In this spot a few weeks ago, I highlighted the expected top-dollar American cars from Amelia Island.
The no-reserve 1930 Duesenberg Model J convertible I expected to be the top American-built sale from the island ended up second on that list at $1,132,500. A 1932 Duesenberg Model J Stationary Victoria topped it by selling at $1,325,000.
I’m a little surprised by those results. Drop tops typically garner more than hard tops — even at that million-dollar level. Then again, apparently a one-off, bespoke Duesenberg trumps a more common Murphy convertible coupe body.
But what I wanted to point out this time was what I thought was the best American buy from Amelia Island.
RM Sotheby’s sold a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette 283/283 Fuelie convertible for $81,200.
According to the catalog copy, this Aztec Copper Fuelie spent four years in restoration in the dry climate of Fountain Hills, AZ — finishing in 2011. Of the 6,339 Corvettes Chevrolet pumped out in 1957, it’s one of 756 with the 283-horsepower V8 and one of 664 with the all-important 4-speed. As expected, the car glows in the photos. There is no obvious bubbling or paint issues. Photos of the block stamps and castings, and the serial-number plates (car and Rochester fuel-injection unit) are also provided.
By no means am I saying that the car is perfect. There is some paint chipping around the clock bezel and a couple of the other gauges. The brake master cylinder has some surface rust; ditto with the wiper motor. There isn’t much mention of a lengthy options list, and even a big blanking plate in the optional radio spot, so it’s safe to assume it didn’t come with too much from the factory.
It’s got the main bits correct and present — Fuelie engine, 4-speed and, by all appearances, sublime paint — however.
Take all of that and compare it to the ACC Pocket Price Guide median of $97,500, and it looks like we have the best deal on an American car from Amelia Island.