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C2 Corvette

Corvette Buying & Selling: Gauging Originality

by Keith Cornett on December 23, 2008

1964 Corvette Dash Cluster

I was browsing the C1-C2 section on the Corvette Forum today when I came across an interesting post about an original 1964 Corvette Coupe for sale on eBay. Classic Corvettes are full of visual clues that alone or combined with others can help us identify the model year. They can be obvious like the five side fender vents on the 1967 model or a split rear window on the 1963 coupe. They can be less obvious like the differences in emblems and grills on the 1965 and 1966 Corvettes. Climb inside one of the Sting Ray models and visual clues abound as well. In the case of the eBay ad, a red flag goes up when a crucial part’s originality is questioned.

The 1964 Corvette Coupe that was listed for sale had the following description:

1964 Corvette Coupe
VIN # 40837S104407
Miles- 37,431 Original
327/300 HP with matching numbers

This Corvette is part of a family collection and has been in our family since the mid 1970s. This Corvette is completely original (never restored) and has been garage kept with less than 1,000 miles of drive time since our ownership. It is in excellent condition and runs beautifully. The car comes with 4-speed manual transmission and a 327/300 HP engine. The exterior is Ermine White. I believe the car was repainted before our ownership in the late 60s or early 70s. The paint is in very good condition, with only minor chips and flaws. All the chrome is in good condition with only minor pitting. The underside is very rust-free, and in excellent non restored shape. The interior is red leather with red carpeting. The floor board pieces of carpeting need replacing. All gauges are in working order, with the exception of the tachometer, which needs to be reconditioned. The clock and radio both work sporadically, and both need reconditioning. Both headlamp motors work very well. Other than that, this Corvette is in very solid, original condition and provides an excellent investment opportunity.

1964 Corvette Coupe 1964 Corvette Coupe 1964 Corvette Coupe

The member on Corvette Forum who posted the ebay link, “Pilot5970″ pointed out that this original 37,431 mile 1964 Corvette has a speedometer that didn’t show up in Corvettes until 1965. The differences between the 1963-64 speedometer and tachometers and those of the 1965-67 are subtle, but once you see the difference, it will be very obvious when you notice an incorrect pairing like on this 1964 Coupe.

The 1963-64 speedometer and tachometer have a recessed center with tapered rings around the needle. The 1965-67′s are flat faced with two screws holding in the assembly. The “pins” that hold the needles are silver on the early midyear gauges but the later gauges have a recessed indentation that is black with silver trim. See the photos for a comparison:

1963-64 Corvette Dash Cluster 1965-67 Corvette Dash Cluster
1963-64 Corvette Gauge 1965-67 Corvette Gauge

There are a variety of explanations on how a 1965 (or later) speedometer and tachometer could have made it into this 1964 Coupe. We first looked at the VIN which shows the sequence number to be 4407 of 22,229. Our thinking was that perhaps the new speedo and tach made it into production earlier than 1965, but this Corvette was assembled in November 1963, the third month into production, so I ruled out new equipment making an early appearance. Another legitimate reason could be a warranty replacement. Finally, while the seller does state they owned the Corvette since the mid-seventies, there is no mention of how many previous owners this car has had. These cars weren’t exactly collected for monetary value back in the mid-seventies and it could be that a previous owner swapped out the original pair for those from 1965-67. The point is we’ll probably will never know.

So what lessons are learned from the sale of this 1964 Corvette Coupe? Our first lesson is always first for a reason. Knowledge is power. The more you can know about a particular generation and specifically a particular year of Corvette can save you from making a thousand dollar mistake. Secondly, have the Corvette looked over by an expert. Hire an NCRS judge. If there are no NCRS types in your neck of the woods, find an owner of the same year. How did “Pilot5970″ know about the incorrect speedometer? He owns a 1964 Corvette. Third, documentation and owner history could go along way in clearing the air in this type of situation. Don’t consider buying an “investment” quality Corvette without them. Finally, weigh the consequences of buying a Corvette like this with its questionable mileage. One day you may be selling it and may have to explain the replacement to a more knowledgeable buyer than you were.

FYI, this Corvette was sold on Monday, December 21st for $33,600. The auction had 9 bidders and 22 individual increases in price.


