A rare collection of 36 classic Corvettes that were hidden away for 25 years is being prepared for sale – and one model alone is expected to sell for half a million dollars.
The classic American muscle cars were originally won in a competition organised by music channel VH1 and were then sold to German-born graphic artist Peter Max who wanted to incorporate them in his work.
The collection consists of every model of Corvette released between 1953 and 1989.
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A rare collection of 36 classic Corvettes that were hidden away for more than 20 years are being prepared for sale – and one model alone is expected to sell for half a million dollars; pictured above is the co-owner of the collection, Adam Heller
Mr Heller had reportedly offered to work with Mr Max to restore the cars for sale and then split the proceeds, something the artist declined. However, Mr Max was then said to have asked Mr Heller if he wanted to buy the collection outright
Though Mr Max started to carry out his plan for the cars, issues such as a tax fraud case forced them on the backburner and he eventually sold the fleet to members of the Heller family.
Real estate broker Adam Heller said the family now has a ‘museum of Corvettes’. The 32-year-old said: ‘We can go back in time with these cars. We started off by picking up cars from the mid 1970s and now we have one from 1958.
‘It’s covered in dust but it’s in very good condition considering its age.’
The most valuable car in the collection is a 1953 Corvette – one of only 300 ever made. Another vehicle in the collection was produced in 1955, and was one of only 700 ever made.
The thick layer of dust covering the cars was said to have protected the paintwork, with some of the vehicles only needing minor restoration
While some of the cars would only take a matters of weeks to restore, others would take up to a year, a Corvette expert said.
Mr Mazzilli said one of the cars, a 1953 Corvette would undergo a full frame one restoration, meaning that the body would be removed from the chassis and ‘everything will be refurbished and gone through’; the vehicle is expected to become the most valuable 1953 Corvette in the world.
One of the most valuable cars in the collection, a 1955 Corvette – one of only 700 ever made – gets a good working over at the garage.
Mr Heller said: ‘We’re putting a substantial amount of money that’s well over six figures into just one of the individual cars.
‘I think that by the time we get done on this restoration we will have the most valuable 1953 Corvette in the world.’
Chris Mazzilli, a Corvette expert and owner of Dream Cars Consulting on Long Island, USA said the car will be worth around half a million dollars when it is fully restored.
The 49-year-old added: ‘It’s number 291 of 300 and will be getting a full frame one restoration which means that the body will be removed from the chassis and everything will be refurbished and gone through.’
He said the thick layer of dust that covered the cars had protected the paintwork, and some vehicles would need little in the way of restoration. Some would take around two weeks, and would simply need a few hoses and belts changed, while others would require ‘more than a years worth of work’.
When the restorations are complete Mr Heller, who lives and works in New York City, will attempt to sell the collection in its entirety to one lucky bidder.
Mr Heller had reportedly offered to work with Mr Max to restore the cars for sale and then split the proceeds, something the artists declined. However, Mr Max was then said to have asked Mr Heller if he wanted to buy the collection outright.