I had mentioned earlier this week about Russo & Steele auctioning off the famed Noland Adams 1953 Chevrolet Corvette here. However, I think I may have found a slightly more significant 53 Vette that will be auctioned by RM auctions the same weekend.
Up for auction is 1953 Corvette #5. This is one of the earliest known Corvettes in existence, and carries quite an interesting history. This car was one of the first three Corvettes to be sold to the public. Before it was sold though, the story goes that Harley Earl. GM's head of styling paraded this car around Detroit to some Ford dealers and even drove it to Ford's engineering department. Perhaps in all in a good natured, "Beat you to the punch" moment. After that, Corvette #5 was shipped to Philadelphia, PA to show to prospective Chevrolet dealers and to be reviewed by 3 time Indy 500 winner Mauri Rose who would report back to GM what needed to be updated to improve build quality on later Corvettes.
Shortly after, Crawford Greenewalt purchased Corvette #5 from Wilmington, Delaware’s Diver Chevrolet as a gift to his wife. Greenwalt at the time was chief chemical engineer and president of DuPont. The car then passed through many owners before being restored from 1997 through 2003 to be unveiled for the Corvette's 50th Anniversary. During that time, Corvette #5 was restored to NCRS "Top Flight" specifications. Included with the sale are copies of many internal GM documents verifying the car's history as well as the expected documentation that would accompany a car of this quality.
Barrett-Jackson auctioned off an even earlier example, Corvette #3, which for all technical purposes was the first Corvette sold to the public for $1 million dollars in 2006. RM's estimate, may just be a little on the light side at $450,000-$650,000. But who knows. Different auction company, different buyers. This is another we'll be watching for sure next weekend.
Source: RM Auctions