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1954 Chevrolet Corvette: All That Remains


When you think early Corvettes, I can’t hold it against you if your thoughts immediately jumped to imagery of fully-restored coupes and convertibles with perfect paint and rebuilt engines. Well, this 1954 Corvette here on eBay does much to dispel the notion that every single one of these early ‘Vettes have been sleeping under car covers in a heated garage. In fact, this one doesn’t even have a VIN plate still attached, so you’re going to have to navigate the multiple channels needed to a get a new title at the DMV and engage in a major treasure hunt for the rare  bits that don’t come with the car. The knobby tires on the back seemed to indicate year-round usage, but for now, it’s just being sold as a parts car without much of a future. For our Corvette experts, how difficult is parts-sourcing for these early ‘Vettes, and should it be preserved or simply pillaged for its remains and then sent to the scrapyard? Special thanks to Peter R for this tip!


  1. Rich

    I have to admit, it would be a sweet, but seriously challenging project. It would be a great period gasser or restomod project.

  2. redwagon

    my first thought is that it would be sold for the vin but the seller states quite candidly and upfront that there is no vin for this car.

    at 8.5k i dont see the potential.

  3. DENIS

    GASSER!! Straight-axle, Hillborn injectors, rollbar…..oh yeah!

  4. MH

    Parts are around for these cars. But there high priced. You would have to get this car very cheap to make it worth the hassle of getting a Vin number and a title. It would take a very long time to accomplish. I personally think all these older corvettes should be saved.

  5. Rich

    It would even be fun to get it functional and just leave the body as-is. You’d be the only one with a ‘vette in this shape at a show.

    • krash

      Rich….I agree….very cool as is….
      ….park it anywhere…no concern about that pristine paint or trim.

      ..simply worry free…

      no more “that guy in his clunker better not park to close to me..” .

      ..from now on, you’d be “that guy” at every car show…people could actually touch the body….kids could spill ice cream on the hood….rain clouds would be no threat…

      choose the powerplant: the old six, or toss in a diesel and really draw some attention…

      looks like fun, band-aids and all..

      I like the idea of having a worry-free classic….

      hopefully someone with the right amount of expertise/talent/resources will do right by this scruffy dog…

  6. Clay Bryant

    Been away from these for awhile but(correct me if I’m wrong)the serial number is also stamped on the top of the frame at the kick-up just above the rear axle.Might be the starting point in getting a title.

  7. Al Member

    I thought there was a stamped number somewhere on these too. Be a pain to start only to find that this car has some legal problems in it’s past.

  8. Rich

    Clay and Al are right. The VIN should be stamped in various places on the frame.

  9. Hector

    On C1 Corvettes, the car serial number is stamped on the chassis on the top left rail of the frame under the seat area. The vintage of the car can be narrowed down from the rear axle serial number, as well.

  10. don

    would be cool resto, but having a hard with the asking price, there is not much left.

  11. stevee

    It is quite likely there is a VIN somewhere on the frame — front left near the steering gear mount is common, at the rear near the hump or…. Most police dep’ts or DMV people have sources for that info. The fact that this has not been done might lead one to assume that the issue is being avoided for some reason. Most knowledgeable buyers know this drill, and are not likely to bite. Time for it to not be a past classic– but a passed on it classic.

  12. Rick


    E54S001001 – E54S004640

    E (First Digit) – General Motors Identification Code for Chevy Corvette
    54 (Second & Third Digits) – Model Year
    S (Fourth Digit) – Location of the Assembly Plant. S – St. Louis, Missouri
    00XXXX (Fifth thru Tenth Digits) – Production Sequence Numbers.

    The last three digits begin at 1001 and run thru 4,640, accounting for each of the 3,640 Corvettes built in 1954.

    Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car.

    For all 1954 Corvettes, the location of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the driver side door post.

    The VIN is also stamped on several locations on the Corvette frame.

  13. jim s

    seller has 16 items for sale on ebay including a trim tag for 1963 corvette. any guess where the vin plate and title for this car went. i think if you find the VIN on the frame and do the research you might find another corvette with that same vin. seller has 2225 feedbacks with 100%. interesting find.

  14. charlie Member

    I could be wrong, I owned one, but from my memory, the windshield is not the one that came with the car.

  15. Charles

    That missing vin tag is a major red flag. What if the car was stolen many years ago? A close friend of mine has a 54, and his car is not pristine, but it is in far better condition than this one. His mother bought the car from the original owner, a family friend in 1956. It has full documentation from day one, many photographs, and includes the original buyers agreement from brand new. His 54 was his mom’s DD for many years, and when his family was done with the car they parked it in thier basement. The car needs a lot of work, but is complete, not rusty, and has no major body damage. It does have some bruises and cracks on the corners, but wears its original paint. However the starting point is obvious. On this poor example, where will one start the process of restoration? Documentation will be my guess…

    Like 1
  16. John

    This is a very sad thing to see. While the little blue flame cars were far from perfect, they were still the cars of our dreams (until the 57 came along). It’s a bit like seeing current pictures of Bridgett Bardot and remembering her then. Time just keeps passing.

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