saturday evening was the first of six consecutive Mecum collector car auctions that are being broadcast live on the HD Theater channel. Some get the channel, but many of us don’t so we’re relying on Mecum’s website to both inform us of what’s coming up each week as well as what the final results are from the previous week’s auction. Yesterday’s mass email to Mecum’s Infonet subscribers gave us several reasons to smile while at the same time cursing the gods of television programming for being shut out from this weekend’s broadcast. But if you do get HD Theater, tune in this Saturday night, 8pm eastern time to see the following Corvettes:

Lot B34 1963 Corvette Z06/Tanker

1963 Corvette Z06/TankerThis spectacular Sebring Silver split window coupe with Black interior is an original Z06 car, and features the massive 36 gallon fuel tank for endurance racing. The $1,818.45 Z06 Special Performance Equipment option package also includes the 360-horsepower, fuel injected 327 with 11.25:1 compression, 4-speed transmission, 4.11 positraction differential, power brakes with metallic linings, heavy duty stabilizer bars, as well as heavy duty springs and shocks. Other optional equipment includes 6.70 x 15 4-ply, whitewall tires, tinted windshield, power windows and signal seek radio. Only 199 Z06 Corvettes were produced and only 66 had the N03 Option 36 gallon fuel tank. A very rare Corvette indeed.

Lot B37 1961 Corvette Convertible RPO 687

1961 Corvette ConvertibleThis rare and highly documented Corvette features the fuel injected, solid lifter, 315 horsepower 283 V-8, 4-speed transmission and 4.11 positraction. The Corvette is 1 of 233 equipped with RPO 687 – Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension package. Other optional equipment includes deluxe heater, 2 tops and Wonderbar radio. Finished in Honduras Maroon with a Fawn Beige interior. It was awarded a Bloomington Gold Survivor Certification and an NCRS Top Flight Award in 1994 and was also featured in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1996. Additionally, it has won the Chevy/Vettefest Nationals Gold Spinner Award and the prestigious Corvette Triple Crown Award.

Lot B1 1966 Corvette Coupe L36 427/390

1963 Corvette Z06/TankerThis is the Corvette that will be kicking off the evening. Lot B1 is a Sunfire Yellow Corvette Coupe with Black interior. The Corvette is powered by the L36 427 ci 390 hp V8 engine. It has a 4-speed manual transmission, side exhaust, power brakes and power windows. The Corvette underwent a frame-off restorationa and features just 50,000 original miles. And while this is just a personal preference, I love the factory original hubcaps in liu of knock-offs on this Corvette. A very nice Corvette with fantastic curb appeal.

Mecum’s auctions allow sellers to place a reserve price on their cars so it will be interesting to see how well these vintage Corvettes do. We’ll follow up with the results as soon as their available.

Mecum Collector Car Auctions

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1961 Jewel Blue Corvette

I love 1961 Jewel Blue Corvettes. This shade of blue is a perfect contrast with the white coves and I think its the first year GM got a blue color right. The one year only color option produced just 855 examples. The rarity and beauty of Lot# 678.1 instantly became one of my favorite Corvettes from the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach last weekend.

This 1961 Corvette is the result of a recently completed frame-off restoration in 2008. Features include a 270 hp dual quad 283 ci V8 coupled to a 4-speed transmission, white wall tires, wonderbar radio and a white soft convertible top.

The Corvette was bidded on for nearly 5 minutes before hammering at $118,000. The full auction video is after the jump.

One of the better parts of the video begins at 3:15 and shows the bidder who at $110,000 is reminded that he purchased the previous lot, a 1965 Nassau Blue Convertible, at $112,000 so why not raise this bid $2,000 so it will be the same price as the previous Corvette. He drops out at $112,000 and then leans over to the guy next to him and mutters $113,000 as a joke and for a moment I thought the ring man was going to call it out as a bid.


