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C1 Corvette

First Corvettes Rolled off Flint Assembly Line 56-years Ago Today

Fifty-six years ago today, the very first production Corvettes were completed and rolled off a temporary assembly line at Chevrolet’s Customer Delivery Center in Flint, Michigan. All the Corvettes were hand-built and for the first time in a mass produced vehicle, a revolutionary material called fiberglass was used instead of steel to make the body panels.

Underneath the fiberglass were standard Chevrolet components. The 250 cubic inch Blue Flame Special 6-cylinder engine came from the truck line while the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission and drum brakes were also found on various Chevrolet passenger cars. A triple-carb intake on the Corvette gave the 2-seater a bit more power but overall performance was lacking.

Chevrolet built 300 Corvettes over the course of the 1953 model year. A uniform design allowed the workers to concentrate on putting the bodies together without being distracted by trim and equipment variations. Therefore, all 1953 Corvettes were Polo White with Sportsman Red interiors and a black canvas soft-top, and featured 6.70 x 15 whitewall tires and a Delco signal-seeking radio. Also standard was a 5,000-rpm tachometer and a counter for total engine revolutions.

The Corvette’s original base price was set at $3,498.00. However the general public was hard pressed to get one as most of the production was doled out to project engineers, GM executives and other high profile customers including Hollywood movie stars like John Wayne. In fact a dealer notice issued in July ’53 from the Central Office proclaimed: “No dealer is in a position to accept firm orders for delivery of a Corvette in 1953.”

Today, the 1953 Corvette is one of the most sought after Corvette models by collectors. Examples have recently sold as high as $440,000. Not too bad for a little American sports car with an underpowered straight-six and ill-fitting body panels.


Source:
How Stuff Works

Related:
Corvette History: Corvette Concept Car Debuts at 1953 Motorama
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sold for $261,800
[VIDEO] Matched Set of 1953/2003 Corvettes sell for $390,500 Technorati Tags:
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1953 Corvette is American's Sensational Sports Car

Fifty-six years ago, the Corvette debuted at the GM Motorama in New York City. Following it’s showing at the Waldorf Hotel, the Corvette went on the road to major cities across the US as part of the 1953 model lineup. Here is an ad for the 1953 Corvette announcing its display at the Michigan Motor Show in early June.

Creating a sensation everywhere! The new Chevrolet Corvette has been received with a storm of enthusiastic approval where it has been shown.

The racy new Corvette sets a new style for a new field – the American sports car. Barely 33 inches high at door level, it has broad low lines and a road-hugging center of gravity. The smoothly contoured glass-fiber body is surrounded by a rakish back-swept windshield. A smart fabric top folds into a concealed compartment in the long rear deck just ahead of a commodious luggage locker. The spacious two-place cockpit is beautifully styled and finished throughout in typical sports car tradition.

As for performance…it’s thrilling. A 160 h.p. extra-high compression “Blue Flame” engine is teamed with the new Powerglide automatic transmission, a combination that makes the Corvette an outstanding performer on any road, under any condition.

This is a car of which we can say with complete sincerity, “You have to see it to believe it. The Corvette is schedule for limited production during the last half of 1953.

Click here for a larger version of the 1953 Corvette – America’s Sensational Sports Car.


Source:
Corvette Museum

Related:
First Corvettes Rolled Off Flint Assembly Line 56 Years Ago Today
Corvette History: Corvette Concept Car Debuts at 1953 Motorama
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1953 Corvette Sold for $261,800
[VIDEO] Matched Set of 1953/2003 Corvettes sell for $390,500 Technorati Tags:
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Barn Find: 1960 Corvette Roadster

by Keith Cornett on May 18, 2009

1960 Corvette Barn Find

These pictures of a 1960 Corvette were posted online at the Corvette Forum by a member looking for some pricing help on what to offer the owner. According to the poster, the motor is gone, but 95% of the other parts that are off the car are in one of several boxes. At one time, a new front clip was installed. The Corvette has a 4-speed transmission and 31,200 miles are on the odometer. The owner has had it since 1970 and its been stored in this barn for the last ten years.

