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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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Corvette Auction: GM to Sell Part of Heritage Collection

by Keith Cornett on December 22, 2008

Corvettes at GM's Heritage Center Museum

Looking to make some quick cash, GM announced a corporate garage sale where they’ll be selling off approximately 250 of the slightly less important and more recent collectibles from the Heritage Collection – the automaker’s corporate museum. The collection will be offered over several auctions starting with Barrett-Jackson’s Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in mid-January. A non-official list of cars is circulating with 30+ Corvettes on it including several 1989 Corvette ZR-1s and a bevy of Pace Cars.

GM hasn’t finalized the list of vehicles to be sold, and Tom Freiman, manager of the Heritage Center calls the list of vehicles that is circulating the internet as “in-accurate”. GM is not expected to sell any car that is one of a kind or is a milestone, so a couple of the early ZR-1s might not be included. Here is the non-official list of Corvettes:

  • 1989 Corvette DR-1
  • 1989 Corvette Snake Skinner
  • 1989 Corvette Splash
  • 1989 Corvette ZR-1
  • 1989 Corvette ZR-1 (Dark Red)
  • 1989 Corvette ZR-2 Big Doggie
  • 1990 Corvette Right Hand Steer
  • 1990 Corvette ZR-1 Active
  • 1991 Corvette Convertible
  • 1992 Corvette ZR-1 First Built (Red)
  • 1993 Corvette LT-1 Spyder
  • 1994 Corvette (Teal)
  • 1994 Corvette HO
  • 1997 Corvette Alpha Build
  • 1997 Corvette Beta Build
  • 1997 Corvette Tiger Shark
  • 1998 Corvette First Built
  • 1998 Corvette X-plorers
  • 1999 Corvette C5R Show Car
  • 1999 Corvette Shark
  • 2000 Corvette Z06 Race
  • 2003 Corvette Lemans Pace #3
  • 2004 Corvette Indy Pace
  • 2005 Corvette Atlantic
  • 2005 Corvette Pacific
  • 2007 Corvette Z06 First Built (Red)
  • 2007 Corvette Indy Pace Car (Copper)
  • 2008 Corvette Indy Pace Car (Black)
  • Corvette C5 Display Chassis
  • Corvette Purple Smash
  • Corvette Racing Boat
  • Corvette Trailer
  • Corvette ZR1 Rolling Chassis
  • Corvette ZR 1 Snake Skinner

GM has been thinning out its Heritage Collection over the last few years and most recently we watched the sale of several Corvette Pace Cars at October’s Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction. In additon to January’s Scottsdale auction, some of the GM collection will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction in April 2009.


Source:
jalopnik via HRFBody
cartoonsRcool

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvettes Galore Inside the GM Heritage Center
Auction Results: Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Tops $3.3 Million in Corvette Sales

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Six Cool Products for Winterizing your Corvette

by Keith Cornett on December 19, 2008

 Six Products and Accessories for Winterizing your Corvette

When I saw the snow that fell in Las Vegas, I realized winter was officially here and that many Corvette owners have parked their rides until Spring. The wicked weather also gave me the idea to call my friends at Ecklers Corvette Parts to find out what the six most popular parts and accessories for winterizing Corvettes are. If you are planning on storing your Corvette for any amount of time, this list is for you!

Aqua-Shed C6 Corvette Car Cover
No Corvette owner should be without a quality Corvette Cover. The Aqua-Shed Plush car cover features a 4-layer polypropylene construction for maximum protection in all weather conditions and it absorbs impacts better than any other car cover fabric to help protect the finish from nicks, dents and scratches.
   
Sta-Dri Moisture Protection Kit
Place the bags inside your Corvette and protect the interior by eliminating the undesirable effects of humidity, mold and mildew. Also protects against rusting and corrosion. Bags work at all temperatures and are ideal for protection during storage. Bags are non-corrosive, non-toxic and produce no dust.
   