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Stolen 1959 Corvette VIN J59S100698

I received the following email last night from Jessica in Ronkonoma, New York about a 1959 Corvette that was stolen from her home garage last week. While I hope this post will help get the word out about the Corvette, my main purpose is to make sure the VIN from the Corvette comes up in Google and other search engines as belonging to a stolen Corvette. If you are familiar with this Corvette or hear anything about VIN #J59S100698 please contact Jessica directly.

Dear Keith,

My uncle found out he had cancer and died within two months, in December of ’07. Everything happened so quickly and before we knew it, my family was dealing with this tragic loss. He left behind a 1959 red corvette convertible as a family heirloom. My uncle didn’t have kids and he was never married. He saved his whole life to buy this car. On March 21, 2008, this car was stolen from our home garage in Ronkonkoma, NY. We have tried everything to get this car recovered, from airing interviews on local tv and radio stations to passing out 1,000 fliers and counting in the community.

Please help us get this car back. Can you post a blog about this car??

With kind thanks,

Jessica Pedersen

1959 Corvette Roadster. Red with White Coves, Red interior and a white hard top. The Corvette is an automatic with spinner wheels and white wall tires. VIN J59S100698.

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1954 Corvette

With all the attention the 1953 Corvettes have been getting recently, we thought we’d take a look at what some are calling the best value of the early C1s – the 1954 Corvette.

The rising values of the 1954 Corvette has surprised many as it appears the 2nd year model is finally making its move. Many factors justify the appreciation of the 1954s, none more significant than the fact that the model year is sandwiched between the skyrocketing values of the 1953 Corvette and the V8 Powered 1955 Corvette. In the past, the 1954 Corvette was in many ways considered the stepchild of the early C1 generation, but no more as collectors are beginning to appreciate the Corvette on its own merits.

Production of the 1954 was moved to its own renovated assembly plant in St. Louis and benefited greatly from the lessons learned from the mostly hand assembled 1953 Corvette. GM’s estimated 10,000 units would be produced but only 3,640 constructed. While the sales projection was way off for the time, this production number is over 10 times the number of 1953 Corvettes produced and over 5 times greater than the 1955 Corvette that followed it.

As there were no real drive-train options offered, the 1954 Corvette is one of those rare years where the values are driven almost exclusively by the exterior color. Of the 3,640 1954 Corvettes produced, it’s estimated that the colors were broken down as: 3,230 Polo White, 300 Pennant Blue, 100 Sportsman Red and 4 Black. Therefore with similar cars (condition, documentation, etc) any color other than Polo White will be valued at $10,000-$15,000 more while the ultra-rare Blacks could command three to four times that.

Our Corvette Price Guide documents the rising values of the 1954 Corvette with an average price of $65,000 and a high of $143,000. However most astounding is the appreciation figures. The 1954′s 1 year appreciation is 30% and the 5 year appreciation figure is 85%. Who’s the stepchild now!

In perusing the market in search of examples we found the following:

1954 Polo White Corvette1954 Corvette Convertible, Blue Flame Six, powerglide, numbers match. Polo White paint with Sportsman Red interior and Beige Soft top. Body-off restored over a five year period with the top and interior being done by professional restorer, John Kennedy of Bountiful, Utah. Show condition! Optioned with powerglide, 3.55 rear, Wonderbar radio, e-brake warning light, windshield washers, courtesy lights, heater, hubcaps, and 6.70×15″ wide white tires. Most all factory correct type components including the spare, jack, jack tools, trunk mat, trunk liner, side curtain, side curtain bag, rebound straps, washer system, tar top battery, shifter, shielding, air cleaners, generator, side draft carbs, and #241 head. A very correct spectacular first generation Corvette that was a recent Bloomington Gold feature car. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. Offered by Proteam Corvette. $119,000