Source:
eBay via CorvetteForum.com

Related:
Corvette Documentation: The Three Truths from Proteam’s Terry Michaelis
When a Matching Numbers Corvette is Anything But…
6 Ways to Make the Most of your Classic Corvette Purchase

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[VIDEO] Midyear Corvette Boldly Goes in New Star Trek Movie

by Keith Cornett on November 17, 2008

Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie

Back in April we learned that J.J Abram’s reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise would feature a 1965 Corvette convertible. The new movie trailer for Star Trek XI was released today and it opens with a young James Tiberius Kirk being pursued by the police and bailing out of the Sting Ray just before it careens off a cliff.

Luckily computer graphics have progressed to the point where a movie director doesn’t necessarily have to throw a Corvette off a cliff just to get a desired shot. Still, driving at 70 mph on a gravel road is a sure way to guarantee a few rock chips and a whole lot of dust.

The new movie with Kirk and Spock is due in theaters May 8, 2009. Check out the official Star Trek site here where you can view the trailers in HD.

And speaking of HD, check out these stills I grabbed from the 1080i HD trailer. To view them best, scroll down until the YouTube video is off the screen as the flash player will lay on top of the images.

Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie
Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie Midyear Corvette featured in new Star Trek Movie

Sources:
Official Star Trek Website via TrekToday.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Sixties Corvette To Make Warp Speed in Next Star Trek Movie?

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Proteam Corvette Hosting NCRS Authentication Seminar

by Keith Cornett on October 30, 2008

Proteam Corvette to host NCRS Seminar

Proteam Corvette will be hosting classic Corvette expert and NCRS Master Judge Al Grenning and the Heart of Ohio NCRS Chapter on Saturday, November 7th for a day of seminars covering midyear Corvette authentication topics. In addition to Grenning, other well-known figures in the hobby will be attending as well as several rare M-22 Corvettes.

Grenning is just finishing up on his NCRS Authentication Manual Vol.2 which covers 1965-1967 Protect-O-Plates. The manual provides general descriptions of the evolving warranty program, charts identifying where and how information was applied to the plates in each production year and a detailed photographic analysis for the fool-proof identification of St. Louis issued examples.

Grenning’s advance 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. Both manuals have become the defacto standards to use for thwarting engine restampers and tag counterfeiters.

Other well-known Corvette experts attending the seminar include NCRS notables Bill Calorico, Bill Skinner and NCRS national team leader Nick Culkowski; Corvette restorers Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair and Naber’s Brothers’ Gary Nabers; Bloomington Gold’s David Burroughs and Mecum Auction’s Tom Christman; retired GM engineers Jim Wallace, John Hinkley and Werner Meier. Mike Antonick, writer/publisher of the Corvette Black Book will also be in attendance.

The one day seminar will also focus on the M-22 equipped Corvette and confirmed for the event include the “Best Photo Convertible”, the “Ice Cream Coupe”, the “Penske 1966 L88″, the “Cornelius/Boo Daytona Coupe”, the “Skinner M-22 Convertible” as well as several other 1968 to 1972 M-22 cars.

There is no doubt that this seminar covers fairly advanced topics. Here is a preview of what you can expect:

A close net group of enthusiasts has been quietly collecting 1965 and 1966 M22 Corvettes for more than 10 years. These are elite midyear examples being among the most sought after and valuable production Corvettes ever produced. Some call them “Cobra Killers.” — Most enthusiasts are astonished to discover that more than twice as many big block, M22 competition cars were built in the combined years of 1965 and 1966 as were L88s built in 1967. Beyond that, factory production records for the initiative have been collected, organized and prepared for presentation. In total this information causes fundamental rethinking of Corvette competition, production and engineering during the last three years of the midyear build. This is truly interesting, advanced Corvette research and history – that leaves you amazed.

If you are interested in attending the seminar, please call Proteam Corvette’s Beth Waisner at 888-592-5086 to RSVP. Admission to the seminar is $10 and proceeds will go to the NCRS Heart of Ohio Chapter for donation to charity. For directions, visit Proteam Corvette


Source:
Proteam Corvette

Related:
ProTeam Corvette to Host NCRS Technical Seminar
The Must-Have Option When Buying A Classic Corvette

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1963 Corvette Grand Sport Chassis #002

Grand Sport Corvette Chassis #002 – one of the legendary five Corvettes secretly built by Zora Arkus-Duntov and the Corvette engineering team explicitly for racing will be offered for sale at RM Auction’s Automobiles of Arizona in January 2009. The 1963 Corvette Grand Sports are considered to be some of the rarest and most valuable Corvettes ever made, and this will be the first time one is being made available in a public sale.

