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Marketplace

About the Five Factors Series

by Keith Cornett on October 19, 2006

I was pulled out of town unexpectedly earlier this week on a family emergency. I had originally planned to post this series over five consecutive days. However, they are a tad wordy so I have decided to break them up a bit. I am planning to post the Options and Originality Factors next week and then should be able to conclude the series with a look at Market Forces the following week. Thanks – Keith

Five Factors That Drive Corvette Values – Condition

by Keith Cornett on October 17, 2006

This is the second of our five-part series where we take an in depth look at the factors that drive Corvette values. Yesterday, we looked at the Quantity Factor. Today, our attention turns to Condition. Like any used car, pricing and valuations are based on the Corvette’s present condition at the time of the sale. Many like to use the 1 to 5 scale with 1 or C1 (Condition 1) being excellent, show quality and 5 or C5 (Condition 5) being a project car that is usually not running or unassembled in some fashion. Pricing between these points on the scale can vary wildly so it is important to know what your chosen Corvette model can be purchased for at any point on the condition scale. Most of the price guides will give you an idea as to what the price should be along each point of the scale or at the very least, a High, Low and Average figure. Corvettes that have been restored are generally classified as excellent, show condition. They are usually a 1 or 2 on the Condition Scale. There are usually two types of restorations. Frame-off or Body-off restorations refer to the car being completely torn down with all components and body panels removed from the frame, and then reassembled. A Body-On restoration refers to a Corvette that may have had as complete a restoration as possible without removing the body panels from the frame. Some Corvettes may have been restored several years prior and are sometimes referred to as an older restoration. These Corvettes may be a 2 or even a 3 on the Condition Scale. Then there are the Corvettes have been so well taken care of, that restoration may not be needed. At the Bloomington Gold Corvette Show, a separate class called Survivor was created for these unrestored, original Corvettes. While a Survivor Corvette may not be as polished as a restored Corvette, make no mistake that the condition of a Survivor Corvette’s value based on condition may just as well make it as valuable as that of one that has recently went through a frame-off restoration. Lastly, there is the Project Corvette. Oh yes, the project car, with all its potential and a seductively low price that can lure you in and trap you. Unless you are experienced in the mechanical and body issues that a project Corvette will have, as well as having the budget, you are best advised to leave these examples to the professionals. Many times you’ll be looking at Corvettes for sale and come across an ad for a “freshly restored” model, but the price seems to be thousands more than Corvettes in similar condition. This pricing anomaly could be the result of someone who got into a project and ended up spending way more than Corvette is worth. On Wednesday, our attention turns to Options. The Five Factors that Drive Corvette Values:
Part One: Quantity
Part Two: Condition
Part Three: Options

Five Factors That Drive Corvette Values – Quantity

by Keith Cornett on October 16, 2006

This is the first of our five-part series where we take an in depth look at the factors that drive Corvette values. So what drives the values of Corvettes? Much like any other automobile, Corvette values are based on a number of factors including quantity produced, condition of the car, options, originality and market forces. To arrive at an approximation of price or value, these five factors are combined and those with the best combinations rise to the top of the pricing matrix. All of this is common sense really. Take a low production car in top condition, that contains desirable options, is a documented original and then add demand and you get a highly valued Corvette. The first factor that drives Corvette values is Quantity. Corvettes were never really produced in mass like other vehicles. Sure it seems there’s a lot of Corvettes on the road, but only 1.4 million Corvettes have been made since 1953. Looking at the Total Corvette Production Chart, you can see how production rises and falls throughout the years. Chevrolet broke the 10,000 units per year mark in 1960, the 8th year of production for Corvettes, and by 1963 had moved past 20,000 units per year. In the late Seventies and early Eighties, Chevrolet was averaging 40,000 Corvettes yearly. Production then fell during the early Nineties to the 20,000 level but rose again to average in the mid 30,000’s for the C5 and C6 generations. Many Corvettes were produced in such limited number that price is high due to the limited quantity available. In 1953, the first year of the Corvette, 300 were produced, but because availability is so low, we don’t see these Corvettes for sale all that often. Vette-N-Vestments tracked the sale of just two 1953 Corvettes in all of 2005, with sales of said year averaging over $100,000. In 1979, nearly 50,000 Corvettes were produced and because such a large quantity exists, decent cars can be found for $6,000 and up. The Quantity Factor is also impacted by the production of various body styles. Looking at our previous example of the 1979 Corvette, only one model was offered that year, the T-Top Coupe. In 1963, Chevrolet offered buyers a choice between a coupe and a convertible, and production between the two models was split nearly 50-50. But because the 1963 Coupe model was the first and only year with the famous “Split-Window” design, and because only 10,594 were built, the 63 Coupe is worth more due to its limited availability. However, just because one year’s production total is lower doesn’t always make it more valuable than same models in similar years. In 1997, the first of the C5 Corvette, only 9,752 Corvettes were produced. Examples of these Corvettes can be found in the $15,000-$20,000 range and even though they are the first year of the C5 generation and produced in limited quantity, they still lead the C5 category in depreciation.

