Factory-signed 1953 C1 Corvette is a Slice of history

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C1 Corvette chassis number 245

One of just 300 produced for 1953 and signed by the surviving factory employees involved in building this C1 Corvette.

When it comes to historically desirable Corvettes, this is high on the list. It’s chassis number 245 of the 300 made in the Corvette’s first production year, and we came across it on RM Sotheby’s auction site. Not only is it signed by the surviving Chevy employees that built it, but the included factory owners handbook is signed by the Father Of The Corvette himself, Zora Arkus Duntov.

The restoration was done by Brett Henderson, a C1 Corvette expert and renowned for his work. He bought his 1953 model in 2001, after it sat for nearly 30 years, and restored to his standards as his personal car. The chassis is actually a replacement unit stamped with the correct stencil markings, and this was one of the first to have a press-molded front end. When he sold it again in 2011, Henderson refreshed the restoration and brought it to a completely factory-correct presentation. The dedication to that can be summed up by one simple fact: The paint is the correct thickness to show the fiberglass pattern beneath.

1953 Corvette C1 RM Sotheby's Monterrey Pebble Beach Corvetteforum.com

The signing of the car was done at the 50th Anniversary of the Corvette event in Flint, Michigan, where Corvette 245 was born. It even comes with a serial numbered commemorative brick from the assembly plant in Flint. All 1953 models were finished in Polo White with red interiors and black tops and judging by the pictures, it’s absolutely immaculate.


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The listing says it’s never been shown or judged at National Corvette Restorers Society, so the next owner is guaranteed some serious attention. It may never be a regularly driven car again, but that’s OK. We don’t know how many of the 300 built exists, we hope there’s more than the 154 on the C1 Corvette Registry, but the more that are preserved as close to pristine the better.

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Ian Wright is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites. Check out his podcast Both Hand Drive.

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