Built to challenge Carrol Shelby’s Cobras in SCCA and FIA endurance races, the Grand Sport program originally called for 125 of these lightweight Corvette race cars to be built, which would allow the cars to run in the GT class at Sebring and Le Mans. The Grand Sports weighed in at about 1,900 pounds, or 1,300 pounds less than a stock Corvette coupe. They were originally powered by an all aluminum 377 ci V8 with 58 mm side draft Weber carbs. The engine was capable of 550 horsepower and coupled to a 4-speed transmission.

Failing to meet the 125 minimum build, the Corvettes raced in the prototype class in 1963 at Sebring. Although they ran against advanced purpose-built race cars, the Corvettes proved to be superior in speed and handling to the Cobras that raced in the GT class.

The Grand Sports finally got the chance to go head-to-head with the Cobras at the 1963 Nassau Speed Week race. The Corvettes finished third and fourth behind two prototypes and completely bested the Cobras.

Unfortunately the program was cancelled by GM in early 1964. The Grand Sport prototypes, two roadsters and three coupes, survived destruction and fell into the hands of private racers like Roger Penske and George Wintersteen who preserved their heritage for future generations.

1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002
1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 at Watkins Glen 1963 Corvette Grand Sport #002 at Mosport  

Some have estimated that a Grand Sport Corvette could sell for as much as $5 million dollars and with that kind of estimate, it’s totally plausible that this Corvette could be the most expensive Corvette ever purchased at an auction.

The #002 Corvette Grand Sport is scheduled for sale at the Automobiles of Arizona event on Friday, January 16th. The following is excerpted from the press release:


Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions, will open the 2009 collector car season in grand style as they offer one of the rarest and most valuable Corvettes in history – the legendary 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport – at their famed ‘Automobiles of Arizona’ event. The January 16th event will mark RM’s 10th anniversary sale in Phoenix, Arizona.

PHOENIX, Arizona (October 21, 2008) – Preeminent international auction house, RM Auctions will mark their 10th anniversary Automobiles of Arizona auction event in Phoenix, Arizona with the sale of one the rarest and most valuable Corvettes in history – an all mighty 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (chassis no. 002).

Often referred to as one of the most fascinating enigmas in motor racing annals and certainly one of the most valuable, the Grand Sport was General Motor’s contender to Ford’s venerable Shelby Cobra. Envisioned by the legendary ‘father of the Corvette’, Zora Arkus-Duntov, these top secret, hand-built race cars were designed to win at FIA endurance races and ultimately the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only five were built out of an expected 120 car run before General Motors cancelled its competition activities in early 1964. Miraculously, each of the prototypes escaped destruction orders, falling into the hands of private racers who preserved their heritage for future generations.

From this elite fraternity, the multi-million dollar 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (Chassis no. 002) with its original un-restored race body is being offered for the first time ever at RM’s Biltmore auction in January. Previously owned by Roger Penske and George Wintersteen, 002 is one of just two roadsters produced out of the original five prototypes.

“The Corvette Grand Sport is one of the greatest American racing cars and quite possibly, one of the most historically significant American built race bred automobiles ever produced,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions. “Additionally, for Corvette enthusiasts, this car is singularly the most important and significant Corvette to ever come to market, making its offering in Arizona a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such an important piece of American motoring history.”

Keith Martin, Publisher of Corvette Market Magazine adds: “The Grand Sport is clearly one of the most desirable Corvettes ever built. With its significant racing history, featuring a strong showing in the 1966 U.S. Road Racing Championship, it is the most important Corvette to ever be offered for sale publicly.”

This legendary Corvette will be presented along with over 100 exceptional vintage automobiles and motorcycles.


Source:
RM Auctions
Corvette Legends
Photo credits – Studio: RM Auctions-Troy Wood Vintage: Dave Friedman

Related:
1962 Gulf Oil Corvette Sells for $1.485 Million at Pebble Beach Technorati Tags:
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1966 Corvette Auctioned by Barrett-Jackson

One of the main reasons to pay close attention to this week’s Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas collector car auction is to see how the turbulent economy will play on Corvette values. Sure this is only the first of several midyears running through the auction, but judging from the gavel price of this nicely optioned 1966 Corvette Coupe small block, both buyer and seller should be pleased.

