- 12-20-2017: Up for auction at Mecum Auto Auctions of Kissimmee, FL with unknown mileage on the odometer or number of previous owners. From the listing:
Lot F111 Kissimmee 2018 Jan 5-14
$250,000 - $300,000
- Serial no. 64
- 1 of 300 produced in 1953
- Formerly on display at the Corvette Museum
- 235 CI Blue Flame Six engine
- Powerglide automatic transmission
- Polo White with Red interior
- Signal-seeking AM radio
- Red steel wheels
- Spinner wheel covers
- Wide Whitewall tires
- Side curtains in trunk
This 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster is Serial No. 64, one of just 300 of these special cars produced in its debut year. The seeds for the Corvette were planted well before its launch. Harley Earl was 32 years old and already successful as an independent coachbuilder when he left Hollywood for Detroit to design a companion model for GM’s Cadillac Division. That car would become the LaSalle, and it launched Earl on a 50-year career as the dean of automotive stylists, “actively influencing the appearance,” as Alfred P. Sloan wrote, “of more than fifty million automobiles from the late 1920s to the 1960s.” Many, if not most of those, were the product of other designers working under Earl’s direct guidance, but a few he personally shepherded through to completion. By any measure, the most influential of those was the first Corvette. The initial concept came to Earl while attending the September 1951 Watkins Glen sports-car race, his first direct exposure to the small and speedy European machinery then dominating sports-car racing stateside. Freshly inspired, Earl assigned his styling department to sketch a small, inexpensive two-seat sports car with a plainly American flavor. Young Cal Tech-graduate Robert McLean drew the basic layout, while another young talent, Duane Bohnstedt, drew from several Earl styling cues to conceive a low-profile roadster body with a wraparound windshield, flowing fenders, an oval front grille and simple tail lights set into rocket-inspired fins. Presented to the public at the January 1953 Motorama in New York City, the completed concept car’s sleek shape was rendered in fiberglass, an innovation that was not lost on the crowds that first saw the Corvette at the 1953 Motorama. Hand assembled by Chevrolet’s top craftsmen, the first 300 Corvettes were reserved for VIPs and high-profile celebrities, all finished in Polo White with Red interiors and black soft tops. Some die-hard enthusiasts found Chevrolet’s choice of a modified Blue Flame Six engine and 2-speed Powerglide transmission less than adequate, but this stylish new fiberglass-bodied machine promised great things to come. This example is part of that first historic run of what would soon become known around the world as America’s Sports Car.
- 03-08-2012: Car is listed for auction through RM Auctions - RM's Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale auction, March 16-18, 2012, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From the listing:
Offerings include a collection of 26 Corvettes from the esteemed Tony Parella Collection. The Corvettes represent every model year from 1953 through '69 plus rare examples from the 1970s, '80s and '90s.
"Tony's cars hold a lot of historical significance," said Donnie Gould, Auctions America's president. "His Corvettes we're offering are a part of a select group of collections that will cross our auction block, making the Fort Lauderdale event one not to be missed."
A telecommunications business executive, Parella has built several companies from the ground up. He is credited with pulling Shared Technologies Inc. out of bankruptcy and on to Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for four consecutive years.
The highlight of his collection is a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, the 64th Corvette built.
- 02-08-2003: Fully restored in California.
Previous Owner: Merrill Kelly