1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find
1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find
1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find 1960 Corvette Barn Find
1960 Corvette Barn Find    

Following the thread, we learned the seller said he was looking for $10,000 but wasn’t firm. The Forum member ended up buying the Corvette for $7,500. Our Corvette Price Guide puts the value of an average 1960 Corvette roadster at $50,400 and the 1 year appreciation is 7%. So let’s throw this question out to you. What do you think? Was this a good price for a 1960 Corvette in its present condition or should the buyer have run away from this potential basket case?


Source:
Corvette Forum

Related:
Google Street View Reveals 1963 Split Window Corvette Barn Car
Barn Fresh and Restoration Ready: 1962 Corvette Roadster
Barn Find: 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible Racer

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Legendary EX87 Corvette Test Mule Offered at Mecum's Spring Classic

Chevrolet Dealer and noted Corvette Collector Bob McDorman will be bringing 25 unique cars to Dana Mecum’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis in mid-May. Among those cars is the first true high-performance Corvette in history, the 1954 EX87 test mule that Corvette’s first Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov drove to 163 mph at the Arizona Proving Grounds.

It was in the mid-1950’s that Zora Arkus-Duntov had Daytona legend Smokey Yunick install an experimental V8 engine into a 1954 Corvette test mule. Following that test, EX87 was reissued a new tracking number of 5951 and was returned to Zora at Chevrolet Engineering to prepare for a high-speed record run at Daytona Beach in January 1956.

Duntov modified the Corvette by replacing the windshield with a curved Plexiglas windscreen and fitting a fiberglass tonneau cover over the passenger side of the cockpit. Zora also fabricated a fiberglass headrest-tailfin for high speed stability.

Zora then went to work on the engine, increasing displacement from 283 to 307 ci and ordered a special camshaft from Engineering before loading EX87 onto a trailer and heading for GM’s Arizona Desert Proving Ground.

Engineering delivered “Duntov’s Cam” to the proving grounds and once installed, the test mule set a new record of 163 miles per hour. That cam became know as the “Duntov Cam”.

Once testing at the proving grounds was completed, the engine was pulled and installed in another famous Corvette #6901 which set a new record at Daytona with a run of 150.583 mph.

Following the death of Smokey Yunick in 2001, his widow called friend Steve Tate and said she had “some stuff around the shop” and to come see if there was anything he wanted. Among that “stuff” was an engine marked “Record Run”, the same engine Smokey installed in EX87/5951.

Tate tracked down the car and purchased it and its original Chevrolet experimental log book. Tate restored the Corvette and reunited it with the engine that set records so long ago. Upon completion, the Corvette was featured at the 2003 Bloomington Gold Corvette show.

EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule
EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule
EX87 Corvette Test Mule EX87 Corvette Test Mule  

The 1954 EX87 Corvette is one of the featured cars being auction by Mecum at the company’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis on Friday, May 15th. The auction will be part of the Mecum’s Muscle Cars and More TV show on HD Theater. Visit Mecum Auctions for more info and the car list for the Original Spring Classic Auction.


Source:
Mecum Auctions

Related:
Auction Preview: 1957 COPO Air-Box Fuelie Corvette Racer
Auction Preview: 1965 Caplan/Gulstrand Corvette Racer
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
Breaking News: Corvette Grand Sport #002 Fails to Reach Reserve

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1959 Corvette Custom Resto-Mod

At last weekend’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach, Florida, this 1959 Corvette Resto-Mod stole the show and ended up at the top of the Corvette pricing chart for the three day event. The custom C1 roadster hammered for $135,000 and with a 10% buyers commission, the total price rose to $148,500.

