Kieth Busse will have quite a showing at the Mecum Indianapolis. Not only will the avid Corvette enthusiast see his collection of Corvette pace cars head to new home, but he’s also parting ways with a rather peculiar collection.
The cars and associated goods are all about the number 35, which began with his 1953 Corvette wearing serial number 35. Included in the collection is a 2003 Corvette Pilot Car serial number 35, 2003 Corvette serial number 1035, Corvette Pedal Car serial number 35, Flint, MI Assembly Plant Brick number 35 and the Corvette Patent/Trademark Filing from U.S. Patent Office.
The 1953 and 2003 Corvettes are the earliest known “matching” set of a 1953 Corvette and a 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary Edition. But, Busse jumped through hoops to make it happen. When Chevrolet announced production of 300 special edition cars to mark the Corvette’s 50th anniversary, based on the C5 Corvette, VIN 35 was out of reach.
The brand told Busse the first 40 cars were meant as pilot vehicles and would not be sold to the public. So, Chevrolet built him VIN 1035 instead.
Unrelenting, Busse discovered serial number 35 was actually on its way to Le Mans for pace car duty. He quickly purchased the car and imported it from France to the United States to actually complete his collection with the proper number 35. It wears a white exterior color with a black roof and red interior to celebrate the original Corvette.
The collection went further with a brick from the original Flint, Michigan, assembly plant (number 35 of the series) from the National Corvette Museum and a GM-licensed Corvette pedal car to mark the Corvette’s 50th anniversary. Its dash plaque also wears serial number 35.
It’s an obscure collection, but it’s certainly full of some wonderful cars and memorabilia. In total, Mecum expects the 35 collection to fetch anywhere from $500,000 to $750,000.