1954 Sportsman Red CorvetteFinished in stunning and rare Sportsman Red with correct Red interior. One of only 100 built, this spectacular motorcar was purchased in Southern California from a professor who acquired the car from its original owner, a GM factory engineer. This museum-quality Corvette is one of the very first three red Corvettes ever built by General Motors. It has only been driven 25,000 miles and has recently undergone a cosmetic restoration, including show quality paint, new interior, new tires and new top (original tires and interior are now boxed and goes with the car!). This spectacular motorcar has been examined by many Corvette experts and is believed to be one of the nicest original examples on the market today. It has the correct, numbers matching engine, correct carburetors and many early unique features such as dual hood releases, ultra-short (pre-Duntov) exhaust tips, correct date-coded side curtains with the storage case, original factory spare and so much more. eBay Buy-It-Now Price: $119,900

1954 Polo Blue Corvette2-owner 1954 Chevy Corvette. 1954 was the first year this car was produced in a color other than white. This Pennant Blue sportster will turn heads at every corner. Except for the paint, this baby is all original. The side curtains, the spare tire, the soft top, gauges, Wonder-Bar Radio, hub caps and even the original windshield-washer fluid container – all original!!! The radio works but the speaker needs to be connected. The Blueflame engine is all original and all numbers match. In 1954, 3230 whites were produced. Only 300 Pennant Blues were produced. This is truly one of the rare ones!!! There are some areas that can use some TLC – for example, the carpeting and driver’s seat. The driver’s side curtain is missing a small screw and both curtains need some work on the rubber trim. The car starts on first try and sounds like a dream. The Powerglide Automatic transmission shifts smoothly. eBay Current Bid: $25,655.00

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Auction Results: [VIDEO] 1953 Corvette Sold for $261,800

by Keith Cornett on January 27, 2008

Cool weather and an occasional shower were not enough to slow down the buyers from coming out to Mecum’s High Performance Auction this weekend in Kissimmee Florida. One of the star cars of the auction was this 1953 Corvette, serial #112. This Corvette was previously offered in 2007 and was the only no-sale out of the eight 1953 Corvettes we saw at auctions last year. At the Mecum’s High Performance Auction in St. Charles back in October it received a high-bid of $225,000.

Serial #112 appears to be the real deal. Featuring matching numbers and the owner’s history, this Corvette spent most of its life in Northern Indiana in St. Joseph County. It comes optioned with powerglide transmission, wonderbar radio, emergency brake warning light, windshield washers, courtesy lights, heater, hubcaps and 6.70×15″ wide white tires.

At the Kissimmee Auction, a high bid from Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvette for $238,000 was enough to sell the Corvette this time around as it was reserved up to $235,000. Total price for the first-year Corvette after the 10% buyers commission was $261,800. UPDATE: When Mecum published the official results from the Kissimmee auction, this 1953′s price with sales commission was listed as $249,900.

Just a quick note about my experience at the Mecum auction. I’ve been going to the Kissimmee auctions for about 10 years now since it was paired up with the NCRS winter regional. It’s amazing how big this auction has become. Huge tents everywhere keep the Corvettes and other muscle cars cool and dry in case of inclement weather. Plenty of seating is availble for non-bidders and this year’s auction featured a couple of bars. Vendors are on the ground and there were plenty of choices for food. Mecum really puts on a great auction and if you enjoyed watching the Barrett-Jackson auction on TV, then you owe it to yourself to get out and see one of these large multi-car auctions live.

Mecum High Performance Auctions

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Barrett-Jackson 08: 1958 Corvette Sets High Price

by Keith Cornett on January 19, 2008

We were damn lucky to see this Corvette get sold. It seems this year Speed TV has a knack of going to commercials just as a Corvette is crossing the auction block. So when the video starts you’ll see the bidding has already underway.

Lot Number 990.1 is a 1958 Corvette Convertible, Silver Blue with Silver Blue interior. Featuring a 283 ci 240 dual quad engine coupled to a T10 transmission, the Corvette has just 36,990 original miles. It has a very low production sequence number of #302. The numbers matching Corvette underwent a documented frame off restoration and has just 200 miles on her since completion.

The couple that won the bidding were very excited. The announcer says this is the fourth car he has purchased and his wife is still smiling!


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