Atten-hut! If that didn’t get your attention, perhaps Reveille will. Or maybe this: a six-cylinder 1957 Chevrolet 150 U.S. Army staff car just sold for $46,000. That’s right, $46K.
Sold last weekend by the Rock Island (Illinois) Auction Company, which specializes in firearms and military artifacts, the Chevy easily eclipsed its estimate of $18,000–$27,500. How does the sale compare to the value of a civilian ’57 Chevrolet 150 sedan? The average price of a 150 two-door V-8 in #2 (Excellent) condition is $22,200, and a six-cylinder model is 15 percent less, which is $18,870.
In other words, $46,000 for a 150 is a pile of cash.
“If we were looking at this before the sale, I would’ve said the estimate was perfectly realistic,” says Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton. “Maybe there were just two really serious military collectors in the room, or people who knew something about the car that we don’t.”
One contributing factor could be that, according to the cosigner, the staff car is one of only three surviving military 150s.
The Chevy, technically a Model 1503, was used on Army bases into the 1960s. Its rock-bottom Blue Flame 140 engine—a 235-cubic-inch, 140-horsepower inline-six—is mated to a three-speed manual transmission with column shifter. The car wears gloss olive drab paint, black and white cloth seats, and a U.S. data plate with matching VIN number and August 1957 delivery date on the dash. The 150’s spartan interior includes two “luxury” options—heater and cigarette lighter—but no radio.
The Chevy was restored in 2013 and appears to be the same vehicle that sold for $25,000 at Mecum’s 2017 Dallas Auction, which means its value has nearly doubled in 20 months.
Do we have your attention now?