In 1954, GM moved Corvette production from Michigan to St. Louis, Missouri. The newly renovated plant was designed to build 10,000 Corvettes each year at a rate of 50 per day. However, demand did not match projections and only 3,640 cars were built.
Base price for the sophomore Corvette was $2,774. While there were few design changes between the 1953 and 1954 models, a camshaft design change increased horsepower to 155bhp, compared to 150bhp in 1953. Vinyl interior trim and soft top were also included in the base price.
Another big difference in Corvette’s second year was color options. Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red and Black joined Polo White as exterior color options and Beige joined Red as an interior option. Interestingly, some original owners reported Metallic Green or Metallic Bronze exteriors. While there is reason to believe that additional colors were indeed offered, there are no production records that confirm such offerings.
The Corvette’s competition increased in 1954 with the release of the two-seat Ford Thunderbird. However, the battle was short lived as Ford dropped its two-seat model less than 5 years later.
Although rare, a driver quality 1954 Corvette roadster could sell for $55,000 - $65,000 today, in some instances upwards of $80,000 or more.