$700 Jalopy on Craigslist Was Million-Dollar Corvette

Sometimes gems lie underneath the 'gaudy purple paint, poorly applied'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2016 11:47 AM CDT
$700 Jalopy on Craigslist Was Million-Dollar Corvette
You never know what you're going to find on Craigslist. Sometimes it's a million-dollar Corvette disguised as a jalopy.   (AP Photo/Craigslist)

Anybody can go poking around Craigslist and find a junker car for $700. But nobody at all snapped up a jalopy listed five years ago and described thusly: "SERIAL # X53L on documented 1953 pre-production Corvette Frame. We believe this to be a 1953 Pontiac prototype that was to assume the name Longoria? Info received todate indicates that ZAGATO designed and PINNAFARINA constructed the body for GM in late 52." As Fox News reports via Hagerty, that listing turned out to be a storied 1960 Corvette known as the Cunningham Corvette No. 1—one of three turned into racecars by Briggs Cunningham, who put the cars through their paces at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960. All three eventually were converted back to be street-legal, and were sold. No. 1 was the final one to resurface, now in "gaudy purple paint, poorly applied."

We'll likely never know where No. 1 spent its missing half-century. It may have been drag-raced, and its engine is missing. It's currently sitting in Indiana, the property of car collector Gino Burelli after a lengthy legal battle, and will head to New York state for a restoration that's estimated to take up to a year and cost upward of half a million dollars. Sound steep? Burelli is "shopping it," says a vintage car lawyer, who estimates that he should get well over the $700 the Corvette once failed to command—between $3 million and $7 million. (This stolen hot rod also turned out to be worth quite a lot of money.)

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