Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2006


Corvette continues with another great year that ended on December 31, 2006. The new models continued to impress the consumers with media recognition and numerous awards. In the Corvette resale arena, once again our concept of “Vette-N-Vestments” continued to move up the model years with positive results in average price. As shown in our 2007 Corvette Price Guide, positive results convey through the third generation Corvettes, 1953-1982. The fourth generation Corvettes, 1984-1996, there are 30 of the 38 models showing no change or positive results in resale value appreciation. The good news continues with the fifth generation Corvettes, 1997-2004 with three models showing positive results and two reflecting no change compared to none in this classification one year ago.

Year Model % Change Average Price
1968 T-Top 17% $19,500
1973 T-Top 16% $13,900
1954 Roadster 15% $50,600
1971 T-Top 15% $19,500
1971 Roadster 15% $23,500
1963 Roadster 13% $36,000
1970 T-Top 13% $21,300
1958 Roadster 12% $46,200
1962 Roadster 12% $45,000
1965 Coupe 12% $38,300
1965 Roadster 12% $40,200
1966 Roadster 12% $44,000
Once again we have identified the top Corvettes from an average price appreciation perspective. We had previously called this our “Top Ten” Chart, however, it has now been increased to TWELVE based on five models showing an appreciation of 12%. Of interest is the generation spread on the “Top 12 Appreciation Chart”. The chart covers three generations of Corvettes with the results rather evenly spread among them. Most likely the reason for new arrivals on the chart is that the Corvette enthusiast, both new and old, have realized they can be the proud owner of a Corvette regardless of price, year or body style. It is quite apparent that pre-1984 models continue to appreciate. Many of today’s buyers do not have the funds to step up to the 1953-1967 models so they are “investing” in the 1968-1982 models with many of these showing appreciation levels comparable to the S&P Stock Market Index. Should there be a market correction in the near future, these owners will still know they have the satisfaction of driving their investment. 1968 T-Top CorvetteHeading the top of the average appreciation chart is the 1968 Corvette T-Top at 17% average appreciation over a year ago. The 1968 T-Top has made our “Top Ten” list for the past three years. The two year appreciation factor for this model was 31% and the five year growth was at 63% – certainly better than the market in almost any regard. Adding to the interest in the 1968 T-Top is the long list of optional motors available, including the very collectable L- 88, 427/430 of which only 80 units were built. Close behind is the L-89 with the aluminum heads for the 427/435 motor. Only 624 of these were built. One may wonder why the 1969 model did not make the top appreciation list this year since it is virtually the same body style as the 1968 models along with the same motor options. Historically, buyers initially stayed away from the 1968 model year in part due to the numerous engineering changes/modifications that were incorporated into the 1969 model year. That is changing. In recent years we had noted a run-up in 1969 model year prices and these prices stabilized this year, so no record appreciation growth for the 1969 models in 2006. 1973 T-Top CorvetteThe number two appreciation spot was somewhat of a surprise showing the 1973 T-Top at 16%. Evidently the new front bumper treatment that makes the 1973 model unique coupled with its traditional rear chrome bumpers and new front end had not been a problem for consumers in the recent resale market. This model still remains priced at $5,000 below its T-Top predecessors.
1954 Corvette RoadsterHolding down third position was one of the early models, a 1954 Roadster, always a classic. For a number of years, the appreciation factor of this model was at a minimum. Our 2004 and 2005 Price Guides showed the average price for the 1954 Roadster to be in the mid to upper thirties. One year ago it made the top ten list showing a 12% appreciation factor at $43,900. This year it has broken the $50,000 threshold at $50,600. With the 1953 “look-alike” selling at an average price of over $100,000, the 1954 model, available in a number of rare colors, has whet the appetite of first generation enthusiasts. 1971 T-Top CorvetteThe appreciation chart continues with the 1971 T-Top and Roadster along with the 1970 T-Top. Again the collectability and appreciation factor of the early models of the third generation Corvette is being realized by the consumer, consequently the average resale price is being driven to record levels. The word on the street is, “if it has a chrome bumper, buy it!”
1958 Corvette RoadsterAnother perennial contender on the appreciation chart is the 1958 Corvette with its unique, one year only, louvered hood and dual chrome strip on the trunk lid. When introduced, the media had mixed emotions on the new body style. It was a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ affair. Today it seems the Corvette enthusiast is more interested in ‘love’.
1962 Corvette RoadsterThe 1962 Corvette, last of the solid axle Corvettes, reappears on the appreciation chart. The last year mystic of its generation was instrumental in its appearance on the list again this year. Evidently the same desire shown the 1967 model in the mid-year generation is bringing buyers to the 1962 model, last of its generation. Speaking of mid-years, the appreciation chart closes out with three of these classics represented. These models have been under-priced when compared to the 1967 models. They too, offer several high performance motors and rare options to entice buyers in the resale market. Tomorrow, we’ll post our list of Corvettes with the highest depreciation. The 2007 Corvette Price Guide contains data from the sales of over 5,800 Corvettes from last year to give us the High, Low, and Average prices of all Corvette model years and body styles. The guide also contains appreciation and depreciation figures for One, Two and Five years, as well as pricing for options including motors, wheels and A/C. Available now for $20 through the online store. Shipping is now free.
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