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GM's CEO is auctioning off 1958 Corvette to help Habitat for Humanity

The Detroit Bureau

GM CEO Dan Akerson will auction off his 1958 Corvette to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

Want to buy a Corvette? No, not the new C7 Chevrolet Corvette that made its splashy debut at the North American International Auto Show this past week.

The one going on the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday has a bit more miles on the odometer, though it appears the relatively rare ’58 ‘Vette is in excellent condition.  It also happens to be the personal car of Dan Akerson, CEO of Chevy’s parent, General Motors.

The sale will be used to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, according to the maker, the proceeds specifically earmarked for the restoration of the Morningside Commons neighborhood not far from GM’s headquarters along the Detroit River.  Akerson has reportedly already given Habitat about $1 million of his own money during the past year.

If you’re really desperate to get one of the new 2014 Corvettes, however, you can bid on the first of the seventh-generation models, the so-called C7, a day later, also at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. And like Akerson’s first-generation two-seater, proceeds will also be donated, in this case to Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.

“I love the car,” Akerson, a Naval Academy graduate who joined GM, initially as a board member, following its 2009 bankruptcy. But he says it could be “better purposed” auctioning it off for charity.

Akerson’s Corvette is a first-generation model that, GM notes, “featured a 245-horsepower V-8 and included new body and instrument panels and new upholstery. External highlights included dual headlamps – a Corvette first – and twin chrome trunk spears. Chevrolet built 9,168 Corvettes for the 1958 model year, but only 510, or just over 5 percent, were painted Regal Turquoise. Akerson’s Corvette is a hardtop convertible and is considered scarce among remaining 1958 models.”

Based on a study of 173 auctions of 1958 Chevy Corvettes by website ConceptCarz.com, the average sale price was $92,796, but the figure has soared as high as $346,500. Being in great shape and one of the rarer versions of the ’58 ‘Vettes, Akerson’s might normally be expected to push into the upper part of that range – at the very least – once the gavel goes down.

The Barrett-Jackson Auction is known for building up a frenzy of bidding on charity projects, especially for unique, one-off and first-off-the-line models like the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible that went for a cool $600,000 last year.  (It raised money for AARP’s Drive to End Hunger program.)

In mid-2012, another Barrett event got $300,000 for the first of Chrysler’s new SRT Viper sports cars.

The auction of the 1958 Corvette is scheduled to begin around 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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