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Buying & Selling

30th Anniversary Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car

Late last year with much fanfare, Chevrolet announced that for the first time ever two Corvettes would be pacing the Indianapolis 500. One of the Corvettes is the customized Z06 E85 Concept highlighting GM’s Green Initiative and will showcase the ability of the automaker to run even the Corvette on E85 Ethanol. But it was the second Corvette that is even more interesting in our opinion as it marked the 30th Anniversary of the 1978 Corvette Pace Car and would be commemorated by a special run of 500 Pace Car Replicas.

With only 500 of these special editions available, you would think that these Indy Pace Car replicas would be in demand and sell fast, but from the conversations we’ve had with several high-volume Corvette dealers, that just doesn’t appear to be the case. Here is what we’ve been hearing as the major roadblocks to sales of the 30th Anniversary Corvette Pace Car and why we think owning this special edition is a smart investment.

Dealers may be bypassing this year’s Corvette Pace Car replica because last year model didn’t sell well. Many point to the late entry of the replica into the 2007 production model run. The 2007 Corvette Pace Car Replica didn’t hit the lots until June, well after the running of the Indianapolis 500. We also believe that demand for last year’s Pace Car was tempered by news of the 2008 Corvette models which featured a new, more powerful engine and interior upgrades. As a matter a fact, that news is attributed to an overall decline in sales of all 2007 Corvettes.

Last year, Chevrolet offered two special edition Corvettes at the same time, the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 and a Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car replica. Buyers overwhelmingly gravitated to the Ron Fellows Z06 Signature Edition. This year, Chevrolet again offered two special edition Corvettes at the same time: The 427 Limited Edition Corvette Z06 and the 30th Anniversary Corvette Indy Pace Car Replica and guess what? Buyers again gravitated first to the Z06.

So why is the 30th Anniversary Corvette Indy Pace Car Replica a smart buy? The first is economics. No, I’m not saying buy this car and you’ll make money on it. But you will lose less money because of its limited production of only 500 cars. Recent history shows the depreciation of the Corvette Pace Cars will be less than an average coupe or convertible Corvette and will generally start appreciating first and faster than their regular production counterparts.

1998 Indy 500 Corvette Pace CarTake a look at the 1998 Corvette Indy Pace Car. 1,158 of the Purple and Yellow Corvettes were produced. It’s 10 years old now and the five year depreciation number for the Pace Car replica is -19%. However, the 1998 Corvette Coupe’s five year depreciation is -26% while the 1998 Corvette convertible was down -29% over five years.

1995 Indy 500 Corvette Pace CarThe news is even better for the 1995 Corvette Pace Car. Only 527 of these Corvettes were built and over the last five years, the Pace Car has appreciated 19% while the regular production Coupe was down -7% and the roadster was down -12% over the same time frame. The Pace Car’s appreciation is even higher than the 1995 ZR-1 which shows an 8% increase.

The second reason we like this year’s Pace Car replica is that it’s offered in either a Coupe or Convertible model, and the option choices will all but guarantee that there will be some interesting combinations when its all said and done. We already know that there are no major changes for next year’s Corvette model so that hurdle has been removed. And forget the “All Corvettes are Red” mantra. The Indy 500 Pace Car is finally back in black, the number one selling Corvette color.

Lastly, the Pace Car is signed and numbered by 2-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, making this Corvette only the third model in the car’s 55 year history to feature a signature. We’re still hoping that in the future this honor is reserved only for those who’ve had a direct impact on the Corvette and the enthusiast community.

So the final question you should be asking is where can I get one? We suggest getting in touch with Dave Salvatore at Kerbeck Corvette who told us they have several available. Dave can be reached at 1-877-537-2325 . Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Jim “Z” of Spitzer Chevrolet who was kind enough to answer our inquiries for this story.


Source:
Appreciation and depreciation figures on the 1995 and 1998 Corvette Pace Car from Vette-N-Vestments 2008 Corvette Pricing Guide.