This Nassau Blue 1966 Corvette Coupe features a 327 cubic inch V8 rated at 350 horsepower and is paired with a 4-speed manual transmission. The numbers matching engine has less than 500 miles since a restored-to-original rebuild. The ’66 Coupe has all new and correct suspension including springs, shocks and bushings. The nearly new Firestone Goldline tires are correct for 1966. Non-original knock-off wheels and side exhaust give the Corvette excellent curb appeal.

The bidding started at $10,000 and quickly rose to $30,000 before a more methodical climb to its gavel price of $57,000. This is in the range that we’ve been seeing quality 1966 small blocks sell for and we believe that both buyer and seller should be satisfied.


Source:
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
SPEED

Related:
Corvette Auction: Barrett-Jackson’s Inaugural Las Vegas Event

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Bruce Willis and his 1967 Corvette Roadster

Bruce Willis not only has a collection of dirty, bloody, ripped up white t-shirts, as that seems to be how every movie ends with him wearing, but apparently he’s a fairly serious collector of American muscle cars. Come October 25th, his collection will be a bit lighter as he’s selling several cars including two Corvettes.

Strength, performance and individuality are all words that could describe Bruce and the characters he portrays in the movies, but we’re talking about his classic car collection, and most notably his Corvettes. The two cars will be offered up for auction by well-known auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields October 25th at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

1957 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
A gift from his then wife Demi Moore, it received a thorough restoration and retains its original 283cu-in engine delivering 220hp, has Powerglide transmission, front disc brakes, power booster, power steering, and comes with both soft and hard tops.
(Estimated Price: $70,000/$90,000)
 
1967 Corvette Owned by Bruce Willis 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
Considered the most desirable year-model Corvette in history, this 427cu-in big block offers 435hp and takes off like it’s turbocharged when the second set of Holley 2-barrel carbs comes on line. Like all of Willis’ cars, it has extras like power brakes, power steering, Cragar S/S alloy wheels, and an Alpine 5-CD changer in the glove box with an infrared remote so it doesn’t detract from the otherwise stock appearance or require removal of the original AM-FM radio.
(Estimated Price: $110,000/$150,000)

In addition to the Corvettes, Bruce is also offering up a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 Convertible, a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT 500 Convertible and a 1969 Dodge Charger.

Check out Bonhams & Butterfields website for more details. Interested collectors may register to bid in person or remotely via the website or by telephone.


As a matter of full disclosure, I am also partial to 1968 Pontiac Firebirds as that’s the car I bought for my son several years ago. However, reports of his Firebird beating my 66 Corvette in a race have been greatly exaggerated.


Source:
Bonhams & Butterfields

Related:
eBay: Charlton Heston’s 1999 Corvette For Sale
Celebrity Sighting: Rush Hour Corvette For Sale on eBay

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Rossi 66 Melds Sting Ray Design to C6 Corvette Technology

by Keith Cornett on August 21, 2008

The Rossie 66

When we first saw the photos of the Rossi 66, we were blown away by how good this Corvette looks compared to some of the other retro rebody’s we’ve seen lately. The Rossie 66 borrows the best exterior design features from the 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe and melds them to the chassis of the C6 Corvette. Currently the Rossie 66 exists as a design concept only but the company has the set a goal for producing a full running production vehicle to be displayed at SEMA 2008 this fall.

READ MORE →

[VIDEO] Man Builds Running 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

by Keith Cornett on August 12, 2008

1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

Ever since Jim Moyer was little, he had an interest in all things mechanical. While serving in the Army back in 1964, he started building his first miniature engine, the coyotee 4-cylinder, which took nearly 30 years to complete. This isn’t just a model, but an actual working engine capable of producing 11,000 RPMs. Today, Jim’s current project is a 1/6th scale Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V8 modeled on the L76 365 hp engine found in 1964 Corvettes.

Jim measured an actual 327 V8 as his guide and then began the process of fabricating the parts. The head and block began as billet aluminum that was painstakingly machined on a bridgeport-style mill. The 5-main crank has real babbit bearings and the cam is a scaled version of a 30-30 Duntov. Jim created dies for stamping out the front cover, oil pan and rockers. And since this is a running engine, there is spark ignition, a pressurized oil system and a cooling system just like those that are found on an actual 327 CI V8.

