1953 Corvettes are very rare beasts and it isn’t very often that one is offered at auction without a significant reserve being asked. Mecum will offer Corvette fans that opportunity at their Rogers Classic Car Museum auction on Saturday, February 28, 2015 when a 1953 Corvette roadster will cross the block with no reserve—that’s right, the car is guaranteed to go home with the highest bidder on the floor.
Mecum Auction – 1953 Corvette
Only 300 1953 Corvettes were ever made and the experts estimate that around 200 are currently in existence. All 1953s were Polo White roadsters with Sportsman Red interiors. Only two options made the list in 1953, a heater ($91.40) and an AM radio ($145.15). Although officially Regular Production Options, they were included in all ’53 Corvettes.
The Mecum Auction Corvette includes:
- 235 cu. in. 150 hp “Blue Flame” 6-cylinder engine
- Two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission
- Black canvas convertible top
- Painted steel wheels
- Chrome hubcaps
- Whitewall tires
- Dual exhaust
- Driver’s side mirror
- Carpeted interior
The first Corvette rolled off the assembly plant in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953 only a short five months after being the hit of the 1953 GM Motorama Exhibit at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The crowd’s response to Corvette prototype EX-122 was so enormous that legendary GM designer Harley Earl ordered the car into immediate production. The first assembly line was set up in the customer delivery garage in the Flint assembly plant and production of what was to become America’s sports car was underway.
The only engine available for the Corvette was Chevrolet’s venerable Blue Flame 6. Corvette engineers did the best they could with what was available, giving the inline six a more radical cam, dual valve springs, a higher compression head and three Carter sidedraft carburetors to boost the horsepower to 150 at 4,500 rpm.
The ’53 Corvette is one of about 230 cars from the Rogers Classic Car Museum that will be offered at no reserve. The museum was founded by noted car collector Jim Rogers who passed away this past June. Mr. Rogers was not only an avid car collector, but also a generous philanthropist who, with his wife Beverly, founded the Rogers Foundation in 2013 to award scholarships and grants to artists and organizations that support the arts in Southern Nevada. All of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rogers Foundation.
Trips to Las Vegas are always interesting, and yours could be made the trip of a lifetime if it included bringing home one of the rarest Corvettes of all.
The first-year Corvette will cross the block as Lot S124 on Saturday, February 28, 2015. For auction details, please see Mecum’s website.
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