Considered America’s first sports car, the Corvette idea came from design legend Harley Earl, who, after World War 2, knew thousands of returning GIs had seen and were bringing back British and European sports cars and was watching the hot rodding scene explode, knew there was a market for a home grown rival to the Jaguar XK120.
A concept car was created and shown in 1953 to overwhelming response and just six months later the first cars were on sale. To keep costs down the C1 used modified Chevy chassis parts and straight 6 engine, fitted to a light fiberglass body.
Brought into a large personal collection, this C1 has had a bare shell restoration under the current owner, with fresh paint and a re-trimmed interior, but using much of the original brightwork so keeping the aura of age with the car.
The Corvette is stored with Cult Classics who undertook the restoration work in their workshops and on behalf of the owner, and in the last year they have also changed the track rod ends, fuel pump and serviced the Chevy Stovebolt 6 cylinder,
The car was bought from Joop Stolze classic cars in the Netherlands and imported to the UK in 2015, and there is a V5 in the current owners name showing him as the first UK keeper; being over 40 years old the car isn’t recorded on the MOT database. There are receipts for maintenance work carried out this year and larger ones for the restoration work on the body and interior.
The cars cabin wraps around and encloses you like a WWII fighter plane cockpit, the doors are deeply dished and the rear decker panel sweeps in to flow into the chrome and paint divide between the seats.
Freshly re-trimmed all in light tan, the cabin looks brand new. The pleated leather seat cushions match the door cards and arm rests and the stitches pattern even continues into the kick panels.
The carpet matches perfectly and the metal dashboard has been painted in a similar tone. Its a beautiful design, symmetrically laid out with matching dial arrangement and a cowled speaker opposite the speedometer, the hooded dash top painted body colour and enclosed by the bubble of the windscreen.
The condition is outstanding, there's not a mark to be seen on any fabric or leather, the only discrepancy is one empty switch hole in the dash.
Havingrecently been stripped and painted, the bodywork is in excellent condition. The glossy metallic blue paint has a deep shine and there are no stone chips or other marks, and being fiberglass, no corrosion on the panels either!
The bright work looks to be original to the car rather than replaced so shows some age related marks, very light patina rather than damage or wear and looks very good. The car has chrome wire wheels wearing new looking Coker Classic white wall tyres, and underneath has been undersealed and looks very solid.
These original Corvettes are simple and tough with a well proven straight 6 motor and two speed automatic gearbox.
It hasn’t been driven very far in the last year, so it has been given an oil and filter service and a new fuel pump and track rod ends.
An original Corvette is a classic slice of mid-century Americana, it's easy to be transported to California, cruising the Pacific Coast Highway to a drive in movie into the sunset. These early cars with the small fins and single headlamps the purest design, it's a very pretty car particularly in this colour combination and having just been restored to a very high standard it really is stunning.
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