When Harley Earl left General Motors in 1963, he was gifted with this unique Corvette Sting Ray Convertible that was customized to his interests by the style department he originally created. The Harley Earl Corvette was the featured vehicle at Mecum’s 2013 Chicago auction and a little after 3pm ET on Saturday afternoon, the hammer fell with the sold price reaching $1.5 million.
Right on the heels of the record breaking 1967 L88 Stingray which sold for $3.2M at Mecum’s Dallas Auction September 7, Dana Mecum is out to break his own record for the price paid for a Corvette. The “Dealmaker” knew he’d have to do something spectacular for an encore at his upcoming Chicagoland Auction, October 10-12, and as if pulling a rabbit out of a hat he is magically offering the special modified 1963 Corvette given to Harley Earl by GM honoring his contribution to the corporation and Corvette, Harley Earl’s personal Corvette.
Although Corvette first made its introduction in January 1953 at the GM Motorama in New York City, the concept that took the country by storm – codenamed EX-122 – was actually built in 1952. Sixty years later, Chevrolet is planning to celebrate the occasion with events worldwide. Once of those celebrations is being planned when Chevrolet returns to the United Kingdom for the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Mecum’s Collector Car Auction wrapped up their 23rd Annual Spring Classic in Indianapolis on Sunday. Over the five day sale, we witnessed 194 Corvettes crossing the auction block with 128 of those cars selling. Sales for Corvettes totaled $6,720,550 and the sales success rate was 66%.
The Discovery Channel will air a one-hour special of the Mecum Auction Live from Indianapolis on Saturday, May 22 from 2-3PM ET/PT. This hour will feature some of the most sought-after collector cars at the auction, including Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette, which is considered by many experts to be one of the most valuable and historically significant Corvettes ever built.
Dana Mecum’s Spring Classic next month in Indianapolis will feature Harley Earl’s 1963 Corvette roadster. The personalized car was a gift to the brilliant designer and father of the Corvette following his retirement from General Motors. The “Harley Earl” Corvette appeared last June at the Bloomington Gold auction where it was a no sale at $985,000.
The personal car belonging to legendary General Motor’s automotive designer Harley Earl was a no sale at Mecum’s 2009 Bloomington Gold auction. The Corvette convertible was the main attraction on Saturday where it was introduced with great fanfare. Bidding started at $400,000 for the custom Sting Ray and quickly climbed to the high bid of $985,000 before stalling. The auctioneer proclaimed a no sale (Mecum’s the bid goes on) as the seller set the reserve at $1.3 million.
As the legendary designer and former head of GM’s Color and Style department, Harley Earl will always be remembered for his contributions to automotive design he made during his reign at GM in the heyday of America’s automotive manufacturing era. It was Earl that envisioned the idea of a two-seater sports car in the early 50′s and that idea culminated with the unveiling of the Corvette at the 1953 Motorama Show in New York.