1954 Corvettes are wonderful cars to own and drive, and if you like
the looks and purity of the '53s but can't afford the six-figure
price tag, this nicely preserved '54 is virtually identical for a
whole lot less cash.
Nicely finished in Polo White with a red vinyl interior and a tan canvas top, it's a nicely preserved example of what an early Corvette should look like. The body is well done and fits together better than they did originally, but not too perfectly, because that's not how the factory did it. Most '54 Corvettes are Polo White like this one, and it offers a soft gloss that looks very vintage and correct. It has been repainted, but for the most part, this car presents as a nicely preserved car rather than one that has been fully disassembled and restored from the ground up, and we like that. There are a few areas showing the usual minor checking, but overall, if you want one to drive, you probably won't do better than this. The chrome and other brightwork is in good order, from the beautiful "baskets" over the headlights to the stylish rear bumpers.
Red vinyl was one of two choices in 1954 (the other being beige vinyl), but on a white car, it really is the only sensible selection. Contrasting so vividly with the Polo White paint, this Corvette's cockpit is as accurate as it is stylish. From fresh foam under the seat covers, to the beautiful dashboard with matching instrument humps for driver and passenger, it has been nicely refinished. The gauges are all fully functional, lined up down low with neat chrome bezels. The original AM radio is just above the gauges and there's just nothing like the sound of a vintage tube radio, even though there's not much music to listen to on AM stations anymore. The matching red and white steering wheel has been recast and is so pristine that you're almost afraid to touch it while you drive. To the right of your thigh is the slender, almost delicate shifter for the 2-speed PowerGlide automatic. Interestingly, although the PowerGlide transmission was a $178 option, no Corvettes with manual transmissions were built in 1954.
In 1954, power still came from Chevrolet's reliable and surprisingly lusty 235 cubic inch inline six-cylinder engine, which was renamed the Corvette Special Six in 1954. Equipped with a trio of side-draft carburetors and exhaling through a true dual exhaust system, it made a reasonably respectable 150 horsepower. The block and head are bathed in the correct blue paint, and there's plenty of evidence of proper service over the years. This car is one of the 20% or so 1954 Corvettes fitted with a chrome valve cover (which was installed on serial numbers 1363 through 4381), making it somewhat of a rarity among its peers. Forget shiny body-colored floors, everything is original underneath, and the front suspension is similar to what Chevrolet had been using since the late 1930s. In back, there's a rigid axle on leaf springs, and a 3.55 gear spins inside. Brakes are 11-inch drums all around, which provide better than expected performance given the Corvette's light weight, and it rolls on 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers and 205/75/15 wide whitewall radials.
Although 1954 production was greater than both 1953 and 1955, at 3634 units, they are still very rare cars. They are also fun cars to drive and beautiful machines to look at, no matter what the rest of the hobby has to say about their place in history. That's surely worth something too. Call now!