Corvette Auction Results: Bob McDorman’s Corvette Sales Total $5 Million


Corvette Auction Results: Bob McDorman's Corvette Sales Total $5 Million

Article Contributed by Steve Burns

It was right around 2pm on Saturday, November 6th when the first Corvette rolled up onto the auction block. Within 3 or 4 minutes the Polo White 1953 roadster had a new owner. This process repeated ‘Vette after ‘Vette for roughly the next 3 hours. The auction block, covered in the traditional Mecum Auctions red color scheme, was packed full of eager bidders throughout the Corvette portion of the docket. The earlier cars could barely been seen due to the mass of people, often times 5-6 deep, surrounding them. The crowd lessened as the auction moved on, but the block was always full of people.

According to Mecum sources, there were somewhere around 1,000 registered bidders for just 150 cars and numerous pieces of memorabilia. Based on what I saw, that number seems just about right. You could feel the excitement in the air all day. Everyone present knew that they were seeing something special. It’s not likely that a collection of this significance has been offered at no reserve ever before.

I arrived at McDorman’s Canal Winchester, Ohio dealership at 10am and traffic immediately slowed to a crawl as flaggers pointed the non-stop line of cars to the back of the property to park. The entry line would basically remain solid for the next couple of hours as more and more people piled in to the see the last batch of Bob’s collection receive new owners. Adjacent to the parking area, countless transporters and empty trailers waited for precious cargo to carry home.

As expected, the high sale of the day went to Bunkie Knudson’s 1963 roadster at $440,000 including the 10% buyer’s premium. Next up was the 1964 coupe which belonged to Knudson’s wife, Florence. The pink 396 car found a new home at $308,000. The third highest of the Corvettes was the 1963 Bill Mitchell styling car which fetched $176,000.

On the low end of the spectrum were three 4th generation cars. The 1985 red/charcoal coupe with 1,355 miles sold for $18,700. Miss America’s 1993 40th Anniversary convertible brought market value at $18,150. Finally, Dinah Shore’s 1987 couple managed just $16,500 which is about right for a car like this. Although I didn’t see it, the auctioneers mentioned that the car still had a scuff on it from Dinah hitting her garage at some point in the car’s life.

Overall the vast majority of the lots were in good driver-quality condition. The higher end cars like the Knudsons’ cars, Mitchell’s car, and the 1955 VIN 002 were easily in the best condition of the older cars in the collection. Some cars were missing noticeable items like exterior screws, bolts, and air dams. One car’s headliner was hanging down to the driver’s seat. A couple had left some various fluids on the floor of the now empty buildings on the McDorman property. I found it interesting that very few, if any cars, listed matching numbers, judging awards, or any documentation in their descriptions. It was very nice to see, though, that essentially all of the cars were driven across the auction block. The Burt Reynolds ’60 had to be pushed off the block due to smoke pouring out from under the hood. Due to the ridiculous low miles on the lots from 1974 and newer, these cars were all essentially in as-new condition although there was evidence of some detailing and touch ups on a few of them. The originality of those cars was truly incredible and hopefully the new owners will continue to preserve them in their current condition.

Well Sold:
As with any auction, there were items that sold above their market value and this auction was no different. Leading this pack was a pair of LT-1 convertibles. First up was the 1972 LT-1 A/C Convertible which sold for $55,000 including the buyer’s fee. Yes it’s rare. Yes it’s red, but hopefully the new owner realizes that the engine’s stamp pad was blank and that the trim tag was missing from the door jamb. The maroon 1970 LT-1 roadster hammered at $42,900. After looking over this car, it was apparent to me that a large sum of money would be needed to get this car into tip top shape. The paint was relatively shiny, but the engine compartment and interior had been neglected for some time. In addition, the AIR equipment was missing from under the hood and both windshield pillars were beginning to show signs of birdcage rust. Next up was the 1979 Red/Red coupe that sold for $35,000 before fees. Overall this 4 speed car was in nice original condition with 9,900 miles showing on the odometer, but there are lower mile examples out there and they probably can be had for less money.

Good Buys:
Cars with a good upside were hard to come by. Essentially all of the Corvettes sold at market values or higher. One of the cars that surprised me was 1955 VIN 002 that sold for $143,000. This very significant car was in overall very good condition and was just the 2nd V8 Corvette ever built. Bidding was very active at first, but slowed very quickly. I was sure this car would bring closer to $200k. Zora’s 1989 went home for $22,000. Truthfully, I had no idea where this car would end up, but I was sure it wasn’t going to be in the low $20’s. This car was owned by the Godfather of the Corvette. That alone should have made it more appealing to bidders. Last up on the list of good buys was the 1992 convertible – the 999.999th Corvette built – which sold for $24,200. Milestone VIN’s don’t come up very often. Granted, this technically isn’t a milestone VIN, but it’s still a very neat car to have. I expected this car to go higher due to its white/red color scheme and “almost” number 1,000,000 status.

