1954 Chevrolet Corvette C1 235CI 'Blue Flame'

Highlights


  • One of the rarer American classics with only 3,640 made
  • Highly original throughout 
  • All import duties and VAT paid

The Appeal


It may be surprising for the layman to learn that the Corvette C1 was a relatively poor seller for the newly introduced vehicle. Despite its impressive shape and the initial interest in the concept car, the motor just didn’t turn heads as much as it was meant to. As a result, the original specification, such as this one, only lasted until 1955 before being upgraded to suit American tastes. 

The result is that the ingenious engineering of the Blue Flame engine - a specially upgraded, off-the-shelf Corvette component - is a relative rarity and perhaps rather unappreciated. The Blue Flame’s custom tuning made the Corvette an impressive machine with minimal extra work.

Presented in the iconic polo white and ruby red colour scheme, much like the original ‘53 spec, this is a superb ambassador for what, at its heart, was a highly impressive motor through and through. Even if the American audience didn’t appreciate it way back then, there’s plenty to love and cherish about this C1 today.

The History and Paperwork


  • 5 figure odometer indicates only 80,756 miles (129,964km)
  • Built in US 
  • Comes with US title and European import documents, it has not been registered in the Netherlands.
  • No noted modifications, making this a rare example of an original spec C1

The Interior


  • Original red and cream spec interior, built to original C1 spec
  • Red leather bucket seating in good condition with only a slight aged patina
  • Some damage to stitching on driver’s seat pad
  • Darkening to leather edging on dashboard
  • Some very slight darkening to cream dashboard
  • Chromework shows some wear, but presents very brightly

It’s fair to say that one of the C1’s biggest strengths is that beautiful interior. With red leather, vinyl and cream plastic all coming together to make a stunning piece of pure Americana. The circular instruments, curved shapes and distinctive colour scheme is as unmissable as the car’s iconic shape. 

It’s all in fine fettle, and everything here displays very vibrantly, with a slight aged patina to the leather seats and the cream having darkened slightly over time. It’s an icon, pure and simple, and perhaps one of this unique type’s core appeals. 

The Exterior 


  • Original polo white colour scheme with chrome features
  • One of the first vehicles to ever use a fibreglass body
  • Eyecatching broad headlines bumper-free profile and iconic chrome grill
  • Very minor wear around doors and rear chromework 
  • Underside of vehicle shows some signs of use, but otherwise appears clean and well-kept

The C1’s difficult start definitely wasn’t due to external appearance. This is a car that looked the business from new, and is still a real headturner. Using an experimental fibreglass body, the smooth shapes and friendly lines of the car make for a flowing, irresistible model for fans of retro Americana. While many cars were still carrying sharp bull-nose grills, this one was a breath of fresh air.

The polo white colour scheme may seem like it’s asking for trouble, but this one is beautifully presented with only minimal wear around the doors, and a little bit of chrome peel evident on a discreet location of the rear bumper. It’s a beautiful looker, with no clear signs of corrosion that we can see in our photographs.

The underside of the car is also in good order, with some signs of use and slight discoloration, but shows no obvious signs of corrosion or structural damage. 

The Mechanics 


  • Car appears, on visual inspection, to be in excellent mechanical order
  • No reports of issues, leaks or smoke have been reported
  • Engine bay appears clean and well kept

The ‘Blue Flame’ 150 engine is a bit of a curiosity for modern Corvette owners. Before the mighty Chevy V8 came into being, this was the order of the day. Using some nifty tune ups and sheer mechanical ingenuity, the car gained an impressive 50hp over its predecessors while not requiring heavy upgrades.

Everything here, as we’ve been informed, is in good working order. The engine bay is clean and well kept, and we’re not able to see any issues in the engine bay. The owner informs us of no major faults and no major modifications since build date. 

Summary


With its original spec and that all-star colour scheme, this is a superb example of the first generation of an automotive legend. With its relatively low number, mechanical curiosity and smooth lines, it’s got something for any level of enthusiast or collector. 


Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.


Shipping and transfer

Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased. Car & Classic may refer a shipping company that also deals with import/export paperwork. Prices start at €150+VAT within the same country or €400+VAT for moves across borders. For more details, email [email protected].






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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1954
  • Make Chevrolet
  • Model Corvette C1 236CI 'Blue Flame' I6
  • Colour Polo White
  • Odometer 80,756 Miles
  • Engine size 3859
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Schiedam
  • Location International
  • Country Netherlands
Bidding history
17 bids
  • thomas.•••• €57,500 07/12/22
  • isaac.e•••• €56,000 07/12/22
  • ps160lo•••• €55,000 07/12/22
  • isaac.e•••• €53,000 07/12/22
  • walsh.p•••• €52,000 06/12/22
  • walti €48,000 05/12/22
  • mishari•••• €47,500 05/12/22
  • walti €45,000 03/12/22
  • sigmund•••• €41,000 03/12/22
  • walti €40,000 03/12/22

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