1. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

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Lot Number
67
1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Scottsdale Auction

ESTIMATE: $275,000 - $325,000
CHASSIS NO: E53F001201
• Historic and very rare first-year example of “America’s Sports Car”
• Authentic and correct restoration by noted specialist
• Ready for Bloomington Gold® Judging

235.5 cid “Blue Flame” OHV inline six-cylinder engine with triple side-draft carburetors rated at 150 HP, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102”


There’s no question that, when we think of the American sports car, we think of the Chevrolet Corvette. In a world of performance cars from virtually all car builders, the Corvette has been a dominant performance car for over six decades. In that time, the XK and E-Type Jaguars have come and gone while hundreds of other models have fallen by the wayside. Making its debut at the 1953 GM Motorama Show as a concept car, no one thought the little Corvette would enter production. After all, with the memories of World War II still fresh in the minds of many, who would have thought that a car named after a class of Navy battleships could ever be a success? But the little Corvette caused such a stir that GM decided to put it into production. Introduced as an American sports car, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line with only minor changes from its show car design; a tribute to its excellent styling. Getting production up and running was also no small task given that it was the first mass-produced car with a fiberglass body. First year sales amounted to just 300 units for its first year of 1953, and it had its ups and downs. But, it survived and the Chevrolet Corvette is now recognized around the world as the standard of excellence in the world of performance cars.

Offered here is Corvette number 201 from the mere 300 that were built in its inaugural year of 1953. This Corvette has just emerged from a full, complete, and total restoration by noted Corvette specialist Irvin Patrick in Paintsville, Kentucky. Nothing was overlooked in returning this historic car to factory-new condition and it looks today just as did when it left the assembly line. All Corvettes built for 1953 wore the same Polo White paint with a Sportsman Red interior and correctly, this one is no exception. The timeless elegance of the first year Corvette is nicely outlined in this example, which features flawless body work and excellent panel fit in all areas. Corvette number 201 was purchased by the current owner 10 years ago and he recently commissioned its restoration, taking great care to accurately oversee all aspects. It was taken down to the frame and all colors, inspection markings, and assembly methods were accurately replicated during its restoration. Power for this Corvette comes from Chevrolet’s “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine mated to a Powerglide automatic transmission. The engine was completely rebuilt, and all correct paint colors, wiring, and hose clamps were used in final assembly. All first year Corvettes were built with a striking Sportsman Red interior that made great use of contrasting colors with the steering wheel, instrument panel, and trim accents all finished in white, while the upholstery, carpets, and door panels were red. 1953 Corvettes used a black canvas convertible top and the fit and finish on this one is excellent with a proper fit and correct stitching. The interior was refinished in its stock red color with all upholstery, carpets, dashboard, gauges, and trim accessories receiving attention. This Corvette is also equipped with Chevrolet’s Wonderbar signal-seeking radio and has its tools, side curtains, jack, and jack bar. Attention to detail was a priority as the process was completed to exacting standards and number 201 stands ready for judging.

There are many hallmarks in automotive design that changed how America viewed a sports car, but the Corvette was the first as it blazed a path for all to follow. First year examples are rather hard to come by and examples that are authentically restored to exact factory specifications are even harder to find. This 1953 Corvette, with its attention to detail and master craftsmanship, is a car that could sit among the very best on any show field. For the very best in a car that represents the very foundation of this American icon; this 1953 Corvette is a must-have for the serious collector of Corvette history.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
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