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Harley Earl Corvette Sells for $925,000

By May 23, 2010

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As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Harley Earl's personal Corvette crossed the block yesterday at the Mecum Original Spring Classic auction. The car sold for $925,000 - some tall coin indeed, but oddly less than the $985,000 bid for the same car last year at Bloomington Gold. Last year, there was a $1.3 Million reserve on the car, which was not the case this weekend. Chalk that up to the economy, I guess. The on-site bidder who won the car was ProTeam Corvette, but Corvette Blogger believes that he was acting as a proxy bidder for an unnamed client. The car is technically a 1963 Corvette with the standard 327 cubic inch engine, but there are several critical improvements that were not generally available in the 1963 model year. This Corvette came from the factory with a 4-speed manual transmission, a custom dual instrument panel, and a pair of beautiful stainless steel side-pipe exhausts that exit the body from behind the front wheel wells. The chrome trim, exterior emblems, interior control knobs and four-wheel disc brakes are all pre-production parts that would become available to the public for the 1965 model year. A hand-written number code inside the door trim panel confirms Shop Order (S.O.) 10323, indicating that this is indeed a hand-built, one-of-a-kind Corvette. The car has been restored to its original medium blue custom leather interior with white seat trim and metallic blue exterior with white trim, though the paint and upholstery are not original. In February 1963, this car is known to have served as a parade car at the Daytona 500 race. Harley Earl's design company created the famous Daytona 500 trophy, and Earl was a personal friend of NASCAR's owner, Bill France, Sr. After Earl sold this custom 'Vette, it moved around for decades through various owners, but was never "lost" so the provenance of the car is indisputable.

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