Sports & Classics of Monterey

12-14 August 2010


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Lot 239

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Series 2934 Convertible

  • Chassis no. E53F001199

Sold for $220,000

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.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more