The engine will currently run for brief periods as the video shows. Jim is still completing the water pump and radiator, valve covers and the carburetor.

1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine 1/6th Scale Corvette V8 Engine

Here are the specifications for Jim Moyer’s 1/6th scale 327 ci Chevrolet V8 engine:

Type: 1/6th scale V8
Displacement:
1.10 cu in, 18 cc
Bore: 0.600 in
Stroke: 0.487 in
Ignition: Spark
Construction:
Machined Billet
Began Construction: 1998
First Ran: 11/3/05


Source:
MoyerMade.com

Related:
LS2 Corvette Engine Animation/Screensaver

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When Corvettes Go Bad: 1964 Corvette 4×4 AMC

by Keith Cornett on July 30, 2008

1964 Corvette 4x4 AMC

Fate sure dealt a hand to this 1964 Corvette convertible. The car was the unfortunate target of a custom conversion back the 80′s which saw the Sting Ray’s body mated to a Jeep 4×4 chassis. To add insult to injury, the Corvette is now powered by an AMC V8 instead of its trusty Chevy 350. But who are we to judge a car on its minor imperfections. It hasn’t stopped the ebayers as the Corvette has 15 bids with the high bid at $4500. Shows that you can slap a Corvette on just about anything and it will sell.

1964 Corvette 4x4 AMC 1964 Corvette 4x4 AMC 1964 Corvette 4x4 AMC

The Corvette is being sold as a parts car as it has no title. But the seller claims the VIN and trim gags are intact in case you wanted to try. I was somewhat surprised to see a mid-year convertible top. The interior is fairly stock but in pretty rough shape. I don’t ever see this Corvette being returned to former glory.

The eBay auction closes Thursday, July 31st. The $4,500 high bid appears to have surpassed the reserve price.


Source:
eBay

Related:
Corvette Summer Dream Turns Into Nightmare

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Corvette Values: 1966 327/350 Corvette Roadster

by Keith Cornett on July 14, 2008

1966 Corvette Roadster

MK from Texas submitted this 1966 Corvette Roadster to Corvette Values:

1966 Corvette Roadster, VIN #194676S113XXX. L79 327-350 V8 engine. 4-speed transmission, 61,000 miles. Ermine White with saddle leather interior. The options include factory original knock-offs and side-mounted exhaust. Corvette underwent a body-off restoration in 2004. Interior and exterior are show condition. No documentation.

Find out how we valued this Corvette after the jump.

1966 Corvette Roadster 1966 Corvette Roadster 1966 Corvette Roadster

The VIN indicates this Corvette was built in early February, 1966. Thus any changes or modifications, after the initial introduction, would have been included in this Corvette. The owner states the mileage of 61,000 miles is correct.

It had a body off restoration completed in 2004 with no evidence of deterioration since that date. The exterior body, interior and engine compartment remain in excellent show ready condition.

It is Ermine White in color, the original color, enhanced by a Saddle leather interior. It has Goldwall tires mounted on original knock off wheels. Also a side mounted exhaust system. The combination of optional wheels, tires, side exhaust, White paint and Saddle interior present excellent curb appeal.

It is powered by the original, matching numbers 327-350 motor coupled with a 4 speed manual transmission with the correct original shifter. The engine compartment is clean and shows nicely with the bright shielding in place.

An additional word on the original options that can be classified as “rare.” Only 4% of the 1966 models were delivered with the cast aluminum knock off wheels. Today, most 1966 models with knock off wheels are not original and are classified as reproduction wheels. Also the original side mounted exhaust system were ordered by only 13% of the buyers in the 1966 model year. Again, most of the 1966 models with side exhaust are not original, added at a later date.

We place a value of $67,500 on this 1966 Corvette Roadster. As a side note, the 2008 Corvette Price Guide lists the 1966 Roadster as showing a one year, 9% appreciation factor in average price.

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.
Source:
VetteFinders.com Appraisal Service
Related:
Corvette Values: An Unrestored 1967 Corvette Roadster
Appreciating Corvettes: Top 12 Price Gainers of 2007
Corvette Values: 1966 Convertible Project Car
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