1959 Corvette catalog description from Barrett-Jackson:

Features a new custom body with a custom chassis, chrome C4 suspension, new C4 4-wheel disc brakes, new GM LS3 Cammer engine with 500hp and a 2 year GM warranty. Equipped with all chrome components from Street & Performance including a 4L60E 4-speed.

A 1959 custom Corvette that was just completed. Features a new custom body with a professionally-built custom chassis, chromed C4 front and rear suspension with 5-way dampened chrome Aldan shocks, new drilled and slotted C4 4-wheel disc brakes, a brand new GM LS3 Cammer engine with 500hp and a 2-year GM warranty. It is fully equipped with all chrome components from Street & Performance including a 4L60E 4-speed transmission. The car has power steering, power brakes, tilt wheel, air conditioning, power windows and custom polished stainless steel Magnaflow exhaust. It is also equipped with AM/FM/CD stereo with 7″ LCD screen for rear view camera plus DVD player,18″ Intro wheels on front and 20″ on back with Nitro Extreme tires, power activated hood and trunk. The custom Ivory and Red/Orange leather interior is beautifully done. Car does not come with a top, but a standard 1959 Corvette hard or softtop will fit. The car has attended 2008 Bowling Green Goodguys Show where it received a Fab 5 Pick. It drives like a new ‘Vette and is absolutely stunning.

Corvette Sales for the three day auction event raised over $2.15 million. Click here for the Corvette Auction Results from Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach.


Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
SPEED

Related:
Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach 09: $2.15 Million in Corvette Sales
Government Halts Barrett-Jackson Sale of GM Cars
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Corvette Auction: 2009 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Preview

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1964 Corvette Miss Mako Convertible

While many dealers are offering special deals and financing to help sell Corvettes during this sluggish economy, leave it to Proteam Corvette’s Terry Michaelis to offer a real incentive to save on 36 Corvettes. Dubbed the Stimulus Sale, Proteam has dropped the prices significantly on a number of Corvettes in their inventory and we’re not just talking about junk. On the list are fuelies, big blocks, matching numbers/Bloomington Gold examples and the savings are as much as $50,000.

Here are a few examples from Proteam Corvette’s Stimulus Sale:

1967 Corvette Coupe 1967 Corvette Coupe T1967 Corvette Coupe

146X..1967 Corvette Coupe, 327-300 hp, 4 speed, numbers match with the original factory body/trim tag, three owner car. Marlboro Maroon paint with Black interior. Very nice older paint (showing minor patina) with a mostly original interior in very nice condition reflecting 40 years of exceptional care. Newer chrome, brakes, exhaust, and tires. Optioned with factory side exhaust, 3.36 posi, SS brakes, tinted glass, B.O. aluminum wheels, and red stripe radials. Most all factory correct type components including the jack, jack tools, seat belts, washer system, shifter, shielding, air cleaner, and T-3 headlights. Documented with the tank sticker (still on tank). Just in from Arizona. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. CC:2/+3 Regularly priced at $69,995 – Now $49,998. Click here to view more


1960 Corvette Convertible 1960 Corvette Convertible 1960 Corvette Convertible

186Z..1960 Corvette Convertible, 283-230 hp, (2×4′s), 3 speed, numbers match. Ermine White paint with Silver coves, Red interior, and White soft top. Body-on restored with newer paint, interior, top, chrome, stainless, and exhaust. Multiple award winning car. Optioned with Wonderbar radio, dual fours, aluminized exhaust, sunvisors, windshield washers, courtesy light, heater, hubcaps, and 6.70×15″ wide white tires. Most all factory correct type components including the spare, jack tools, trunk mat, trunk liner, rebound straps, seat belts, washer system, shifter, shielding, air cleaner, generator, carbs, fuel filter, owners manual, sales brochure, and T-3 headlights. Documented with show awards, GM manuals, owners manual, assembly manual, NCRS judging manuals, and a box of related receipts and registrations. Also editorialized by Vette Vues magazine. Three owner car that looks, runs, and drives excellent. CC:2/+3 $69,995 – Now $55,000. Click here to view more