Related:
Two Unique Corvettes to Pace the 2008 Indianapolis 500
Video: Unveiling the 2008 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Cars

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Terry’s Corvette B-List: The Affordables

by Keith Cornett on March 25, 2008

1955 Corvette in Harvest Gold

Last week Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvettes shared his Corvette A list. This was his top 10 Corvettes to buy if money was no object. Those 10 Corvettes represented the rarest of the rare, from a 1963 Grand Sport to a 1971 LS6. This week, Terry brings us his B-List: The Affordables. This list contains 15 of the most collectible Corvettes that are still in reach for most collectors. With Barrett-Jackson happening this week it’s possible that Proteam could be shipping back to Ohio several Corvettes on this list.

Terry’s Corvette B-List

1955 V-8
700 produced (7 Blue Flame Six; 693 with V-8’s) • values $125K to $350K
1957 Fuelie
1,040 produced (RPO-684 HD racing suspension, 51 produced; RPO-579E air box, 43 produced) • value $250K up on the RPO-684/579E
1958-’62 Fuelies
RPO 684 + RPO 687 HD brakes + suspension; 884 produced in all 5 years/177 per year • value $150K up (1958 RPO-684 are very special and more expensive)
1958-’61 Dual Four
245 hp and 270 hp • value $100K up
1963 Fuelie Split Window
1,300 prox. produced • value $100K up
1965 Fuelie
last year fuelie (771 produced) • value $100K up
1965 396-425 hp
first/last year for the 396 (only 2,157 produced) • value $100K up (M-22 adds $150K to $250K)
1966 427-425 hp
5,258 produced • #2 in top 40 fastest muscle car list • value $100K up • 15 M-22 produced (adds $150K to $250K)
1967 435 hp
3,754 produced (popular then/popular now) • colors & documentation is important & rare • value $150K up
1963-’67 Tanker
63 ’63’s produced, 38 ’64’s produced, 41 ’65’s produced, 66 ’66’s produced, 2 ’67’s produced • values range $125K up • ’63’s are hot and just try to find a ‘67 (probably $500K to $1 million)
1967 400 hp/air/convt.
colors & documentation is important • value $150K up
1968/69 L-89
624 1968’s/390 1969’s produced with aluminum head option • value $150k up
1970 LT-1
1,287 produced • value $60K up
1971 LT-1
1,949 produced • value $60K up
1972 LT-1
1,741 produced • value $60K up • add air and price soars especially convertibles (less than 50)

Footnotes:

  1. must be the real deal… not fakes or frauds
  2. Colors (Black) adds a lot… must be factory original body/trim tag
  3. Original documentation, history, and Bloomington/NCRS show awards adds a lot
  4. Original rare options adds a lot (set of Kelsey bolt-on wheels & red stripe tires sold on eBay in ‘06 for $33K)
  5. Original, unrestored in excellent condition adds a lot.
  6. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). We are adrift in a sea of sharks disguised as mermaids.
  7. When it is time to sell… be a smart seller. High-profile events like the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum Muscle Car auctions will get you more money for your car than newspaper and trade publication advertisements. Plan ahead if you’re considering selling your baby: seek good lot numbers (pay a premium if you must) and baby-sit your car during the event to answer questions and show pride in your car – it is a reflection of you, and people simply pay more if they like the seller.
  8. A-E Equals an overall package and desirables.

Do you see anything here you would like in your garage? Leave a Comment (below) and let us know.

Sources:
tMichaelis Corvette Perspective

Related:
When Money is No Object: Terry’s Corvette A-List
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2007

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When Money is No Object: Terry’s Corvette A-List

by Keith Cornett on March 19, 2008

Grand Sport #001

Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvettes has been buying and selling Corvettes for decades and is arguably one of most knowledgeable Corvette pricing experts in the country. When you’re buying and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Corvettes on any given weekend, you better know where the market is, right? So when Terry told us about his Corvette A-List, ie the top 10 Corvettes to buy if money wasn’t an object, we decided to sit in the front row and take notes.

