The former GM design boss's customized Corvette is hitting the auction block.
GM fans need no introduction to Harley Earl, the famous design chief of the automotive giant who penned some of the most beautiful and dramatic models during the carmaker’s glory days. Just how influential was he? Tail fins, two-tone paint and the wraparound windshield were just a few examples of his signatory styling. His 30-year career produced some of the most extreme concept cars that appeared at GM’s Motorama. Just as importantly, Earl was also one of the so-called fathers of the Corvette when he helped launch it back in 1953.
Because of his many contributions, GM honored Earl by giving him this one-off 1963 Corvette, which just so happens to be heading to the auction block. Painted in Nassau Blue, it’s powered by a 327 cu.in. V8 with 300 horsepower that’s paired to a four-speed manual. It’s got custom blue leather seats with white trim, stainless steel doors and foot well inserts, plush carpeting, and a unique instrument panel. There are also special gauges including altimeter, accelerometer, inside/outside temp and vacuum pressure. It’s officially a 1963 Vette, but it has many 65 components. It's also just one of four Corvettes ever built with this custom side exhaust.
Eventually Earl sold it and it changed hands a few times before someone realized how unique the car was. They went to GM design with its VIN number, and only then realized who its original owner was. It has since been fully restored, and it’ll be at the Mecum auction in Chicago next month. No word on how much it's estimated to go for, but something as special and historical as this certainly won't be cheap.