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Corvette Pricing Trends of 2005

by Keith Cornett on March 3, 2006

In our first two installments of our 2005 Corvette Pricing Trends series, we looked at the Top 11 Appreciating Corvettes and the Top 10 Depreciating Corvettes. In the last installment of our pricing series, we look at how each generation performed market-wise in 2005 and what the pricing expectations are for 2006: 1953-1962:
This series is unquestionably the appreciation leader for the 2006 Price Guide with five models leading the way. We would be amiss if we did not identify two of the rare 1953 models that crossed the auction block at an average price of $106,250 at an appreciation factor of 9%. The entry level Corvette for this first generation is the 1961 model at an average price of $38,200 with appreciation identified at 6%. We look for this Series to continue to climb at an appreciation level of 8-12% during 2006. Stay tuned for our action results. 1963-1967:
The appreciation range for these models was between 3-12%. As noted earlier, two of the models, the 1964 Roadster and 1963 Coupe were included in the highlight list. The entry level mid-years continue to be the 1964 models that are approaching $30,000 in average price. Not long ago, a good buy was considered to be a mid-year at under $20,000. During 2006, the good buy number will be those that are bought for under $30,000. The price leader for the group continues to be the 1967 Roadster at an average price of $49,500. The Roadsters continue to be priced at an average price of $2,000 more than the Coupe within a given year. The exception is the 1963 Coupe with its unique split-window styling that reflects a wide margin of $7,000 when compared to the Roadster. Also of interest was the high price for these models, seven of the ten broke the $100,000 threshold. Our projection for this series in 2006 is appreciation in the 5-10% range. 1968-1982:
This Series reflects a wide range of average pricing from $8,300 (the 1978 T-Top) to $23,500 (the 1969 Roadster). The appreciation factor range from 14%, the 1969 T-Top mentioned earlier to the 1973 Roadster at no-change at an average price of $18,000. None reflected negative results. Most of the higher appreciation factors were registered for the “chrome bumpers” Corvettes. In addition, an array of high performance motors was offered with this Series. Few of the third generation Corvettes are sold at prices under the $10,000 mark. For 2006, prices under $10,000 will become the good buy threshold. Noteworthy is that seven of the models sold for high prices over $50,000. We look for a range of 4-9% appreciation during 2006 for the 1968- 1982 Series. 1984-1996:
We continue to see positive trends for the fourth generation Corvettes. Two years ago, 26 of the 38 Corvettes in this Series reflected negative results. Last year this number dropped to 20. During the 2005 calendar year, we noted this number was reduced further to 13. As time progresses, based on current trends, all of these models should begin to reflect positive numbers. As with the previous generation, only four of the 38 models are priced below $10,000 in average price. This is another “Good Buy” level being established. The ZR-1 performance Corvettes are showing good results with four of the six models showing positive results in the range of a 1- 7% appreciation factor with top honors going to the 1990 ZR-1 at an average price of $26,000. Again, much as what has happened with the 1978 Pace Cars, we continue to see 1990 ZR-1s crossing the auction block with minimal mileage. 1997-2004:
As noted previously, a number of the C5 models were included in the high depreciation list, however, only one showed double digits. On the plus side of the ledger, nine models are showing depreciation levels at 5% or less with one showing no-change. Note this positive trend, last year results showed 17 of the models reflecting double-digit depreciation and only two were under the 5% mark. Thus, the C5 trends are heading in the right direction. The one Corvette that shows no-change in average price is the 1997 Coupe at an average price of $18,500. From a production perspective, 9,752 of these “first year” were built. We see the average prices of the C5 models depreciating at an average level of 5% for 2006. And, a few of the C5 models should be available for under $20,000, an outstanding buy for the Corvette enthusiast. 2005-2006:
The 2005 models were covered earlier. The 2006 model inventory at your local dealer should be good enabling a buyer to negotiate the “right price”. And as we all have seen, the 2006 Z06 is the big news this year. The base price of this world class performance machine is $65,800. We are seeing these sold at Dealer Auctions for an average price of $73,700. For the C6 models, depreciation during 2006 is expected to be at the 10% level. Credits
Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments contributed this content. Bob is publisher of the Corvette Market Letter and the 2006 Corvette Price Guide, both available for purchase in the Online Store. Images from

Depreciating Corvettes: The Top 10 of 2005

by Keith Cornett on March 2, 2006

Continuing with our discussion of Corvette Pricing Trends from 2005, we now look at Corvettes whose values are still depreciating. The C5s (1997-2004) continue to show single digit depreciation results with one moving to a no-change designation, however, none have moved into the positive column at this time. The 2005 model C6s are showing low double digit depreciation, the norm for a new model. In the depreciation chart, the majority of Corvettes were C5 models, same as last year, with two new additions this year, the C6 models and one of the C4 models – the 1996 Collector Edition Roadster.

