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FIRST GEN HEAVEN — The Jim Osterman Collection of No Reserve Corvettes at the Las Vegas Auction
August 23, 2019
Posted by Barrett-Jackson
Written by independent automotive journalist Tom Jensen

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Jim Osterman has a great story to tell about his automotive odyssey and his passion for first-generation Corvettes. Osterman’s saga is simultaneously distinctly personal and universally recognizable by any serious car collector.

A successful and respected global entrepreneur from the Pacific Northwest, Osterman will be selling a spectacular collection of 11 Corvettes at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, Oct. 3-5. Each of the 11 Corvettes will sell with No Reserve, meaning the high bidder will own the car, no matter what the final hammer price.

The Jim Osterman Collection features 10 C1 Corvettes, the first-generation Chevrolet sports cars produced from 1953 to 1962. Osterman will also sell one C2 Corvette, a Sebring Silver 1963 split-window coupe with fuel injection. Five of the 11 cars have been honored by the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) with their “Top Flight,” award, which is only given to the finest original cars. Osterman’s Corvettes have received numerous other national and regional awards, and have been featured in magazines and other publications as well. Each car has been meticulously maintained and is in top condition, and many feature rare and desirable color combinations and options.

And that brings us back to Osterman’s story, which starts, as so many collector car stories do, with a very young boy. “I’m a man from the 1950s, and I absolutely fell in love with the 1953 Corvettes from the moment they came out,” says Osterman. “The 1953 to ’55 Corvettes were just delightful.”

Like so many collectors, Osterman was mesmerized by his favorite car as a child, only to have his passion fueled further while a young adult. “I spent time down in Fort Ord on the Monterey Peninsula,” he says. “I’d go down on the weekends to Carmel and sometimes to Los Angeles, to the beaches down there. And you’d see these fantastic Corvettes from the ‘50s. Every time I saw one, I loved it.”

When he achieved success in the business world, Osterman was able to finally make his childhood dream of assembling a world-class collection of C1 Corvettes a reality. “I never dreamed I’d get to own all of these,” Osterman says. “It wasn’t until later in life that I could really afford to buy them, but it’s just because of my love of the C1 Corvettes. I didn’t buy any of these for awards or to show. It’s mainly for my own pleasure and for family and friends.”

Osterman is entrusting his prized collection to Barrett-Jackson because he’s been a regular customer of the World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions since 2006. Acting on a tip from a friend, Osterman went to Barrett-Jackson in search of a specific car. You can almost guess what happened next.

“I saw a 1955 Chevrolet hardtop (at Barrett-Jackson) with a Continental kit identical to the one my wife’s father bought brand-new when we were in high school,” says Osterman. “I absolutely had to have it. I went down with the intention of buying that car and I think I bought five cars. I’ve been to every Scottsdale Auction since then, except for one year when I was in China.”

Since attending his first auction, Osterman estimates he’s bought 30 to 50 cars at Barrett-Jackson events. And now he’s selling 11 of his prized Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas. “My Corvettes would make an absolutely wonderful museum collection, representative of the cars of that era from General Motors,” he says. “The color combinations are really nice; it’s a colorful collection.”

And now, the cars, each of which is in pristine condition: see https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/jim-osterman-collection-classic-corvettes-las-vegas-auction/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=eblast&utm_campaign=LV19&utm_term=article&utm_content=08282019

By the by: I will be covering the Las Vegas Barrett Jackson Auction October 3,4, and 5, 2019
 

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I read through the descriptions of each car on the Barrett Jackson site, it's tough to pick a favorite. I come down to a hard choice between the turquoise '57 and the '63 Fuelie - but the blue '55 is also very appealing. Beautiful collection, I'd be thrilled with any one of them.
 

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I read through the descriptions of each car on the Barrett Jackson site, it's tough to pick a favorite. I come down to a hard choice between the turquoise '57 and the '63 Fuelie - but the blue '55 is also very appealing. Beautiful collection, I'd be thrilled with any one of them.
So, just let me know what your bid max is and I'll see what I can do for you German :) .
 

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Can't wait for your report Jeff! Do you need a gopher to haul all your equipment? I could be available. :)
 
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