#62 The 1953 Commemorative Edition Corvette


    Flash!!  Click HERE if you own one of these terrific cars; I need your help.

      Click HERE for the CE#11 and CE#12 (and friends) caravan out to Vettes On the Rockies (VOTR) 2006!

      Click HERE for Rich & Mo Waller's pictures and story of the Inaugural 1953 Commemorative Edition Reunion at Vettes On the Rockies 2005!

      Click HERE for Owners' Stories.

      And, finaly click HERE for a bit of Corvette history.

    When GM unveiled the 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette in May of 2002, many Corvette enthusiasts were underwhelmed.

    While the new Anniversary Red is a very nice color and the new interior is quite handsome, the Corvette community was hoping for more.   Historically, all the special edition Corvettes (pace cars, 25th Anniversary, 35th Anniversary, 40th Anniversary, '96 Collector's Edition, etc.) have always been just regular Corvettes with different trim and paint; but, hey, this time it could have been more.  After all, the marque is FIFTY years old and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something really special.

    In the opinion of many observers, GM didn't do "something really special":

    The 2003 Anniversary Edition Convertible by Corvette

    Is that "something special"?   I don't think they hit the mark (personally); I like it -- but they just didn't get my blood pumping the way I'd hoped.

    But someone did.

    The chief designer for a company named Magna Steyr, Bill Miller, along with a former GM designer, Steve Pasteiner, took what many of us 'Vette nuts were thinking to heart:

    "What if someone took the look of the original 1953 Corvette -- and updated it to fit onto the high-tech chassis of the current C5 Corvette?"

    And that's what they did.   Magna Steyr, the original owners of the design, commissioned a showcar prototype with an eye toward having GM adopt it as "THE" 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette.   GM decided on a more conservative strategy (see photo above) and Magna-Steyr abandoned the idea.

    Steve Pasteiner's company, Advanced Automotive Technologies, purchased the rights to produce a limited edition series of this fantastic vehicle.


    Now the die-hard Corvette enthusiast can have a 50th anniversary Corvette that fairly screams

    "50th Anniversary Corvette"!

    ...and here it is ....

    To avoid confusion with the "official" 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette, this car is called the "1953 Commemorative Edition" and you can own one.   Steve's company is presently building and delivering customer cars.   There's no way to know how many 1953CE's (for short) there'll be -- but it will certainly be far fewer than the 11,632 50th Anniversary Edition Corvettes that were produced by the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green in 2003 -- and likely even fewer than the original production run of 300 Corvettes in 1953..

    Note: Someone viewing this site asked, "What did the 1953 Corvette look like?" I thought everyone knew but for those who don't:

    Is the 1953 Commemorative Edition for "real"?

    I saw my first one up-close and personal when Ted Springstead arranged to have his 1953 Commemorative Edition delivered to Monterey, CA for the Monterey Classic Car Week starting August 10th, 2002.   There was a car show sponsored by Monterey del Oro on Saturday, August 10th -- and there she was! (these pix are of Ted's 1953CE):

    (You may click any image for a larger one)

    How did I react?

    Well, I simply flipped out.   I got Steve's name from Ted and got my order in that same day.   And then I registered 53CERegistry.com so that we'd all have a place to record our stories, pictures and specifications for these cars.   And I cancelled my order for the 50th Anniversary Edition from my dealer...

    How it all works

    The 1953CE is a re-body of an existing C5 Corvette convertible or hard top/Z06 (the way the C5 coupe is made there's no way to convert a coupe to the CE -- but, wait, there's a 53CE Wagon based on the coupe; read on!).   The new body panels bolt on to the existing attachment points.   A new red and white interior takes the place of whatever interior the donor C5 has and chrome 5-spoke wheels replace the existing wheels.   The brake calipers are painted in a matching red -- and that does the job.   If your donor C5 already has a torch interior and/or chrome wheels, you get credit for that in the conversion price.   And if the "traditional" white/red combination isn't what you've dreamed of, AAT has built red, silver, black, 2003 Anniversary Red, Le Mans blue, gold convertibles and red and black Z06s (and many more colors by now)!

    I hear what you're saying:

    "How much does this cost"? "How long does it take"? "Where do I go from here"?

    You need to go to Steve Pasteiner's Advanced Automotive Technologies' site for that information; I'm just a hobbyist doing this site for the benefit of the owners of the Commemorative Edition.   Click HERE for the whole story or drop Steve an email by clicking .

    Oh, and in case you were wondering whether Steve and his team just fell off the turnip truck; in addition to many other projects, AAT built the Buick Blackhawk show car (click HERE to see this fabulous car).

    My plan for this site

    I'm making space available here for 1953CE owners to display their pictures and stories.   And I'm capturing the details in a database to preserve how/when these cars were built.   If you'd like to participate, just drop me an email by clicking ; and most of all,


    More 1953CE pix!

    Do famous people like the 1953 Commemorative Edition Corvette?

    Jay Leno with Tom Kampas' 53CE#49

    Here's a 1954, 1953CE and 1953 at Monterey:

    Just about the same time the Monterey del Oro event was happening in California, in Colorado, Vettes On The Rockies (VOTR) was going on.   There were two 1953CE cars there; a white convertible and a red Z06.   Since you've seen pictures of the white car above, here are photos of the red one (then owned by Purifoy Chevrolet, now owned by Tom Robben):

    Show Placard

    When you have a car like this, you'll likely take it to shows.  And after doing that once or twice you'll learn that you get to 'splain all about the car to everyone who comes by -- and, at the end of the day, you have no voice left.

    Ed Duprey of Great Lakes Trophies and Engraving can make you a show placard that will help you tell the story and save your voice.  The Show Placard is 12' x 24" and can be done in your choice of colors.  Here's an example:

    (Click the image to see it larger)

    Of course you can design your own layout and text. Check Ed's website for pricing.

    Waterfall ID plate

    Here's another item that Ed can make for you.  The 53CE comes with a metal ID plate that you can affix to the waterfall between the seats.  It's gold in color and has the serial number of your 53CE engraved on it.  I didn't care for the gold color (and I wanted our names on there) so I asked Ed to produce one to my specs. Here it is:

    Click image to see it larger

    If you'd like one like this, contact Ed by clicking

    53CE Art -- painted by the designer of the 53CE!

    In addition to designing this great car (and many others), Steve Pasteiner is a talented painter.  He has painted a series honoring Corvette show cars (The Corvette Grand Sport, Corvette Manta Ray, Corvette SS and Corvette Stingray).  This is the fifth in that series -- his own 1953 Commemorative Edition Corvette.

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