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1954 Corvette Project

1954 Corvette

Restoring a classic car really is a major undertaking, so it’s no surprise that so many projects go unfinished. What is surprising is how far a long some restorations get when they stall and some of the desirable cars that are never quite finished. This ’54 Corvette is a fairly desirable year with Corvette collectors and someone got as far as rebuilding the engine and refinishing the chrome when it stalled. The body looks good and the paint still shines, but it needs interior work and the engine hasn’t been started since the rebuild. If you’d like to finish this project, find it here on eBay in Lake View, South Carolina.

1954 Corvette Interior

We actually don’t know if the project stalled 35 years ago or more recently, but the seller does claim the car has been in a barn for that long. It’s completely possible that this is an old restoration and has been waiting to be finished for that long. One thing is for sure, the interior hasn’t ever been restored. The seat are in pretty rough shape, but you might be able to save the outer section of the upholstery. It appears some of the switches and dash components are missing and will need to be replaced.

1954 Corvette Engine

The engine looks dusty and has clearly been sitting in this bay for a while without being run. The seller claims it was never started after being installed and it appears that’s because lots of parts are missing. They do state that it turns over and that there are spare parts that go with it, including a new exhaust. If the engine really does turn over smoothly, it might be as simple has getting everything hooked back up to get it running again!

1954 Corvette Project

Overall, this really looks like a great project. If the body is free of cracks or damage and the paint can be buffed out, this really would seem like a great project to share with your son or daughter! If the chassis and suspension look good, I’d get the engine all put back together, replace the brakes, put covers on the seats and get this Vette back on the road! I’d worry about getting the interior right as I have time to finish it, but I’d mostly focus on enjoying it! You?


  1. Vince Habel

    It will be costly till it is done. For the right person it will be worth it.

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  2. OhU8one2

    I’m convinced that this car loving affection of everyone has now become all about the money. Is there any true vintage car enthusiast? Year’s ago when I was a kid in the 70’s, people would fix up a car because it was something they truly had some emotional draw to. Car’s back then seemed to have their own soul,or identity. A lot of cars today don’t have it. They don’t have a story from long ago anymore. Maybe because they are mostly built by robots and have lost that human touch where people put their pride into their work. Like they were signing their name to it. Money I think has basically ruined the collector car market. Today anyone that has a old car thinks it is worth a small fortune. That’s not always the case. I used to love cars, but honestly,the fun factor is gone. And think about the future about how many good restored cars will be sitting around,because the up and coming generations don’t have much interest in the collector world. So then again a gull winged Mercedes won’t be out of grasp,I’ll just be 100 years old.

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    • Mark S

      Hello there OhU8one2 I’ve been preaching this millennium generation thing for a while now, resently there was a post about some very nice cars ending up in a Copart salvage lot. I think it’s the begining of things to come gramdpa dies and the family throws away his pride and joy car, into a salvage yard where it will be written off so it can’t be saved. This won’t just be the rust buckets it will be the nice ones too. I think the only way to stop this trend is to get a young family member interested, show him/ her how to maintain it and turn over the drivers seat when ever you can. Maybe even teach him/ her how to do a burn out. Show them it is cool to own a classic car. And then make sure you (will)your car to someone how really wants it. As for the hobby your right these classic cars are nothing more than disposable assets owned by peaple that don’t know or care to know the history behind this hobby, they know nothing of wrenching on them either. What you and I view this hobby to be is all but gone.

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      • Keith

        I agree with you guys that we need to get the younger generations to be more interested in these older classic cars. But the problem is these rich people with unlimited resources (Barrett Jackson Auctions) are scooping up all the classics that are worth anything which in-turn raises the prices of these cars. The average middle class Joe is knocked right out of the market.

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    • mikey

      I think your very right and true people don’t have the passion any more and are more in to there phone, computer, big TV and that they have the newest fad on the block. Alot of the younger people are of a disposable society not of preservationists. I eat sleep and breath diesel and gasoline my self and have my whole life since about the age of two and now am 33. Still I drive old Datsun Roadsters and old diesel Rabbits. New cars just don’t have the historical pizazz

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      • Mark S

        Mikey your one the younger guys we need, it’s nice to see that someone under 45 is interested.

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  3. Rick

    I’m with you, Josh – I’d do whatever is necessary to get it back on the road, get the motor back together and running good, brakes & whathaveyou; paint looks very presentable, although whatever upgrades to the interior I’d do nice. Not many of these around, even back in the 60s they were scarce. Nice to see one in a color other than white for a change, too.

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  4. David G

    …”If the engine really does turn over smoothly, it might be as simple has(sic) getting everything hooked back up to get it running again!”…

    With technology this old, it certainly won’t be very simple to get those 3 Carbs synchronized and running smoothly. Dealers probably hated that setup back in the day, constantly handling customers’ complaints for rough idles, leakage, adjustments and backfiring when 1 or the other of the Carbs fouled out…

    That said, this could be a good get for a ‘vette person but not til they made sure in person of course…

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    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      David, I disagree. rather deal with a3 carb system than the Rochester Fuel injection done both of those several times over the years.
      Multi carb setup uses same synching tools my Jaguar uses, Rebuild the carbs replace the floats and make sure no shaft leaks and it’s all smooth sailing after that.

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  5. wayne thomas

    as is so often the case, the last 10% takes 90% of the effort.

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  6. JW

    The only vettes I like are the 50’s & 60’s models, not for the speed but they just look more sporty than 70 up ones. I love this one with the Bluish Gray paint.

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  7. John H.

    I believe seller states that car is in PA, not SC.

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  8. 64 bonneville

    Penant Blue, a low production color in 1954. Data Plate on firewall will tell the tale. all 300 of the 1953 models were white, as that is how they came out of the mold. Hand laid fiberglass bodies.

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  9. rancho bella

    Sit in one. Then you will come to the conclusion having the steering wheel inches from your chest and face is not wise or comfortable.

    Like a old Morgan.

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  10. Charles

    For the right person this could be a real find. One of my best friends has a white 54 that his mom bought from her boss in 55. The boss had bought the car new in 54. They have all of the documentation for this car back to day one. The car is included in a bunch of family photos taken over the years. These cars are not much more than an oversized go-kart, but it is a fun go-kart to have. The doors weigh next to nothing with zero crash protection inside. The best part of this car is the story that goes along with it. He trailers his car to long distance events, but drives it locally. One can’t go anywhere in a 54 Corvette without attracting a crowd.

    Like 0

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