A Pink Pearl Marvel: Shop Order 10324, Harley Earl’s Unique Creation
Introducing the epitome of automotive elegance and historical significance, we delve into the captivating narrative of “Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car.” This Pink Pearl marvel, intricately linked to the founder of General Motors’ Styling and Design, Harley J. Earl, unveils a tale of unparalleled craftsmanship and design innovation. As we embark on a journey through the annals of automotive history, this unique Corvette, marked by Shop Order 10324, emerges as a symbol of timeless beauty and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Earl family. Join us as we unravel the captivating story behind this one-of-a-kind factory creation, a testament to the intersection of artistry and automotive excellence.
Source and photos courtesy Mecum Auction
The Journey Unveiled: From Palm Beach Glory to Hidden Marvel
When delving into the rich history of iconic Corvettes, one particular gem shines brightly—the 1963 Corvette Styling Car, famously associated with Mrs. Harley J. Earl. This Pink Pearl beauty, marked by Shop Order 10324, stands as a testament to design innovation and automotive history. Let’s unravel the story behind this unique creation.
Unveiling Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s Pink Pearl Corvette
Harley J. Earl, the founder of General Motors Styling and Design, left an indelible mark on American automotive styling. Even after his retirement in 1958, Earl, as a GM consultant, had the privilege of ordering custom Corvettes built to his personal specifications. Among these special creations was the Pink Pearl 1963 coupe, specifically crafted for his wife, Sue.
A Pink Coral Companion in Palm Beach
From 1963 to 1965, Sue Earl cruised around Palm Beach, Florida, in her Pink Pearl Corvette, matching their Pink Coral Palm Beach home. The car, featuring a 327/300 HP V-8 engine and Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission, boasted power windows, power steering and brakes, and air conditioning. Notably, modifications under Special Order 10324 aligned it with Harley Earl’s renowned Corvette convertible.
Stylish Transformations Over Time
After initial use, the Corvette underwent restyling at General Motors, receiving a 1964-67 style one-piece rear glass and other prototype features. Subsequent upgrades included a dual circuit master cylinder, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 1965 style knock-off wheels. These modifications transformed the Corvette into a unique blend of 1963 charm and 1965 innovations.
The Journey Through Ownership
The Pink Pearl Corvette’s ownership journey continued when Roger Dean Chevrolet sold it to Mary Louise Gregory in 1965. After changing hands a few times, it found its way to Joe Cifarelli in 1976. Stored away for 37 years, its existence became a mystery until recent revelations.
Rediscovery and Restoration
Joe Cifarelli, with the help of Corvette specialists, unveiled the Sue Earl Corvette, confirming its authenticity through Special Order 10324 written on the vapor barrier. With 27,457 original miles, the Corvette remains both unrestored and a restorer’s dream, showcasing its 1965 state since the 1976 purchase.
Preserving a Unique Legacy
Out of the public eye for decades, the Sue Earl Corvette has finally resurfaced—a rare, unrestored treasure with a documented history. Its connection to the Chevrolet Motor Division Engineering Center adds to its legacy, making it an integral part of the Harley Earl legend. As this one-of-a-kind factory creation steps back into the limelight, it stands as a symbol of innovation, design, and the enduring allure of classic Corvettes.
Update: Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car went to the Mecum Kissimmee Auction in 2015 and sold for $253,000.
Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car Features:
- Mrs. Harley J. Earl’s Pink Pearl Corvette
- Shop Order 10324, in direct sequence one number after Mr. Earl’s 1963 styling car
- Unrestored with one repaint in the special Pink Pearl formula that Roger Dean Chevrolet obtained from General Motors
- Complete known ownership since new
- Documented with a bill of sale from Roger Dean Chevrolet stating this car belonged to Chevrolet Division Engineering Center, letter from previous owner and warranty booklet
- Harley Earl returned to GM where it was restyled with 1965 features
- Dual circuit master cylinder and 4-wheel disc brakes with frame modifications
- Unique Stingray rear deck badge
- Custom Pink leather interior with White accents on the seats and door panels
- Special complimentary shade of carpet
- Custom Pink interior trim pieces
- White plastic-rimmed steering wheel
- White dash panel and glovebox door
- 1965 style gauge faces with 1963 bezels
- 1965 center console and White seat belts
- 27,457 original miles
- Air conditioning, knock-off wheels
- Power steering, brakes and windows
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