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Automotive of the Week: This 1962 Corvette Has Been Impeccably Preserved. Now It’s Up For Grabs.

Automotive of the Week: This 1962 Corvette Has Been Impeccably Preserved. Now It’s Up For Grabs.

Mecum Auctions will roll in the New Year with its largest annual sale at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla., held January 2 through 14. Among the more than 4,500 cars crossing the block is a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible that’s likely the most well-preserved first-generation Corvette in existence.

Collectors and enthusiasts classify Corvettes by generation, from C1 (1953 through 1962) through C8 (2020 through present). The first-gen cars transformed quickly. The 1953 model was a revolutionary concept and America’s first real sports car, though compromised by its anemic “Blue Flame” straight-six engine, which was replaced by a V-8 in 1955. Performance increased year over year, and for 1961, the redesigned rear foreshadowed that of the 1963 Sting Ray coupe and convertible (the first C2-gen cars built through 1967).

The 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible being offered through Mecum Auctions in January.

Mecum Auctions

In 1962, Corvette buyers had a few engine and transmission choices, all based on the Chevy 327 ci V-8. The base model ‘Vette made 250 hp, while more ambitious drivers opted for the 340 hp version or, for the truly adventurous, the 360 hp variant with Ramjet Fuel Injection. All Corvettes made from the beginning through 1962 were convertibles—although detachable fiberglass hardtops eventually became available. The first Corvette coupe was the 1963 Sting Ray, perhaps the most beautiful American production car ever made, but that’s a Corvette chapter to be savored at another time.

The 340 hp, Chevy 327 ci V-8 under the hood of a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

Under the hood is a Chevy 327 ci V-8 that makes 340 hp.

Mecum Auctions

Altogether, 14,531 examples of the 1962 Corvette were built, each with a base price of $4,038—not an inconsiderable amount for the day. Contemporary car magazines were pretty fired up about “America’s sports car,” as the Corvette is universally called. In the December 1, 1961 issue of Car and Driver, journalist Gordon Chittenden summed up an enthusiastic review by saying, “The car isn’t inexpensive but it’s a good investment, both financially and in terms of some of the most exciting driving to be had.”

To find any early Corvette that wasn’t “ridden hard and put away wet” is a challenge for collectors who seek original cars in pristine condition. Ordinarily, one must “settle” for a proper, ground-up restoration. And while there is satisfaction to be had in owning an automotive Fabergé egg, it’s not the same as having the genuine article that retains its day-one paint, upholstery, and hugely important “born-with” engine, transmission, and differential. In the case of the example on offer, only the battery has been replaced during the car’s lifetime, at least according to Mecum’s catalog.

The original interior of a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

The original interior dressed in red.

Mecum Auctions

Referring to old cars as “time capsules” is usually an exaggeration, but this Corvette fits the definition to a tee. With only three owners from new and a mere 12,014 miles on the odometer, it’s a “survivor” in the most literal sense of the term. This is attested to by the fact that it was Bloomington Gold, Survivor, and Benchmark Certified in 2010, and has been the recipient of numerous National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) national and regional awards. It’s also been given the Zora Arkus Duntov Mark of Excellence, and the 5-Star Bowtie Preservation Excellence Award. This car’s list of accolades goes on and on, something that can only be accomplished by a committed owner and an exceptional vehicle.

A 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

With a total of three owners to date, the car has only 12,014 miles on it.

Mecum Auctions

Built on October 30, 1961, at Chevrolet’s plant in St. Louis, Mo., it was delivered new to Logan Chevrolet in Walla Walla, Wash. By 2020, its third owner was noted Corvette collector Dr. Mark Davis. The preservation of this Corvette, which includes the ephemeral bits and pieces that document its history throughout the decades, is nothing short of remarkable. It comes with its original window sticker, owner’s manual (with original paper sleeve), seatbelt instruction card, Wonderbar radio instructions, and the warranty brochure.

Obsessive-compulsive collectors will surely delight in having the original hardtop wrench, original dealer license-plate frame, and leather key case from Logan Chevrolet, as well as two original keys, one of which has never been used and is still attached to the dealer’s tag. It also comes with two original Corvette owners jacket patches, a lapel pin, and a paper trail that includes original cancelled checks from previous owners, along with numerous state registrations.

A 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

The example on offer includes the Zora Arkus Duntov Mark of Excellence and the 5-Star Bowtie Preservation Excellence Award among its numerous accolades.

See Also

Mecum Auctions

An original 1962 Corvette brochure and numerous period photographs document the life of a Corvette that has truly been cherished and lovingly preserved for its next steward. And though it’s currently estimated to fetch as much as $400,000, this automotive outlier has an ultimate worth that’s incalculable.

Click here for more photos of this 1962 Corvette Convertible.

A 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

The 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible being offered through Mecum Auctions.

Mecum Auctions

Source: Robb Report

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