The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced in 1953. Though Chevrolet, based on public reception of the show car at the Motorama held at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in January of that year, led them initially to restrict sales of the new two-seater to celebrities and famous public figures (John Wayne got one), sales rapidly turned sour. Though production was limited only 300 vehicles during the first year, it was substantially increased for 1954. The result was a glut of unsold new cars so severe that 1955 production totaled only 700 vehicles.
But the 1953 model continues as among the most collectible of Corvettes.
Number 157 just sold for $440,000.00.
The car was sold by RM Auctions from the John McMullen collection. McMullen, a long-term Pontiac GMC dealer in Troy, Michigan, used the auction to reduce the size of the collection and number 157 was one of the cars he elected to sell.
The car is reportedly near-perfect. It has been fully restored and has won Gold Certification at Bloomington Gold, one of the most highly coveted Corvette restoration authenticity awards.
The price includes auctioneer’s commission.
Though the Corvette got all the publicity, it wasn’t the highest price paid at the auction. Both a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado and a 1953 Buick Skylark – each a limited production model in that year – brought $495,000, including commission. A 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta, which the others, completes the group of limited production cars offered by GM in that year, sold for $242,000. Though the Eldorado, Skylark, and Fiesta were all convertibles, they were all full-sized vehicles. Only the Corvette was a two-seater.