The Donor Car - VIN 04611 or 3611th out of 3640 Built in 1954
I first learned about the 54 Corvette from a Corvette Forum member (BowTyeGuy) from AZ. He sent me a link to the car that was posted on Craig's List in NJ. It took me 3 days to talk the guy into selling it to me, and he had it F/S, go figure. This 54 I bought, the guy bought it in 1967 for $650.00 and when he made the deal for it he left a $10.00 deposit for it and I have the paper showing this. Then when he got it home, it sat in his garage till about 6 years ago when he bought an AMX and moved the Vette outside because it would not rust and put the AMX in the garage. He bought things (parts) for the 54 Vette to restore it with but put the stuff in the basement of his house and never did anything to the car to restore it other then send the seats to Al Knock to be restored and then put them in the basement. So I guess you could kind of call it a barn find but he did advertise it F/S. These people were HOARDERS and by looking at there garage, basement and inside the house I don't think they ever thru anything out going back to about 1950 till now and I am not kidding. Oh yeah I did pay more then $650.00 for the car.
I asked my close friend and the guy who is going to help me build this Motorama Car (and we will be building him one at the same time) Brett Henderson (Vette Daddy) owner of Blue Flame Restoration to go with me to pick up the car in Manalapan NJ. Of course he said yes. Brett and I have done several road trips together to buy and pickup Corvettes. Brett was at my house at 3:00am Tuesday morning Dec 28 2010 ready to go. We left one day later then we planned because of a blizzard in NJ plus it was my grand daughters 10th birthday and grandpa can't miss that. I posted help threads on Corvette Forum for road conditions in PA and in NJ. Info came back from several members saying the turnpikes were clear but high winds. Oh well we took off at 3:00am. With only 704.3 miles to go we were off. Interstate was clear and also clear sailing till we were about 1 1/2 hours outside of Carlisle PA where there was a crash on the Penn turn pike. We were stuck for about one hour in traffic. After getting past the problem (a pickup truck flipped several times) we kept up the pace to Manalapan NJ. We did hit snow in NJ but again they must have known we were coming because the turn pike and interstate plus the city streets were clear of snow. Just the side streets were in bad shape. When we got to where the car was, it had not been dug out from the blizzard snow. in some places the snow was anywhere from 1 to 4 feet deep. I told the people that Brett and I were going to get a Hotel room for the night that after a 12hr and 50 min drive I was tired. Brett on the other had should not have been to tired, he slept about 3/4 of the trip there. Hopping it would be dug out by morning we went back about 8:30am and there it sat, in the driveway, still covered up with an above ground swimming pool liner and not dug out. I pretty much told the people to get it dug out or give me back the $5000.00 deposit and I will go home. Well I knew they spent that $5k already so they got to digging (I don't shovel snow at home and dam sure not going to shovel it at someone else's house) to get the driveway clear so I could get my 20' enclosed trailer in to load the car and parts. Finally we got it all loaded and paid for and we were back on the road about noon. I drove from Manalapan NJ to Wheeling WV. where we called it a night and got another Hotel Room for the night. We has a few Adult beverages and to bed we went. Waking up in the next morning to an ice storm sucked. We waited till the interstate cleared and off we went headed for Greenwood, Indiana. Arriving home at about 2:00pm we unloaded the car and a few heavy things that I could not get by myself and away Bret went going to his house. The 54 now sets in the garage with two other Corvettes (a 72 BB and a 66 Coupe) keeping it company waiting for spring to start her restoration.