Year Model % Change Average Price
2005 Coupe 14% $44,200
2005 Roadster 12% $55,000
2000 Hard Top 10% $22,500
1998 Coupe 9% $19,900
1999 Hard Top 9% $21,500
2001 Roadster 9% $30,000
2002 Z06 9% $32,000
1996 Coll. Edt Road 8% $22,000
1998 Roadster 8% $24,000
2004 Z06 8% $40,500
The 2005 C6 Corvette Coupes and Roadsters were at the top of the list in 2005 with a 14% and 12% depreciation factor, respectively. This is not surprising since this is the norm for first year standard production Corvettes. Adding to the low double-digit depreciation factor is the fact that a number of these Corvettes sold at over list price initially due to pent up demand and this activity inflated the original base prices. Two of the Hard-Top models made the list, 2000 and 1999 models. These show a higher depreciation level than the Coupe and Roadster in their respective years primarily due limited options available on these models and no way for owners to “catch rays” with the fixed roof concept. Two of the early model C5s also made this list, the 1998 Coupe and Roadster reflecting single-digit depreciation. Please note that single depreciation for a newer model cannot really be considered as “bad”. Many of today’s buyers are looking at the 1999-2000 models that offer more options and are passing on the 1998 models. The good news is in the buyer’s arena. A C5 for $20,000 is a real buy considering all of the handling, performance and technology that the C5 provides. Two of the Z06s made the list. Their depreciation results can be attributed to the introduction of the C6 with comparable horsepower (Z06- 405HP vs. C6 @ 400HP). Also, they are no longer ‘King of the Hill’ especially with the new 505HP Z06. Two other models, a 2001 Roadster and the 1996 Collector Edition Roadster, appear on the list without any specific market or performance reasons. Credit
Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments contributed this content. Bob is publisher of the Corvette Market Letter and the 2006 Corvette Price Guide, both available for purchase in the Online Store.

Lutz Confims Blue Devil/SS Rumor?

by Keith Cornett on March 1, 2006

While in Geneva, Switzerland for the International Auto Show, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz suggested a new, more powerful version for the Corvette might be on the way. The Blue Devil that has been discussed would have more power than the 505 hp Z06. Lutz said “There will be something special for the Corvette soon.” There was no comment from Bob on whether the something special would appear in the form of a supercharged small block as been rumored, and when the “Blue Devil” was mentioned to Lutz, he simply smiled. Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer

Corvette Comparisons That Don’t Add Up

by Keith Cornett on February 28, 2006

Corvette comparisons crack me up. Every performance car from some other manufacturer is their answer to the Corvette. And while some do compare to some degree (Ford GT and Dodge Viper), other comparisons fall flat. Today I came across an article from the the Midland Daily News about some guy building a museum for the Pontiac Fiero. Guy loves Fiero’s…good for him, good for others that love Fieros. Right after the introduction of the article though is the money quote:

For Evans, the Fiero is just about the perfect car. It’s sporty, speedy and made of plastic panels over a sturdy frame so parts can be changed easily. Manufactured from 1984-88, the Fiero was to be Pontiac’s answer to the Corvette, but for less money and with less power. The plastic is more forgiving than the Corvette’s fiberglass, so it doesn’t shatter when it gets bumped.
So the Fiero was Pontiac’s answer to the Corvette, but for less money and with less power. My feeling is that because of the inferior power, it doesn’t compare to a Corvette. It’s like saying Meatloaf is like Steak, but for less money and with less taste. Just not quite the same… Anybody else got some good automotive Corvette comparisons? Perhaps we can get enough together for a top 10 list.

Appreciating Corvettes: The Top 11 of 2005

by Keith Cornett on February 27, 2006

2005 was another great year for Corvette enthusiast who also own Corvettes. Our analysis for the 2005 calendar year reflects excellent price results. Most of the 1953-1982 models outperformed the S&P Stock Market Index. In fact, all models through 1982 showed positive appreciation results with only one showing a “no change” designation. The 1984-1996 models showed positive results with 24 of the 38 models showing no-change or positive appreciation results. Only 12 of the 14 are showing negative results of at or under -5% depreciation. For 2005 we have noted a trend change for Corvettes identified in our top eleven appreciation chart.

