NEWS

HQ IN VE­GAS

Unique Cars - - CONTENTS -

TWO SIG­NIF­I­CANT

Chevro­let Corvette styling cars be­long­ing to Har­ley Earl and Bill Mitchell are up for grabs at Me­cums Kis­sim­mee auc­tion in Jan­uary 2019.

Har­ley Earl, ac­knowl­edged as the man who brought style and colour to the auto in­dus­try, with his suc­ces­sor, Bill Mitchell, con­trolled the di­rec­tion of GM's de­sign and styling for much of the 20th Cen­tury.

Now their Corvette St­ing Ray styling cars, a 1963 con­vert­ible and 1964 coupe, ar­guably the two most sig­nif­i­cant one­off Corvettes in the model's his­tory are be­ing auc­tioned as one lot.

The Har­ley Earl Corvette, a 1963 con­vert­ible, was gifted to Earl by GM De­sign. He used the car as a daily driver for two years and drove it as the pa­rade car at the 1965 Day­tona 500 when he served as Grand Mar­shall. To this day the tro­phy pre­sented to the win­ner of the Day­tona 500 is named The Har­ley J Earl Tro­phy.

While the Corvette bears a 1963 se­rial num­ber, it in­cor­po­rates many 1965 com­po­nents, in­clud­ing bon­net, badg­ing, con­trol knobs and four-wheel disc brakes.

Other items that never made pro­duc­tion in­clude side-exit ex­hausts ex­tend­ing un­der the doors in chrome chan­nels re­plac­ing the lower sill trims.

Fin­ished in Blue Metal­lic paint with a white stripe the Earl Corvette fea­tures three-bar finned-alu­minium knock-off wheels on Goodyear Speed­way tyres.

In­stru­ment and glove­box pan­els are covered in white vinyl, an al­time­ter re­places the clock, with the clock moved to the glove­box; also in­cluded are an ac­celerom­e­ter, vac­uum, oil tem­per­a­ture and match­ing in­side/out­side tem­per­a­ture gauges.

Cus­tom seats are leather with match­ing door cards and brushed-metal ac­cent pan­els.

As was manda­tory for test cars head­ing to pri­vate use, the orig­i­nal fuel-in­jected 327ci was re­placed with a car­bu­ret­ted ver­sion with air con­di­tion­ing.

The 1964 Bill Mitchell Corvette coupe was one of the jew­els of the Bob McDor­man Col­lec­tion of spe­cial GM De­sign Corvettes. The cus­tom­made die-cast grille and match­ing dual front guard vents heighten its dis­tinc­tive Blue Metal­lic paint.

A keen eye will no­tice the omis­sion of the side vent win­dows, point­ing to the as­tro ven­ti­la­tion in­tro­duced in 1968 Chevs. Like the Earl Corvette, the Mitchell coupe rides on Goodyear Speed­way Blue Streak tyres mounted on chromed 72-spoke knock-off wire wheels .

The ex­te­rior re­flects Mitchell's 'less-is-more' styling ap­proach and the in­te­rior treat­ment also shows re­straint and fea­tures 'chaser' lights set into the brushed-metal sec­tion of the in­ner door pan­els. Padded leather is every­where in­clud­ing the dash, con­sole cover, in­stru­ment and glove­box pan­els. Cus­tom touches in­clude coloured seat belts and a unique shifter – sim­i­lar to that in the con­tem­po­rary Buick Riviera – with an en­graved alu­minium shifter plate.

The en­gine bay, hous­ing a small-block V8 cou­pled to a three-speed Turbo Hy­draMatic auto is close to con­cours with chromed air cleaner, stain­less wiring shields, alu­minium in­take man­i­fold and chrome pul­leys.

Both cars are gen­uine Amer­i­can trea­sures, mon­u­ments to their name­sake's re­spec­tive styles and show­case the enor­mous in­flu­ence both men had on GM and over­all auto de­sign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.