The beautiful 1954 Chevrolet Corvette you see here is thought to be the lowest-mileage, unrestored 1954 Corvette in the world. With only 2,331 original miles on the dial, the Vette is considered by some to be a true time capsule.
The Vette features an original Blue Flame Six engine with side draft Carter carburetors. It was purchased new by Richard Sampson, who drove the car until 1959, when he decided to “bury” it alive in one of the grocery stores he owned in Brunswick, Maine. He simply drove the car to the worksite and gave orders to entomb the Corvette within a vault of brick and mortar. Then he put in his will that the car should remain in the vault until the year 2000.
Before he passed away in 1969 and unbeknownst to his daughter, Sampson had voided his will. When the building containing the tomb was purchased by Brunswick auto dealer Frank Goodwin, it was agreed that the car would be removed by the end of the existing lease in 1986. Sampson’s daughter Cynthia was on-site when the Corvette was carefully removed from the building, and although the car’s paint suffered from the moisture within the enclosure that yellowed and blistered its Polo White paint, the tires still held air, and the chrome, top, and interior were in great condition. Cynthia brought the car home to Daytona Beach, Florida, where it sat in her living room for the next ten years.
Cynthia eventually sold the car to a Corvette collector who pledged to preserve the awesome Vette, rather than restore it. Finally, it made a long-awaited appearance in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in Springfield, Illinois, where it was displayed in honor of Richard Sampson, Sr., with Cynthia Sampson in attendance.
Now, the car is for sale again and you have a chance to be the lucky new owner! The beautiful Corvette did not meet reserve when it went rolled across the block at a Mecum auction in January with a high bid of $100,000, but it will return to auction on June 29th with higher hopes. It is after all believed to be the lowest mileage unrestored Corvette of its type in the world, with the same 2,331 miles that were on the odometer when it finally saw daylight 27 years after its entombment.