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Buying & Selling

Corvette Buying & Selling: Gauging Originality

by Keith Cornett on December 23, 2008

1964 Corvette Dash Cluster

I was browsing the C1-C2 section on the Corvette Forum today when I came across an interesting post about an original 1964 Corvette Coupe for sale on eBay. Classic Corvettes are full of visual clues that alone or combined with others can help us identify the model year. They can be obvious like the five side fender vents on the 1967 model or a split rear window on the 1963 coupe. They can be less obvious like the differences in emblems and grills on the 1965 and 1966 Corvettes. Climb inside one of the Sting Ray models and visual clues abound as well. In the case of the eBay ad, a red flag goes up when a crucial part’s originality is questioned.

The 1964 Corvette Coupe that was listed for sale had the following description:

1964 Corvette Coupe
VIN # 40837S104407
Miles- 37,431 Original
327/300 HP with matching numbers

This Corvette is part of a family collection and has been in our family since the mid 1970s. This Corvette is completely original (never restored) and has been garage kept with less than 1,000 miles of drive time since our ownership. It is in excellent condition and runs beautifully. The car comes with 4-speed manual transmission and a 327/300 HP engine. The exterior is Ermine White. I believe the car was repainted before our ownership in the late 60s or early 70s. The paint is in very good condition, with only minor chips and flaws. All the chrome is in good condition with only minor pitting. The underside is very rust-free, and in excellent non restored shape. The interior is red leather with red carpeting. The floor board pieces of carpeting need replacing. All gauges are in working order, with the exception of the tachometer, which needs to be reconditioned. The clock and radio both work sporadically, and both need reconditioning. Both headlamp motors work very well. Other than that, this Corvette is in very solid, original condition and provides an excellent investment opportunity.

1964 Corvette Coupe 1964 Corvette Coupe 1964 Corvette Coupe

The member on Corvette Forum who posted the ebay link, “Pilot5970″ pointed out that this original 37,431 mile 1964 Corvette has a speedometer that didn’t show up in Corvettes until 1965. The differences between the 1963-64 speedometer and tachometers and those of the 1965-67 are subtle, but once you see the difference, it will be very obvious when you notice an incorrect pairing like on this 1964 Coupe.

The 1963-64 speedometer and tachometer have a recessed center with tapered rings around the needle. The 1965-67′s are flat faced with two screws holding in the assembly. The “pins” that hold the needles are silver on the early midyear gauges but the later gauges have a recessed indentation that is black with silver trim. See the photos for a comparison:

1963-64 Corvette Dash Cluster 1965-67 Corvette Dash Cluster
1963-64 Corvette Gauge 1965-67 Corvette Gauge

There are a variety of explanations on how a 1965 (or later) speedometer and tachometer could have made it into this 1964 Coupe. We first looked at the VIN which shows the sequence number to be 4407 of 22,229. Our thinking was that perhaps the new speedo and tach made it into production earlier than 1965, but this Corvette was assembled in November 1963, the third month into production, so I ruled out new equipment making an early appearance. Another legitimate reason could be a warranty replacement. Finally, while the seller does state they owned the Corvette since the mid-seventies, there is no mention of how many previous owners this car has had. These cars weren’t exactly collected for monetary value back in the mid-seventies and it could be that a previous owner swapped out the original pair for those from 1965-67. The point is we’ll probably will never know.

So what lessons are learned from the sale of this 1964 Corvette Coupe? Our first lesson is always first for a reason. Knowledge is power. The more you can know about a particular generation and specifically a particular year of Corvette can save you from making a thousand dollar mistake. Secondly, have the Corvette looked over by an expert. Hire an NCRS judge. If there are no NCRS types in your neck of the woods, find an owner of the same year. How did “Pilot5970″ know about the incorrect speedometer? He owns a 1964 Corvette. Third, documentation and owner history could go along way in clearing the air in this type of situation. Don’t consider buying an “investment” quality Corvette without them. Finally, weigh the consequences of buying a Corvette like this with its questionable mileage. One day you may be selling it and may have to explain the replacement to a more knowledgeable buyer than you were.

FYI, this Corvette was sold on Monday, December 21st for $33,600. The auction had 9 bidders and 22 individual increases in price.


Source:
eBay via CorvetteForum.com

Related:
Corvette Documentation: The Three Truths from Proteam’s Terry Michaelis
When a Matching Numbers Corvette is Anything But…
6 Ways to Make the Most of your Classic Corvette Purchase

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Proteam Corvette Hosting NCRS Authentication Seminar

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2008

Proteam Corvette to host NCRS Seminar

Proteam Corvette will be hosting classic Corvette expert and NCRS Master Judge Al Grenning and the Heart of Ohio NCRS Chapter on Saturday, November 7th for a day of seminars covering midyear Corvette authentication topics. In addition to Grenning, other well-known figures in the hobby will be attending as well as several rare M-22 Corvettes.

