Sports & Classics of Monterey

12-14 August 2010


Lot 239

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Series 2934 Convertible

To be auctioned on Friday, August 13, 2010

Sold for $220,000

  • Chassis no. E53F001199

150 bhp, 235.5 cu. in. “Blue Flame” inline six-cylinder engine, three one-barrel Carter carburetors, Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

- From the estate of Mr. John M. O'Quinn
- One of just 300 examples from 1953
- The landmark first Corvette design

From the start, the Chevrolet Corvette was truly unique. Based on the EX-122 concept car of 1952, the Corvette remains one of the few GM Motorama designs with their show-car styling virtually unmodified for production. Its early-1953 introduction in the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf=Astoria drew over 300,000 spectators, and it entered production just five months later.

The legendary Harley Earl, Vice-President (Design) of General Motors, was the father of the sensational new Corvette. Other notable GM personalities involved with the Corvette project included Bob McLean, Maurice Olley, Ed Cole and, shortly before production began, Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Although the Corvette was to be built using mostly production-based parts and eventually switch to steel bodywork, it just did not happen. Even the way Corvettes were assembled was different, as the new sports cars were assembled by small groups of technicians. By the time the Corvette was ready for introduction, it was reported that GM had spent over $1.5 million on the project, a relative bargain by today’s standards!

This first-year example is one of an estimated 200 survivors out of total 1953 production of just 300 units. It remained original and unrestored until 2004, before coming out of Mississippi, being restored and joining the collection of the late Mr. John O’Quinn in September 2007, where it has enjoyed proper care and storage ever since. According to a recent inspection, it remains quite good in overall presentation, despite minor cosmetic imperfections. Finished in a Polo White/Sportsman Red color combination, the same as all other 1953 Corvettes, the car also features a black folding top, an AM radio and whitewall tires.

As the classic American sports car is now in its sixth generation, the very rare first-year examples continue to be highly collectible and desirable. This particular 1953 Corvette is certainly in a class all its own.

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

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

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