Corvette Tire Storage Flat Stoppers
Cars that sit for months on end in one place flat spot tires, it’s a fact. You can prevent tire flat spotting with Flat Stoppers. Flat Stoppers go underneath your tires to insulate them from temperature extremes and the special lightweight polystyrene construction eliminates uneven pressure points regardless of how long your car sits. Use Flat Stoppers to put an end to ruining expensive tires.
   
CTEK 800 Battery Charger
You turn the key and nothing happens. Uh-oh, it’s a dead battery. If your Corvette is reserved for “pleasure driving” it may not be ready to go when you are. Here’s a safe and simple way to keep that from happening. Hook up a CTEK 800 Battery Charger available from Eckler’s to ensure your Corvette provides you with pleasure not disappointment.
   
Surf City Garage Wash, Wax & Detail Kit
All of the Surf City Garage products are specifically designed for use on fine classics and Performance Corvettes. This line of top-quality car care products was developed by a car guy just like you and me, and they are exactly what you would develop for your Corvette if you were able to custom design them for your own Corvette. Includes 8 Oz. Bottle Pacific Blue Wash & Wax, 8 Oz. Bottle Barrier Reef Carnabua Wax, 24 Oz. Spray Bottle Speed Demon Wax Detailer & Two Nano-Detailer Microfiber Polishing Cloths.
   
Wurth Rubber Care Gel Stick
Keeps rubber seals on doors, trunk and hood in good condition. The resilience of all rubber parts is maintained, increasing service life and preventing cracking. Freezing and drying in winter are effectively prevented. Eliminates squealing, creaking and other noises caused by dry rubber. Easy to use gel stick applicator restores rubber parts and revitalizes bumper & body side moldings.
   

If you don’t have your holiday shopping done yet for your favorite Corvette enthusiast, it’s not too late. When it comes to Corvette gifts and merchandise, Ecklers Corvette Parts is your holiday headquarters. Check out their full catalog online or request your free catalog now.


Source:
Ecklers Corvette Parts

Related:
Six Great Christmas Gifts for Corvette Owners
Six Popular C6 Corvette Performance Mods
Five Do-it-Yourself C6 Corvette Appearance Mods

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The GT1 Corvettes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

AutoSport Magazine is reporting that Corvette Racing will not return to France next summer to compete one last time in the 24 Hours of Le Mans GT1 class as originally planned due to budget constraints. However Steve Wesoloski, director of Chevrolet’s road racing program denies the decision has been made.

Corvette Racing has won at La Sarthe 4 times since 2000 and finished 2nd in class last year, but due to the ongoing financial crises, the team has been told to reduce its racing budget next year. Should the AutoSport Magazine report be true, you would think that this decision would call into question the whole strategy of running the GT1 program during the first half of the season as those races are essentially tune-ups for the 24 Hours of Lemans in June.

While Wesoloski denies the cancellation rumor, he does add the caveat that the final decision will based on the bailout discussions in Washington:

“We are still going ahead with our plans for a reduced programme of Sebring, Long Beach and Le Mans,” he said. “No one has told me otherwise. We are, of course, prepared for all eventualities. It all hinges on what happens in Washington.”



Source:
Autosport.com
Photo Credit: Richard Prince

Related:
Corvette Racing: GT2 Corvette C6.R Ready for Assembly
Corvette Racing: GT2 Will Never Be The Same

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[VIDEO] SUV Crash Lands Jeep on a 1962 Corvette Roadster

by Keith Cornett on December 15, 2008

SUV Lands on 1962 Corvette

Here’s a call you don’t want get from your Corvette restoration shop: “About your 1962 Corvette Roadster. There’s been an accident down here at the shop and well, you should probably get down here right away while the cops are still around.” That scenario probably came true for one unlucky owner after an SUV owner lost control of his Jeep and crashed through the wall of a St. Augustine restoration shop.