Terry’s Corvette A-List

1963 GRAND SPORT
5 produced • value $6 million and up (good luck)… none for sale
1969 ZL1
2 produced • value $3 million and up (good luck)… none for sale
1967 L-88
20 produced • value $1.5 million and up (good luck)… none for sale
1968/69 L-88
196 produced • value $350K to $750K (They are out there)
1971 ZR2
12 produced • value $350K to $650K (4 known to exist)
1967 L-89
16 produced • value $450K to $750K (few known to exist)
1953 BLUE FLAME
300 produced • value $300K to $500K (VIN 003 sold for $1 million; VIN 005 sold $850K)
1963 Z06/TANKER
63 produced • value $275K to $400K (add for race history)
1970-’72 ZR1
53 produced • value $125K to $200K (few exist)
1971 LS6
188 produced • value $125K to $200K (not hard to find)

Footnotes:

  1. must be the real deal… not fakes or frauds
  2. Colors (Black) adds a lot… must be factory original body/trim tag
  3. Original documentation, history, and Bloomington/NCRS show awards adds a lot
  4. Original rare options adds a lot (set of Kelsey bolt-on wheels & red stripe tires sold on eBay in ‘06 for $33K)
  5. Original, unrestored in excellent condition adds a lot.
  6. Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). We are adrift in a sea of sharks disguised as mermaids.
  7. When it is time to sell… be a smart seller. High-profile events like the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum Muscle Car auctions will get you more money for your car than newspaper and trade publication advertisements. Plan ahead if you’re considering selling your baby: seek good lot numbers (pay a premium if you must) and baby-sit your car during the event to answer questions and show pride in your car – it is a reflection of you, and people simply pay more if they like the seller.
  8. A-E Equals an overall package and desirables.

So what do you think? Given an unlimited bank account and the availability factor, which of these ten Corvettes would you covet if the opportunity presented itself? Leave a Comment (below) and let us know.

Sources:
tMichaelis Corvette Perspective

Related:
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2007
Auction Results: [VIDEO] 1953 Corvette Sold for $261,800

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Corvette Market Introduction and Subscription Special

by Keith Cornett on January 30, 2008

We’d like to thank the guys over at Keith Martin’s Corvette Market for selecting CorvetteBlogger.com as their featured Corvette website in their latest email newsletter. CorvetteBlogger.com was founded in the Summer of 2005 as an information vehicle to discuss three pillars surrounding the Corvette hobby: Corvette Buying and Selling, Corvette News and Information, and the Lifestyle that surrounds owning the great American Sports Car. If this is your first time to CorvetteBlogger.com, please check us out and consider subscribing to our site via RSS or email.

Click here to see the video clip of Keith Martin’s Corvette Insider seminar from Russo and Steele.

If you’re not a subscriber to Corvette Market magazine, they are offering a limited subscriber special for $22. Corvette Market magazine is a must-read if you like to follow the latest trends in Corvette pricing and valuations. But you better hurry, to get this special rate you need to subscribe before midnight, Wednesday January 30th.


Source:
Corvette Market

Related:
[VIDEO] A Look at Keith Martin’s Corvette Insider’s Seminar
Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure

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Keith Martin’s Corvette Market magazine held a self-described Insider’s Seminar where he and a panel of Corvette expert’s discussed the Corvette Market and its trends from yesterday, today and tomorrow. The seminar was held at the Russo and Steele event on January 18th in Scottsdale. Here is a brief video which shows the panel discussing the Corvette market with the question on the table being “What Corvette would you buy for $100,000?”

So the question now goes to you. Given $100,000, what Corvette(s) would you buy? Leave your answer in the Comments area and we may just send one commenter a free 2008 Corvette Price Guide.


Source:
Corvette Market via AP Insights

Related:
Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure

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Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure

by Keith Cornett on January 9, 2008

1969 Corvette ConvertibleKeith Martin and his staff at Corvette Market/Sports Car Market are putting out a call for a C3 Corvette and they need our help. Here is the deal: You find them a decent C3 Corvette to buy and if they decide that’s the one, they’ll wire the funds to the seller. They are looking for delivery as well so you’ll need to be able to drive the Corvette all the way or at least partially the way to their offices in Portland, Oregon.

