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Pristine Style: Nostalgia in a 1954 Corvette

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Pristine Style: Nostalgia in a 1954 Corvette
The Corvette was created as an economical sports car for young adults. It was also something that could be used as a performance-image builder while Chevrolet waited for its V-8 engine. The sophomore 1954 Corvette was scheduled to reach production of 12,000, but only 3,640 were ever built. Mid America Motorworks takes a close look at one particular 1954: a Pennant Blue Corvette with just over 3,000 original miles.
54 vette front passenger view
The Ultimate Low Mileage Car
This 1954 Corvette was purchased new by a man in northern Indiana as a gift for his wife. After her untimely passing, he maintained the car, but never drove it. The car was passed on to a second owner, and then in 1977 to McDonald Chevrolet in Nashville, Indiana, showing only 2,904 miles on the odometer.
Bill McDonald, owner of McDonald Chevrolet, was friends with Sam Folz, one of the founders of the National Corvette Restorers Society and a man regarded as one of the foremost authorities on 1953-1955 Corvettes. Upon seeing the car, Folz commented, "There is no doubt in my mind that the car is a near perfect example of a late Pennant Blue 1954 Corvette."
In 1993, McDonald Chevrolet sold the car to an owner who stored it in a heated and air conditioned garage until 1995, when it found a home with Mike Yager. At the time, the 1954's odometer read just shy of 3,000 miles. Only one other Corvette has ever been discovered that had lower mileage, but it has been totally restored. This is the only Corvette with such low mileage in original condition.
Rare Features
Of the 3,640 Corvettes built in 1954, this is one of only 300 cars that were Pennant Blue with a Shoreline Beige interior. The majority of Corvettes produced that year were Polo White with a Red interior, while a handful were Sportsman Red with a Red interior and a mere four Corvettes built in 1954 were Black with a Red interior.
54 vette front grille
This Corvette is still on the original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin title and is all original, other than the spark plugs that were replaced for Sunday afternoon drives. Other original features include:
Bonding strips showing through the painted surface
Nitro Cellulous Lacquer that was notorious for quick degeneration and color fade
Original upholstery
Original hoses, engine and wires
All original interior and exterior parts
54 vette multiple views
Aged Beauty
During its lifetime, the Pennant Blue Corvette has accumulated several awards, including Bloomington Gold Survivor recognition. It has also received the NCRS Benchmark and Duntov Awards. This car has set the standards by which other early Corvette's are judged and was used as a guide for updating the NCRS Technical Information Manual & Judging Guide for 1953-1955 Corvettes in 2012.
See You in Scottsdale!
The next chapter of this Corvette's history includes a trip to the Barrett Jackson Auctions in Scottsdale next month. The Pennant Blue Corvette will cross the block between 4 and 5 pm Friday, Jan 29 as Lot # 1054.1. For more details on the Auction, click here.
54 vette driver side