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No Reserve: 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

Purists typically prefer unmolested classics, but this 1954 Chevrolet Corvette demonstrates that the right car can generate significant interest, even when modified. A previous owner sank a considerable sum into this beauty to extract improved performance, but the time has come for it to find a new home. The Corvette is listed here on eBay in Miami, Florida. Bidding has raced to $37,990, and with No Reserve in play, a new home is days away for this classic.

The 1954 model year marked the first of volume production for Chevrolet’s new Corvette. Cars from the previous year had been essentially handbuilt, with the company using 1953 as a learning exercise to streamline the build process. The new year also brought an expanded color range, with this car finished in Sportsman Red with a Tan top. The paint looks impressive, with a healthy shine and no evidence of significant flaws or defects. The same is true for the fiberglass, while the underside shots reveal a few spots of peeling undercoat and slight surface corrosion in some areas on the frame. However, this classic is structurally sound. The top is free from rips and tears, but its condition doesn’t match the rest of the exterior. It may stretch and improve if left raised in the sun for a while, but the winning bidder might decide to splash $500 on a replacement to achieve a consistent look. The trim is in good order, and while the wire wheels don’t tick the boxes for me, there are no physical issues that might prompt replacement.

The new owner won’t need to spend a fortune on the Corvette’s interior. There is wheel wear and a few tiny chips on the painted surfaces, but those are the only flaws worth mentioning. Red vinyl was the only trim color offered unless a buyer ordered their new toy with its exterior finished in Pennant Blue. Doing saw brought Tan upholstery and a matching soft-top. There is no wear or signs of abuse and no physical damage inside this beauty. A sub-standard interior is almost impossible to hide in any classic Convertible, but the winning bidder shouldn’t feel ashamed to be seen in public behind the wheel of this Corvette.

Chevrolet made no significant mechanical changes to the Corvette in 1954, following a “one size fits all” approach to its drivetrain configuration. Buyers received the 235ci Bue Flame six that sent 150hp and 223 ft/lbs of torque to the rear wheels. The power and torque figures look respectable for a two-seat sports car from this era, but the company’s decision to hand shifting duties to a two-speed Powerglide transmission stifled performance. The ¼-mile journey took 18.1 seconds, with the engine running out of breath at 102mph. Those figures fell short of expectations for many, but this Corvette should offer significant improvements. The original engine and transmission are distant memories, with their places taken by a 350ci V8 and a four-speed manual transmission. The seller provides no information on engine specifications, but it is possible that the buyer will slip behind the wheel of a car that has received a 100% power increase. The previous owner sank an eye-watering $35,000 into the Corvette’s mechanical components, and the winning bidder will reap the benefits. It runs and drives perfectly and is a turnkey proposition for its new owner.

Early C1 Corvettes remain highly desirable and typically generate strong interest when they hit the market. This 1954 model confirms that even modified vehicles can achieve that feat, receiving thirty bids at the time of writing. There is still time for interested parties to join the war in this No Reserve auction, and taking it home might only require a single bid. Does that thought tempt you?


  1. Harvey Harvey Member

    I love you but I don’t have any money.

    Like 12
    • David Frank David Frank Member

      Yup! Like they say, “No money no honey”

      Like 6
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    If anyone doesn’t like this car they need to take up knitting or something.

    Like 26
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member


      Like 3
    • Rick

      😂😂😂 .. Exactly

      Like 2
    • Ron

      350 and a four speed but it’s still a ‘54, not interested. Now ‘58 to ‘67 would get my attention.

      Like 2
  3. Dr. E

    The paint on the doors, particularly the passenger side, doesn’t quite match. The driver’s door has some gap problems and needs to be adjusted.

    Like 3
  4. Tbone

    Love the car, hate the wheels

    Like 21
  5. ruxvette

    This is about the 2000th Corvette built. Fit and finish were still a long way from perfect. Panel fit on this car is probably as good as, if not better than, original.
    No mention of what rearend is under the car nor what the brakes might be.
    I agree with ditching the wheels. All-in-all it could be a fun driver (at $40K?).
    As the new owner expect to spend a considerable amount of time under the hood sorting things out.

    Like 6
  6. Rw

    What kind of person says “Hey man I’m gonna put a set of Appliance chrome baskets on my 54 hot rod Vette”..

    Like 12

    LIKE HAVEY I love You and ‘IT” just signed the paper on a full restored 1954 BUICK Century from Gateway classic cars in Denver, the owner says it has ONLY 15 miles on it since total restoration, ‘IT’ is a fine lookin black and cream beauty, AND the history matches mine if you were ever to read my book. HOOOOYAAAA In 1954 I was proven completely innocent and gained my freedom, The documentation says the 54 Buick was built on the day of my freedom and release

    Like 3
    • Ron

      Only 15 miles since total restoration, so you get to do the shake down testing, hope that goes well for you.

      Like 5
  8. Driveinstile Driveinstile Member

    I remember you could buy those wire rims with the baskets from Sears back in the 70s and even 80s. They were lind of popular. And if you took the wire baskets off they basically looked like chrome reverse wheels.

    Like 4
    • Rw

      No they did not!

      Like 7
  9. Kent

    I realize this site needs to make money, or break even, but suddenly it’s bombarded with ads. Ridiculous

    Like 4
  10. chrlsful

    “…tempt you?…”
    No, so I’ll take up singin, dancin AND knitting ! Now…

    ’56/60 I’m tempted. Also to geta wrong or no – motor one. I love
    the dual cove dash, Italianate rear, and blue flame (w/trip YH carb) so
    might geta ol truck motor for it…

    Dare to further sleeper mod? like discs, lower, R&P, hot ign? Sure !

    Like 1
  11. Richard Martin

    Correct me if I’m wrong but those wheels don’t look like the genuine article to me – more like some sort of wheel trim.
    I have always thought these should have had genuine wire wheels – as an option at least, like many sports cars of the period.

    Like 2
  12. Steve Akker

    Pretty sure that’s a replica and not an original that has been modified .

    Like 1
    • Larry in washington

      I think it is real. Frame appears correct. The doors are correct with the glove boxes on each door and the side curtains are correct. Engine compartment has the correct look as well as the trunk. All knobs and steering wheel are correct. It appears to be a real 54 Vette to me. What makes you question it?

      Like 0
  13. JoeNYWF64

    Does anyone make a shorter steering column for this & similar old cars to put the wheel(preferably a smaller aftmkt one) further from your chest?

    Like 1

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