The staff at Sports Car Market likes to keep half a dozen classic and collector cars on hand at any one time, driving them to shows and weekend cruises. They believe the C3 Corvette Market (1968-1982) represents some of the best Corvette values and adding a chrome-bumper C3 to the stable makes a lot of sense. However, not just any C3 Corvette will do as they are being specific in what they are looking for:

  • 1968-1972 Convertible
  • Matching numbers small block
  • 4-Speed manual transmission
  • Air conditioning
  • Quality condition

And to make things even more interesting, they have budgeted just $20,000 for you to make the deal, although they are willing to pay less. If you find and deliver the Corvette, they’ll put you up in a hotel for a couple of nights, show you the sights and even provide some cool swag like a Corvette Market hat and bag! But the biggest thrill may be seeing your C3 Corvette buying adventure immortalized in print for all the Collector car world to see.

So if you’ve got an early C3 in the garage or know where one can be had on the cheap, because they are looking for quality, then send an email to Keith Martin @ Corvette Market with the details. Click here for more specifics on Corvette Market’s C3 Find, Buy & Drive Adventure.


Source:
SportsCarMarket.com

Related:
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2006
Corvette Values: 1969 Corvette Convertible

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Corvette Market’s Smart Auction Buys of 2007

by Keith Cornett on January 7, 2008

Editors from Keith Martin’s Corvette Market have analyzed and posted in a slideshow format what they consider to be the Top 10 Smart Corvette buys from various auctions held in 2007. We took a look at the list and agreed. It just goes to show you that if you are a buying a Corvette and you have knowledge and patience, you too can get a great deal on the Corvette of your dreams.

Corvette Market’s Top 10 Smart Corvette Buys:

1. 1960 Corvette Convertible – 283/230 – $55,000
2. 1957 Corvette Convertible – 283/283 – $76,650
3. 1963 Corvette Convertible – 327/365 FI – $67,100
4. 1966 Corvette Convertible – 327/350 – $50,400
5. 1968 Corvette Coupe – 427/390 – $25,998
6. 1957 Corvette Convertible – 283 fi – $99,000
7. 1969 Corvette Convertible – 427/390 – $38,850
8. 1961 Corvette Convertible – 283/270 – $110,000
9. 2001 Corvette Z06 – 13K Miles – $26,513
10. 1964 Corvette Coupe – 327/300 – $45,000

All of these Corvettes profiled on Corvette Market have both a description of the car as well as expert analysis on why it was selected for the Smart Buys list. If you’re into Corvettes for not only the fun and excitement they bring, but the financial rewards as well, consider subscribing to Keith Martin’s Corvette Market. We’re anxiously awaiting the next issue!


Source:
VetteMarket.com

Related:
Introducing Keith Martin’s Corvette Market Magazine

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Dealers Take Corvette Buyers on a Virtual Test Drive

by Keith Cornett on December 16, 2007

Corvette dealerships are utilizing the advantages of broadband connections and video sharing websites to allow customers to not only see a Corvette they may be interested in purchasing, but to actually take the car on a virtual test drive. The American Sportscar Center in Atlanta, Georgia has been busy cranking out these virtual test drive videos for a select number of their Corvettes like this one for a 1959 Corvette Convertible. Not only do these videos allow the customer to see the Corvette from all angles, but the ability to actually hear the car running as well as riding shotgun on a run down the highway at 60 mph creates a memorable experience that I am sure will lead to an increase in sales.

