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Buying & Selling

Oldest Corvette to be Auctioned at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on November 17, 2005

#003, the oldest 1953 Corvette in existence, is expected to drive across the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona during their “World’s Greatest Collector Car Event” January 14-22nd. The #003 convertible wears VIN plate number #E53F001003. As #001 and #002 were assembled and delivered to the Chevrolet Engineering Center for testing, #003 took a different path which is how it escaped the fate of the first two Corvettes. #001 and #002 served as test cars for the engineering center and were eventually destroyed. #003 also served as an engineering car for a shot time but was sold in the fall of 1953. Eventually it turned up at an auction in 1987 unpainted and not running where two collectors noticed many of the characteristics of an early production car including the hand-made ignition shielding and center grille bar. As the oldest survivor of the early production Corvettes, #003 underwent a meticulous and well documented 2-and-a-half year restoration. Completed in 1990, Corvette #003 earned Bloomington Gold, Corvette Hall of Fame and NCRS Duntov awards. It was last displayed at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. As part of the Barrett-Jackson auction, the #003 Corvette will be joined by approximately 100 of the rarest Corvettes in what the company calls the Most Comprehensive collection of Corvettes to be offered at a major auction at No Reserve. “It is hard to find a better selection of ‘America’s Sports Car’ than at America’s collector car auction this year,” said Craig Jackson, president of The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. “We’re proud to celebrate our 35th anniversary with an unprecedented collection of Corvettes that symbolize this country’s automotive heritage. The collection ranges from the affordable, as represented by a 1977 T-Top Coupe, to the most desirable, like the 1969 L-88 Coupe and 1963 Z06.” Other Corvettes include: A NCRS Top Flight, award-winning original 1969 L-88 Coupe will also be sold. One of only 116, the numbers matching Corvette is among the top 1969 L-88s in condition, restoration and provenance. The one original owner, numbers matching, 1963 Z06 Coupe is a fuel-injected stunner that is one of only 199 Z06′s built. Restored in 1980 using original parts, it has won many awards including the NCRS Top Flight and NCRS Duntov award. Click here for a partial listing of Corvettes to be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event.

Red Tagged Corvettes?

by Keith Cornett on November 15, 2005

Faced with slowing sales and growing inventories, GM is launching yet another incentive plan combining the two elements car shoppers like the most – one price shopping and employee pricing. Called the Year End Red Tag sale, the incentive runs from Nov 13 through Jan 3rd. It’s not quite employee pricing – but close. The GM Red Tag Sale is offering the “What you see is what you pay” on MOST 2005 and 2006 Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Pontiac models and the price is based on GM Supplier (GMS) discounts which are generally 2% above the GM employee price. Once again, the offer doesn’t extend to Corvette. Funny how the two elements that consumers love: one price shopping and employee discounts are the two elements that keep Corvettes from being including in these type of promotions. Manufacturers/dealers won’t discount the car that makes them money whatever the price and why offer flat rate pricing when you have the ability to negotiate pricing based on availability.

No Rebates for Corvette

by Keith Cornett on November 8, 2005

GM is following Chrysler and Ford by introducing new rebates designed to increase sales. The moves comes as GM reported a drop of nearly 20 percent in October sales. GM added $1000 rebates through Nov 13 on remaining 2005′s but the offer doesn’t extend to Corvette. The lack of rebates for Corvette is a good sign though as 2005 inventories are low enough as to not worry the GM bean-counters. No word yet if any rebates will be extended to 2006 models.

Katrina’s Corvette Flood

by Keith Cornett on September 10, 2005

You just the knew this topic was coming. Thousands of vehicles sitting submerged in the streets, driveways and garages of New Orleans. What will happen with all those cars including Corvettes that were damaged by the flood waters of Katrina? Automuse has an excellent legal analysis on the laws of Louisiana and how automobiles are branded as “flood” cars. For a vehicle to receive the “flood” brand, it must be declared a total loss by the insurance company and issued a salvage title. The “flood” brand on the salvage title indicates the car was totaled as a result of water damage. However, for a car to be considered a total loss, it must have sustained damages equaling 75% or more of the market value as determined by the NADA handbook. But what about all those cars, including Corvettes that sustained “some” water damage, but did not reach the 75% threshold? While the good news is that Louisiana law requires disclosure to the buyer of a vehicle if it sustained water damage, the downside is that cars that sustained some water damage but not enough to be a total loss, will have clean, unbranded titles. Unfortunately Mississippi doesn’t require buyers to be notified of a car’s water damage, but does require cars that are total losses to be re-titled as a salvage vehicle. So what will happen with all those Corvettes that were damaged? C1′s to C3′s may be had at some decent “restorable” values from insurance companies or brokers who resell salvage vehicles. C4′s and above? Forget about it. With all the electronics that post ’82 Corvettes contain, they are more likely to have costly damage to those key components and aren’t worth the cost of repairs. One of the lasting effects of Katrina may be the public’s avoidance of purchasing pre-owned Corvettes from the Gulf region as well as the sales boon that I am sure Carfax and other title reporting sites will have. Caveat emptor…