It’s not likely that a collection like this will ever be assembled or offered at no reserve ever again. Over the next several months we’ll start to see which cars end up at dealers for resale and which ones turn up on the show circuit presented by private collectors. When I asked Bob what kind of emotions he felt watching the cars sell, he simply said “It tears me up”. Having had the chance to finally see his diverse collection I fully understand where he was coming from.

Below is a list of all the Corvettes, the hammer price, and the price with commission.

S57 1953 Corvette Roadster 235 CI, Auto $131,000 $144,100
S58 1954 Corvette Roadster Rare Plastic Bubble Hardtop, Auto $50,000 $55,000
S59 1955 Corvette Roadster Serial #2, VE55S001002 $130,000 $143,000
S60 1956 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by John Mellencamp $55,000 $60,500
S61 1957 Corvette Convertible 4-Speed $83,000 $91,300
S62 1958 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by George Strait $53,000 $58,300
S63 1959 Corvette Convertible 245 HP, 4-Speed $67,000 $73,700
S64 1960 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by Burt Reynolds $45,000 $49,500
S65 1961 Corvette Convertible 3-Speed $42,000 $46,200
S66 1962 Corvette Convertible $71,000 $78,100
S67 1963 Corvette Coupe A/C, 2-Bar KO Wheels $63,000 $69,300
S68 1963 Corvette Convertible Factory A/C, 2-Bar KO Wheels $81,000 $89,100
S69 1963 Corvette Convertible Fuel Injection $53,000 $58,300
S70 1963 Corvette Convertible Bunkie Knudsen’s $400,000 $440,000
S71 1963 Corvette Coupe Fuel Injection $65,000 $71,500
S72 1964 Corvette Coupe Bill Mitchell Experimental Sting Ray XX $160,000 $176,000
S73 1964 Corvette Coupe Previously Owned by Florence Knudsen $280,000 $308,000
S74 1965 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 194375S100001 $75,000 $82,500
S75 1966 Corvette Convertible Serial #6, 194676S100006 $50,000 $55,000
S76 1967 Corvette Convertible Serial #7, Pilot Line Car, 194677S100007 $59,000 $64,900
S77 1967 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by Ricky Van Shelton $50,000 $55,000
S78 1967 Corvette Coupe Big Block, Tri-Power $60,000 $67,100
S79 1968 Corvette Convertible Serial #2, 194678S400002 $30,000 $33,000
S80 1969 Corvette Convertible Serial # 435, 194679S700435, 427/435 $67,000 $73,700
S81 1970 Corvette LT1 Convertible 350/370 HP $39,000 $42,900
S82 1971 Corvette Convertible Serial #3, 194671S100003 $47,500 $51,700
S83 1972 Corvette LT1 Coupe 350/255 HP, 4-Speed $43,000 $47,300
S84 1972 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1Z37V2S500001 $46,000 $50,600
S85 1972 Corvette LT1 Convertible $50,000 $55,000
S86 1973 Corvette Coupe Previously Owned by Rosemary Clooney $27,000 $29,700
S87 1974 Corvette Coupe $19,000 $20,900
S88 1975 Corvette Convertible 350/205 HP, 4-Speed $50,000 $55,000
S89 1976 Corvette Coupe 350/210 HP, 4-Speed $29,000 $31,900
S90 1977 Corvette Coupe $28,500 $31,350
S91 1978 Corvette Silver Anniversary $35,000 $38,500
S92 1979 Corvette Coupe 350/225 HP, 4-Speed $35,000 $38,500
S93 1980 Corvette Coupe 350 CI, Auto $23,000 $25,300
S94 1981 Corvette Coupe Auto $28,000 $30,800
S95 1982 Corvette Coupe Collector Edition $38,000 $41,800
S96 1984 Corvette Coupe Serial #7, 1G1AY0783E5100007 $25,000 $27,500
S97 1984 Corvette Coupe 750,000 Corvette Built $39,000 $42,900
S98 1985 Corvette Coupe $17,000 $18,700
S99 1986 Corvette Pace Car Serial #1, 1G1YY6788G5900001, Rare Hardtop $40,000 $44,000
S100 1986 Corvette Coupe Previously Owned by Johnny Carson $19,000 $20,900
S101 1987 Corvette Coupe Previously Owned by Dinah Shore $15,000 $16,500
S102 1988 Corvette 35th Anniversary $37,000 $40,700
S103 1989 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by Zora Duntov $20,000 $22,000
S104 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe $46,000 $50,600
S105 1991 Corvette
S106 1992 Corvette Convertible 999,999th Corvette Built $22,000 $24,200
