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Two 1957 Corvettes and a 1963 Convertible Found in a Milwaukee Barn

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 11/25/2015 Jerry Heasley
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rear VIew© Provided by Hotrod 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Rear VIew

“I have a small towing business,” Mike “P” said. On one trip to “pick up a junk pickup truck,” Mike walked into an old garage in Milwaukee to discover “a ’57 Vette with eight feet of stuff piled on top of it.” Mike recalls telling the owner of the property, “Holy @$#%, that’s a ’57 Vette!!!” Unperturbed, the man replied back, “Yeah, there’s two more.”

The ’63 was stored in this single-car garage from 1973 up until several years ago.© Provided by Hotrod The ’63 was stored in this single-car garage from 1973 up until several years ago.

“What!!!” Luckily, Mike’s wife snapped a photo of the ’57, partially obscured by acetylene bottles. A second Vette stashed away in the same garage was also a ’57, but with no drivetrain and hit “really, really, really” hard in the front. The third Vette was a ’63 convertible, parked, oddly in “its own garage that was locked.”

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Mike believes the ’57 came with the base four-barrel 283, seen here.© Provided by Hotrod Mike believes the ’57 came with the base four-barrel 283, seen here.

Mike wanted a closer look at the ’63, but the garage had no key. He could see the car dimly “through a little hole in the glass where paint had chipped away. Exactly how it happened is I walked into the parking lot. I said, Wow, what a great garage. And the sister said to me, ‘You want to buy it?’”

Mike snapped this photo of the ’57 as he first saw the Vette in the old garage.© Provided by Hotrod Mike snapped this photo of the ’57 as he first saw the Vette in the old garage.

That’s when Mike got the grand tour of the garage, which had been a body shop located in a residential neighborhood. An old house, also needing lots of work, was part of the property. “We walked through. They gave me a price. I said I’ll take it.” 

The ’63 convertible has original Sebring Silver paint and is complete.© Provided by Hotrod The ’63 convertible has original Sebring Silver paint and is complete.

The price included the three Vettes, without which there probably would not have been a deal. Mike said the ’63 “was bought for the sister when she was 18.” Later, he found a canceled check for the ’63 in the attic of the old house. She had a small fender-bender and parked the Vette in 1973. Both ’57s were bought at an auction in the mid-1960s and had been parked since 1969, when the body shop closed.

The roll of film revealed this photo of a car resembling GM’s Mako Shark II. Is this the real Mako Shark II or a kit from many years ago?© Provided by Hotrod The roll of film revealed this photo of a car resembling GM’s Mako Shark II. Is this the real Mako Shark II or a kit from many years ago?

The red ’57 had no drivetrain and major body damage. The Cascade Green ’57, however, was complete, featuring a base 283 engine and a body in the process of being customized when stored in 1969. “They had trimmed the front fenders down to make it look like an XK-E Jaguar.”

The ’63 came with the base 327 four-barrel.© Provided by Hotrod The ’63 came with the base 327 four-barrel.

Mike mentioned he also found something “cool – a roll of unprocessed film, not regular 35mm film, in the attic of the old house. It cost me $60 to develop the film and make prints.” The cool part is the film hid pictures of a Corvette in the shape of the Corvette Mako Shark II.

Mike does not know the year the film was shot or the location. Maybe somebody can tell us.

Do you have a Rare Find story to share? Contact Jerry Heasley at jerryheasley@gmail.com or on Twitter @JerryHeasley.

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