Gathering Pricing Knowledge

by Keith Cornett on August 22, 2005

Now that you know which model year you’re interested in purchasing, you’ll want to gain as much pricing knowledge as possible. I start with pricing first because if you can’t afford it, it’s not worth spending your time learning the other factors involved in making an informed buying decision. One of the tools needed for making an educated purchase is one or more Corvette Price Guides. Price guides for Corvettes can be found online at a number of sites. VetteFinders.com uses data published from Vette-N-Vestments that is based on actual sales figures from auctions held around the Country. Why we like this guide so much is that appreciation and depreciation figures are tracked for One, Two and Five years allowing you to spot multi-year trends. Other price guides worth noting are Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Guide. Lastly, most of the Corvette magazines usually publish an annual Price Guide issue. Currently we are in a hot market so review the published date of the guide carefully. If it is older than six months, its accuracy may be off somewhat. Another source for gathering pricing knowledge would be from visiting websites that contain Corvettes for sale, either through classified and auction sites like VetteFinders.com and Ebay.com to searching online dealer inventories for your sought-after model year. Armed with this information, you will have no trouble educating yourself as to what the model year of your choice can be obtained for. An education in pricing will help to ensure that you will not be overcharged as well as being able to spot a good buy when it comes along. Click here to purchase the Vette-N-Vestments Corvette Price Guide Price: $15.00

Overseas Buyer Scams Abound

by Keith Cornett on August 10, 2005

The most common scam we see on our classified ads site is from “buyers” requesting information from our sellers in an attempt to scam the car from the owner using counterfeit bank checks. Usually you can spot these scams based on the “buyers” poor use of the English language as well as a request for the sellers photos, location and the “last price” of the car. Many times the “buyer” will come right out and ask if the seller will take a “certified bank check drawn on a US bank”.

The “buyer” almost always uses a yahoo.com, yahoo.co.uk or other free email service and may post an international phone number.

Here is an example of request received buy one of these “buyers”:

MESSAGE:
Hello, please back to me if the vehicle is still for sale with present location, pictures and last asking price. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

I did a geographical lookup of the IP address and found the “buyer” to be located in Lago, Nigeria.

My favorite type of scam request is when these scammers cut and paste from a script that was given to them and either don’t realize what they are requesting or simply don’t care. After the above user sent through about 20 of these requests to our sellers (all of which were blocked), he sent this request to the seller of a 1985 coupe:

MESSAGE:
Hello, thanks for urgent reply accorded to this transaction. In reply state the total cost of our reservation bill for the whole periods of the delegates stay. We wish to inform you to state the cost in Euro currency to enable us to know the exact amount we are paying. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

Sellers should carefully scrutinize all communications from potential buyers and if there is something that doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t.

Buying a Corvette – Select Year

by Keith Cornett on August 6, 2005

I hear from many who are contemplating buying their first Corvette and invariably one of the questions I get is “What year is a good model to buy?” Well, that is really a personal decision and the fact that the Corvette has been around for over 50 years doesn’t make it any easier.

You should first focus on the one of the generations that divide the Corvette years based on the body style. These are now usually referred to as:

C1 Corvettes: 1953-1962
C2 Corvettes: 1963-1967
C3 Corvettes: 1968-1982
C4 Corvettes: 1984-1996
C5 Corvettes: 1997-2004
C6 Corvettes: 2005-

Determining what make and model you are seeking will really help narrow your focus. From there you can decide what models within the chosen generation appeal to you. While some generations have fairly small body style changes from year to year like the C2′s or C5′s, others, like the C3′s and C4′s have major changes between their starting and end points. The 1968 Stingray and the 1982 Collector’s Edition are both from the same generation, but the styling and technology are vastly different.

Once you have narrowed your choice down to one or two model years, you will need to determine what your budget is. Then decide whether your choice is realistic for the amount you have to spend. Having $15,000 to spend probably won’t get you into a 1967 Convertible, but it would get you a fairly nice 1974-75 Convertible.

Next, we will look at where to find sources for researching the model year(s) that interest you so that we can develop a checklist to assist us when reviewing potential Corvettes to purchase.

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