Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two Classic Corvettes That Could Go for $1 Million Apiece at Auction

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car The Bunkie Knudsen Corvette Highlight Photo 1

In January of this year, a 1967 L88 Corvette showed up on the auction block at the world famous Barrett-Jackson auto auction. This '67 L88 was specially built for a General Motors executive and was produced as the only known L88 from that year with a red-on-red color combination. It was in such good shape with paper work to match it fetched $3.8 million.

The stipulation of that Corvette is much the same as two Corvettes that will be rolling across the auction block at the Mecum Auto Auction (Houston, April 10-12, 2014).

The first Corvette that might fetch some big numbers is an one-off 1963 Corvette Sting Ray convertible styling car that was built for General Motors Chevrolet Division General Manager Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen. Now owned by his son, Bernie Knudesn, this rare Corvette stands out from the rest with huge, unique chromed out side-pipes, on a special Crimsom Firefrost Metallic red with white strips. The interior was modified from the factory with 1964 interior components and styling. The seats were covered in Naugahdye and were chic-white with maroon stripes.

Underneath the hood is a 327 cubic-inch motor with plenty of chrome plating and crinkle black finish to take the place of the cast-iron look.

All of Knudsen’s cars came in this color, and I’m sure he was out and about showing it off often,” says Mecum consignment director John Kraman, who says that this car could reach the $1 million mark. “It’s a real automotive landmark that has special panache.”

The other Corvette that will probably fetch some big numbers was so pampered it has never even hosted a passenger, and there is only three known people that have ever sat in it. This 1967 Corvette Sting Ray that only has 2,996 org. miles on it is so nice it probably belongs in the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

It has only had one owner, who passed away in 2011. Don McNamra was a United State Marine, he struck a big payday in Las Vegas where he took his winnings and bought this '67 Sting Ray. McNamara lived in Colorado Springs, he never married and lived a very private life. At one point, sometime during the '80s, he denied even owning the rare Corvette to keep a low profile. Legend has it that the small amount of miles on the vehicle were mostly put on during late night cruises.

These Corvettes may not bring a $3.8 million price tag like the Barrett-Jackson L88 Corvette, but they could easily be some of the Mecum's highest auctioned cars of the weekend, maybe even of all time. One thing that will hurt the Corvettes is that the Mecum auto auction doesn't bring in as many high-profile bidders like the Barett-Jackson auctions often do.

It’s a great color scheme (white with a red stripe) and must be the absolute best second-generation Sting Ray in the country,” says Kraman, who believes this Corvette could also see the $1 million mark. “The first thing that jumps out at you is how different an original car feels from a restored one. This is what it must have looked like in the showroom, down to the whitewall tires.”