S107 1993 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by Miss America $16,500 $18,150
S108 1994 Corvette Convertible Previously Owned by Mario Andretti $28,000 $30,800
S109 1994 Corvette Coupe Rare Copper Metallic Paint $23,000 $25,300
S110 1994 Corvette Convertible Rare Copper Metallic Paint $24,500 $26,950
S111 1995 Corvet ZR1 Coupe 405 HP, 6-Speed $61,000 $67,100
S112 1995 Corvette Pace Car 350/300 HP $34,000 $37,400
S113 1996 Corvette Grand Sport 350/330 HP, 6-Speed $43,000 $47,300
S114 1996 Corvette Collectors Edition Serial #2, 1G1YY32PXT5100002 $24,000 $26,400
S115 1996 Corvette Serial #1 1G1YY2257T5100001, Last Year of C4 $22,000 $24,200
S116 1996 Corvette Coupe Collector Edition $28,000 $30,800
S117 1996 Corvette Grand Sport 1 of 810 Built, 350/330 HP, 6-Speed $53,000 $58,300
S118 1996 Corvette Collectors Edition 6-Speed $33,000 $36,300
S119 1997 Corvette Coupe Serial #2, 1G1YY22G3V5100002 $29,500 $32,450
S120 1998 Corvette Coupe 1 of 15 Special Color $26,000 $28,600
S121 1998 Corvette Convertible 1 of 3 Special Color $29,000 $31,900
S122 1998 Corvette Coupe Serial #2, 1G1YY22G1W5100002 $27,000 $29,700
S123 1998 Corvette Pace Car $42,000 $46,200
S124 1998 Corvette Convertible Serial #3, 1G1YY32G6W5100003 $29,000 $31,900
S125 1999 Corvette Coupe 1G1YY22G0X5133283, Last 20th Century Coupe $24,000 $26,400
S126 2000 Corvette Coupe Special One-Of Assembly Plant Edition $69,000 $75,900
S127 2001 Corvette Convertible John Cafaro Design $51,000 $56,100
S128 2000 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY22G6Y5100001 $24,000 $26,400
S129 2001 Corvette Z06 Hardtop Serial #1, 1G1YY12S015100001 $49,000 $53,900
S130 2002 Corvette Coupe Previously Owned by Alan Jackson $22,000 $24,200
S131 2002 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY22G725100001 $26,000 $28,600
S132 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary 4-Speed Auto $41,000 $45,100
S133 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary Conversion $65,000 $71,500
S134 2003 Corvette Coupe Serial #3, 1G1YY22G935100003 $36,500 $40,150
S135 2003 Corvette Anniversary Edition Coupe Serial #2003, 1G1YY22G835102003 $36,000 $39,600
S136 2004 Corvette Coupe Serial # 34,064, 1G1YY22GX45134064 $41,000 $45,100
S137 2004 Corvette Coupe Nomad Conversion $70,000 $77,000
S138 2004 Corvette Pace Car 346/350 HP $112,000 $123,200
S139 2005 Corvette Coupe Serial #2, 1G1YY24UX55100002 $33,500 $36,850
S140 2006 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY26UX65100001 $40,000 $44,000
S141 2007 Corvette Z06 Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY25E575100001 $54,000 $59,400
S142 2007 Corvette Convertible Pace Car $53,000 $58,300
S143 2008 Corvette Convertible Pace Car $50,000 $55,000
S144 2008 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY26W485100001 $43,000 $47,300
S145 2009 Corvette Coupe Serial #1, 1G1YY26W295100001 $48,000 $52,800
    Total Sales:    $4,599,000 $5,058,900


Corvette Auction Preview: Bob McDorman’s Late Model Corvettes
Corvette Auction Preview: Bob McDorman’s “Four-of-a-Kind” 1963 Corvettes
Corvette Auction Preview: The Bob McDorman Collection
Mecum to Sell Bob McDorman’s Corvette Collection



  1. Very nice write-up, unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the auction. Your write-up was well done and much appreciated. It made me feel like I was there…



  2. I was at the auction to buy some of these so called vin# 1, 2, and 3 cars!
    What I found is that all but two of the cars from 53-67 were REAL!!!
    The 1957 vin#007 was a real vin tag but everything else was wrong, The 1967 #007 was the only real deal out of that bunch! The others had reproduction vin plates or swiched out from other cars. For example: the 65 vin#001 had the wrong rivets on both tags, the block was a real 65 with a different vin#, trim tag is for a black car with silver vinyl interior!! So that explains the lack of paperwork.

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