Year Model % Change Average Price
1955 Roadster 27% $54,600
1969 T- Top 14% $19,800
1957 Roadster 13% $49,800
1954 Roadster 12% $43,900
1956 Roadster 12% $45,400
1958 Roadster 12% $41,300
1964 Roadster 12% $28,600
1968 T-Top 11% $16,600
1963 Coupe 10% $39,200
1968 Roadster 10% $21,500
1978 Pace Car 10% $19,900
Note there are five of the early models shown on the chart compared to only three for 2004. The lead Corvette, a 1955 Roadster shows a dramatic increase, 27%, for an average price of $54,600. Supporting this appreciation factors is the low production number of only 700 units and the availability of the first V-8 in a Corvette. As a side note, 693 of the buyers selected the V-8 option. With this option, this Corvette was delivered at a list price of $2,909! The number two spot went to the 1969 T-Top with an average price of $19,800 reflecting a 14% appreciation factor. In addition, the 1968 T- Top shows an 11% return at $16,600 and the 1968 Roadster at 10% with an average price of $21,500. These three models can be termed collectables, especially with an age factor of 35+ years and the offering of special high performance motors. These Vettes are “affordable” with an average price of under $20,000 offering excellent appreciation potential in today’s market. Of interest and value is the fact that a 1968 T-Top and a 1969 Roadster were included in our Top Ten Appreciation List in 2004, this makes two years in a row! Back to the early models that made the list…the Roadster – 1957, 1954, 1956 and 1958 – all had low production numbers with none exceeding an annual production figure of 9,200 units. In total, 22,614 units of these models were built. Using an assumed factor that 80% are still in existence, the number possibly available today is reduced to 18,000. This total number of these four models is virtually less than any one production year starting with the 1963 model. Two mid-years made the list, a 1964 Roadster with 12% year over year appreciation showed an average price of $28,600. This model represents the entry level for the ever-popular mid-year Roadster. Included was the 1963 Split Window Coupe with its unique classic lines at an average price of $39,200 for a 10% year over year appreciation factor. Closing out the list was the 1978 Pace Car with an average price of $19,900 that showed a 10% year over year appreciation factor. Adding to its appearance on the chart is the fact that numerous ones that are sold have minimal mileage with many of these Corvettes showing mileage of less than 500 miles. This model Corvette, 28 years old, with true “around the block” mileage will continue to command top dollar. Credit
Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments contributed this content. Bob is publisher of the Corvette Market Letter and the 2006 Corvette Price Guide, both available for purchase in the Online Store.

Found: 1959 Corvette. Owner Call To Identify

by Keith Cornett on February 26, 2006

Anyone lost a 1959 Corvette recently? Maybe not so recently? Brevard County (FL) Sheriffs Office found a Red/White 1959 Corvette abandoned in a desolate area off Interstate 95. Tracing the owner has proven difficult as the part of VIN was missing, as well as the license plate. The Sheriffs Office ran the part of the VIN it had through different databases but have come up short. Andrew Walters, Brevard County Sheriff’s spokesman said of the found car, “You just don’t leave a Corvette like that sitting on the side of the road. The circumstances that surround this particular case – this is more than just an abandoned vehicle.” He speculates the Corvette may have been dumped by an auto theft ring. The Corvette does have some distinguishing characteristics and that the owner would be able to make a claim on the Corvette based on those identifying features. If you or someone you know lost a 1959 Corvette, call Agent Mike Wallace in the auto theft unit at (321) 454-7007. Releases Annual Corvette Price Guide

by Keith Cornett on February 24, 2006

Our Corvette classifieds website has released the annual Corvette Pricing Guide and we have posted an analysis of the Corvette Pricing Trends from 2005 on the site. The 2006 Corvette Price Guide contains over 5,800 Corvette prices from 2005 to give us the High, Low, and Average prices of all Corvette model years and body styles. The guide also contains appreciation and depreciation figures for One, Two and Five years, as well as pricing for options including motors, wheels and A/C. The online version features the average prices of over 110 different Corvette models spanning 1953-2006. The printed version, which contains High/Low and Average prices as well as appreciation/depreciation percentages is available for $15 and can be purchased through the online store. The top appreciation gainers include the 1955 Corvette, which grew in value over 2004’s prices by 27% and the 1969 Corvette, whose prices averaged 14% over the previous year. The 1955 model is special in the fact that production was limited to only 700 and it was the first year the V8 engine was offered in the Corvette. The 1969 model year is showing a lot of movement due to many highly-optioned Corvettes still available at reasonable prices. And let’s not forget the fourth generation Corvettes, 1984-1996. Many of these have turned the corner and are showing positive results in average price. Prime examples include the 1990 ZR-1 and 1993 Ruby Red Anniversary Roadster, both showing a 7% appreciation factor in average price during the past year. Data from the price guide comes from analyzing the selling prices of over 5,800 Corvettes during 2005 and then comparing the sales figures to years prior. That method has proven to be a statistically accurate measure of the Corvette Market. Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments, is the data provider for the annual guide and publisher of the Corvette Market Letter. In his analysis of last year’s market, Bob said “Most of the 1953-1982 models outperformed the S&P 500 Stock Market Index. In fact, all models through 1982 showed positive appreciation results with only one showing a ‘no change’ designation.”

