Just Add Everything: 1954 Corvette Body

The great thing about this barn find is you just have to add, well, everything to finish it up. I think we all have dreams of finding a ’54 Corvette tucked away in a California barn –it’s white paint taken on a bit of a nicotine meets eggshell patina over the years, it’s red seats dusty but intact. We would trailer it home, provide some TLC, and drive it off into the sunset. I don’t want to ruin that dream, but the one found here on eBay, is about as far from that dream as I can imagine.

Even though it’s rough, you can still see the amazing Chevy Corvette DNA from the pics. The fin tipped rear brake lights, the dual humped dashboard frame for the speedometer and the passenger side speaker, the drooped eyed headlight holes, and the duel exhaust ports. This body, though, kind of reminds me of looking at a sunken shipwreck – you can see the classic lines in the dim light of the sand and coral, but you have to know what the vehicle looked like in its heyday to really understand how much work is involved in resurrection and restoration.

And a lot of restoration it would be. This project would not be for the faint of heart fiberglasser! I’ll be the first to admit I’m better with metal than glass, but perhaps in the hands of a fiberglass artist it would resurrect beautifully. I’d quickly remove the overlay someone added to cover the rear license plate sunken cave – a feature I would have liked to see in the ’58 to ’62 C1 generation.

Still, perhaps you’re looking for a project that would have a great back story. I can envision a resto-mod where an original body finds a nice home on a donor like the 1989-1996 Corvette chassis and suspension components that some garages offer. Without a VIN number, as the seller cautions, a resto-mod might be the best use of this ancient body. But, wow, what a body it is!


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  1. KKW

    6grand for this? You funny guy you. Lol. Well, they don’t call California the land of fruits and nuts for nothing.

    Like 1
  2. TriPowerVette

    I always suspect ads for these Corvette bodies that say there is no title, since the title for early Corvettes goes with the body, NOT the chassis. The author of this article appears to imply that there is a causal relationship between no chassis and no title, when nothing can be more opposite the facts. Besides; the chassis (such as it is) is present.

    It just feels like someone can spend huge money, only to find someone a few years down the line appearing at your front door with his hand out, saying “Thanks for the nice Corvette restoration”. Though, it might just be me.

    I have always had a sort-of guilty desire for one of these assembled with a tube frame, straight axle, tilt front end, opened up rear wheel wells with M&H’s, and a Hilborn injected Hemi. From my perspective, the existing paint is fine.

    OK, I am definitely NOT the only one!

    • Andre

      …and why would the chassis not be associated with the title, and only the body?

    • Dick in SoCal

      The VIN is stamped in two places on the left frame rail, once forward of the firewall and once near the rear wheel. An experienced Corvette guy can probably help find it.

      Also, this is a Pennant Blue car confirmed by blue paint remnants and the dark beige dash.

      The “18” behind the driver seat may be significant but I have been out of C1 Corvettes for about 15 years.

  3. Classic Steel

    Does this come with the Malibu Barbie and Ken doll with the fake car?

  4. grant

    6k for an untitled, vinless shell that appears to be cut in half width wise? Holy bananas.

  5. Don Sicura

    This car ain’t so bad, it only needs everything, what can go wrong…………….lol

    • KKW

      I say lift the radiator cap, and drive another car under it. Oh, never mind!, it doesn’t have one! Lol.

      Like 1
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    If it has a complete frame, I’ve seen those go for $10K before. I’ve seen a 54 that’s been turned into a restomod and it’s impressive. It has overheating issues but that likely will be worked out. That one started more complete though than this one.
    Other than the body, everything else is toast IMO and even that’s debatable.

  7. DRV

    The frames are very similar to the sedans and can be made into Corvette frames easily.


    I just see a fun basis for a race car, same as TriPower mentioned above. Everyone to see the car would ask, “Is that a real 54?” And you would then explain, “yes, but….”
    Years ago there was a prominent fellow racer at my local Drag Strip, that had a Ferrari body on full race car BBC etc. I always assumed it was a circumstance similar to what this car would be. Beautiful, fun, fast, and never able to be street driven

  9. Ken Carney

    Blank slate for someone out there. I’d use the driveline from a ’90’s S-10
    for power, they’re still plentiful and what you might need is still cheap. The
    V-6 actually makes more power than the original 235, and the 700R4 automatic is butter smooth. Not exciting enough for you? Well, how ’bout
    a 4,5, or 6-speed manual gearbox instead? Sounds like fun to me! Now add
    a 4-wheel independant suspension, and ample creature comforts like leather
    seats, stereo w/sirius satellite capabilities, and ice cold air and you’d have a
    real winner! But I wouldn’t pay that much for what you get here. Just what
    the hell are you guys in California smokin’? Whatever it is, I wasnt some!

  10. Brakeservo

    Somebody’s gotta be making complete replica bodies that are way better than this, and maybe for even a little less money too!

  11. Chris

    it is one of 300 Pennant blue cars
    It has a cloth front end – so a rather early car
    later cars were press molded
    The doors are later
    There are some good parts there, doors, hood, dash, upper and rear surround, conv top lid
    priced even…..its not that bad

  12. Gary McDaniel

    If someone is looking for a complete ’54, I have a non-numbers match example that I’ve had stored in my garage for many years. Would sell without the wheels pictured, originals included.

  13. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jan 19, 2018 , 1:13PM
    Starting bid:US $5,999.99
    [ 0 bids ]

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