Grenning is just finishing up on his NCRS Authentication Manual Vol.2 which covers 1965-1967 Protect-O-Plates. The manual provides general descriptions of the evolving warranty program, charts identifying where and how information was applied to the plates in each production year and a detailed photographic analysis for the fool-proof identification of St. Louis issued examples.

Grenning’s advance research includes the “Master Pad Library” containing many thousands of Corvette engine pad photographs and co-authorship of the “NCRS Authentication Library, Vol. 1″, the result of extensive research on 1963 to 1967 midyear trim tags. Both manuals have become the defacto standards to use for thwarting engine restampers and tag counterfeiters.

Other well-known Corvette experts attending the seminar include NCRS notables Bill Calorico, Bill Skinner and NCRS national team leader Nick Culkowski; Corvette restorers Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair and Naber’s Brothers’ Gary Nabers; Bloomington Gold’s David Burroughs and Mecum Auction’s Tom Christman; retired GM engineers Jim Wallace, John Hinkley and Werner Meier. Mike Antonick, writer/publisher of the Corvette Black Book will also be in attendance.

The one day seminar will also focus on the M-22 equipped Corvette and confirmed for the event include the “Best Photo Convertible”, the “Ice Cream Coupe”, the “Penske 1966 L88″, the “Cornelius/Boo Daytona Coupe”, the “Skinner M-22 Convertible” as well as several other 1968 to 1972 M-22 cars.

There is no doubt that this seminar covers fairly advanced topics. Here is a preview of what you can expect:

A close net group of enthusiasts has been quietly collecting 1965 and 1966 M22 Corvettes for more than 10 years. These are elite midyear examples being among the most sought after and valuable production Corvettes ever produced. Some call them “Cobra Killers.” — Most enthusiasts are astonished to discover that more than twice as many big block, M22 competition cars were built in the combined years of 1965 and 1966 as were L88s built in 1967. Beyond that, factory production records for the initiative have been collected, organized and prepared for presentation. In total this information causes fundamental rethinking of Corvette competition, production and engineering during the last three years of the midyear build. This is truly interesting, advanced Corvette research and history – that leaves you amazed.

If you are interested in attending the seminar, please call Proteam Corvette’s Beth Waisner at 888-592-5086 to RSVP. Admission to the seminar is $10 and proceeds will go to the NCRS Heart of Ohio Chapter for donation to charity. For directions, visit Proteam Corvette


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette

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2008 Corvette Pace Cars Now Discounted with Employee Pricing

One of the most successful incentive programs offered by GM is now back and the good news is Corvettes are included. Employee pricing for everyone runs through September 2nd and Corvette buyers can save a significant amount on 2008 Coupes, Convertibles and the Z06.

Usually Corvettes are excluded from most of GM’s incentive programs but due to the number of 2008 Corvettes available on dealers lots – 5,854 as of yesterday – the General wants them sold to make room for the 2009 Corvettes now rolling off of the Bowling Green Assembly line.

The discounts are fairly significant too. In the case of the 505 horsepower Z06 where base prices start around $72,000 the discounts can be close to $10,000 off!

Our friends at Kerbeck Corvette only have a few 2008′s left including a Black Z06 and a Indianapolis 500 Pace Car coupe so if you want to get in on the discounts you better give Dave and the gang a call immediately at 1-877-537-2325. Make sure you tell them CorvetteBlogger sent you!


Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
July 2008 Corvette Sales

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The 2009 Corvette ZR1

We know they like to do things big in Texas, but one Chevrolet dealer in Houston has gone all out by pricing a 2009 Corvette ZR1 on eBay for $185,000. With a retail price listed at $115,000 with options, that’s $70,000 over MRSP. We’re trying to call in to Suze Orman’s show for her advice but I have a feeling I’d hear that shrill voice scream out “I Don’t Think So!”

Mac Haik Chevrolet has the 2009 Corvette ZR1 listed on ebay until April 14th with a “Buy It Now” price. The description says the Corvette will be delivered to the dealer in mid-September and the color is black on black. Since the MSRP is listed at $115,000 we’re assuming it has premium 3ZR option package.

Mac Haik Chevrolet isn’t alone in agressively pricing their 2009 Corvette ZR1s for ebay. Two other Texas dealerships have their ZR1s listed at prices above $150,000 as well. Frank Parra Autoplex has one listed for $167,000 while Don Hewkett Chevrolet has their “buy it now” priced at $158,000.