1955 Corvette Convertible 1955 Corvette Convertible 1955 Corvette Convertible

273Z..1955 Corvette Convertible, 265-195 hp, powerglide, numbers match. Gypsy Red paint with Ivory/Red stitched interior and Beige soft top. One of 180 produced of the total (700) in Gypsy Red in 1955. Body-off restored in show condition. NCRS Top Flight certified, Bloomington certified, many best in show and concours awards. Showcased at Bloomington Gold and Corvettes at Carlisle in 2005. Editorialized by Corvette Fever and Corvette Enthusiast magazines. Optioned with powerglide, Wonderbar radio, e-brake warning light, windshield washers, courtesy lights, heater, dual mirrors, hubcaps, and 6.70×15″ wide white tires. Most all factory correct type components including the spare, jack, jack tools, floor mats, trunk mat, trunk liner, side windows, side window bags, rebound straps, spiral shocks, washer system, tar top battery, shifter, shielding, braided wires, air cleaner, generator, hood pop-ups, coil cover, guide Y-50 mirrors, owners manual, and sales brochure. This is an opportunity to own one of the best 1955 Corvettes in the world. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. CC:1 $169,000 – Now $138,000. Click here to view more


1964 Corvette Miss Mako Convertible 1964 Corvette Miss Mako Convertible 1964 Corvette Miss Mako Convertible

1009A..1964 Corvette Miss Mako Convertible, two tops, fuel injected 350 with parade friendly automatic, factory original body/trim tag. Custom Dark Blue replica painted to emulate one of nature’s most feared creatures, the “Mako Shark”, of which, the original multi-million dollar Mako Shark is owned by the GM Heritage Collection. Miss Mako is a one-of-a-kind feminine replica of Bill Mitchells’ original Mako Shark I concept car. Mr. Mitchell caught a Mako shark while he was shark fishing and it sparked the idea in him to style the next Corvette after the sleek and speedy fish. Internationally famous Miss Mako toured the USA over a two year period covering over 80,000 miles raising money for local charities at national Corvette and car shows cementing its place in Corvette folklore. Optioned with unique Mako Shark side exhaust, power steering, power brakes, auxiliary hardtop, AM/FM stereo cassette radio, back-up lights, seat belts, polished American torque thrust II wheels and blackwall radials. Most all factory correct type components. This car has been featured in Corvette Fever, Vette Magazine, Vette Views, Cars and Parts magazine and the National Corvette Museum American Sports Car Magazine. Its past owner was Joan Spoerndle known as MakoMama. For more information on Miss Mako and its Corvette folklore, just google Miss Mako. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. CC:+2 $69,998.00 – Now $55,000. Click here to view more

Visit Proteam Corvette to view the list of Corvettes being offered in the Stimulus Sale. Terry tells us that prices are firm and no trade ins will be accepted. The Stimulus Sale ends on March 30th so you better get moving if you want to save on some of the finest classic Corvettes offered for sale.


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
Opportunity Rumbles Like a 427: Proteam Corvette Is For Sale
Proteam Corvette Hosting NCRS Authentication Seminar
When Money is No Object: Terry’s Corvette A-List

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1969 Corvette Roadster

In our final analysis of 2008′s Corvette prices, we present an overview of Corvette values by generation. This is an interesting time for Corvette buyers as many models are still showing appreciation despite the lagging market. And with some of the more collectible Corvettes giving back some of the pricing gains earned over the last couple of years, this could be a real buying opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts should the right Corvette present itself.

The following are highlights from our 2009 Corvette Price Guide:

1953-1962:
The first generation Corvettes had mixed results with some models showing a negative 5-7% depreciation factor, while on the plus side of the ledger appreciation results ranged for 2-9%. The high average price for this series was the 1953 Roadster at $294,500. At the low end of the price scale was the 1961 Roadster at an average price of $45,000, showing an appreciation factor of 2%. We expect the 1953 model to continue to show depreciation in average price with the majority of these solid axles showing positive results for the 2009 calendar year.