The virtual test drive videos also serve a dual purpose as advertising for the dealership on the social video websites like YouTube.com and StreetFire.net, I am certain that we will be seeing more dealers move towards producing these video test drives in the near future.
Source: BuyaVette.net Related:
Video: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Quick Drive Technorati Tags:
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When a Matching Numbers Corvette is Anything But…

by Keith Cornett on December 14, 2007

1963 Split Window Coupe CorvettePart of my motivation in writing this blog is to help buyers, particularly first time Corvette buyers, learn more about the specifics of buying Corvettes before making the plunge. I do that through posts like this week’s very appropriate Decoding a Corvette’s V8 Casting Numbers and Engine Stamps as well as trying to constantly reinforce the mantra of “Knowledge is Power When Purchasing Corvettes”. Too many times buyers make the plunge first, only to find out they have been taken for a ride. To illustrate this point, I bring you this Corvette that was advertised earlier this week on a well-known classified ads website. Here are the details:

Rare 1963 split window Corvette rebuilt 327 10 over, 202 dart camel back heads, 292 cam solid lifers, rebuilt 2 speed power glide w/2800 stall converter, rebuilt 348 rear balanced drive shafts, knock off rims new red line tires, new brakes, renewed dash, original paint riverside red, black interior . many extra parts to many to list Extremely Nice, Show Ready. Matching Numbers with original colors. Original AM-FM Wonder Bar Radio. California car , Automatic Trans, Power Brakes, Power Steering. At this time it has a 1966 engine in it I have the 1964 engine ready to rebuild to make # matching car and the true knock off rims and red line tires for more info or pics Call or E-mail or $55,000.00 or make offer must see great car.
I sent the seller an email as I was confused if he meant he had the 1963 engine instead of a 1964:
Just a quick question about your 1963 Corvette for sale. You say you have a 1964 engine ready to be rebuilt to make it a matching numbers car. Did you mean it is a 1963 engine? If so, was it the original engine? Any history or documentation with the Corvette?
The seller responded back with the following:
It has a 66 engine in it now I have the block heads and casting # right not built yet never got around to it so you could get it done any way you would like or I could have my guys do it for you I just put the 66 in to drive it and to sell it easer if the buyer can drive it also here it run. call me on my cell if you want any more info but if you want a 63 you really got to see this one.
1963 Split Window Corvettes can be an excellent investment and this one is obviously well taken care of. In fact, this Corvette has awesome curb appeal that is ready for show or go. Advertised as a California car, it features comfort options like an automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering and an AM/FM Radio. The wheels are beautiful and who can resist the rebuilt drive train. But throwing around terminology like matching numbers is exactly why buyers need to be educated. When you set out to buy a house, what is the one thing you always have done before purchase? You have it inspected. Buying a classic Corvette should be no different. I do not think the seller is out to purposely misrepresent this car as he’s obviously stated in both the ad and the email that it has a 1966 engine. But stating that a 1964 engine can turn this 1963 into a matching numbers car because the casting and head numbers match is just incorrect. What often happens is that while this seller is being honest in telling us that the Corvette has a non-original motor (NOM), future owners selling this Corvette may not be so forthcoming, and that leads to the second point of the question I asked: “Any history or documentation with the Corvette?” Since there was no response to that question, I have to assume that there isn’t any. At $55,000, the car is priced appropriately for a NOM ’63 Coupe. Unless you don’t care about owning a non-documented Corvette with an NOM, then you should immediately walk away from a Corvette like this. Despite its NOM status, this Corvette is a stunner and will be sold to someone. However, it will never appreciate in value like a documented split window coupe and it will be harder to sell when that day comes. Knowledge is power… Related:
Decoding a Corvette’s V8 Casting Numbers and Engine Stamps
Seller of Fake L88 Caught by Corvette Community Technorati Tags:
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Decoding a Corvette’s V8 Casting Numbers and Engine Stamps

by Keith Cornett on December 11, 2007

Back in September I wrote about how documentation was the must-have option when buying a classic Corvette. That article focused on mostly the paper trail: dealer invoices, build sheets and tank stickers. Today the focus is on the engine and the clues available for verifying authenticity. While the term “Matching Numbers” in its simplist form is various serial numbers and codes located on key parts and their relationship to a particular year of Corvette, it’s the engine block that is the most important part of the matching numbers equation. Unfortunately, as Corvette values rise, so do your chances of buying a Corvette with altered numbers being passed off as an original. As my favorite mantra goes when purchasing a Corvette, knowledge is power, and the more you can learn about documenting a Corvette prior to purchase, the less likely you will get burned with buying a Corvette of questionable lineage.

