As the Nation Turns to Electric Vehicles, Will Corvettes Still Be Collectible?


As the Nation Turns to Electric Vehicles, Will Corvettes Still Be Collectible?

Photo Credit: Chevrolet

When carmakers start pumping out only electric vehicles, what will happen to the good old-fashioned gasoline-powered cars?

At least two classic-car experts believe vehicles like the Corvette will still be valuable to collectors for years.

Harry Clark, an enthusiast who founded Classic Promenade in Phoenix, Arizona, includes “most Corvettes that are fully-loaded with low mileage” on his list of internal combustion vehicles that will be collectible in a totally electric future.

But not all ICE vehicles will be able to find a loving home years from now, he believes.

“A specific Porsche model or an American car that is specific like a Corvette or Camaro – but not all of them” will be popular with collectors, Clark told the Detroit Free-Press. “One that is beat up or not with the right options or the right years, they’re going to find it difficult to find a home for that vehicle.”

Also included on Clark’s list are Porsche cars (especially manuals), any Ferrari, an early model Toyota Prius in pristine condition, Mercedes-Benz SLR, SLS coupes and roadsters, Ford Bronco SUV, Ford Mustangs (including Shelbys), Dodge Hellcats and Demons, Cadillac Escalade (fully loaded), and Cadillac CTS-V sedans.

Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty, meanwhile, believes the collectibles of the future – just as they are now – “still [have] to be attractive and be a limited edition.”

He points to the C7 and C8 Corvettes as examples.

“Some certainly wanted the mid-engine – newest, latest-greatest Corvette,” Hagerty says. “But there were an awful lot of people who said, ‘I want to get one of the last C7s because I want the last front-engine Corvette.'”

The last C7, for instance, sold for $2.7 million at Barrett-Jackson, while the first C8 fetched $3 million a few months later – sort of an unusual spin on the old Ricky Bobby adage that “if you’re not first, you’re last.”

Hagerty believes the last gasoline version of certain models will be “highly collectible and highly sought after … just like the first year models are.”

He foresees an immediate future where gasoline and electric cars will co-exist for decades and has an optimistic outlook on the collector hobby.

“We’ll be in this blended world of internal combustion and EVs existing next to each other, and the view from the collector vehicle space is we’re not worried about it,” he says. “If anything, we’ll embrace it, and if it brings more people who want to drive for fun, that’s a good thing.”

Clark does foresee potential obstacles for gasoline-powered vehicles in the future, however.

“The presumption 30 years from now is we’ll be about to go tour in our cars except for the question of where are we going to get the fuel?” he says. “Think of it like today, it’s not very easy to get propane. You have to really have your act together to find it. Gasoline will ultimately be that difficult to find.”

Then there is the current move toward self-driving vehicles. How will classic cars requiring human intervention be viewed by the rest of the world that is using autonomous vehicles?

“Society is based on computers interacting and organizing and suddenly a person is driving a 1957 Chevy that has no computers on it, so now you’re the wild card,” Clark said. “It may require you to stay away from certain streets within that urban area.”

Detroit Free-Press (sub req.) via

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  1. It’s cute to own an electric car to run short errands. But what is the true cost of use and maintenance. Do people really believe it’s more ecological and economical to charge their battery and ultimately pay $6000+ for a new battery 6-7 years down the road? And where are all the old batteries going to be disposed? What is the true cost of ownership for this “technology”? And as gasoline and the taxes on it fade away, where do you think the taxes will come from to maintain our highway system? In Illinois the current annual registration fee on an ICE vehicle is less than $50. But on an EV it’s more than $1200. Modern ICE vehicles are by far the best ecologically and economically to own vehicles now and into the future. And please do not whine on about their impact on air quality. Isn’t gas and coal burned to provide electricity to charge EVs?

  2. Electric cars will be nothing but a fad for the well to do.
    What is needed is an automotive power plant that will run on Hydrogen !!!

  3. Once classic or other non-computerized vehicles become the “wild card” among hordes of self-driving vehicles, insurance coverage could become prohibitively expensive.

  4. Pleas let me relieve you of your mid year big tank car. I am a sucker and I will give u a Tesla and a E mustang for it. Act now while I still am insane.

