Like a scene out of Steven King’s novel “Children of the Corn”, it’s not children but rather Corvette ZR1’s that will invade Indianapolis May 13th through May 18th at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds when Dana Mecum kicks off his 27th annual Spring Classic auction. Though only a portion of the consignments have been listed at this point it appears that Mecum has cornered the low mile ZR1 market and will be sending them across the block.
The hottest Corvette in the collector market is the epic L88, and it’s just not hot, it is scorching. And while Corvette values overall have been on a strong run over the past two years with auction prices among the strongest of all automotive brands, the second and third generation Corvette L88 values are in a league of their own.
And one of the finest third generation L88′s in the world is going to cross the block on May 3rd in Worldwide Auctioneers Houston Classic Auction. The Riverside Gold 1969 coupe is an original survivor with less than 2600 miles. But before we look at what makes this Corvette so appealing and what it is likely to sell for, let’s take a look at other L88 Corvettes and what is happening in the market.
The auction of the first regular retail production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, generously donated by Chevrolet, went for $1 million at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach, Fla. on April 12, 2014. The winning bid came from Hendrick Automotive Group Chairman and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, an avid Corvette collector and preservationist. Proceeds from the auction, which support the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute 32nd Annual Dinner, will benefit the renovations of the Institute’s infusion center, providing a more comfortable and soothing setting for patients to receive chemotherapy treatments.
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The last time we saw the 1954 Pizza Man Corvette racer it was crossing Mecum’s red carpet in St. Charles, Illinois in October of 2012. Back then it was a no sale after a high bid of $120,000. Recently it showed up on eBay still for sale. The “World’s Fastest Six Cylinder Corvette” beat up on the competition from 1962 to 1971 with Earl Britt behind the wheel.
Enthusiasts were treated to three days of excitement last week when Mecum presented their second major collector car auction of 2014, April 10th through the 12th in Houston.
The heavily promoted prototype Ford GT40 was hammered down at $7M and TV viewers got to see it on live TV. It was the highest price ever hammered down for an American car being broadcast on “live” TV. And though that was impressive, it was actually more exciting to watch former Viet Nam veteran Don McNamara’s pristine, 2997-mile Corvette hammered down for $725K ($797.5 including commissions). Along with the McNamara Corvette, Mecum sold 61 of the 101 Corvettes consigned, a strong sell through for Corvettes.
In a few days two prophetic auctions will take place that collectors of Corvettes will want to keep their eyes on whether they plan to bid at these auctions or not. The two biggest sellers of collector Corvettes in the country, Mecum and Barrett-Jackson will be holding their second important collector auctions of 2014. The reason these auctions are important is because after some mixed and difficult to interpret first quarter Corvette auction results, we should get a better read on the Corvette collector market and where it is headed for this year. After a spectacular 2013 which saw new records set on “blue chip” Corvette prices, and while the Corvette segment of the collector market was strong for most rare and well optioned cars, at this point it is difficult determine whether last year’s strong market tends will continue for 2014.