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1953 Corvette - Serial #101 History Profile

1953 Corvette - Serial #101 History Profile

Last Update as of 2003-09-04:
Vehicle Identification Number: E53F001101
Engine Stamping: NA
Casting Date: NA
Casting Number: NA
Current Owner: Gregor, William
Current Location: Staten Island, NY, USA
Current Mileage: 0 miles
Current Status: Fully Restored
  • 11-2006:  From the November 1996 issue of Vette Vues Magazine:  "Corvette serial #E53F001101 was purchased by Bill Gregor in April 1985 after inquiring about a few other 1953's. On the recommendation of friend, J.D. Purvis, who was also a friend of the prior owner, a deal was struck. Seven months earlier the car has registered an NCRS Top Flight only months after being acquired by this prior owner.

    Tracing the car's ownership became a passion to which may Corvette enthusiasts related. Phone calls over the next two years identified three other owners between 1970 and 1984. Then the trail ended. A last-ditch, shot-in-the-dark effort followed, It was remember that the partner of the individual who owned #101 in the early 1970's mentioned that the car was obtained through a Hemmings Motor News ad. While visiting a friend's vacation home in Bennington, VT in 1987, I stopped by Hemming's office and explained the predicament. The Hemmings people were gracious enough to allow access to the publisher's copies of back issues. After hours of research, I had a strange feeling that this was it when I read one ad. As luck would have it, the phone number reopened the trail and I contacted the previous owner who was able to assist me in tracing to the original owner, a Corporate Vice-President, John Wiles. Curiously enough, the engine number of #101 is one digit away from that of car serial #100 also owned by Bill Gregor.

    From the first time I saw its picture I thought a "Bubble hardtop" would nicely compliment #101. this was also mentioned to J.D. Purvis on several occasions and after a few years, the marriage of car and top was consummated. Contrary to popular belief, the top was not manufactured by Bell Helicopter. The transparent tops were built in Chicago by Model Builders, Inc. according to William P. Chaffee, President. The project was started in 1953 at the request of Eugene W. Kettering then Chief Engineer of GM's Electro-Motive Division. Two hand-formed prototype tops were designed leading to the production of twenty tops. The two prototypes were scrapped and the remaining tops sold for $350 each. Between five and ten had a slight green tint to them; the rest were clear."

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