Doc's 1954 Corvette Archive

1954 Motorama Corvette - Reappears
  This factory conversion was the First Corvette with external door locks. The First Corvette with roll up windows and the First Corvette model with a hardtop (only). Below part of the October 1954 Motorsport magazine cover.  

  Several special two seat show cars were built from production 1953 Corvettes for the 1954 GM Motorama circuit. The 1954 Yellow Motorama Hardtop Corvette was originally 1953 Corvette VIN #260 (and still has the original frame and serial number stamp E53F001260. Later it became designated EX-17179 and when sold by GM was designated as 4-1067S01260. Below are 4 contemporary 1954 articles and at the end a link to the recent history. There is very little written about this special Corvette and few photographs; especially color photographs.
  1954 Motorama Cars of Tomorrow Color and Black and White Brochures  
  1954 April Motor Life Motorama Corvette, Corvair, Nomad, Olds F88, Parisianne, Wildcat  
  1954 June Motor Trend "New Fuel for an Old Deal" by Don MacDonald  
  1954 October Motorsport Motorama more Cars of Tomorrow  
Below: note the squared off sash on the partially rolled up window. Also note the 4 countersunk screw (?) holes at the junction of the vertical and upper sash. This was typical in hand crafted fabrications. Just beautiful.


Above: a GM publicity photo shows the dimpled waffle style door panel and molded in armrest and even hockey stick trim later seen in 1956-1957 production. This unique door lock striker mechanism is shown at the right, above at the end of the door and below in another GM photo. Also the basic arrangement for the 1956-1967 lock knob (chrome here), lock release (chrome again here) and window crank. Below the window crank a unique hideaway swiveling ashtray.

  Below: the raised pad around the door lock striker and hole pattern appear to match. As do the remnants of the door panels. It appears that this beauty is going to undergo a thorough refreshing. It will tell a fantastic tale.  

  Below left: more of the unique lock mechanism. Below right: the passengers side lock pillar striker with a corresponding relief for this raised pad on the end of the door.  

  Below: the typical 1953 fiberglass production dashboard was highly modified at the ends to accept the Motorama Corvette's doors with the new roll up windows.  
  The GM publicity photo below shows the passengers side foot well, with a tilt out upolstered storage compartment. Note the typical Corvette speaker screen in the upper left; the courtesy bezel near the upper right. Below them passengers side White hood release knob. Typical kick panel screw and trim washers of the era. Bottom right the swiveling ash tray and Art Deco style snuffer. I wannit!!!  

  Below the 1970's evidence for the same swivel out kick panel storage box. Note the surrounding dimpled upolstered kick panel has been removed. The lower right 3 black circles are the access holes for the door hinge bolts.  

  Below the Motorama Corvette hardtop with 3 trim bars across the headliner.  

  Below a view upward towards the hardtop header. Note the wide latch near the upper right and to it's left what appears to be a black hole to accomodate a striker on the top. The streering wheel finger grips are visible from the center to thw lower left. This steering wheel appears to have round holes in the spokes as in all 1956-1962 Corvette models, not the typical 1953-1955 wheels with a separate horn ring. The gap between the steering wheel hub and lower signal housing may indicate the need to tighten the wedge and screw in the signal housing.  

  The Motorama circuit for 1954 included NY, Miami, LA, SF and Chicago. This particular model Yellow model was then repainted in a Reddish Bronze and exhibited at the 1954 Canadian National Exhibition. A black and white GM publicity photo from that event is shown below. Note the visible trace of the hardtop inner trim strip.  

  Below a photo between sometine between 1954 and 1974, when it looked largly intact. (Is that an old "What can Brown do for you" parked on the right?)  

  Below a photo from 1974. Note the torque thrust wheels. This is the only photo I have ever seen with the hood open (or removed). The upper radiator hose has the same general appearance of those used with stock 1953 Corvette 6 cylinders.  

  Below the front emblem and mounting bracket. From photos, I could not tell if it was larger than the typical 1953-1955 emblem and like the 1956-1957 style emblems. On the rear note the 4 swedged over tabs at the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock positions retaining the plastic insert. This method was also used on early 1963 Corvette gas door emblems.  


lots more photos at

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