1963-1967:
The mid-years have regained the appreciation lead with all models showing an appreciation factor of 4-9%. The price leader in average price continues to be the 1967 Roadster at an average price of $61,000. The entry level price for the mid-years continues to be the 1964 Coupe at $35,000 in average price.

1968-1982:
The average price range for this generation of Corvettes starts at $9,200, the average price of a 1978 T- Top that showed no change in average price from last year. The average price for the series tops out at $29,500, the average price of the 1970 Roadster that showed an appreciation factor of 7%. The average price of the third generation Corvettes ranges from a depreciation factor of -8% to a +10% appreciation factor.

1984-1996:
There was quite a change last year in the average price for the fourth generation Corvette models. Our 2008 Price Guide showed many with single digit appreciation factors and a few in the double digit range. The 2009 Price Guide shows none in the appreciation column with two holding on as ‘no change’ in average price. Several are now showing double digit depreciation. The high average price for this series is $52,000, going to the 1996 Grand Sport Roadster. The low end is represented by the 1984 Coupe with an average price of $8,600 and a 1% depreciation factor. Hurting the average price of this series is the pricing of the C5 Corvettes with many selling under the $20,000 mark in average price.

1997-2004:
This series continues to show negative results in average price ranging from a -6% to -18%. The high average price for this series is $31,000, going to a 2003 Anniversary Roadster that showed a –9% depreciation factor. As we have said on numerous occasions, one buys a lot of Corvette power in this series for under $20,000. At some point soon, the double digit depreciation factors will improve to single digits.

2005-2009:
As expected, all models are showing double digit depreciation in average resale price. We don’t expect this to subside since average prices start at $31,500 for a 2005 Coupe and top out at $64,000 for the Ron Fellows Special Edition Z06. The state of the US economy will continue to have a major negative impact on the average price of these Corvettes.


Order the 2009 Corvette Price Guide

2009 Corvette Price GuideThe 2009 Corvette Price Guide covers all Corvette years and body styles with high, low and average prices for each Corvette model. Another important feature of the Price Guide is the provisional one, two and five year appreciation factors for each Corvette.

In addition, the Corvette Price Guide provides the original base price and the number of units manufactured. To complete the content, included is information on motors, wheels, hard tops and factory air conditioning. Price is $15 and shipping is free!

Bob Kroupa of VETTE-N-VESTMENTS provided this analysis of 2008′s generational highlights. VETTE-N-VESTMENTS is the data provider for the annual guide and publisher of the monthly Corvette Market Letter.


Source:
VetteFinders.com
Data Provided by Vette-N-Vestments

Related:
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 10 Price Gainers of 2008
Depreciating Corvettes: Top 10 Price Declines of 2008
2009 Corvette Price Guide Released

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Corvette Movie Poster: Dragstrip Riot (1958)

by Keith Cornett on March 9, 2009

Dragstrip Riot

Dragstrip Riot promises motorcycle gangs, hot rodders, death, romance and redemption! After a run-in with a tough motorcycle gang, Gary Clarke is blamed for the death of biker. The gang threatens him and his girlfriend and the story comes to a head with a full biker beach riot.

Click here for a larger version of the poster.


Inspiration:
CruiserBlvd
Internet Movie Database

Related:
Corvette Movie Poster: High Rolling in a Hot Corvette (1977)
Corvette Ad Watch: Vintage 1960 Corvette Poster
Corvette Ad Watch: AC Spark Plugs and the Mako Shark

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eBay Find of the Day: Vintage 1957 Corvette Race Car

by Keith Cornett on February 26, 2009

Ebay Find of the Day: 1957 Corvette Race Car

Here is yet another Corvette race car that’s now for sale. This 1957 Corvette roadster was raced back in the sixties and seventies but its most successful campaign came in 1998 when the owner competed in and won the SVRA Paine-Weber Endurance Championship.

