A gift to Harley Earl, 1963 Corvette to go on auction block

(September 30, 2013) The factory-styling Sting Ray gifted to the father of the Corvette Harley J. Earl will cross the auction block at Mecum’s Chicago auction Oct. 10-12 at the Schaumburg Convention Center. Among an anticipated 1,000-car lineup, this car stands out as the personal driver of GM’s head designer who was one of the most significant innovators in the history of the American automobile.

This 1963 Corvette Convertible is a one-of-a-kind build given directly from General Motors to the man often credited for introducing design and color to the American automobile industry.

Earl joined GM in 1928 and became head of the General Motors Design team, retiring in 1958. His designs in the ‘50s at the Motorama tours are what brought the Corvette to the attention of the American public and to the world.

Gifted to Earl for his lifetime of contributions to General Motors, he kept the Metallic Blue car at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., for use as his personal driver. He enjoyed the Corvette for two years, even using it as the parade car at the Daytona 500 in 1965 when he served as Grand Marshall. The trophy given to the winner of the Daytona 500 remains his namesake to this day, dubbed “The Harley J. Earl Trophy.”

One of only four Corvettes ever built with the custom side exhaust system, the car features a custom gauge and dash treatment unique to S.O.10323. As a longtime member of the Corvette Hall of Fame, this car is a mainstay of the Bloomington Gold Special Collection ha
ving been invited more than any other Corvette in existence. Confirmed by GM as the very car custom built and gifted to Earl, the car has since been restored to the specifications as when it arrived in Earl’s driveway.

The historically significant, one-of-a-kind Harley J. Earl Corvette will cross the block on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Chicagoland’s only collector and classic car auction.

Doors to the Mecum Chicago auction will open each day at 8 a.m. Portions of all three days will be broadcast live on Discovery’s Velocity Network in addition to the live stream of the entire auction presented by Mecum at www.mecum.com.

Mecum’s website is updated daily with the latest consignments including detailed descriptions and photographs of the vehicles. To view the list, to consign a vehicle or to register as a bidder for the Chicago auction, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050.