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Stop-Gap: 1954 Chevrolet Corvette

1954 Corvette Front

The 1954 Corvette sort of sits in the middle when it comes to collectibility. It is sandwiched by the first production year ’53 model and the V8 equipped ’55. Yet this car appears to be a viable project which deserves to be brought back to life. Find this rolling chassis here on eBay with bidding starting at $9,000 no reserve and a BIN of $14,500.

1954 Corvette Rear

Being stuck between two significant years does affect the value of this car. A perfect example would be lucky to touch $100k in today’s market, so unless you can perform the work yourself, it may be hard to get your money back out of this one. Still, the challenge is tempting.

1954 Corvette Engine

Even though the Corvette is now famous for its V8 engine, the first ones were actually powered by a 235 cubic inch inline-six engine. Sixes were popular among competing sports car manufacturers and Chevy did not yet have V8 at its disposal anyway, so the Blue Flame was an obvious choice. The V8 did became an option in 1955 and the rest is history. Sadly the power-plant is long gone here and we are not sure how realistic it would be to try to locate the original.

1954 Corvette Interior

The interior is also long gone, but at least the floors look to be solid. There were quite a few of these built so sourcing the missing parts shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as you have the funds to pay for them. It couldn’t hurt to give the seller a call just to see if some of parts are stashed in a box somewhere. That would make the asking price much more realistic.

1954 Corvette Grill

Fiberglass bodied cars can be a nightmare. Sure they do not rust, but they can still be hard to repair. This body looks very good though considering its age and from what we can see the frame also looks very solid. This is not going to be an easy project, but some ambitious Corvette enthusiast will surely take it on. We are strong believers that stock is best, but would it be such a sin to shove a V8 in there?


  1. jeff fetters

    wow what a sweet looking car

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  2. Rick Rothermel

    Oh good grief! Put a late Vette LS/6 speed and suspension in it, hot rod the hell out of it and at least have some fun. If I wanted a heavy slow lo-po car I’d find a C3!

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  3. Utes

    C’mon….is this a CAR site or what?! NO V8 until ’55 !!!Never mind….

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  4. Sean Bush

    I’d drop the body down over a shortened Chevy S-10 chassis, using the 4.3L V6 and 4L60E trans that the truck originally came with. It’d allow for a nice boulevard cruiser that would make parts and service cheap and easy to get. Not every modified car needs to look like something off of a “Rat Fink” T-shirt.

    Like 1
  5. Barn Finds

    @Utes – Not sure what you were trying to say here, but Chevy did not come out with their small block V8 until 1955.

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  6. Sean Bush

    You guys need a better proof reader:”It is sandwiched by the first production year ’53 model and the V8 equipped ’54.”

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  7. Barn Finds

    Oops, meant to say 1955. Thanks for catching that.

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  8. Dolphin Member

    I like the shape of these early Vettes. They looked like road-going rocket ships at the time they were made, and were like nothing else on the road. But I would be cautious here. You would be buying a chassis and a body shell with a LOT of parts missing. I could see someone spending years trying to source originals of the missing parts, and spending a lot of $$$ in the process. And you better have another complete one in the garage next to this one to be sure of what you are looking for and where it goes in the car–that, or access to the consulting services of an expert on these cars. I was blown away the first time I saw one of these. It was back decades ago, and like I said it was like nothing else on the road at the time. But the first time I drove one I was really let down. I expected it to go like the rocket ship it resembled, but it didn’t. These had a 2-speed automatic transmission, called Powerglide. The engine was the Stovebolt straight-6 Chevy engine like the one in your uncle’s 210 sedan but with 3 side-draft carbs. This brought the HP up from about 135 to a claimed 150. Suffice to say these were boulevard cars, not performance cars. Be sure to drive one before buying this one or you may be disappointed after your restoration is finished.

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  9. Ricky Lawrence

    The starting price seems to be about right. It would be a good project for someone who has plenty of cash to spare and the time to put into it. Even if you hire somebody else to do the work you will still have to put some time into it yourself,making callschecking on the progress ,making sure things are being done right,ect,ect.

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  10. Rick Rothermel

    High end customs often start from shells like this. Somebody call John D’Agastino!

    Like 0

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