1953 Chevrolet Corvette

RM Sotheby's Amelia Island 2021
Saturday, 22 May 2021
Sale Price
$225,000 - $250,000
Est. Range
22 May 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. E53F001227; Engine no. LAY556565. Polo White with beige cloth top over red vinyl. 235/150hp, Powerglide, bullet air cleaners, WonderBar radio, wheel covers, Firestone wide whitewalls.

Evaluation: Represented as having a “correctly dated engine and transmission”, a different term from “the correct engine and transmission.” Excellent cosmetics, handsomely restored a while ago. Very good paint, upholstery and chrome. Good gauges but the chrome on the radio is weak. The chassis is like new.

Bottom Line: The ’53 Corvette is cherished, not because it was a paradigm of sports cars (being based on the Chevy sedan frame and suspension and powered by a breathed-on version of the Stovebolt Six) but because it represented the beginning an historic line of Corvettes that still excite imaginations today. This may not be the original engine but, ahh, so what? It’s a pristine older restored Corvette that sold for $210,600 at Barrett-Jackson WestWorld in 2004. The odometer today shows only 57 miles, 50 more than it did seventeen years ago and the car shows nothing but caring, consistent attention and no visible deterioration from the intervening years. The result here is sound and realistic, giving due consideration to the engine and transmission issues.

by Rick Carey
11 June 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.