Source:
DigTriad.com

Related:
Accident Lands Corvette in Iowa Home’s Basement

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The Bowling Green Assembly Plant

GM Announced the closing of some 20+ facilities across North America including the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green. The plant will be closed the day before Christmas and is not expected to restart until mid-February. Tours of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant have been suspended until early March.

The Corvette plant had been expected to be shut down through the first week of January to allow for constriction in the supply as monthly sales of Corvettes continue to be running 50% less than the same time period in 2007. The plant employs 800 workers.

“You know the impact will be felt in the community,” said UAW Local 2164 President Eldon Renaud. “Those are 800 people who won’t be getting regular paychecks. If they’re off any length of time, it’s going to be reflected in their bill payments.”


Source:
Bowling Green Daily News
Photo Credit: Joe Imel/BG Daily News

Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant to Layoff 110 Workers
Corvette Assembly Plant to be Idled in December
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
October 2008 Corvette Sales

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Barn Fresh and Restoration Ready: 1962 Corvette Roadster

by Keith Cornett on December 11, 2008

1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find

There’s just something special about a barn car seeing the light of day after years of storage. Despite the thick coat of dust and the surface rust that cloaks the engine compartment, beyond the dirty interior and ripped seats, there’s the overwhelming feeling that this Corvette is about to get a fresh start. A new owner somewhere is about to embark on a journey of restoration – whether by himself or through the service of a restoration shop – with the end reward being that this Corvette will once again hit the open road.

1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find
1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find
1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find 1962 Corvette Roadster Barn Find

The original owner of this 1962 Corvette roadster parked her in a barn one day in 1973 and there she sat for the next 35 years. The owner recently sold the Corvette to Valley Auto in Bedford, PA who promptly listed the beige convertible on eBay where is sold last week for $26,000.

The description states that this is a non-matching car as the original engine was stolen years ago but was replaced with a correct 870 block heads and intake. The VIN tag reads 20867S111262 which puts the assembly of the Corvette in May 1962, about 4 months before last 62 Corvette would be completed and the C1 Solid Axle era would come to an end.

The new owner has many choices ahead to make for the future of this fresh barn car. Whether a historically accurate restoration or a resto-mod build awaits this Corvette is anybody’s guess. But that’s part of the fun of owning one of these special cars, isn’t it?


Source:
Vally Auto via eBay.com

Related:
Barn Find: 1968 L-88 Corvette Convertible Racer
Rare 1957 “Airbox” Corvette Found & Restored to Former Glory

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[VIDEO] In Jay Leno’s Garage: The Corvette ZR1

by Keith Cornett on December 10, 2008

In Jay Leno's Garage: The Corvette ZR1

“This is what the founding fathers wanted us to be driving” says Jay Leno as he pulls up to a stoplight in his new 2009 Corvette ZR1. The new 638-hp supercharged Corvette is the latest edition to Jay Leno’s Garage and we have the privilege of riding shotgun with late night’s funny man as he puts the Corvette through its paces and points out the unique features in a style that only Leno can.

Jay gives us a walk-around the new Corvette while he discusses some of the finer points of the new Corvette like the 20-spoke 19″/20″ wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, standard carbon ceramic drilled disc brakes, magnetic selective ride control as well as pointing out the flares, vents and spoilers that are unique to the ZR1. He also touches on the story about the special clear coat that protects the carbon fiber – yes, Virginia it does cost $60,000/gallon.

One of the surprising aspects of the video is that Jay shows us that he owns VIN 001 – most thought that honor went to Chevy dealer Dave Ressler who paid $1 Million at Barrett-Jackson for the honor of owning VIN #001. Turns out there are three sets of Corvette ZR1 VINs – Ressler ownes one – and the one one of that unique set. The demo and dealer test Corvette ZR1 were produced under a separate VIN and then the production customer cars have their own VIN. Very interesting!

