Hemmings reader Joel says when he first heard about the 1954 Corvette sitting in a pine grove for 45 years, he figured he'd find a fiberglass shell sitting atop the rusted remnants of a frame. He thought the early Vette might at least make a nice street rod.

But when he finally saw the car way up in the Colorado Smokies, he was stunned. Not only did the car still have its original hardtop, but the frame was rust free and the "original painted frame stamp from the factory is still on the frame and very much legible," Joel tells Hemmings Auto Blogs.

The story is that the car's second owner drove the Corvette to a friend's house in 1963 to have the seats re-covered. He replaced the driver's seat with a wooden Pepsi box and drove home where he parked it beneath the pine trees until Joel pulled it out.

Now Joel has a conundrum. After getting the car running again, he's totally ruled out street rod, but doesn't know what to do with the car. Frame off? Survivor-car preservation? Currently, Hemmings readers are unanimously recommending the preservation route, arguing there are already too many half-million-dollar frame off restos out there.

We've all dreamed about this happening to us, so how would you advise Joel?

[Source: Hemmings Auto Blogs]