NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– How much would you pay for a 1953 Corvette
convertible? The one owned by the late Dr. John Mansell of New Wilmington went for $170K at a two-day auction held at the Mansell family farm just outside of town on Ferris Road on Aug. 12 & 13.
The Corvette was one of 160 vintage convertibles collected by the local family doctor.
For nearly 50 years, Dr. Mansell cared for patients in the community, and for that half century he amassed a large collection of convertibles and parts. Many were stored and forgotten in barns and buildings. They were recently uncovered in what auctioneers called the ‘Great Barn Find.’
Many of the convertibles were Indianapolis 500 Pace cars. The ’53 Corvette was certified by General Motors as the 175th Corvette built out of only 300 in 1963 at GM’s Flint assembly plant. That was the first year of production for the Corvette.
Mansell family members said their patriarch would take road trips with the family, often to Florida. That’s where he found many of the cars in his collection.
Many of the bidders called the cars trash as they had locked engines or no engines at all. However, many bidders found convertibles worth the price. The anonymous telephone bidder who won the ’53 Corvette had a proxy on hand to make arrangements to ship the prize to California. The bidder asked to remain anonymous.