One-of-four-ever-built, the Holy Grail of first year St. Louis-built Corvettes might have just rolled into the St. Louis Art Museum. As best as Corvette experts can determine, there were only four black Corvettes built in 1954, and one of them appeared as the star car in the 1955 Mickey Spillane movie Kiss Me Deadly.
The city of St. Louis prides itself that it was where Corvettes were built from 1954 until 1981, so it was only natural when the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) opened an exhibit touting St. Louis’ contributions to modern design, a Corvette would serve as its centerpiece. Its unknown if the SLAM personnel involved in acquiring the black ‘54 Corvette realized just how interesting and significant the car is. That said, at this point in time there are a few questions we’re sure all Corvette aficionados would like to know the answers to.
We’ve read the black ’54 Vette on exhibit at SLAM belongs to a St. Louis resident, so it would be extremely interesting to know the history of this particular car. We know it was built in St. Louis, but did this example spend its life in St. Louis, or was it repatriated from a warmer climate? Perhaps this is the picture car Ralph Meeker’s character “Mike Hammer” drove under Angels Flight and all around Los Angeles.