EX-122 – THE MOTORAMA CORVETTE continued
The production 1953 Corvettes were direct copies of the EX-122 Motorama car, with very few changes. The most notable exterior change was the position of the spear hash on the Corvette’s front fender. On the EX-122 prototype the spear hash pointed downward, whereas it pointed upward on the production cars. Also, on EX-122 the spear itself started slightly behind the rear of the front fender well and ended well ahead of the door’s leading edge; the script Chevrolet emblem was positioned below the spear. On the production cars, the spear began right at the rear edge of the front fender well and continued all the way to the front edge of the rear fender well. Also, the Chevrolet script on the production cars was positioned above the spear. The EX-122 also had external door locks, whereas the production cars had none.  After Corvette production started in late June of 1953 in the Flint, MI plant, EX-122 was sent back to Detroit where it sat in the lobby of GM’s design center for several months. Engineering then took custody of the car and used it as a test “mule” for the new 265cid V-8 engine. There are rumors that EX-122 was again shown at the 1955 Motoramas sporting its 265cid V-8, but this has not been confirmed. It is a fact, however, that EX-122 was used as a Chevrolet courtesy car for about 5,000 miles and then put up for sale. Russell Sanders, who was then in charge of the Experimental Division, purchased it on April 11, 1956 for an unknown price (there is some speculation, again unconfirmed, that it may have been the princely sum of $1.00). The car was used extensively by Sanders’ family for several years until Sanders sold the car to Jack Ingle for $1,000 on October 10, 1959. The car stayed in Ingle’s possession for many years and it was shown at Bloomington, Meadow Brook Hall and other high-profile shows. Ingle passed away in 2001. The history of EX-122 was well documented in a letter that Russell Sanders sent to Jack Ingle shortly after Ingle purchased the car from him in October of 1959. Here’s the verbatim text of the letter: Mr. John W. Ingle December 8, 1959 21 Creekside Lane Rochester 18, New York Dear Jack: This letter will give you the information you desire concerning the red Corvette you purchased from me around the middle of October, 1959. This little car has quite a history and is certainly worth recording, particularly if you intend to keep the car for a considerable period of time. It was built up originally in the Experimental Department of Chevrolet Engineering in Detroit around the latter part of 1952. Although all the pieces were made by hand at that time, they represented the intent of production drawings being released. It was extremely difficult to say how many thousands of dollars were spent in producing the vehicle. I would guess in the neighborhood of $55,000 or $60,000. Of course, you realize that most of this was spent to pay the very high skilled labor and technicians that swarmed over these parts during their inception and manufacture. When completed, it was white and equipped with a 6-cyinder Chevrolet engine with three Carter side- draft carburetors and a special high capacity Powerglide transmission. Workmanship and quality, of course, were the best possible at Chevrolet Engineering because it was to be used in the Motorama at the Waldorf in New York as a showpiece of the new 1953 model Chevrolet Corvette. This was in December, 1952.
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