The Auburn Auction

Lot 61
1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

Selling on Saturday Evening

1953 Chevrolet  Corvette Roadster

CHASSIS NO: E53F001209

• Historic example of “America’s Sports Car” from the first model year
• Correct professional restoration by noted early Corvette specialist
• Freshly and expertly restored side curtains by Steve Newsome
• Eminently ready for NCRS and Bloomington Gold® judging

235.5 cid “Blue Flame” OHV inline six-cylinder engine, triple side-draft carburetors, 150 HP, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102”

Without question, Chevrolet Corvette stands as the longest-running and most successful line of sports cars ever produced. Debuted as a concept car at the 1953 GM Motorama Show in New York, the bold Corvette caused such a stir that it was fast-tracked for development and production. Getting Corvette production up and running was no small task, given the fact it was the first mass-produced car with a fiberglass body. First-year sales amounted to just 300 units for 1953, and with the addition of Zora Arkus-Duntov to the Corvette engineering team, the radical new Chevrolet sports car was relentlessly developed and improved along all disciplines into a true sports car capable of besting the world’s finest – on and off the racetrack. Offered here is Corvette number 209 from the mere 300 that were built for the inaugural year of 1953. This Corvette has just emerged from a full, complete, and total restoration by noted Corvette specialist Irvin Patrick in Paintsville, Kentucky. Nothing was overlooked in returning this historic car to factory-new condition and it looks today just as did when it left the factory. All Corvettes built for 1953 wore recognizable Polo White paint with a Sportsman Red interior and correctly, this one is no exception.

The timeless elegance of the first-year Corvette is nicely outlined in this example, which features flawless body work and excellent panel fitment throughout. The restoration of Corvette number 209 was recently commissioned, with great care taken to ensure correctness. During the process, it was taken down to the frame and all colors, inspection markings, and assembly methods were accurately replicated. Power for this Corvette comes from Chevrolet’s “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine mated to a Powerglide automatic transmission. The engine was completely rebuilt, and all correct paint colors, wiring, hoses and clamps, and fasteners were utilized. All first-year Corvettes were built with a striking Sportsman Red interior that made great use of contrasting colors with the steering wheel, instrument panel, and accents all finished in white, while the upholstery, carpets, and door panels are red. All 1953 Corvettes used a black canvas convertible top and the one on this example is simply excellent, with proper fitting and correct stitching. The interior was correctly restored, and weather gear includes a set of proper side curtains, expertly restored by Steve Newsome of Houston, who is well-known among classic Corvette aficionados as a Master Judge with the NCRS. Other desirable features include Chevrolet’s ‘Wonderbar’ signal-seeking AM radio, plus tools, roadside jack, and jack bar. All told, Corvette Number 209 stands ready for judging in Bloomington Gold® and NCRS circles. There are many landmarks in automotive design that changed how America viewed a sports car, but the Corvette was the first as it blazed a path for all to follow. First-year examples are truly rare and rather hard to come by, and those few that are authentically restored to exact factory specifications are even harder to find. This 1953 Corvette, with its attention to detail and master craftsmanship, is a car that will stand tall among the very best on any show field. Simply put, this 1953 Corvette is a must-have for the serious collector of Corvette and automotive history.

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