This dusty, rough-looking example of a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray would draw a sizable amount of interest from any Corvette collector. Its billing as the Corvette given to astronaut Neil Armstrong, then kept in a barn for a few decades until now, makes it a fascinating piece of history to float into an online auction.
The eBay seller in Florida claims that despite much wear and a thick coat of dust, this Vette hasn't been driven since 1981. Here's the explanation for its history, including the reminder that being a NASA astronaut once meant getting a free car for a year:
This Corvette was delivered to Mr. Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon, on December 15, 1966 from Jim Rathman Chevrolet in Melbourne Florida under a program initiated by Mr. Rathman to provide our astronauts with a Corvette. They would keep the Corvette for a year and then turn it in and get a new one. This Corvette was bought by a NASA employee when Mr. Armstrong turned it in and was retained by the owner until I purchased the Corvette from him in February of 2012. The Corvette had been in a climate controlled environment and not driven since Sept. of 1981.
Despite its stay off road, this Sting Ray shows some major signs of abuse, with damage around the wheel wells (where flares were added at one point) and front fender, along with new-original bumpers installed by the seller, who claims the only other unoriginal pieces on the 427-engine Corvette are a water pump, carburetor, wheels, and muffler. The engine now runs, but the car has only been driven short distances -- not that it would matter much, since the car's odometer stopped working in the 1970s. As for proof of authenticity, the seller offers the original GM Protect-O-Plate -- a factory-installed piece of metal stamped with Armstrong's data along with other specs.
UPDATE: With four days of bidding left, the price has hit $120,000 $180,000 $200,000 (and counting) but the seller's reserve has yet to be met (as of $245,000). If it doesn't get enough thrust to leave eBay's orbit, it's a prime candidate to make one giant leap at a major auto auction.
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