’53 Corvette driven only 5,800 miles

Pick of the Day may be lowest mileage example of the original Chevy sports car

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This 1953 Chevrolet Corvette has been driven little more than 5,800 miles since new

Chevrolet produced only 300 examples of its Corvette sports car for the 1953 model year, and according to the dealer in Phoenix advertising the Pick of the Day on ClassicCars.com, this one, the 87th produced, “is one of the most important extant.”

And thus the $249,800 asking price for this 1953 Chevrolet Corvette.

According to the Hagerty Price Guide, ’53 Corvettes range in value from $143,000 for one in “Fair” condition to $335,000 for the “best in the world,” i.e. one in “Concours” condition. 

The Pick of the Day One would seem to fit nicely into Hagerty’s “Excellent” category and its $247,000 valuation.

What makes this particular ’53 Corvette special, according to the dealer, is that it “is believed to be the lowest original mileage example in existence.”

According to the advertisement, “It has had three owners from new, a mere 5,800 documented original miles and was restored and owned for over 50 years by the noted Corvette authority, Lyle Hill. 

“And to top it off, this has achieved the coveted NCRS Top-Flight Award status. It simply doesn’t get much better than this!”

According to the dealership, the car was purchased by 20-year-old Lyle Hill from Gerald White in Orrville, Ohio, in 1962.  

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“It was used by Mr. Hill for four years and then was largely stored, awaiting restoration. In the interim, Mr. Hill became a well-known Corvette authority and was also known as a source for rare and hard to come by parts. 

“Nearly four decades later, Mr. Hill had No. 087 restored by many of the top resources for Corvettes for the 50th anniversary celebration of Corvette in 2003 in Flint, MI.”

Hill died in 2014 and “No.087 found a new caretaker in its third and present owner. The current owner enhanced the restoration even further by hiring noted Corvette restorers Rex Marshall of Bountiful, Uta,h with supervision by Corey Peterson. The quality and authenticity of the restoration garnered 96.6 points and NCRS Top-Flight status, the pinnacle of Corvette judging.”

While the dealer uses terms including “beautiful,” “nearly perfect,” “correct,” excellent,” and “gorgeous” in describing the car, it also points out “Our detailed inspection revealed that the clock and tachometer are not functioning at present.”

Like other 1953 Corvettes, 087 has a 235cid “Blue Flame” straight-6 engine. It also has a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Fun to look at, but this example will fade into history as we move to electric vehicles. Would not invest in something eventually costing well beyond it’s value to maintain and preserve for only a special group of people. Sorry to say as we move forward through time this car will be forgotten. Some today will say this guy is nuts. But all things are eventually forgotten. The dollars necessary to capture and preserve this car might be justified but the average guy out their won’t give a care 25 years from now. Just my opinion. This is reality.

    • Ed, I’m sorry but you obviously no nothing about automobiles, automobile collecting, auto enthusiasts or, you are a millennial. Someday, if we continue in the direction we’re headed, people may start collecting your electric cars. But ,these old cars will never be forgotten by enthusiasts just people like you.

  2. Why would you put a rare car on the market, for almost a quarter million dollars, without repairing the clock and the tachometer?

  3. Your features are always a part of my day. Today’s feature about the ’53 Vette with 5,300 miles was very enjoyable and prompted me to celebrate our ’67 Corvette Coupe with 249,000 miles. The original owner needed a daily driver but the dealership didn’t have any more Novas so he was talked into buying this base motor automatic coupe. He lived in Sliddell, Louisiana and drove to Mobile, Alabama to teach. I purchased it in 2010 driving the coupe all over the country; Top Flight with NCRS numerous times, became a Bowtie candidate for its originality and is still driven to monthly car shows. Jerry Heasley produced a video in Vegas at the NCRS Nationals: Google 1967 Corvette 243,000 Miles
    Thank you for your time and sharing your talent with us enthusiasts!

  4. I would love to hear the story of why a car with 5800 miles has needed to be restored. Having been restored, isn’t it really a nearly new car that has lost all of its originality? So the mileage doesn’t really matter and the asking price seems very high. But good luck to the seller and buyer.

  5. Mr Hill purchased the 1953 Corvette in 1962 and drove it for 4-years before putting it in storage. How does it have only 5800 miles if it was 9-years old when he got it and he used it for 4 more years before parking it? Is it 5800 miles since restoration?

  6. Some red flags here for sure. Question for sure on the level of originality ? Restored or ? Tach & Speedo not working ?

    Ed T’s comments are certainly puzzling, as he claims 25 yrs from now no one will care about this car due to the electric car takeover Ed T must be taking bong hits with Elon Musk.

  7. Agspeed, Buddy I don’t think that anyone could’ve hit the nail on the head any better than you just did! Anyone who doesn’t think that this Vette has a future because Elon will stop floating one of his electric cars in space! Anyhow, thank you for spelling out the obvious (bong rips with Elon) there isn’t any way this car would ever end up in the junk pile next to a prius.

    • Oh. Slow. Doesn’t handle. A Powerglide 2spd auto. A 235ci straight 6.
      In ’53, what else could be had?
      Jeez-us. Buy a mid ’70’s big block with the TH400. At least your disappointment could be bracketed by thick, smoky dual stripes.

  8. The 1953 Corvette is “the First” in many check-boxes in USA Automotive History… with only 300 made and fewer exist. Truly. A valuable piece of American history, and no museum or personal collection is complete without one. I have rare Ferrari’s, Duesenbergs, big block corvettes, and super-cars, but my collection remains incomplete until I find the correct 1953 Corvette.
    Thanks for sharing this important piece of American History. And Ed T, my electric car will never have a place in history. If you don’t understand, you may never understand.

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