This week’s Ebay “Corvette Pick of the Week” is a beautifully restored 1954 Chevy Corvette. This numbers matching Corvette was restored two years ago. Every piece of this car was either rebuilt or replaced with original 1954 Corvette parts. Even the car’s radiator was hand built to conform with NCRS (National Corvette Restorers Society) judging rules. The judging performed by NCRS is recognized as the “gold standard” when determining the originality of any restored Corvette.
This car has been showcased at numerous car shows and has won awards at nearly every show it has been presented. With less than 1,000 miles on the car, including the fully restored stovebolt six-cylinder engine, this 1954 Corvette is an excellent example of the original C1 Corvette just as it was when new in 1954. The car is finished in Polo White with a Sportsman Red interior.
The 1954 Corvette represented the car’s second year of production. Where the 1953 model had been reserved for and sold to celebrities, elected officials and other people of stature, the introduction of the 1954 Corvette represented one of the first opportunities that American consumers had to purchase Chevrolet’s new two-seat sports car. Interestingly, the original window sticker price of the car (in 1954) was $3,498.00, the car was considered too expensive for the “youthful market” for which the Corvette marketing was specifically marketed.
In effort to make the purchase price more palatable to potential consumers, GM used a little bit of “marketing trickery” to entice consumers into buying a 1954 Corvette. First, they lowered the base price to $2,774 and introduced the car as a “base model” that could be customized/tailored to the personal needs/wants of its future owner. One such “option” that was offered was the transmission. Priced as a $178 option, the two-speed Powerglide transmission was, in reality, the ONLY transmission available for the 1954 Corvette, making the “optional” transmission an absolute necessity if the buyer wanted an operational car.
It didn’t take long for consumers to see thru this trickery, and sales suffered because of it. The only other options offered that year were windshield wipers and a heater. So equipped, the original sell price of the 1954 Corvette ended up being $3,254.10. While lower than the original sticker price, it was still more expensive than a 1954 Cadillac equipped with a V-8 engine.
To is credit, the 1954 Corvette was considered a reliable automobile in its day, and was far easier to keep running than the 1953 Corvette.
Needless to say, this car has a slightly more significant reserve price on it than the asking price by GM back in 1954, but consider too that this Corvette has aged extraordinarily well (with a lot of help along the way) and now represents a piece of Americana that dates back to the golden age of the automobile.