The second year of Corvette production, 1954, was supposed to be the one that brought the car to the motoring public. The previous year had seen the sports car rushed into production with a plan to build only 300 cars. Production would move to St. Louis, which had a capacity of 10,000 units.
However, only 3,640 cars were built due to flagging demand. The 1953 cars were sold mostly to GM executives and social ‘notables,’ such as celebrities and politicians. As a result, the public enthusiasm for the car that was evident during the 1953 Motorama was squandered.
Several ‘mandatory options’ were added for the 1954 production run, including whitewall tires, a parking brake alarm, windshield washers and courtesy lights. Three additional colors were made available, although most 1954 cars still used the Pennant White exterior. About 300 cars left the factory in Pennant Blue, 100 in Sportsman Red and four in Black, according to the National Corvette Museum.
The current example is one of those three hundred in Pennant Blue and was listed on eBay, collecting a total of 33 bids and closing for $46,200 . The listing describes this example as a survivor car, with only one repaint in its history. A review of the photos will show that the car has been well driven in its 95,000-mile past and not hidden in a garage.
Apparently, the interior is ready for restoration, as an interior kit is included with the car. Reported to have been an Arizona car all its life, the car appears rust free. Roll-up windows were not a Corvette feature until later, so the side windows are included, along with their storage bag. As was the case for all 1954 Corvettes, you’ll find a Blue Flame inline 6-cylinder engine under the hood and a Powerglide automatic transmission.
As expected, this ’54 didn’t quite reach the price level demanded for the much rarer 1953 models. Regardless, as an early example of the straight axle Corvettes, this one would only take a little TLC to make it presentable, or could certainly be a good basis for a total restoration.