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VIN E53F001003

Car Year: 1953
Car's approximate birthday: July 2, 1953
Owner: Howard R. Kirch Family, John Amgwert
City: Half Moon Bay
State: California
Country: United States
Purchase date: 01/02/1987
Date sold: 12/31/2005
Nickname: worldsoldestcorvette
State: Restored
Exterior: Polo White (100.00%)
Interior: Red (100.00%)
Softtop: Black (100.00%)
Wheels: Red (100.00%)
Delivery Dealer Zone: Unknown
Delivery Dealer Code: Unknown
Options: RPO Option Percentage
Sold [%]
Sales Price
  02934 Base Engine 235ci "Blue Flame" 150hp (150hp) 100.00% 3,498.00
  101A Heater 100.00% 91.40
  101B AM Radio 100.00% 145.15
  Total   100.000000000000000%
(300 Cars)
Factory job nr.: Unknown
Export Car: Non Export Car
Car history:
Corvette #003 is a rare automobile. Not only is it a 1953 Corvette, it wears Corvette VIN plate number #E53F001003. Known to fans worldwide as #003, this is the third Corvette to come off the production line. It is the oldest survivor of the first 300 Corvettes made in 1953, the first year of production.

Care was taken that the historical significance of #003 was not lost to over-restoration. Thanks to months of assistance from Chevrolet and General Motors, records and documents for the earliest Corvettes underwent careful analysis, insuring accurate documentation and preservation. Detailed documentation was published in the 1993 issue of the NCRS Corvette Restorer by John Amgwert entitled The Earliest Corvettes. '

#003 was researched and restored by Howard Kirsch and Lloyd Miller of Southwestern Restorations, as well Lester Bieri. Invaluable research was provided by John Amgwert, a Founding Member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, along with Art Armstrong of Chevrolet. Displaying workmanship and material of the times, #003 is a rare piece of automotive history, providing a tangible and accurate account of early Corvette history.


In July of 1953, at Van Slyke Avenue and Atherton Road in Flint, Michigan stood the former Customer Delivery Garage, and it was here that the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette #003 reached final assembly on or about July 1. This garage had been converted to a small pilot-assembly facility to produce 300 of the fledgling Corvettes, all virtually hand-built. Serial Number 003 was the first production Corvette delivered to the General Motors Engineering Staffs Car Development Shop at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, arriving July 7, 1953. This was the first fork in the road which helped contribute to the ultimate survival of #003 compared to its siblings #001 and #002 which were delivered to the Chevrolet Engineering Center.

Designated GM Engineering Staff Car ES-127, #003 had just 67 miles on the odometer when it was serviced for an immediate road trip through southern Ontario to GMs Harrison Radiator Division in Lockport, New York, just outside Buffalo. There, ES-127 was subjected to a Cold Room Shake Test on July 8-9, consisting of front and rear body excitation with wheels out of balance and driveshaft removed to simulate vehicle shake at road speeds. The test lasted some 14 hours at 20 degrees below zero. The objective of the test was to determine low temperature strength characteristics of the plastic body. It was determined no serious body failure occurred.

Number Three was driven back to Michigan on July 10th, where it began many miles of actual road testing and evaluation at the GM Tech Center by both the GM and Chevrolet Engineering staffs, including 5,000 grueling miles on the famed GM Proving Ground Belgian Blocks in Milford. This testing was necessary to determine body, chassis and drive train operation, drivability, and durability. During this period of many weeks extensive reports detailing problems, fixes and recommended changes for other production 1953 Corvettes were files with the various GM and Chevrolet engineering and design departments, as well as the Flint Corvette pilot-assembly facility.

On August 20, 1953, before the Corvettes unveiling to the motoring press, an Engineering work order was issued for ES-127 to recondition the car and to make the various fixes which have been found necessary on regular production cars.

Recently sold for 1M$ via the Barrett-Jackson action 2006.
For Sale: No

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