Not For Sale: 1955 Corvette Barn Find Story

Vintage Corvettes are among the most desirable and iconic old cars for many of us. Even if you are not a Corvette fan, this story in Super Chevy magazine is inspiring, as it shows that there really are still some very special cars hidden away in garages and barns all over America.

The Roman philosopher Seneca said that “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” And as the psychologist Richard Wiseman said: “Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.” This does seem to explain why some people get all the luck when it comes to finding hidden long-lost cars.

Jim Wallace is a retired GM engineer who has been very “lucky” when it comes to finding rare and unusual Corvettes. He’s found three rare cars in his lifetime. According to the Super Chevy article, “he came across an original LeMans Blue 1969 L88 stowed away in a building since 1979. It had sat in the same spot untouched for 31 years. Nearly 3 years later, in 2013, Jim Wallace located a second LeMans Blue 1969 L88 Corvette sitting in a barn untouched since 1988.” And then he found the third, which this story is about.

This story is about a 1955 Pennant Blue Corvette – it’s a rare car, as only 700 Corvettes were made that year, and only 45 were this color. The hardtop is not a Chevy product but from an aftermarket manufacturer, but looks very cool on this car. It’s equipped with the 265 cubic inch V-8 that was new for 1955, and the optional Powerglide automatic transmission.

This particular Corvette was owned by another GM engineer, George Cromer, who purchased it as a used car in 1959. He drove it for nine years and then parked it in his garage, where it sat until Jim Wallace met George.  It did not take long for Wallace to decide he wanted this amazing find, and a deal was soon struck.

While keeping this car original was an option, its condition was pretty poor after so many years of storage – rodents had a good time with this car. So Wallace decided to send it to D & A Corvette for a complete back-to-factory specifications restoration. Personally, I think that was the right decision for this very rare car.

You can read the full story and see all the pictures at Super Chevy’s website. I love barn find discovery sagas like this one. It’s inspiring to all of us who dream of finding that special car that’s currently hiding in someone’s barn, maybe right around the corner like this Corvette was, just waiting to be uncovered and brought back to life.

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Wow! What a find! Not to mention the other two. She looks pretty racy with that roof on also.

  2. Wayne

    Cool! My father and I restored a 55 when I was a kid. And I remember these cars well. Most of the people that owned these just used them to “be seen” in them (6 cylinder cars) and were never used fo anything but cruising. But this one which the V8 and the Halda Speed Pilot odor under the dash. Was used “sportingly”. I highly approve!
    I was invited to attend the 50th anniversary Corvette Bash in Nashville. And was surprised at the number of these C1s still around. I hate to drive these cars any distance. (Rough riding and not the best handling cars) but they are just plain cool!

  3. sir mike

    I wonder who and why put the Halda Speedpilot under the dash?? Did an owner do TSD rally’s at one time??

  4. Bruce Best

    I love that roof. That is the first one I have every seen with an aftermarket roof of any kind. Not perfect but goes well with the shape. Please post an article about the car when it is finished I would love to see what it was like when it was new.

    Thank you

  5. Rustytech Member

    When I saw the hardtop I thought this might be a one off custom. I had never seen a hardtop on a c1 vette. Looks cool and fast. I wonder how many got the hardtop. I noticed the v8 is painted a light blue, I know the 6 was blue, but I thought the v8 was orange? Any Chevy experts know for sure?

    • RayT Member

      I remember seeing ads for that top in various sportscar magazines back in the ’50s and early ’60s. Not at all positive, but think they were made by a company called “Plasticon.”

  6. charlie Member

    I had a ’54 with an aftermarket hard top, which was necessary if you wanted a top and no exhaust fumes. (unless you understood why GM stock exhaust pipes did not really exhaust out the bumper, but deflected the exhaust down on to the road, the bumper exits being for show) but the previous owner did not know this and just routed straight pipes out the back, and the exhaust rolled up over the trunk and got sucked in under the weak seal of the convertible top.

  7. SFM5S

    Wow, very nice looking ’55 Vette. To my eye, the hardtop suits the car. I would like to see this car after the restoration is completed!

  8. chad

    yes, the finish will B great…in 2 yrs. (I hope it’s – excellent). Wonder how THAT firm wuz picked to do the wrk?

  9. cudaman

    I just watched Mecum auction from last year when a 1955 vette went thru and they said that the ones with the V-8 had a large “V” in the “Corvette” script on the front fenders. I did not know this until today. This ’55 has a V-8 but not the large “V”…….what’s up with that????? I would love to know what the fact is on this……

    • scope

      if you expand the picture of the passenger fender you will see the imprint where the V was originally

  10. ELMER TURNER

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why people have these classic cars for many years in barns, garages, in the scrap yards etc, and never bother blocking them off the cement or ground. How much does a 12 x 20 tarp with bungi cord hold downs and 4 cement blocks cost ??? Just think how much dust and damage could have been prevented.

    Like 1
  11. Rocco

    Very COOL!

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