Powered by a 283 cubic inch V8 built by Compton Race Engines, this yellow roadster is ready to race. The Corvette underwent a restoration following the 2006 season and is currently set up for competition as a vintage racer. In addition to the new 283 ci V8, the roadster features an upgraded T-10 transmission, new ram clutch, drive shaft and flywheel. A holly 750 delivers the fuel from an ATL 40 gallon fuel cell and cold air box insures plenty of oxygen to the powerplant.

On the outside, the Corvette was repainted in Chrome Yellow and has white racing stripes, racing numbers, grill bar and new ovals. The Corvette can be raced with or without its included hardtop.

1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car
1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car
1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car 1957 Corvette Race Car

We asked our friends at the Registry of Corvette Racecars for an honest opinion about the C1 roadster and they didn’t disappoint:

Keith – This is one of the better prepared straight axle vintage racers. The only thing holding back its value is lack of documented racing history. That would put it in a class with Bob Mouat’s 1957 COPO Air box Fuelie and other straight axles that were actually raced, most of which we know well and are now sitting in museums.

Mac Lyle of Rock Hill, SC built the car. I have not seen it on the circuit since 1998 when they blitzed the SVRA to win the Paine-Weber Endurance Championship.

The downside is that the car is way too race improved and would probably not be allowed in the Monterey Historic. And although it would be a fun car to drive in SVRA or HSR races, the asking price of $65K seems a bit steep compared with what else that will buy to go vintage racing.

Jan Hyde – Registry of Corvette Racecars

So that being said, here’s your chance to own a vintage Corvette race car that’s track ready. The current bid is $25,427 and the Corvette has a “Buy It Now” price set at $65,000. The auction runs ends Saturday.


Source:
eBay

Related:
Auction Preview: 1957 COPO Air-Box Fuelie Corvette Racer
Auction Preview: 1965 Caplan/Gulstrand Corvette Racer
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
Breaking News: Corvette Grand Sport #002 Fails to Reach Reserve

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Auction Preview: 1957 COPO Air-Box Fuelie Corvette Racer

by Keith Cornett on February 17, 2009

Auction Preview: 1957 COPO Corvette Racer

Another week, another vintage Corvette race car hitting the auction block. We received word today that the ex-Bob Mouat 1957 Corvette COPO Air-Box Fuelie will be joining the 1965 Corvette 8-Ball Cobra Killer at Worldwide Auctioneer’s Houston Classic on Saturday May 2nd.

This 1957 Corvette was delivered new to Bob Mouat in 1957 and raced until 1965 achieving 21 victories and over 50 top ten finishes. Extensively documented, its one of 23 Air-Box examples known and this is only one of six factory COPO Airbox Corvettes aquired by known racing drivers.

Vette Magazine called the race car “an open-track threat right off the assembly line”. Worldwide Auctioneer’s Managing Partner John Kruse says “this splendid, factory big brake, ‘Air-Box Fuelie’ example is the most extensively raced and well documented ’57 Corvette race car of all time.”

Other notable Corvettes available at the Houston Classic include the 1965 Caplan/Gulstrand Corvette Racer aka the 8-Ball Cobra Killer, the ex-Alan Sevadjian, John Mecum 1967/74 Corvette “Delmo Johnson Racecar”, a numbers matching 1968 Corvette L89 roadster offered at no reserve and a 1954 Corvette roadster.

The 5th Annual Houston Classic will be held at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX on Saturday, May 2nd. Visit Worldwide Auctions for more details.


Sources:
Worldwide Auctions

Related:
Auction Preview: 1965 Caplan/Gulstrand Corvette Racer
[VIDEO] Auction Results: 1969 Corvette L88 COPO Racer
[VIDEO] Gulf One 1963 Corvette Z06 Sells for $1.05 Million
Breaking News: Corvette Grand Sport #002 Fails to Reach Reserve

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