Sold As Is: 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

And now for something from the, “What in the world happened?” department. For your review is a second-year 1954 Chevrolet Corvette that is claimed to be a “PROJECT CAR NEEDS WORK RESTORATION“. OK, nailed, that one, let’s see what’s here. This ‘Vette is located in Walker, Louisiana and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $15,000 with nine bids tendered so far.

To cut to the chase, there’s not a lot of good going on here. It does have an uncommonly encountered removable hardtop, so that’s notable. And there is an accompanying front clip to compensate for what’s missing but it’s not in great shape. There are also some included pieces of trim but they’re not identified and appear to be a minimal amount of what’s missing. The seller adds, “What you see pictured is exactly for sale“. The frame is claimed to have been blasted and painted many years ago but there are no revealing images included. What is revealed, however, is a fiberglass body that has received a lot of grinding and patching but still has a collection of scratches, gouges, and cracks.

The “Blue Flame” 235 CI, in-line six-cylinder engine is in place but it’s missing, what is probably its most outstanding feature, its triple carburetor set-up and intake manifold. But there’s a lot more that is among the missing in the form of its split exhaust manifold, generator/brackets, linkage, wiring, radiator, etc. The transmission is listed as being manual though a Powerglide two-speed automatic was all that was available in ’54 – more on that to follow. So, no this is obviously a non-runner.

With the exception of the seats, the interior is not much better than the exterior and reveals a rather ruined environment. The vestiges of a non-readable speedometer are still in place but the other gauges are gone. There is what looks like a manual gear shifter laying about on the floor and if you look closely at the console, you can spy a four-speed manual shift plate – a conversion from the original automatic? An inquiry will be necessary. At least the steering wheel is still in place…

Being a second-year Corvette and one of 3,640 assembled in ’54 gives this ‘Vette cred, unfortunately, this subject includes a lot of crud too. Restored examples regularly trade in the high five/low six-figure range and this example is doing surprisingly well at $15K considering what’s missing and the shape of what remains. My thought is GLWTA, what’s yours?

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Comments

  1. Rasputin

    I’m pretty slow in the thinking department, but even I am not dumb enough to buy this. You would be better off throwing that 15000 dollars out your car window. At least you would make people happy and might get you some girls.

    Like 20
  2. DanaPointJohn

    Someone must think they can get it for $20K, put $80 – 100K into it, and make profit. I think GLWT is only the starting point with this carcass. Now, about that swampland I have for sale…

    Like 3
  3. John Scott Marquis

    Suitable only to illustrate the Wiki entry for “dumpster fire”.

    Like 2
  4. Chris

    Judging from the other cars in the shop I get the impression that this car was used for parts for the others and now we are selling what is left.

    Like 9
  5. DRV

    The hardtop is worth more than the car. 5 grand tops….

    Like 3
  6. Neil G

    Walker, La homes endured major flooding in 2016. From the looks of this Corvette, it might have spent a little time underwater…

    Like 4
    • Lance

      Hey Neil dosen’t fibreglass float.? Lotta boats made with it. LOL

      Like 7
      • Neil G.

        Yes and No. Back in the 70’s I sank the family’s fiberglass ski boat after hitting a submerged object and the monster Mercury outboard motors pulled her down to the bottom of the Channel. No one was hurt, but after that, Dad only allowed me to use the Aluminum fishing boat.

        Like 1
  7. Howard A Member

    I know, we gasp in horror, but a stark reminder, at one time, this was just a junk car in someones yard. The front looks cut off, the kids threw rocks at it, parts were taken for other projects. As unbelievable as it may be, at the time, there was just no value here.
    SO,,,fast forward 50 years, most of these have already been found, so clearly the bottom of the barrel. This person scarfed this hulk up for peanuts, dug it out of the brush, does nothing, and puts a $15g price tag on it. Not bad, hey?

    Like 12
  8. Mike

    Another ’54 Vette on BF. 18 of them on BF last year. Can we break the record this year?

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Probably, I’ll work on it.

      JO

      Like 6
  9. Steveo

    If it has a vin plate and title it has some value to someone who ‘found’ a nice car without title to it.

    Like 2
    • gbvette62

      It has a VIN tag and title, it will have a lot of value to someone as the basis for a quarter million dollar restomod build. One of my customers is a Corvette restoration shop that’s doing almost all restomods now.

      While the engine may be an original 54 Corvette engine, the cylinder head isn’t. 54 Corvettes came with a “241” (last three digits of the casting number), this engine has a common passenger car “848” head. 241’s sell for $3000-$3500, if you can find one. Even if you can buy this car for $15K, it’s probably not worth restoring, but it’s the perfect starting point for a restomod.

      Like 9
      • drew

        One of the ’54s here on Barnfinds at the end of December is back on ebay after being stripped of the majority of parts. Presumably what’s left is for restomod.What a shame.

        Like 1
  10. DRV

    I bought the special thermostat housing in 1990 for 700.00 which was wrong on a ’54 with only 14k miles on it. I never figured that one out.

    Like 1
  11. Frank Sumatra

    I think the restomod market will pass on at about the same time the typical restomod buyers generation passes on. Take a look at who buys them at the big auctions. Nobody under 60 has any interest in them.

    Like 3
    • gbvette62

      Sorry, I disagree, I think it’s going to be the other way around. As those over 60 age out of the hobby, or die, the interest and value in stock, correctly restored cars, is what will “pass on”. The shops I have for customers are building restomods for 40 and 50 year old’s, and restoring cars for those in their 60’s and 70’s.

      I’m 67 and started restoring pre WWII cars, when I was 14. My father and I have owned 40 or 50 prewar cars and trucks. I watched how the market for prewar cars switched from restored cars bringing the big dollars, to street rods being $100K cars, and the restored cars not worth what they were 20 years ago.

      The collector car hobby is driven by nostalgia. Restored cars are desired by people who grew up watching and wanting them when new. They couldn’t afford them then, but can when they’re older. But as these older hobbyist are replaced by younger people, that nostalgic attachment to originality gets replaced too. Without that nostalgic attachment, the younger hobbyist place more value better suspension, brakes, engines and comfort features, than originality.

      Just like how Packard’s and V16 Caddies have held their value, certain rare models, like L-88’s & 63 Z06’s, will hold their value. But the run of the mill 65 coupe or 71 convertible will eventually plateau and even decline. 15 years ago I saw this coming, I use to tell NCRS friends this and they thought I was nuts. They don’t think so anymore.

      Like 6
      • Scott

        While I mostly agree with you, I have been hearing this for 25 years. It is a slow process.

        Like 1
  12. Ed Smith Member

    I’m having a hard time seeing 15 grand fir what’s left also . I know 50’s corvette parts are hard to come by at any price . But other than the top I don’t see any value . I do love C1 corvettes and yes I would buy a resto mod I think they are awesome

    Like 2
  13. Sam Shive

    For $100.00 I pull it out of the BARN and take it to the local GO PULL IT.

    Like 2

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