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Hagerty Employee

Are these seats from the first Corvette prototype—and are they worth $90,000?

How much would you pay to own the original bucket seats from the very first Corvette prototype? A seller on eBay is hoping the answer is $90,000.


Offered by user “ncrstopflight” in Portage, Indiana, the fiberglass seats and red cushions purportedly come from one of five cars that General Motors built in 1952–53 under the name Project Opel. In fact, the seller claims they come from the very first prototype, EX-52 [#852 in internal Chevrolet documents], which was built in December 1952 and shown in the GM Autorama at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on January 17, 1953.


The seller claims to have proof of the seats’ authenticity, which he/she will share only with the buyer ... Read the full article on



Even with proof, not worth 90k to me!  Nor, $9.

Intermediate Driver

Wow. So if I'm reading it correctly, the car these were apparently in doesn't exist and was nothing more than basically a 1:1 model kit. I have to go with Historian on this one...pretty much worthless. If these sell at least we'll know the exact time the world lost its last trace of common sense!
Intermediate Driver

So what if they’re the original seats; who cares? I wouldn’t pay 9 cents for them. Although, there’s a sucker born every minute. Some people have more money than brains.


I love Corvettes and have owned 3 including my current one and even as a die hard fan I wouldn't spend that kind of money. Maybe $90000 for the whole EX car, but for the seats only. No thanks.

Pit Crew

I guess if you have more money than brains,you would pay 90 grand .

Pit Crew

the collectible car market is fascinated with "barn finds" that barely escaped the crusher...these seats have little value unless one of the 5 pre-production Corvettes can be found in similar destroyed condition needing seats...obviously these seats have sat out in the weather for years...what happened to the car they came out of?

Intermediate Driver

The idiocracy is real....and it's here to stay.  This is proof.


The only thing you can do with them is display them and watch all your friends laugh at you for spending 90k on two ratty seats.


If I had these seats they'd take up precious garage space while gathering dust. After tripping over them one time too many I'd get sick of them and put them out at the curb Monday morning for the trash guy to pick them up.


The only way that these seats could have any significant value is if they were bolted down to the floor boards of the prototype it came from. On their own they are basically remnants of  aftermarket seats available in the early 50’s . There’s nothing special about them, they have no more value then the individual bolts, screws, brake pads etc. from the same car.

New Driver

That's the silliest thing I've ever heard!  Like paying a fortune for the first coke bottle...that had been broken!  If they were in perfect (or at least usable) condition, they might be worth something, but never that much! Looks like they might fit in my Triumph Spitfire, but I'd never put those ratty things in it!

Intermediate Driver

"what happened to the car they came out of?"



Pit Crew


Intermediate Driver


As a guy who owns a few old Corvettes, there's someone in this community that'll buy them (maybe not $90k, but for a ton.)

Remember, these are the same people who will argue a bolt head stamp change when GM swapped vendors mid-year for a valve cover. Then pay $100 each for the same bolt I just bought for 39 cents at Tractor Supply. 

Being attached to a Small Block Chevy, both will leak equally. 

It's a community made of folks who will pay obscene amounts of money for something that's "correct", whether it's worth it or not.... 

New Driver

If these seats were removed in 1953, how did they get in the present condition.  Were they installed in some other car, or just left out in the sun to rot?

New Driver

I call BALONEY on this one! First, the seller has worthless junk that should be in the trash and he thinks some idiot will pay 90k for them. I have no idea what drugs he is on, but share it with the world, so we have complete peace on earth and nothing but fairy tales to be told to each other! LOL! If eBay does not take that ad down they should be liable for this con job too! I have a necklace from God, i have proof that one of his children here on earth made it! It says "Made in China" right on it! That should be worth a few trillion dollars on eBay! It must be from God because I received it in the mail and have no idea who made it in China, therefore it is a gift from God to me! I am not hiding my proof! All people interested now know! LOL! 


I would gladly pay nada. If someone left these seats in my home, I would be angry about the space they would take up in my dumpster.  In retrospect, I suppose that means that I wouldn't gladly pay nothing for them. They aren't worth it.

Intermediate Driver

Rarity does not always equate to valuable. And condition is everything.

Interesting to see, especially that they definitely were a left and right pair.


This is like putting $10k on a roll of toilet paper during the shortage. Although the toilet paper would actually have some functionality should you get weary of the story.





I would even disagree with the proof that the pictures from the Kayser book is supposed to give.

1. the seam on the side of the seat base (drivers side), between seat back and seat base starts further forward on the seat to be sold compared to the picture in the book.

2. the distance of the end of the bead that runs over the top of the drivers side seat is larger by about an inch compared to the picture in the book.

You will have to open the E-Bay offer to view the picture in the Kayser-book.


