Corvette Auction Preview: The Bob McDorman Collection


Corvette Auction Preview: The Bob McDorman Collection

Article Contributed by Steve Burns

The white text near the bottom of the front cover of Mecum Auctions’ lot catalog reads simply: “The World Greatest Chevrolet Collector”. After flipping through just a few pages of the paper or online catalog versions, it would be very difficult to disagree with that statement. Bob McDorman has been in the Chevrolet sales business for nearly 50 years. In that time he’s accumulated countless classic and modern Chevy’s in his immense collection. On Saturday, November 6th, Bob will sell the final portion of his collection all at no reserve in a sale hosted by Mecum Auctions at McDorman’s dealership in Canal Winchester, OH. In addition the numerous other models of Chevrolet’s being sold, there are nearly 90 highly desirable Corvettes up for grabs as well. With model years ranging from 1953 to 2009 there’s sure to be something for everyone. Celebrity owned, GM styling cars, early VIN’s, and one off’s fill the docket. Even neon signs, go-karts, and posters are for sale.

The Auction Preview is Friday, November 5th from 8am-5pm. The sale itself begins at 10am on Saturday the 6th. The cars will be offered starting around 12pm and our beloved Corvettes will run after the Camaro’s, Bellaire’s, Impala’s, and countless other Bowties have sold. More information can be found on Mecum’s website at

If you’re within driving distance we encourage you to stop in and see this event. Even if you’re there and not bidding (like me) it will definitely be worth your time just to see this incredible collection. Over the next few days, will be previewing several of the premier cars from Bob’s collection. Come auction day, we’ll be there too and will have a full wrap up for you after all the cars and memorabilia are sold and on their way to their respective new homes.

Today’s sampling will include Lot S70: The Bunkie Knudson ’63, Lot S73: Florence Knudson’s ’65, Lot S72: Bill Mitchell’s ’64 XX Styling, Lot S57: a 1953 Roadster, and Lot S103: Zora Duntov’s 1989 convertible. Information on these cars and all the others being offered can be found on Mecum Auctions’ website,

Lot S70 – Bunkie Knudson’s 1963 Convertible:
Most of you remember the Harley Earl 1963 roadster that sold in January of this year for just over $1,000,000. This 1963 roadster which was presented to GM President Bunkie Knudson is very similar in appearance to Earl’s car save for a few details. Knudson’s car was painted in a unique shade of red called “Rose Pearl” and featured a bright white racing stripe running the length of the car. Power was provided by the fuel injected 327 strikingly finished in a chrome and black color scheme.

Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection

Could this be the next seven-figure Corvette? For now, one can only guess, but for more information on this car check out:

Lot S73 – Florence Knudson’s 1964 Coupe:
Presented to Bunkie Knudson’s wife, Florence, in the unique shade of Pink Pearl, this ’64 coupe is a great complement to the ’63 roadster above. Motivation is courtesy of the rat motor 396 which wasn’t available as on option until 1965. The pink on pink coupe is optioned with air conditioning, power windows, a 1965 big block hood, and a host of other features to make cruising more comfortable. Could this be the very first big block Corvette ever produced? Both this ’64 and the ’63 above have been in Bob’s collection for sometime now. Maybe the new owner will buy both cars and keep them together a little while longer.

Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection

More information on this car can be found here:

Lot S72 – Bill Mitchell’s 1964 XX GM Styling Car:
Owned by GM Styling’s Bill Mitchell, the ’64 gorgeous coupe featured here is finished in a metallic blue with a blue leather interior and matching blue-wall tires. Custom die cast grills and fender vents compliment the chrome knock off wire wheels. Ventless door glass hinted at what was in store for the 1968 model year. The drive train on Mitchell’s ’64 features the popular 327 motor and the optional 3 speed automatic transmission.

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It’s not very often that cars once owned by GM executives become available for sale. We imagine that this car, like the 2 above, will draw spirited bidding from the gallery.

Lot S57 – 1953 Roadster:
On June 30th, 1953 the very first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. The example seen here followed just 117 cars later. Only 300 total cars were made that first model year and each was painted Polo White complimented by a red interior. Additionally, all 1953’s featured the GM truck-based Blue Flame Six motor mated to a 2 speed Powerglide automatic transmission.

Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection

No one knows exactly how many ‘53’s are still around today so expect the new owner to bid comfortably into the six-figure for this piece of Corvette history.

S103 – Zora Duntov’s 1989 Convertible:
Of all the celebrity-owned cars in Bob’s collection, this is arguably the most significant vehicle. Duntov was the first Chief Engineer of Chevrolet’s hallowed sports car and is widely credited by with building the Corvette legend into what we know today. He was inducted in the Corvette Hall of Fame in 1998. Zora’s 1989 Bright Red Convertible features an automatic transmission, a red leather interior, and a matching red hardtop. Unique to this car are Zora’s personal touches such as his name in gold script on the each door and the AOPA (Aircraft Owner and Pilot’s Association) sticker on the optional hardtop.

Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection Bob McDorman Collection

This lot should make for an intriguing sale. In the current market, a 1989 Corvette can be purchased for reasonable money. It will be very interesting to see how much Zora’s 1989 Corvette sells for when the gavel falls.

Mecum will be auctioning the 150 cars that make up the Bob McDorman Collection at No-Reserve on Saturday, November 6th at Bob McDorman Chevrolet in Canal Winchester, OH. For details and a complete sell list, visit Mecum Auctions.

Mecum Auctions

Mecum to Sell Bob McDorman’s Corvette Collection
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