Dealers are certainly entitled to sell the Corvette ZR1 for what they think they can get for it, however when going the eBay route we prefer to see pricing starting at MSRP and then let the market set the sales price. Dealers can still protect themselves with a reserve. However, this process of super high “buy-it-now” take-it-or-leave-it pricing is a bit unseemly and reinforces the “we’re out to screw consumers” image that most dealers work so hard to avoid.

Jut my two cents. I could be wrong…


Source:
eBay via Jalopnik

Related:
[VIDEO] Man Asks Financial Guru “Can I Afford a Corvette ZR1?”
Corvette ZR1: GM Releases Official Pricing
[VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million

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The Suze Orman Show

Flipping through the channels over the weekend, I came across this little gem on a cable tv show. A viewer named Dan calls into The Suze Orman Show on CNBC and asks the financial diva if he can afford to buy the 2009 Corvette ZR1. In this same segment, Orman approves a $6,000 ring and a pair of $900 high heel shoes so why not grant Dan “the man” his dream car? But before Judge Orman rules, Dan has to present an overview of his finances. Watch the video after the jump.

Dan, seriously…calling into a financial talk show and asking permission to buy your dream car? Do what you want to do, and good luck finding a Corvette ZR1 at $120,000.


Source:
CNBC

Related:
Corvette ZR1: GM Releases Official Pricing
[VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million

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GM Offering 0% Financing on 2008 Corvettes

by Keith Cornett on August 1, 2008

The 2008 Corvette Z06

We knew it was coming and GM didn’t let us down. As soon as the 2009 Corvettes started hitting dealer showrooms, GM has announced a 0% financing offer on all new 2008 Corvette models including the Z06. This is a great opportunity for buyers to save thousands of dollars on interest payments as well as help dealers clear excess inventory to make way for the 2009 models.

The 0% financing offer goes into effect this weekend with terms up to 48 months for coupes and Z06 and 60 months for convertibles. A quick check of Jeff Hardy’s website shows the remaining 2008 Corvettes broken down as of yesterday to be:

  • 3,947 Coupes
  • 1,841 Convertibles
  • 1,704 Z06s.

If you’ve been waiting for a traditional model year end rebate, you’re in luck. Those that jump the quickest will have the greatest selection of 2008 Corvettes to choose from and the special offer expires on 8/19/08. Visit our friends at Kerbeck Corvette and Dave and gang will get you into the Corvette of your dreams.


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
June 2008 Corvette Sales

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Is Chevy Preparing to Sell Corvettes in China?

by Keith Cornett on July 21, 2008

Corvettes for sale in China?

This black C6 Corvette was recently spotted outside China’s National Department for Automotive Quality, the agency that reviews automobiles and decides whether or not they will be allow for sale in the People’s Republic. With China’s booming economy and burgeoning middle class, not to mention the fact that China will at some point become the world’s single largest market for automobiles, establishing a foothold for America’s iconic sports car only makes good business sense for GM.

One of the hurdles that Corvette will have to overcome is that Chevrolet is knows as a bargain brand in China much like Daewoo is in the US. GM sells the Corvette as a standalone brand or paired with Cadillac and Hummer in much of the world so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.

I’m not too up on my Chinese automotive trivia, but are their roads (and cars) right hand drive or left? If you know, please leave a comment.


Source:
ChinaCarTimes.com via Jalopnik

Related:
Japan’s Special Edition Corvette: The Corvette S-Limited Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Documentation

In a recent post from his Corvette Perspectives blog, prolific Corvette collector Terry Michael of Proteam Corvette shares his thoughts relating to documentation and Classic Corvettes.

Documentation is any paperwork generated by the factory/dealer when the Corvette was assembled and sold. It can include the window sticker, tank sticker, shipper copy, warranty book/protecto-plate, dealer invoice, dealer bill of sale and the owners manual packet.

Terry’s Three Facts about Corvette Documentation:

Fact one:
Most older (1953 to 1981) Corvettes do not have any form of documentation. A Corvette with documentation is the anomaly!

Fact Two:
Bloomington Gold and NCRS judges do not judge documentation and documentation is not required to have your Corvette judged, other than a title and proof of insurance. These judges are generally quite experienced and judge by a standard and that standard I refer to as “The Duck Test” being; If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… it most likely is a duck!!! Sometimes the evidence of the “The Duck Test” is so overwhelming, especially when performed by the truly experienced, it replaces the real need for documentation (paperwork).