Considering the rarity the price seems reasonable.  By the way I have a set of 6 paper coffee cups from the first Mustang design meeting and a Lee Iaccoca cigar butt from the same meeting and I only want $50,000 for the whole lot. Authenticity guaranteed by a hand written note on a cocktail napkin

New Driver

i have the original toilet seat from  henry fords private bathroom in dearborn michigan. it has not been sat on in almost 100 years. included in the purchase price  are 9 rolls of toilet paper made from the original forest trees ford owned in northern michigan. free shipping included.   authenticity guaranteed by Mr. Whipple who did the Charmin commercials.  asking  $9500 obo. 

Community Manager

I will pay ELEVENTY BILLION dollars for this piece of history! 


Definitely not worth any thing in my opinion. I must be honest in stating that I could be wrong since I am lacking some knowledge as to their true worth since I decided after about two minuets of reading that even their story was worthless and couldn't continue wasting my time. Graeme; lover of Corvettes at age 77

New Driver

Does anybody no if that includes free shipping 

Pit Crew

Local pickup only!

I bet for $90k, it comes with a fist sticking up the seat cushion.


I’d say that somebody should call Kenneth W. Kayser and ask about “Kayser discovered several proof-positive visual characteristics that matched the historical GM photos.” 

Intermediate Driver

I pretty much agree with all the previous comments, hard to imagine anyone that interested in such a non revalent piece of automotive history

Advanced Driver

My "scam radar" is really going off if the seller will only show the definitive proof of authenticity to the winning bidder.  He's basically saying, "After I have your $90,000, I'll show you the (possibly fake, possibly inaccurate) proof."  Thanks, but I'll pass.


Oh c'mon now, surely someone famous must have sat in them to push the price above $100,000?

Intermediate Driver

A fool and his money....

Pit Crew

Well, if you want to get in the concourse or hunt for OEM this is what you have to do. I am not an expert in early corvettes, but you have to pay to play. 90k sounds way too much though in this case, but I can see these go for four figures. Lastly, I need to see more documentation, not some picture where you draw an arrow like a 6 year old. 


Maybe the chinese will buy them for their worthless Corvette wannabe.

Intermediate Driver

ha ha ha.  Save this article for April 1st.  Even Hagerty has to admit this is hilarious

Intermediate Driver

I have to agree with the (somewhat sarcastic) remarks about the "stupid money play" we must put up with in every phase of our lives. I never have and will never look at anything on e-bay and refuse to live in that "gotcha" and "here's what you missed" money grubbing crap. I DO want to let the junk collectors and trash pickers have their space to play.


Please enjoy what you have and what it means to you now. I really hate to see this mindset infiltrate the classic and collector car world. Every old piece of junk IS NOT valuable although it may be historically significant or interesting in a museum.  


Not worth 90K even if they were mint.



Sounds like he is trying to retire...    I wouldn't pay anything for them they are interesting, but only to a museum... 


After writing six paragraphs about this situation, I chose to delete it.  As every time I think normal, rational behavior will prevail, I am proven wrong.  Since no one needs them for their original restoration, a  museum or collector will take them and it could get ugly!  Sweep the dust off them and put it in a zip lock baggie.  The dust will sell too!  Sell pictures of the imprint on the floor (8x10 glossy) where they sat.  Bottle the nasty  air in the barn where they were stored; quart jars would work!    Ok, just because this sounds irrational to most of us, to a few people this is realistic.  And the price on the seats is attainable and justified.  Sanity left the car business the day after horses were retired.

Pit Crew

The saying  - "A fool and their money..."  applies here, completely!  Bigger question - Would Hagerty insure those seats, at the 'agreed-upon value'?  LOL!


The seller won't clear the 90K price.  He'll still have to cover the insertion fee, extra picture fee, final value fee, Meg Whitman Golden Parachute fee, PayPal transfer fee, eBay Obscure Antique Relic Fee...

New Driver

This dude has lost his mind...

Pit Crew

It would be nice if they were donated to the National Corvette Museum as not only the first Corvette seats but as the first Corvette strategically placed soft landing pads for a display Corvette that falls into the next sinkhole.   And if they were actually purchased by the museum, they could be the second National Corvette Museum "SINKHOLE."


Is this the starting point to build your very own C1 out of spare parts this winter?

And the proof... Does butt stain carbon date to 1952?

New Driver

I was OK with the story until, "“Most all of the EX-52 and EX-53’s Motorama Corvette Show car removed parts were returned to either engineering and/or the manufacturer for durability and fatigue analysis and these original GM-Styling components have survived the test of time,” the listing reads."  I do not believe that seats from a show car would offer any value for durability and fatigue analysis as the seat use was not controlled or recorded.  Sounds like a scam to me.



New Driver

The prototype car worth a bundle.  Those seats are really trash.  In horrible condition and the storage environment must have been in some dank cave where bays prevail.  My 67 Firebird has the original seats in it and they stilllook new!  Of course Ive owned it since 1969 and didnt store it in a cave.

Intermediate Driver

We all have our dreams!

Intermediate Driver

Somebody who is an absolute Corvette fan, with very deep pockets, is the only type of person to put up $90k for this junk. Put them back in the barn.

New Driver

$90.00 That ain't bad..............Wait! What! 

Intermediate Driver

Sorry my wife just hid the check and my wallet with credit cards.