I love to listen to Jay talk about the Corvette while he’s driving it. Just seeing him behind the wheel while talking about the amazing torque of the ZR1 then watching him floor it puts it all into perspective. Jay is a Corvette guy and listening to him talk about Corvettes, while driving the most it shows. This was a fun ride!


Source
Jay Leno’s Garage

Related:
Barrett-Jackson 08: [VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million

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Corvette Values: 1970 Corvette Roadster

by Keith Cornett on December 9, 2008

1970 Corvette Roadster

JK in Kansas submitted his 1970 Corvette Roadster to Corvette Values:

1970 Corvette Roadster, VIN 194670S404XXX. Original 350 ci 350 hp engine, manual 4-Speed transmission, Red with Red interior. Power steering, Power Brakes, Factory AC, Luggage Rack. Body-On restored in 1998 where Corvette received new paint and interior. The Corvette was repainted a non-original exterior color. 91,876 original miles. The car is matching numbers. Same owner for 30 years with history of previous two owners, but no other documentation is with the Corvette. Corvette is in good condition with paint and fiberglass termed as “good”. The interior’s vinyl seating is also in good condition.

Find out how we valued this Corvette after the jump.

1970 Corvette Roadster 1970 Corvette Roadster 1970 Corvette Roadster

The VIN indicates This Corvette Convertible was built late in the first month of production in January, 1970. This is good news for today’s owner as the 1970 model can be termed as somewhat rare based on the production numbers. A work stoppage during the 1969 production year lead to an extended production timeframe for the 1969 Corvette models beyond the normal time frames. This action also impacted the 1970 production year with a build of only 17,316 units of the 1970 models during a seven-month time frame. This was the lowest number of Corvettes built since the 1962 model year.

The Corvette is powered by the correct 350-350 optional motor coupled with a 4-speed manual transmission with the correct shifter. This was a popular selection by buyers of the 1970 Corvette. The mileage of 91,876 has been stated as original and correct.

A body-on restoration was performed in 1998 when the paint and interior were restored. It is Red in color, but this is not the original color, and it has a matching Red vinyl interior. The seats, door panels and carpeting are in good condition as is the current paint. It is equipped with popular options that include the AM/FM Radio, power steering and brakes as well as air-conditioning. Also this Vette has a chrome luggage rack, a dealer option with the 1970 model.

Tires, wheels and wheel trim are correct for the 1970 model year and are in good condition. The only notable flaw is the window rubber seals that could be replaced. This Corvette with its Red/Red combination presents excellent curb appeal.

We place the value of this 1970 Corvette Convertible at $29,500 which shows a one-year appreciation factor of 7%.


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: 1961 Corvette Roadster
Corvette Values: An Unrestored 1967 Corvette Roadster
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Top Gear's Clarkson Outruns Murderous Black Corvette in a Fiesta

This is the kind of stunt that only Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson would design. The concept is “What if I go to a shopping center and get chased by baddies in a Corvette?” What the title doesn’t tell you is that the chase scene takes place inside a shopping mall. While our previous video of inside hoonage featuring a guy parking his C5 into his living room seemed like good fun at the time, that video doesn’t hold a candle to watching this black C6 Corvette leaving skid marks on marble floors and crashing into birthday card stores.

As with all new Top Gear episodes, they get pulled down from YouTube sometimes faster than they go up. We’ll watch this post and try to replace the segment should this version come down. You can also search for the show using the episode guide: Top Gear S12 E06.

I’ve been critical in the past about Clarkson’s tendency to disrespect America and especially the Corvette, but I’ve got to hand it to him that he does showcase some great driving skills in this video. And let’s face it, we’ve all wanted to drive like crazy in the a shopping mall. The only thing missing from this video is the zombies…


Source:
Top Gear

Related:
[VIDEO] Guy Parks Corvette in his House
[VIDEO] Top Gear: Clarkson Loves the Corvette ZR1

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