Total Corvette Production Statistics 1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe 1979 Corvette T-Top Coupe
That leads us to the next factor we’ll cover on Tuesday: Condition. The Five Factors that Drive Corvette Values:
Part One: Quantity
Part Two: Condition
Part Three: Options

Coming Monday: Five Factors That Drive Corvette Prices

by Keith Cornett on October 13, 2006

On Monday, October 16th, we will be kicking off a five-part series entitled “The Five Factors That Drive Corvette Prices”. This in depth look at Corvette pricing and valuations will run through Friday, October 20th. Here is a preview:

What drives the values of Corvettes? Much like any other automobile, Corvette values are based on a number of factors including quantity produced, condition of the car, options, originality and market forces.
See you on Monday!
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Featured Corvettes at VetteFinders.com

by Keith Cornett on October 13, 2006

October is upon us. Keep winter at bay by cruising in your new Corvette. If you’ve been dreaming about getting behind the wheel of a Corvette, there is no better place to start looking than VetteFinders.com. The following six cars were highlighted in our October Featured Corvettes Newsletter which is just a small sampling of the 500+ Corvettes now available.

1958 Corvette Convertible For Sale 1966 Corvette Coupe For Sale 1971 Corvette Coupe For Sale
1958 Convertible 1966 Coupe 1971 Coupe
$59,995 $44,490 $14,900
     
1996 Corvette Convertible For Sale 2003 Corvette Hardtop For Sale 2006 Corvette Convertible For Sale
1996 Convertible 2003 Z06 2006 Convertible
$18,900 $38,900 $52,995
Interested in receiving the Featured Corvettes newsletter? Click here to subscribe. Selling Your Corvette? Now is the time and VetteFinders.com is the place to reach more qualified Corvette Buyers. Corvette Classified Ads are only $25 and run for 3 months. You can post unlimited photos and you have access to make any changes at any time.
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Celebrity Sighting: Rush Hour Corvette For Sale on eBay

by Keith Cornett on October 11, 2006

The 1972 Corvette Convertible driven by Chris Tucker in the movie Rush Hour is up for grabs on eBay. The current bid is at $17,990 and there is just a little over one day left for bidding. The Corvette has a reserve price which has not yet been met, and the Buy It Now price is listed at $49,998. The seller claims that this Corvette is one of the most famous Corvettes in existence due to the movies. I don’t think I would go that far, but the 72 Corvette Stingray is a beauty, despite the fact that Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan signed the dash. Oh wait, that should only add to the collectibility, right? Here are some photos of the Rush Hour Corvette:

The Rush Hour Corvette - 1972 Convertible The Rush Hour Corvette - 1972 Convertible The Rush Hour Corvette - 1972 Convertible
The Rush Hour Corvette - 1972 Convertible The Rush Hour Corvette - 1972 Convertible
Click here to view the eBay auction
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September 2006 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on October 5, 2006