Fact Three:
Sadly, the unreasonable and silly thinking that a Corvette without documentation has little value has created a covert cottage industry of entities and/or persons that make/print/create fake aged documentation.

Caveat Emptor:
If documentation is a requirement leading to your purchase of an older Corvette, please hire an expert to affirm that the documentation is, in fact, real and not something that was generated to feed that silly notion that a Corvette must have documentation.

I do see his point about the relevancy of documentation: As the majority of Corvettes do not have documentation, the Corvette itself can be documented against the standard used by the NCRS and Bloomington Gold. And if that Corvette meets the standard, then its value should not be penalized for lacking official documentation.

I would love to open this topic for conversation. How important would documentation be when purchasing a classic Corvette? Click here to comment and let me know what you think.
Source:
tmichaelis.com Related:
Corvette Values: 1966 327/350 Corvette Roadster
Proteam To Offer 40+ Corvettes at Bloomington Gold Auction
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette
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April 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on May 1, 2008

GM released April 2008′s Corvette sales figures and for the third consecutive month, the total number of Corvettes delivered was larger than the month before. April 2008′s Corvette sales totaled 3,190 – nearly 500 Corvettes more than were delivered in March, an increase of 18.5%. Although the number was still behind April 2007′s delivery of 3,227 Corvettes, the gap in year to year sales shrunk to just 1.1%. For the calendar year (Jan-Apr) 9,968 Corvettes have been delivered, lagging 12.6% behind the 11,403 Corvettes sold during the same time period in 2007.

Chevrolet just offered its first rebate of the year for Corvette. For the next five days, Chevy is offering $1,000 Bonus Cash for cars already on dealer’s lots. The $1,000 rebate is exactly what we called for back in February to move existing stock and clearing the way for the 2009 Corvettes.

2008 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2008 2007 % Change Months 2008 2007 % Change
January 2,015 2,234 -9.8% Jan-Jan 2,015 2,234 -9.8%
February 2,071 2,784 -25.6% Jan-Feb 4,086 5,018 -18.6%
March 2,692 3,158 -14.8% Jan-Mar 6,788 8,176 -17.1%
April 3,190 3,227 -1.1% Jan-Apr 9,968 11,403 -12.6%


2007 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-Jun 17,758 19,063 -6.8%
July 2,377 2,794 -11.4% Jan-Jul 20,135 21,857 -7.9%
August 2,877 2,990 -3.8% Jan-Aug 23,012 24,842 -7.4%
September 2,837 3,056 -3.5% Jan-Sept 25,849 27,903 -7.4%
October 2,484 2,761 -13.5% Jan-Oct 28,333 30,664 -7.6%
November 2,438 2,773 -12.1% Jan-Nov 30,771 33,437 -8.0%
December 2,914 3,081 -5.4% Jan-Dec 33,685 36,518 -7.8%


Corvette Stock Report:
A check of Jeff Hardy’s website shows a total of 6,770 2008 Corvettes on the ground. That’s an increase of just 28 Corvettes more compared with March’s 6,742.

  • 3,824 Corvette Coupes
  • 1,537 Corvette Convertibles
  • 1,324 Corvette Z06

According to the site, there are 617 2007 Corvettes still available at dealers across the nation.


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
March 2008 Corvette Sales
February 2008 Corvette Sales

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The End of the 2008 Corvette is Near!

by Keith Cornett on April 24, 2008

The sun sets on the 2008 Corvette Model Year

The opportunity for you to custom order a 2008 Corvette is rapidly coming to an end. Chevrolet dealers received their final allocations this week and you will need to act fast as this is the final week to get your order placed. Corvettes ordered this week will be built the week of May 19, 2008.

The 2008 model year for Corvette will come to a close on June 20th. The plant will be idled for three days as its prepped to produce the 2009 Corvette. Production on the 2009 is slated to begin June 23rd for Coupe, Convertible and Z06. ZR1 Corvette production is expected to start three weeks later on July 14th.

Constraints this week include:

  • QX3 Chrome Wheels
  • 67U Machine Silver
  • Z44 427 Limited Edition Z06
  • Z4Z Corvette Pace Car

As our sales analysis on the Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car indicated, dealers that took a chance and ordered the Corvette will have in stock and available in early May.

If you’ve already picked out your Corvette but have yet to decide on a dealer, contact Dave Salvatore at Kerbeck Corvette, the world’s largest Corvette dealer at 1-877-537-2325. Dave can help you navigate through the buying process and your Corvette can be delivered anywhere including the National Corvette Museum.


Source:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
Sales Analysis: The 2008 30th Anniversary Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car Replica
GM Announces Production Dates for 2008/2009 Corvettes

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