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Unbelievable Corvette Barn Find … Not 1 But 2

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 2018-03-20 Hot Rod Network Staff

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When Kim Walker towed two old C1s to the 2017 Corvettes at Carlisle show to sell, he had no idea that they would be one of the highlights of the four-day event. With a multi-million dollar display of rare 1967 L88 Corvettes in Building T, he was pleasantly surprised to find these two old cars giving the mega-bucks examples a run for their money in popularity with the fans attending the show. When we set eyes on these two cars, we figured there was a story that needed to be shared behind this much patina, so we gave Walker a call.

We knew from some of the literature that was with the cars that they were both from Pennsylvania. Walker told us that they had been sitting just outside of Muncy, Pennsylvania, on the owner's property for many years, and he personally knew about them for about 15 years. Walker explains, "Every Corvette guy in the county knew about these cars and the owner had been approached several times." After many purchase attempts over the years, the transaction was eventually consummated with the aid of a third party, and was actually part of a larger three-car deal that also involved an equally sad '60 Corvette, also owned by the same individual.

We started off by asking him about the '56. He told us that it was purchased in 1957 by the original owner, and was used as daily transportation until 1972. It still wears the original Venetian Red with Polo White exterior paint and beige interior. It is equipped with a three-speed manual and a 265-cubic-inch engine. Walker doesn't know which of the three engine options lay under the hood because he didn't want to open it, which meant removing all the vegetation growing on it. That was part of the appeal when it was displayed. His wife watered the car every day before the show so that none of it died off. The front of the car has a modified opening, which he told us, was done by the owner who liked to dabble with mild customizing. It was parked at some point in 1972, next to his garage where it slowly sank into the ground until early August 2017.

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The story on the '54 is that it was acquired in 1964 and was parked the following year. It originally rolled off the St. Louis assembly line sporting a Polo White exterior and Sportsman Red interior, along with a 235-cubic-inch inline-six mated to a two-speed Powerglide transmission. The odometer shows just over 68,000 miles. Walker noted that the owner pulled the engine and transmission out for a full rebuild in 1965. The body was also completely disassembled at that time, and some minor bodywork performed on it. The guy lost interest in the project and it just sat inside the garage until 2013, when it was moved outside and parked in a carport. When Walker acquired it, it was completely apart. He didn't want to sell it in an "as is" condition; so many hours were spent carefully putting it back together so as not to disrupt the patina on the car.

Two eager individuals purchased both cars. The '56 was sold early on Thursday, the first day of the show, and we were told it fetched a cool $10,000. The '54 was sold on Saturday, with a selling price in the mid-$20s. While the future of the '56 is unclear, it may end up as a flowerpot a bit longer. Plans are for it to be on display during the 2017 Fall Carlisle show, while the '54 will undergo a full restoration. Vette

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