|Last Update as of 2017-12-20:|
|Vehicle Identification Number:||E53F001091|
|Current Owner:||Mecum Auto Auctions|
|Current Location:||Kissimmee, FL, USA|
|Current Mileage:||59,396 miles|
|Current Status:||For Sale|
12-20-2017: Up for auction at the Mecum Auto Auctions in Kissimmee, FL:
Lot S221 Kissimmee 2018 Jan 5-14
Estimate$250,000 - $275,000
A part of the Mercurio Collection in Beaver Creek, Ohio, for many years, this 1953 Chevrolet Corvette is well known in the Corvette community as once having been owned by Sam Folz of Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of the seven founding fathers of the National Corvette Restorers Society. Mr. Folz served as the first NCRS Technical Chairman (now known as the National Judging Chairman), NCRS President and the first 1953-55 Corvette Judging Team Leader, and he also authored a vast number of technical articles for the NCRS’ “Corvette Restorer” magazine. Today, the Sam Folz Memorial Award is presented at National NCRS Conventions to the owner of a car driven the greatest distance to attend and successfully earn a Top Flight Award.
In his book “Corvette!—The Sensuous American, Volume 1, Number 2, 1976 (Blue Flame),” author Michael Antonick recounted the car’s early history: “In the late summer of 1953, the owner of a vendor company supplying parts to Chevrolet asked his friend and General Manager of Chevrolet, Thomas Keating, if it would be possible to purchase one of Chevy's cute Corvettes as a Christmas gift for his wife. Keating made arrangements to release a Corvette to a small franchise in Schoolcraft, Michigan, near the vendor's home. That in itself created a furor among larger dealers who were begging for a Corvette. Remember, 1953 saw the production of only 300 Corvettes. 300 didn't divide very nicely into 7,000 dealers.” The dealer was C.W. Krum and Son, who delivered the new Corvette to Lola Houlenberg in Birmingham, Michigan, on December 21, 1953.
During the more than 20 years in Mr. Folz’ ownership, this Corvette, the 91st Corvette built, earned a plethora of awards that included: First Place in Show and Class at the Corvette Corral Concours in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in 1963; First Place, 6-cylinder Corvettes at the Fourth Central Meet of the Vintage Corvette Club of American in Flint, Michigan, in 1967; and First Place in the Senior Class at the first NCRS Meet in Wapakoneta, Ohio, in 1974. In 1983, it was featured in a Chevrolet-produced promotional film released in conjunction with the debut of the new C4 Corvette to celebrate 30 years of Corvette.
There was only one color scheme available to Corvette buyers in 1953, as seen in this car’s Polo White paint, red interior and black soft top. The first Corvette’s horizontal front grille—filled with chromed vertical “teeth”—chromed “egg-crate” headlight covers and spacecraft-inspired bullet tail lights are iconic signature features. Bias-ply wide whitewall tires were mounted on red painted steel wheels capped with full-size spinner wheel covers, and while listed as options, a signal-seeking AM radio and heater were included in every Corvette.
Corvette No. 91 underwent a comprehensive restoration in 1997, subsequently earning the Walter P. Chrysler Award of Excellence at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Concours d’Elegance in Dayton, Ohio, in 1999. The odometer reveals 59,400 original miles, the last 10 of which were added in the intervening 20 years. It retains its original first-design 235 CI Blue Flame Six engine with triple Carter YH side-draft carburetors and separate bullet-style chromed air cleaners. Offered with the accompanying side curtains, this historically important 1953 Corvette’s documentation includes the aforementioned copy of the original dealer invoice and a photographic record of its restoration.
10-03-2017: Up for auction at Mecum Auto Auctions in Chicago, IL with 59,396 miles on the odometer and two previous owners listed.
02-08-2003: A previous owner was Samuel Folz, an NCRS founder. Mr. Folz once reported that his '53 Corvette had taken first place in Class and Show at the Corvette Corral Concours at Elkhart Lake in 1963 and first among six cylinder Corvettes at the Fourth Central Meet of the Vintage Corvette Club of America at Flint in 1967. Listed on "The 1953 Corvette Honor Roll", a 1969 "Corvette News" survey (Samuel Folz). Info on the original Owner: "In the late summer of 1953, the owner of a vendor company supplying parts to Chevrolet asked his friend and General Manager of Chevrolet, Thomas Keating, if it would be possible to purchase one of Chevy's cute Corvettes as a Christmas gift for his wife. Keating made arrangements to release a Corvette to a small dealer in Schollcraft, Michigan, near the vendor's home. That in itself created a furor among larger dealers who were begging for a Corvette. Remember, 1953 saw the production of only 300 Corvettes. 300 didn't divid every nicely into 7000 dealers." (Corvette - Blue Flame - The Sensuous American, Volume 1. Number 2. 1976. Publisher and President - Michael B. Antonick)
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