Rags to riches stories are normally reserved for people, but this is a case where the transformation applies to a car. Mind you, its not just any car, but an early Baldwin-Motion Corvette conversion car. The first of the performance Baldwin-Motion supercars was sold in 1967, after Joel Rosen moved his Brooklyn business to Baldwin, NY, on Long Island.
Working in conjunction with nearby Baldwin Chevrolet, Rosen would swap high powered V8 engines into Camaros and other GM products, as was being done by the likes of Don Yenko, Fred Gibb and others. Unlike that group, Rosen came to offer restyling components as well, creating a uniquely identifiable vehicle.
Rosen’s restyling parts were also available to order on their own, which is where this particular car begins its story. The original owner had visited Baldwin-Motion in 1968, but didn’t have the budget to buy a Rosen-converted car at the time. He settled for a big block 1968 Corvette, but never forgot the distinctive look of Rosen’s work.
By 1973, the owner was ready to have some work done and ordered a Phase III GT Kit from Rosen. This consisted of a front end with tunneled headlamps, shark louvers and flared fenders. As well, a scooped replacement hood, rear fender flares and a polished alloy fuel filler were included.
The basic conversion was supplemented by chromed outside headers, Motion finned aluminum valve covers, a Holley four-barrel carburetor, a high-rise manifold and polished Ansen wheels. Rosen’s signature GT rear window conversion, however, did not make it onto the buy list.
According to the seller, after a local body shop completed the conversion, the car was driven for a few years and then sold with 32,000 miles on the clock. The next owner ran up another 4,000 miles before parking the car in 1978. Eight years ago, the car was ‘discovered’ by an Arkansas man, who bought it and began the restoration process.
A visit to the listing for this car will show you an extensive photo gallery, including many shot during the restoration process. It is interesting to note that the car’s paint scheme is trademarked by Rosen and only available through him. Rosen will only authorize it for recognized Baldwin-Motion cars, so any thought of this ‘conversion’ car being a lesser version is not supported by Rosen himself.
At the asking price of $199,900, this is a serious investment, but in a unique piece of American performance car history. Currently located in Charlotte, NC, the eBay listing runs until June 5th, so check it out and see if there’s room in your driveway for it.