GM’s September 2006 Sales Report has been released and Corvette sales still remain strong. Calendar Year-to-Date sales are up 20.9% with 27,903 Corvettes delivered in 2006 vs 23,080 in 2005. Year to Year monthly sales are up 23.9% with 3,056 Corvettes sold in September 2006 vs 2,372 Corvettes in September 2005. There were 26 selling days for the September 2006 period vs 25 selling days in September 2005. Source: GM
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The Last Corvette to be Sold at Barrett-Jackson

by Keith Cornett on September 25, 2006

The Last Corvette This announcement is really no big news since the Last Corvette’s restoration was completed in January of this year. As anyone that knows anything about this car knows that the final stop is Scottsdale, Arizona. But for those that don’t know what the Last Corvette is, let me do a quick recap. The Last Corvette is a 1967 Corvette Coupe with a 427-390 hp engine and a 4-Speed transmission. The VIN, #22940 was the last Corvette produced of the 1967 model year production run and therefore the last of the 1963-1967 “Midyear” Corvettes produced at the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant on July 12, 1967. The Corvette has been on Pro Team’s radar since the mid 90′s, but it wasn’t until 2005 that a deal was reached to purchase the unrestored car for 10x’s the VIN: $229,240.00 Is the last of the 1967 Corvettes that big of a deal? Some say yes. Terry Michaelis of Pro Team Corvettes, who owns the Last Corvette is fond of saying “Sure they made Corvettes after 1967, but who cares” when promoting this Corvette. And according to Craig Jackson, President of the Barrett-Jackson Auction, “Being the absolute final car of a world-famous model makes this one of the most collectible cars in the world.” Well okay. I’ve never subscribed much to the theory that the end of a model run is worth more because it was the last. I can understand being first, but not last. Comparing apples to apples, is a 67 Coupe with a 427/390 worth more than a 1967 L88 or L89? And something else is bothering me about this Corvette. The whole process seems to me to be a slick marketing event put together by some very smart people for only one reason…to make money. A lot of money. I guess if you are putting $229,420 into a Corvette that needs a frame-off restoration, you need a plan to make that money back. I don’t hold that against Pro Team or anyone else associated with this Corvette. It will sure be interesting to see what this Corvette can do when compared to some real highly collectible Corvettes that should be available this year at Scottsdale. In defense of the Last Corvette’s publicity-hungry run-up to the auction at Barrett-Jackson, Pro Team has teamed up with two charities. The Ronald McDonald House and the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation will both benefit from the sale of the Last Corvette from matched donations, and in the case of the Ronald McDonald House, a Name the Final Bid contest. And finally, not to appear totally negative about the marketing machine that is the Last Corvette, there is one element to this unprecedented sales campaign that I am really interested in. Premiering on December 7, 2006 is a six part documentary which chronicles the Corvette’s history and restoration. That series will air on SPEED and is titled American Muscle Car: The Last Stingray. This is will be a real joy to watch as the production quality should be extremely high and the companies that donated time and service are the tops of the Corvette industry including Naber’s Motors in Texas where the frame-off restoration was completed. More information about the Last Corvette can be found at TheLastCorvette.com
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Know Your Corvettes Before Buying

