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Buying & Selling

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

 

#3 Corvette C6.R For Sale. One Owner, Low Miles…

by Keith Cornett on November 15, 2007

The #3 Corvette C6.RAs our primary focus is bringing you unique information about Corvettes that are for sale, here’s an ad that appeared on the American LeMans website: Pratt and Miller Corvette C6.R #3 Race Car
Driven by Johnny O’Connell, Jan Magnussen and Ron Fellows
Price: $650,000.00 SKU: #***CORV5504

Corvette Details: No bling but much zing. Special everything, including things we can’t tell you about. 1 owner, 1 seat. Low miles, but driven very fast. Always garaged. Never driven on public roads. Cared for by loving owners, cursed by the competition. One of only a few. Available only in Velocity Yellow. Championships and Drivers not included. Only for sale because Ms. Pratt said it is time to clean out the garage. Yes this is really for sale. For more information please call or email. Specifications: Chassis 005 that raced in LeMans (finished 2nd in class) and in the 2007 American LeMans series.
575 Horsepower, 6000-rpm redline
7-liter small block V8
2425 lbs hydoformed steel chassis with composite body
Longitudinal front engine, rear wheel drive
Tunable to the low drag demands of LeMans or the high downforce requirements of Mosport.
I don’t know what’s funnier, the verbage of the ad which includes “Ms.Pratt said it is time to clean out the garage.” or the fact that the ad is in a shopping cart format, which allows you to add the car to the shopping cart basket (only after selecting yellow in the drop-down box) and then checkout. The only follow up questions I would have as a buyer is if I can get a CarFax report and a Bad Boy Vettes repaint
Source:
American LeMans Merchandise Related:
Racing Fans – Buy Your Own Corvette C6.R Racecar Technorati Tags:
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ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2007

The Protect-O-Plate from my 1966 CorvetteThis coming Saturday, November 3rd, ProTeam Corvette will host NCRS members from four states for a day-long seminar on trim tags, Protect-O-Plates, documentation and the decoding of these items. As documentation plays an important role in pricing and valuations, the morning seminars will focus on what ProTeam calls Chevrolet’s predictable measure of each car and the missteps and omissions that occurred along the way. An afternoon seminar is also planned that will address the cylinder case and its perceived importance on originality. The hands-on session will center on the every day exceptions, aberrations, corrections, errors, do-overs, misapplications, and general conundrums associated with factory production. NCRS Master Judge Al Grenning will be the instructor for the day-long event. Grenning is a Senior Bloomington Gold Restoration Workshop Instructor, Division Director for Numbers and Tags – Bloomington Gold Certification as well as being a member of the National Corvette Certification Board & National Corvette Survivor Board. His 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. Additional research includes midyear Protect-O-Plates, trim tags and a large comprehensive photocopy library of St. Louis Corvette production documents. The seminar will serve to spread the Corvette gospel through education about the cryptic history and factory anomalies of America ‘s true sports car. Any questions about this and future seminars, contact Terry Michaelis at ProTeam Corvette.
Source:
ProTeam Corvette Related:
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Introducing Keith Martin’s Corvette Market Magazine

by Keith Cornett on September 26, 2007

Keith Martin's Corvette Market MagazineKeith Martin is a well-known personality in the Sports car collecting hobby, publishing the Sports Car Market Magazine and appearing on television as a commentator and co-host of SPEED’s coverage of Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale. His latest venture is Keith Martin’s Corvette Market: Insider’s Guide to Collecting, Investing, Values and Trends. The Corvette Market magazine is scheduled for publication 4 times per year and the inaugural edition was mailed last week. As someone who takes an interest in Corvette values, I can tell you this new publication is a home run. Corvette Market offers feature articles and insights on the top Corvette models in the collector arena. Issue 1 features the heavy hitters: The 1953 Corvette, The 1687 L71 Corvette and the model that is currently trending well, the 1969 Corvette. But the real genius behind Corvette Market is the auction reports and analysis from a well-rounded group of Corvette aficionados. In the premier issue, the June 2007 Bloomington Gold Auction falls under the microscope of Keith’s analysts and no punches are pulled when telling you why the Corvette sold or didn’t sell. Here is an example from the Mecum Bloomington Gold coverage:

Keith Martin's Corvette Market Magazine

#F57 – 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. S/N 19467S715499. Riverside Gold/White/Black Vinyl. Odo: 6,293 Miles. 427-ci 390-hp V8, 4-bbl, 4-Speed. Excellent resprayed Riverside Gold paint, otherwise completely original. Interior shows very light wear, top has heavier wear and s frayed at the edges. Good engine compartment, original window sticker. A strong car with loads of originality. Condition: 2 Sold at $38,850. Analysis:
The ’69 Corvette had the same owner since 1971 and he clearly pampered it over the years. The L36 390-hp 427s are great performing cars without the wildness of the 435-hp cars, but the L71 always commands the top dollars. This one sold for well below market value for an L36. A real bargain for a car of this quality.
If you liked that, there are 186 more just like it in the premier issue of Corvette Market Magazine. Other reports are also included both in the magazine, issue 1 contains a listing of the top 100 corvettes auction prices of all time, as well as on the dedicated web site, www.VetteMarket.com, where the Plus subscription will get you full access to the Corvette Market Auction database containing over 2,000 Corvette market reports like the one above. A one-year subscription to Keith Martin’s Corvette Market Magazine is $29.95 or $48.00 for the plus version. With just one issue of his new magazine, Keith Martin has created a must-have reference guide for Corvette collectors and those that follow Corvette pricing trends and values.
Source:
VetteMarket.com Related:
Auction Results: Bloomington Gold Totals $8.2 Million in Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette

by Keith Cornett on September 19, 2007

Originality is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a classic Corvette IF you are looking for a Corvette that will provide the highest rate of appreciation in value during your ownership tenure. Originality is also one of the most misunderstood aspects so buyers need to be aware of what to look for and what questions to ask a seller. Don’t take the sellers word that the car is original. One of the single most important questions to ask the seller is if there is documentation available. Why is this important? A Corvette with Documentation is essentially a Corvette with a pedigree. It will be worth more than a Corvette without documentation and depending on the model year and options, the difference can be worth about 25% of the Corvette’s value.

READ MORE →

6 Ways to Make the Most of your Classic Corvette Purchase

by Keith Cornett on August 21, 2007

Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvette fame has a great article on his Corvette Perspective blog on why purchasing a classic Corvette is a good investment and he backs up his points with some real world numbers. Terry has bought more classic Corvettes last month than most of us will purchase in a lifetime and there is probably no other dealer that buys and sells the cream of the crop like Proteam. If you are more interested in Corvettes as an investment as opposed to a driver, then here are Terry’s points to consider when purchasing a Corvette:

1. Buy the best Corvette you can afford today
Because the Corvette you buy is the Corvette you’ll have or want to sell some day. 2. Buy cosmetics
Buy paint and chrome, unless you have a shop and knowledge to control your costs. 3. Research
Arm yourself with knowledge provided in the numerous Corvette publication and hire a true expert to examine your potential purchase. 4. Don’t trade off cosmetics for a numbers match drivetrain
It will always cost more to restore (paint, trim, chrome, etc.) a Corvette needing restoration versus putting the proper numbers motor back in your vehicle, if that’s your venue. Numbers have become secondary to cosmetics, and it’s about time. 5. Realize that Corvettes are old cars
They require more attention than that new Chevy or Ford setting in your driveway (especially if they aren’t taken for periodic (“work outs”). 6. 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.
Terry provides an excellent analysis of today’s Corvette Market and why the demand for classic Corvettes is so high right now – a demand he says will only continue as baby boomers hit retirement and start spending that discretionary income. Click here to read The Corvette Market – Today.
Source:
TMichaelis Corvette Perspective Related:
Five Factors That Drive Corvette Values – Options Technorati Tags:
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Official 2008 Corvette Pricing Announced

by Keith Cornett on June 18, 2007

Corvette Dealer Ken Fichtner posted the official pricing for the 2008 Corvette on the Corvette Forum. Prices listed include the three Corvette models: Coupe, Convertible and Z06 as well as the available options. Also listed is the new 4LT packages for coupes and convertibles which will set you back $8,005 and $8,600 respectively. The three Corvette models base prices were increased $920 for coupes and convertibles and $1,000 for the Z06. Considering the Coupes and Convertibles come with the new LS3 which adds 30 horsepower, I would say that is a bargain.

MODELS  
1YY07 Coupe $45,170.00
1YY67 Convertible $53,510.00
1YY86 Z06 $70,175.00
Destination Charge $825.00
   
PACKAGES  
2LT Package – Coupe $1,495.00
3LT Package – Coupe $4,505.00
4LT Package – Coupe $8,005.00
3LT Package – Convertible $5,100.00
4LT Package – Convertible $8,600.00
2LZ Package – Z06 Coupe $3,045.00
3LZ Package – Z06 Coupe $6,545.00
   
OPTIONS  
CC3 Transparent Roof Package $750.00
C2L Dual Roof Package $1,400.00
D30 Custom Color and Trim Combination $590.00
F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control $1,995.00
GU2 2.73 Rear Axle Ratio $395.00
MX0 6 Speed Automatic with Paddle Shift $1,250.00
NPP Dual Mode Exhaust System $1,195.00
R8C Museum Delivery $490.00
U3U AM/FM CD with Navigation $1,750.00
Z51 Performance Handling Package $1,695.00
**6 Two Tone Seats with Embroidery $695.00
   
WHEELS  
QX1 Competition Gray Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $395.00
QX3 Chrome Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $1,850.00
QG7 Polished Wheels – Coupe/Convertible $1,295.00
Q44 Competition Gray Wheels – Z06 $395.00
Q76 Chrome Wheels – Z06 $1,995.00
QL9 Polished Wheels – Z06 $1,495.00
   
PREMIUM EXTERIOR COLORS  
45U Velocity Yellow Paint $750.00
83U Atomic Orange Metallic Paint $300.00
85U Jetstream Blue Metallic Paint $750.00
89U Crystal Red Metallic Paint $750.00

Source:
Corvette Forum Related:
GM Releases Official 2008 Corvette Information
Photo Gallery: The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
Official 2007 Corvette Pricing Announced Technorati Tags:
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