Daily Driver Survivor: 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

Can you believe that in just 2 short years, the Corvette will have been in production for 70 years? That’s a long time for a model run! This ‘Vette was made in the second year of production, and is up for sale in Siloan Springs, Arkansas here on eBay with a “Buy It Now” price of $75,000.

The Corvette was introduced at the 1953 Motorama show in New York, and was developed as a way to boost excitement in the Chevy brand while challenging the European-style sports cars that became popular in the 1940s. The first major production car to be made in fiberglass, it had a positive reception, but the 150 horsepower “Blue Flame Six” engine coupled with the 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission didn’t really give it sports car performance. Only 183 of the original 300 Corvettes were sold.

Over the course of the next few years, the Corvette was slowly given more options and upgrades to turn it into the exciting sports car we all know and love, but this 1954 model will steel feel like more of a cruiser than a sports car. One of the benefits of fiberglass is the lack of rust – other than some chipped paint that the seller mentions, the body looks to be in fantastic condition. While there are no photos, we are also told that the frame looks as if the body were removed at some point for it to be cleaned. All the chrome trim looks to be undamaged, as do the 2 original side windows which are included. Even the top looks to be perfect.

The white paint on red interior is a classic color combination that looks great on this vehicle. The dash is clean and simple with an array of gauges, all of which work except for the gas gauge. The seats and door panels look almost brand-new. Really, the only flaw is dirty carpet which should be easily cleaned.

The engine compartment is clean and tidy, and shows the original engine which apparently runs well after an overhaul, though we aren’t told what exactly that means. Notice the 3 horizontal Carter carburetors on the side of the engine – they were utilized to help the engine clear the hood, but the bullet style definitely accents the overall design of the car. The listing states that all 3 of them are tuned and working smoothly. In addition to what we can see in the engine bay, the seller also states that the master cylinder has been replaced as well as the brake shoes and wheel cylinders. He also thinks the front end may have been rebuilt at some point. Appearing to be in excellent condition both inside and out, this survivor Corvette will need nothing from its next owner!

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Comments

  1. Bamapoppy

    Nick, I have never read that only 183 of the 1953 models sold. Please tell me more. Would a contributing factor be that it was introduced in June and the 1954 models premiered in September?

    Like 3
    • Steve Slader

      So happened to the other 100+ not sold? Trashed??

      Like 1
      • gbvette62

        I don’t know where the writer came up with only 183 being sold, all 300 were built and they all ended up in the hands of the public.

        The Corvette was first shown to the public in New York City in January 1953. The response was so great (GM received 20,000 inquiries to buy one) that the Corvette was rushed into production. The 300 53’s were all hand built in a makeshift factory in Flint MI, while factory was prepared in St’ Louis for full production in 54. The first 53 was completed on June 30, 1953. In an effort to promote the car, Chevrolet wanted the first 300 to go into the hands of high profile people, such as celebrities, politicians, and sports figures (John Wayne got one of the first 60 built).

        Roughly 225 53’s are still known to exist, including the first prototype, 001 and 002. One of my customers has a number of 53-55’s, including 53 number 015.

        Like 5
  2. Joe

    A bottle is Westley’s would have made a huge difference.

    Like 5
  3. Mike Stephens Staff

    What a beautiful car, and look how easy it is to get under that hood and maintain everything!

    Like 6
  4. Steve Clinton

    70-year-old daily driver? If it was mine, it would be where it belongs…in a museum!

    • Frank Sumatra

      Why? I intend to make sure no one will want my NCRS Top Flight Corvette when I’m done with it.

      Like 2
  5. MKG

    Hmmm, according to Encyclopedia of American Cars There were either 300 or 315 produced. It appears “some” were given away as ads and promotion. Although I’ve never read how many were “sold”, this may be a correct number. Interesting take on the numbers.

    Like 2
  6. JoeNYWF64

    Odd the 1st time i noticed that the fan blades are blue too.

    What was the 1st year for a/c in a vette? ’63?

    The side windows on the “new” camaro seem to look smaller each time i see the car, tho i rarely see one …
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/SToAAOSwyMFg9gJT/s-l1600.jpg

    Like 1
  7. Ike Onick

    I also can’t believe I have almost been in production for 70 years. Alas, I have the medical bills to prove it. Being a car guy, I keep all my repair and maintenance receipts

    Like 1
    • MKG

      Like old collector cars, its a good thing they are making replacement parts for us.

      Like 3
  8. Bruce71Camino

    I would like to buy it and take Tom for a ride in it.

    Like 1
  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    You don’t come across one of these in this kind of original shape very often. Of course, I’d rather have a ’53, mostly because I’m also a ’53 model and us old farts have got to stick together. Although I like everything about the Corvette, right down to the Blue Flame Six, I think that whoever chose to drop a cast-iron Powerglide transmission in that was drinking his own bathwater. But I wouldn’t change it, just keep a sizeable pan underneath to catch the oil that seeps out of the breather once the fluid seeps out of the torque converter. Drive it lots and that won’t happen–as much…

    Like 2
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    One of the club members had a 54 and one thing he said was the windows can be a big problem. The side windows don’t roll down into the door, rather they slip in and out. He said his car did not come with usable units and had to have them custom built (not cheap).
    From what I can see of this one it looks pretty good.

    Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      I would imagine the ones in the early ’90s Viper roadsters were nothing to brag about either.

    • Dave

      Well, since there was no 1983 model year Corvettes, doesn’t that mean it will have been in production 70 years 3 years from now?

  11. Steve H Member

    KOOL!
    I drove in one of the first 183 produced when I was 8; I still remember it 70 years ago.

  12. chrlsful

    altho my fav vette engine (the YH side drafts’n i6 motor) only like (sacrilege – I’d put it in) the ’56/60. Well, the 1 yr ’63 too.

    Like 1
  13. James Bishop

    gbvette62 is correct on all his info . I agree , I don’t know where this guy got his info , but he is not correct . GM had a lot of orders to fill if they could of but that didn’t happen in1953 . The St. Louis Corvette plant which I live near ( Closed in 1981) didn’t get tooled/production ready until1954 and all 300 1953 Corvettes were sold .

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