by Keith Cornett on September 21, 2006

1970 Corvette ConvertibleSo you want to buy a Corvette and you have a general idea of the Corvette generation you are interested in. Now it is time to narrow your choice. By narrowing your choices to one, two or a span of three model years, you can gain the knowledge you need prior to purchasing the Corvette of your dreams. Focusing in on that one to three year model span will allow you to make an informed buying decision. You don’t want to be blinded by the first Corvette you see. You’ll want to look beyond the style and paint to insure that you’re buying the right corvette with the right options that is right for you. Corvettes, like most cars, are always changing year to year. Sometimes those changes are design based, sometimes regulatory based. I had a customer who was once looking for a 1970 to 1972 LT1 engine car. He had heard that the LT1′s are more of a performance engine and liked the idea of having a Corvette that would appreciate faster if it had that optional engine. What he didn’t know was that the 1970 LT1 engine was very different than the 1972 LT1. In 1970, the LT1 350 ci engine produced 370 horsepower. In 1972, Chevrolet had lowered the compression and changed their formula for rating horsepower so the LT1 350 that year was reduced to 255 hp. In many respects, these two engines are similar, yet very different. Learning these subtle differences can assure you that you are buying the Corvette you want and not making a mistake that could end up costing you money later on. A great resource that every Corvette buyer needs is the Corvette Black Book by Michael Antonick. The Black Book breaks out each model year with options available, colors and a Fact Sheet which gives the major bullets of changes and enhancements over the previous model year. Here are some other resources for learning about the model year you have selected: Corvette Shows
Go to a Corvette show and talk to owners. Corvette owners love to talk about their cars and usually are very forthcoming about what they like and don’t like about their model year. They can also fill you in on any hidden problems or service issues that may have affected their model over the years. Most of the major shows also have auctions or a “Corvette Corral” where sellers display their Corvettes. It’s a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience of looking over models you are interested in. To find out where a Corvette show is in your area, keep reading. Go Online
Websites like the CorvetteForum.com and DigitalCorvettes.com are made up of thousands of Corvette Enthusiasts. These sites contain message boards and membership to join is quick and free. After registering, go to the generation “thread” (conversation) you are interested in to post questions you may have about your selected model year. Depending on your questions, you can generally have feedback within hours of your post. You can also learn a great deal just by lurking in the forum, reading all the different questions or comments from other owners. These forum sites are a great way to learn more about the Corvette lifestyle, restoring and modifying your selected year as well as finding out when a Corvette show may be in your area. NCRS
The National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) is an organization that is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Corvettes made from 1953-1989. NCRS hosts a number of local and regional events around the country. Classic Corvette owners bring their Corvettes to these shows to be judged for the organization’s Top Flight Award, given to Corvettes that appear as they did when they rolled off the assembly line and dealer showroom floors. Seeing these Corvettes up close as well as having the ability to talk to current owners is a great way to learn more about specific Corvette models. The NCRS also has for sale on their website a number of restoration, technical and judging manuals which will help you in identifying the components of classic Corvettes. Corvette Magazines
Most of the major Corvette magazines have a service for ordering back issues, Using their index of issues, you will be able to find features and technical articles on the model year of your choice. After immersing yourself in Corvette Hobby, you’ll find yourself being able to spot the differences in the Corvettes you see on the road. Once you learned more about the model year(s) you would be interested in owning, then you can really start your search for your dream Corvette.
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Corvette Values: 1976 Corvette T-Top

by Keith Cornett on September 13, 2006

MT in Colorado recently submitted this 1976 Corvette for an Online Appraisal at VetteFinders.com: 1976 T-Top Corvette, VIN #1237L6S437xxx. Red with Red vinyl interior, original 350 ci with 4-speed, 135K miles. Power steering, brakes, windows. Factory air, tilt-tele steering column. Original luggage rack. All original and non modified. Never restored. Corvette is in average, street driven condition. No documentation.

1976 Corvette 1976 Corvette 1976 Corvette
The VIN on this 1976 Corvette, #1237L6S437xxx indicates that this Corvette was built in early June 1976, which was towards the end of the production run for 1976 model year. The VIN also tells us that the Corvette is equipped with the L48 350 ci 195 hp engine as the sixth digit of the VIN is L. The Corvette is Red with matching Red vinyl interior. Both the paint and interior are considered to be in average street driven condition. The Red on Red combination does present an attractive profile and a Red Corvette, always a popular color choice, can help with the resale value. The engine is an original L-48 350 ci/180 hp power plant coupled with a 4-speed manual transmission and the original shifter. The manual transmission can be considered somewhat rare with only 21% of 1976 Corvettes built with the optional 4-speed. From an options perspective, this Corvette is equipped with many of the comfort and convenience features available including power steering, brakes and windows. Other conveniences include air conditioning and a tilt-tele steering column. This Corvette also has the dealer-installed chrome luggage rack. The tires are in like-new condition and are mounted on the standard Corvette wheels with the correct center caps and trim rings. The body is stock with no modifications. This is important in establishing the value of a Corvette. The appraised value of this Corvette is $8,900. This model year continues to appreciate with a 3% appreciation factor in average price during the past year. Corvette Appraisals:
With Corvette values rising yearly, make sure your insurance coverage keeps up with your Corvettes value by having it appraised online at VetteFinders.com. Our online appraisals are only $69.95 and are usually completed within three business days. Click here to start your Corvette appraisal now.
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