A series of codes and stamps are located on the engine block that will allow you to identify it as being manufactured specifically for a Corvette. There are dates of manufacture and the engine’s original application if you just know where to look. As the year’s progressed and engine options increased, the numbering and casting system obviously changed and became more specific. For the examples provided, I will be referring to the 327 ci 300 hp small block V8 in my 1966 Corvette.

Chevrolet Smallblock V8 Casting number and engine stamping locations 1966 Corvette 327 ci V8 Engine Casting Number 1966 Corvette 327 ci V8 Engine Stamp

Casting Numbers
The casting number is a sequence consisting of raised numbers that was cast into the engine block when it was made. What’s a bit tricky here is that casting numbers on Corvette blocks can also be found on other engine blocks made by GM. Casting Numbers are important to the engine documentation process because certain numbers were used for Corvettes and some were not. Also, the numbers are specific to the size of engine in the Corvette. 283′s, 327′s and 427′s all had their own casting numbers specific to individual years, so for the process of documenting a Corvette engine, the casting number will be used to confirm that that block was used in a Corvette and that it was available during the same year the Corvette was manufactured, and finally, it was unique to a specific engine size. The casting number on Chevy V8′s is located on the drivers side of the engine where the block is connected to the bellhousing. It can be a bit hard to see with the ignition shielding in place but the numbers are fairly large. The casting number on my 1966 is 3858174 which is identified as a 327 ci V8 block. That block casting number was also used in 1964-67 passenger cars including the Chevelle and Camaro as well as Chevrolet trucks.

Casting Dates
The cast date symbolizes the date of manufacture of the block. Dates are coded beginning with a letter representing the month. Letters began with “A” for January through “L” for December. The next section of digits represents the day of the month and is either 1 or 2 digits in length. The final single digit represents the year. Corvette casting dates only show the single digit for the year. If the block contains two digits for the year, then it was a block manufactured at the Tonawanda engine plant and therefore is not a Corvette block (Corvette engines were almost exclusively built in Flint, Michigan). Cast dates on small block V8′s can be found on the passenger side of flange where the block is connected to the bellhousing. I found this number difficult to locate. On 1965-67 big blocks, the cast date is located on the passenger side of the block where the starter is attached. The cast date on the block in my 1966 is “E 5 6″, which decoded stands for May 5, 1966. If you are trying to document an engine, the casting number would confirm the size of the engine and its intended recipient, and the date code would confirm that the block was used in Corvettes.

Engine Stamping
Engine stampings evolved in the early years of the Chevrolet V8 engine. In 1955-56, it was simply a continuous serial number, but one that didn’t match the serial number of the Corvette. It was then followed with F for Flint, where the Corvette engine was manufactured and then the year (F55 or F56). The final two letters indicated the original application of the engine. Application Codes usually indicated engine size, type of fuel delivery (Injection or carburetion) and transmission. As engine options grew, so did the number of application suffix codes. In 1957, the serial number was dropped and instead the stamp contained the letter F for Flint, a three to four number sequence for month and day of assembly and then the two letter engine suffix code. Beginning in 1960 the stamp included the serial number of the car it was installed in. The 327 engine in my Corvette contains the following number sequences: 6122891 F0518HE. Decoded, the first sequence is 6 for the year (66) and then the VIN sequence of 122891. The second stamp decodes F for the Flint Plant, May 18 is the engine assembly date and the HE suffix code stands for a 327 ci 300 hp with a manual transmission.

So there you have the basics of decoding engine numbers for the purpose of documentation. Please note that there are some exceptions to the information contained above. In 1965 it is said that there was a shortage of 327 blocks from the Flint plant, so Chevrolet used some engine blocks from Tonawanda. Those engines would have a T instead of F on the stamp, as well as the full year in the cast date. There are several publications that contain a breakdown of engine codes and sequences. The NCRS also provides a publication that details how engines were stamped and therefore, may help you identify restamped engines.

Related:
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette
Five Factors That Drive Corvette Values – Options

 

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