  5. By the time the electric car riddle is completely resolved , they will be obsolete . We will not be using rubber on asphalt , the coming ‘thang’ is going to be personal drones. The Jestons are coming. Same auto drive technology may control the drones…. duh huh

  6. Firstly, Mitch T., this is an extremely timely subject and you wrote it well. A book could put together on this subject and not a small one. For a while, the wealthy might be those who can afford the nice electric models. Incentives may make it possible for all those who can to afford these E vehicles. As long as gasoline is obtainable at airports and specialty locations, those cars will be able to be driven for a long time. I spoke to a young person recently and he told me that his favorite classic car is a 1947 Buick Roadmaster. How young? Age 20. My 2012 Carrera in first year Racing Yellow with nearly full leather interior has been well kept and it runs beautifully. It has about 14 thousand miles on it and is a sunroof model that came with PDK and all the handling options that were available. It is nine years old and has Type one steering wheel shifters, not the F1’s. I love driving the car in its different modes. At flat out, it still delivers all the performance that I can handle. A friend of mine, after I obtained and LT2 C8 with most available options asked me, “What are you going to do with your Porsche?” “Drive it,” I replied; just a little bit less. Motorcycles and cars with ICE’s will be collectible for a very long time. I will not drive to Pebble Beach to see a line of electric vehicles come in to take center stage.

  7. I was at a Wal Mart last week that had one of those plug in stations for EVs. There was a new Porsche EV (whatever the name of it is) plugged in when we pulled into the parking lot. My wife and I were doing a big Wal Mart run, and it took us over an hour to get back to our car. When we left, the Porsche was still plugged in, and the driver was reading a book. Great, another 200 miles and he gets to do it all again. No thanks.

  8. As long as it requires organic material to produce electric energy (coal and gas fired power plants to charge EV batteries), we’re only fooling ourselves (sorry Al Gore) into thinking we’re saving the planet with electric cars. So, unless a hydrogen-powered vehicle that is practical for an individual to own and maintain is developed and sold at a price the average guy/gal can afford, we’ll be stuck with the ICE for a while. Question is, will fuel (whether the type produced by dead life forms or the type produced in a lab/still) be available? I’m guessing as long as fuel production is profitable, we’ll still be driving ICE vehicles.

  9. Electric is fine while under warranty, battery replacement on a Tesla is 18k. What will happen is there will be a fleet of vehicles with good bodies/frames that will sit in junkyards because nobody in their right mind is going to pay that for batteries. Since these complex batteries take specific rare earth elements it’s not like there will be cheap aftermarket alternatives. The electric hype is much like our political environment, the minority of people happen to have the loudest voices right now so they push their agenda. ICE engines will be around until an alternative source of efficient & inexpensive power sources become available.

  10. The nation is being forced into electric cars! Not turning to them. Electric cars represent less than 2% of all cars produced. If the public liked electric cars so much why haven’t they embraced them for years? Elon and his buddies in D.C. who invest in Tesla stock are why you will be mandated to buy an electric car. It’s a massive money making scheme! Electric cars are overpriced, problematic, and extremely impractical. And don’t forget that most electric cars aren’t as environmentally friendly as you think they are. They are unappealing, uninspiring, and complete devoid of any character or soul.

  11. Been seeing a lot of commercials on tv talking about supporting the Paris Climate Accord. Pisses me off because they have started the brainwash process to get people to accept the scam called the Green New Deal. It’s nothing but a way to set up a carbon exchange money making scheme . Al Gore was premature years ago letting the cat out of the bag. BTW who ultimately pays for the incentives, the suckers who pay taxes.

  12. Doug great point on the 4 th of July I dragged a trailer from New York to Massachusetts to pick up my 67 Corvette I stopped once for gas and an egg McMuffin total trip took less than 8 hours. 390 miles $100 with food.

  13. 1. Electric vehicles are the future. Only Amish folks and Luddites will have I.C. engine vehicles.
    2. Electricity will be produced only by solar and wind. Fossil fuels will be outlawed.
    3. All I.C. engines will be in museums, along with their owners’ mummified bodies, as that will be an option (in addition to traditional burial, cremation, cryogenically frozen, burial at sea, etc.)
    4. We will all be somewhere else anyway.
    See you then; in the mean time, enjoy whatever you’re driving!

  14. Um…anything that is the last of its kind is collectible. That’s pretty much the entire definition of collectibility.

  15. Once it is no longer practical or legal to drive classic cars on public roads and homes no longer have garages as no one owns their own car but rather simply requests a personal transportation pod whenever they want to go somewhere, I can see classic car enthusiasts “stabling” their vehicles — storing them at a private facility not too far away where they can spend time visiting their cars, driving them on one or more private roads/tracks, and hanging out with other classic car enthusiasts. Not unlike racehorses.

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