In this article, we will look at the history of the one and only 1962 Firemist Gold Corvette Styling Car that is at the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, Florida.
During the 1960s, General Motors Styling Department produced a few experimental Corvettes. These rare cars were for important people and special occasions.
They had unique Shop Order numbers. Notables such as Harley Ear, Bill Mitchel and “Bunkie” Knudsen received such cars. This is the case for this 1962 Corvette Styling Car. Its shop Order number is 10224.
When Chevrolet celebrated it “Golden” anniversary in 1962, they did a special paint scheme on the 1962 Impala. They painted the Impala Aniversary Gold with the Yellow-gold interior. People who still have these usually keep some car scratch remover around, just in case.
Unknown to many Chevrolet enthusiasts, Chevy experimented with the gold-on-tan color combo on a Corvette before the 50th anniversary Impala. GM Styling completed this Corvette’s transformation on January 16, 1962. The build date is in advanced of the Chicago Auto Show in February, where rumors circulated of a golden Corvette displayed for Chevrolet’s 50th anniversary.
Chevrolet decided to offer a 50th-anniversary model in a special golden color combination. The Corvette was considered for this particular paint color, but high-level GM brass believed the full-size line would result in more sales. The Impala was chosen. Estimates are that they produced 350 Impala 50th anniversary cars for 1962.
Because of this decision, it left this unique one-of-a-kind Corvette Styling Car. People often refer to it as the 50th-anniversary gold-on-tan “evaluation car.”
The Mecum website says, “Styling-car expert Werner Meier inspected the original GM Styling Shop Order tag mounted on the firewall and judged it authentic due to its “crude patina” typical of original tags found on other styling cars. The tag reads “S.O. 10224, 1-16-62″ and upon further examination, many components on the car were also identified by shop order 10224 including the original interior kick panels and spare-tire board that has the number applied in grease pen. With this information in hand, Bloomington Gold Great Hall inductee Terry Michaelis immediately acquired the special car for his family’s private collection.”
Two more years were spent by Fred and Terry Michaelis inspecting the car. The evidence revealed gold paint under the dash and behind the striker mounted in the door jamb and signs of a tan leather interior. They matched the original paint color which was in a preserved section, hidden from the elements under the door striker.
They completed the restoration in 2010 with new paint, interior, and top. The unique Firemist Gold paint copies the original as does the tan leather interior and beige convertible top. During the restoration, many original components were replaced. These pieces were kept and will be included with the car that will be auctioned at the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee Friday, January 13, 2017.
“Recent research has unveiled a title history with ownership history traced to 1979 in Lansing, Michigan, and Michaelis visited the National Corvette Museum to view the styling records. Interestingly, S.O. 10224 precedes the pair of blue and pink 1963 Corvette Styling Cars built for Mr. and Mrs. Harley J. Earl by exactly 100 in sequence!”
Under the hood of this 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car is a matching numbers 327/300 HP small-block V-8 engine with the Borg Warner T-10 4-speed transmission and 3.36:1 Positraction rear differential.
The front grille is Gold anodized and is balanced with color-matched wheels. It rides on Firestone Deluxe Champion 6.70-15 bias-ply white-stripe tires.
Other features include the Wonderbar signal-seeking AM radio, sun visors, courtesy light, heater, spiral shocks, washer system, shifter, air cleaner, and generator.
Terry Michaelis of ProTeam Corvette in Napoleon, Ohio stated, “Throughout my 45-year career in the Corvette business, several mid-year Corvette styling cars have surfaced-however, this is one of the earliest Corvette styling cars that I have ever seen. This car is one-of-a-kind, a truly unique Corvette artifact.”
It is estimated to be worth $175,000 – $225,000. LOT F103 will be auction January 13, 2017, at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction.
1962 Firemist Gold Corvette Styling Car HIGHLIGHTS:
Source: 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car S.O. 10224, https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0117-269351/1962-chevrolet-corvette-styling-car/ (accessed January 13, 2017).
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