A new home for a classic American car will soon help pave the way for several new homes for families throughout metro Detroit.
General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson’s personal 1958 Chevrolet Corvette will be auctioned off on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. EST, by the famed Barrett-Jackson Auction Company in Scottsdale, Ariz. All proceeds will be donated by Akerson to Habitat for Humanity Detroit and its efforts to rebuild the Morningside Commons neighborhood located just east of GM’s Renaissance Center world headquarters in downtown Detroit.
“The 1958 Corvette is pure American ingenuity and creativity and the free spirit that Chevrolet represents to me. I love the car – but I think it’s probably better purposed somewhere else,” Akerson said. “The need for Habitat for Humanity is so great that I thought, ‘Wow, maybe I could really make a difference in a whole different way.’”
Akerson’s affiliation with Habitat for Humanity Detroit has been ongoing. Last February, he and his wife, Karin, made a personal donation of $1 million to help launch “Leaders to Rebuild Detroit,” Habitat’s three-year, $25 million initiative to serve at least 500 families in Morningside Commons through house construction, rehabilitation and energy efficient upgrades.
“The fact that Dan is giving up a car that I know must mean an awful lot to him is very humbling,” said Vincent Tilford, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Detroit. “For whoever buys this classic car, not only are they going to give it a new home, but they’re also going to give new, better and healthier homes to families in this neighborhood – and actually help rebuild an entire community.”
The 1958 Corvette featured a 245-horsepower V-8 and included new body and instrument panels and new upholstery. External highlights included dual headlamps – a Corvette first – and twin chrome trunk spears. Chevrolet built 9,168 Corvettes for the 1958 model year, but only 510, or just over 5 percent, were painted Regal Turquoise. Akerson’s Corvette is a hardtop convertible and is considered scarce among remaining 1958 models.
“I hope the new owner will feel like their money is going to a good place,” Akerson said. “It will help families become more rooted in our community. At the same time, they’re going to have new memories and new fun of their own. It’s not often you can get all of it packaged into a great car, great fun, great memories and that you’re doing something good at the same time.”