Bob Lutz Reaches Out

by Keith Cornett on February 23, 2006

Bob Lutz, GM’s Vice Chairman, recently wrote on the GM FastLane Blog about the state of General Motors perception in the marketplace. The perception or misperception is that GM is producing vehicles nobody wants, or the vehicles they do produce are built at a lower quality than the imports. Bob blows those two perceptions out of the water with the examples of Corvette winning MotorWeek’s Driver’s Choice Award and Corvette winning the Intellichoice Best Overall Value Award. For those of us involved in the Corvette hobby, we know all about GM’s commitment to not only giving us the Car we want to own, but following through by giving us one of the best made cars with one of the highest customer satisfaction levels. So how does GM (and Chevrolet) do so well in marketing these two attributes to potential Corvette buyers, but not so well on their other vehicles? Obviously, Corvette has a history and therefore a built-in base of fans so it is a bit easier for Corvette designers and engineers to read the tea leaves when working on changes and upgrades. And when new Corvettes hit the marketplace, there are already long list of buyers who have deposits down to secure their car. GM needs to get its product in front of their target market in more non-traditional arenas. We recently posted a story about the Drive experience GM is putting together in Las Vegas where consumers can drive GM products in a controlled environment. I also remember they had similar “Drive A Chevy” experience that would roll into a market for a couple of days and you could drive all their products. I think that perhaps GM should take the product display a little further. At a local upscale mall I visited this weekend, I saw a display of Jaguars from the local Jag dealership. GM should consider putting Minivans and SUV in Grocery Stores and displays at some of the larger local youth sporting events. Truck displays at outdoor and sports trade shows. I know it sounds simplistic and perhaps a bit unrealistic, but go where the demographic market is. GM should also introduce a new extended warranty or key a portion of existing advertising to quality of product issues. With both Toyota and Ford are going Green, a new campaign could help differentiate how GM’s products are built with the consumer in mind. Again, I am just a guy that loves Corvettes and not a domestic auto marketing expert. But my car selling theory is that to sell product, you have to get it where your market is. Hope that helps, Bob.

Corvette Museum Offers High Performance Driving School

by Keith Cornett on February 22, 2006

Building on the success of the NCM’s first High Performance Driving School, the Museum announced that their second school will be held on June 5-6 at Putnam Park Racetrack in Mount Meridian, Indiana, approximately 50 miles west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Corvette Chief Engineer Tom Wallace is scheduled to attend the event. One lucky student just might have the Corvette Chief Engineer as their instructor. Other guests include longtime GM engineer and Corvette Hall of Fame Member, Gib Hufstader who will be on-hand at the track and will be a featured guest speaker at the event banquet on Monday evening. The school will have four run groups in addition to the instructor group. Two groups will be beginner/novice (Green & Yellow) with minimal to no experience, as well as an intermediate (Blue) group and an advanced (Red) group. Only 70 slots are available. The cost to participate is $395 for museum members and $445 for non-members and all participants will receive an event t-shirt and a seat at the banquet. Non-members will also receive a one-year NCM individual membership with their event registration. Registration will open at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23 at

Corvette Racing’s 50th Sebring Appearance

by Keith Cornett on February 20, 2006

The 54th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will mark Corvette’s 50th Year at the 12-Hour of Sebring race. Along with the exciting and grueling 12 hour endurance road race at the historic Sebring International Raceway, Corvette racing fans and enthusiasts can cheer Corvette to victory in the Cevy SS Corral, an exclusive trackside preferred area reserved for Corvettes. Other events during the weekend include a meet with Tom Wallace, new Corvette Chief Engineer, as he presents the 2006 Corvette model line-up. Fans will have opportunities to meet the Corvette Racing Team’s drivers. On display will be the winning 1956 Sebring Corvette and other speciality show cars. The 12 Hours of Sebring is North America’s longest running and most prestigious road race. The legendary endurance race takes the green flag on Saturday, March 18, culminating four days of racing action and kicking-off the 2006 American Le Mans Series and the international sports car racing calendar. For more information, check out the Sebring Racing’s Corral or IMSA Racing Photo: Richard Prince