Arizona

18-19 January 2018

1953 Chevrolet Corvette

  • Chassis no. E53F001184

  • The hotly desirable inaugural year of America’s Sports Car
  • Number 184 of just 300 built
  • Recent frame-off restoration by Corvette specialist
  • Bloomington Gold award-winner


The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced in the GM Motorama exhibit in the 1953 New York Auto Show at the elegant Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. The two-seater was a project that started in 1951, led by legendary GM design chief Harley Earl. Earl’s objective was to change Chevrolet’s then stodgy image by capitalizing on an emerging interest in sports and performance cars. Named after the quick and agile World War II navy boats and called the “Dream Car,” it was an instant hit that attracted huge crowds and generated enough interest to convince GM to promptly manufacture a production version.

Heralded as America’s one and only sports car, the first-generation Corvette came off the assembly line late in 1953 with few changes from its prototype and one very notable distinction for GM: it was the first mass-produced fiberglass automobile from a major manufacturer.

Only 300 examples were built that first year. Each featured Chevrolet’s “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine and Powerglide automatic transmission. The Harley Earl styling was clean and aerodynamic with flowing bodylines, a modest amount of chrome, and a signature wrap-around windshield. Every Corvette received a Polo White finish, paired with a Sportsman Red interior that was set off by a white steering wheel, instrument panel, and trim accents. The convertible top was black. The car offered here, the 184th Corvette ever built, beautifully exemplifies the 1953 standard.

This car was purchased by the consignor in September 2016; it had been held by its previous owner since 1971. Upon acquisition, the new owner dispatched the car to craftsman Irvin Patrick in Paintsville, Kentucky, for a complete frame-off restoration. Mr. Patrick, a respected specialist in ’53 Corvettes, accomplished his assignment admirably, elevating the car to authentic concours-quality level as evidenced by the Bloomington Gold certification of originality received in June 2017. The certificate verifies that the car has been “preserved, restored or replicated in accordance with factory assembly procedures.” Notably, the cylinder head is a correct date-coded replacement. Since restoration, the Corvette has been stored in a temperature-controlled environment and driven just two miles. The car features a set of side curtains, Wonderbar signal-seeking radio, optional heater, and whitewall tires. A correct jack and owner’s manual are also included.

No Corvette collection is complete without an original ’53 model. For enthusiasts seeking such a car, search no further than this exceptional example of America’s sports car.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more