When it comes to the first three years of the Corvette’s existence, the ’54 model stands as the most plentiful, with some 3,640 units leaving the St. Louis factory. That’s more than three times the combined number of ’53 and ’55 cars produced (300 and 700, respectively).
To stand out in such a crowd, a ’54 has to be special – like this barn find being offered on eBay at the “Buy It Now” price of $54,000.
This “highly original unrestored” second-year Corvette is said to have been hidden away for 51 years and indeed still sports the 1960s license plate from the last time it was registered for use on the road.
The seller says the car could simply be cleaned up for use as is or someone could go the extra mile and restore it back to the original like-new condition.
Not that it’s missing a lot of parts already. “This is not a Frankenstein car,” he boasts. “This is a complete original car.”
The car retains its original Blue Flame 6-cylinder engine, including the #241 head and Powerglide automatic transmission.
Beginning a tradition of continual improvement for the Corvette, the ’54 produced 5 more horsepower (155) thanks to a new camshaft. That may not sound like much power, but it represented the most powerful inline-six Chevy had built to that point.
Other small-but-meaningful-to-the-driver improvements from ’53 to ’54 included longer exhaust outlets to prevent staining of the paint by the fumes, relocation of the fuel and brakes inboard of the frame rail to provide better protection, moving the choke control to the left side of the steering wheel to make it easier to use while cranking the car, and a new single-handle exterior hood latch in place of the single handle mechanism.
Notably, this car is said to run, drive, and stop, with the carburetors having been rebuilt, the brakes replaced, and the gas tank flushed out.
Other factory-correct type components are also present, including the rebound straps, washer system, shifter, shielding, air cleaners, generator, hose clamps, side draft carburetors, expansion tank, and radiator.
About the only parts missing, he says, are the original trunk board and mat, the side curtain bags, jack, and original ashtrays in the side door panels, back in the days when it was cool to smoke.
While Chevy finally offered more than just Polo White exteriors in ’54, this one keeps that ’53 look with a Sportsman Red interior and tan cloth soft top. The seller is apparently sandblasting and painting the convertible frame top and adds that an unknown brand of hardtop is also available for an extra charger.
The purchase includes the original door panels and kick panels that are still in place and in “pretty damn good condition,” he says. To get a kick start on a possible restoration, however, the new owner will also receive new carpet, door panels, weatherstripping, and Al Knoch seats. The Wonderbar radio has been removed, but it goes with the sale.
Documentation is also included, with a bill of sale/invoice dated April 20, 1962, maintenance receipts and gas fill log book back to the same year, and the original owner’s manual.
While he likely had big plans for this car, the current owner says he’s moving on with his life now “to other things that bring much joy,” adding that “my loss your gain.”
Will you be that new owner?
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