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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

13 customized Corvettes soared over $250K this January

The midyear Corvette-also known as the C2- was only produced for five model years (1963 through 1967) and is one of the most highly regarded designs in automotive history. Hardtop or convertible, the lines are gorgeous.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/auctions/13-customized-midyear-corvettes-soared-over-250k-this-january...
72 REPLIES 72
hyperv6
Collector

Nice cars but more than I would pay for them if I had the money.

There are just some markets out there that are pure profit. Good Street Rods, Resto mods and mod Corvettes.

There is a group of money people with out the kills to build cars like this that are willing to pay the price. I know a number of people who make a good living working these segments.

It still amazes me what some will pay for these cars. More power to both if they are happy.

This is like the chopper craze from about 10 years ago where people over paid for big name choppers that were not as custom as you would expect. Today they are worth a fraction and often make a good buy today if one is interested.

When these guys get tired of these cars they should make a good buy for someone in the future.
ctaarman
Detailer

Laughable prices. Trendy now, but these restomods will depreciate faster than a new Jaguar, as the next set of techno-resto-gizmos makes these go out of style. All we have to do is look back to what customs were 10 years ago and their current values.

As long as the buyers don't care about long term value, hope they just have fun.
Meanwhile, factory correct split window examples will silently continue to appreciate.
TB
Intermediate Driver

Will someone save the last original split window Corvette and put it in a museum before they all get chopped up an set on current running gear? Resto movement is out of control. And people with too much money are paying idiotic prices to boot.
Lightning1
Advanced Driver

Some people have more money than taste.
50s60s70s
Detailer

Again, this is art....at the expense of gorgeous pieces of history. Not one of these creations will see much road time.
The sad part is that every one of these builds took a fabulous driver off the road in order to satisfy someone's ego.
Just my opinion.
Smokefoot55
Intermediate Driver

Stop butchering these classic cars! I've owned 15 Corvettes over the last 40+ years so I'm a big fan of them. I'm fine with bolt-on parts and things that enhance the driving experience like radial tires. But by doing a resto mod they've destroyed the character of the car.
50s60s70s
Detailer

I'm not even a Chevy fan and totally agree.  Most of these "creations "  will end up as parts donors for other projects after the novelty wears off and entropy makes it necessary to find replacement parts. 

buellerdan
Instructor

Soon you will see the butchery subside. Just like the street rod world is now populated with fiberglass reproduction bodies and aftermarket frames for deuce coupes and '34 roadsters, so will go the restomod C2 Corvette. Build a Corvette without any actual Corvette parts.
Jpdelpozo
Intermediate Driver

Well, in reply to you regarding the "Glass" bodies of the "32's, if one has $20 to 25K you could get a steel body "32 from United. One has to remember that Ford only built that particular style for only one year. The majority went to crushers for WWII. I've got a "32 Glass bodied 5 window and the majority of even hot rodders can't tell it from a steel body. When glass started to become available, yup, one could only find a steel "32 in barns, if you were lucky or if you had major bucks to buy one from someone who already built one. The problem is still there.
I also own a 2002 C5 Vette that is pretty much stock, except for the typical hotrod LS! engine stuff. It's a sleeper of sorts. Oh and by the way, my deuce rides on an original frame.
73Corvette
Pit Crew

I agree with the first few comments, no question the resto mod world is out of control. But I always wonder how truly reliable these "updated" cars are. I've also always believed that "restored" doesn't mean new. Personally, I enjoy getting in to my time capsule '73 Corvette and bouncing around as I crank the window down. Beautiful looking cars, nonetheless.

Robertmossey
New Driver

All nice cars. It is understandable why folks want to build customs using one of the most classic designs of all time. But as an owner of an original 63 I am getting concerned!! Are we running out of original 63s?? And where have all the removed “correct” parts gone?? I could use a few.
Just a question !!
TG
Gearhead

I was watching one of these resto-mod shows where they take an intact running car and start 'tweaking' it... by the time they are done, the frame is gone, the drivetrain is gone, the interior is gone - and a healthy portion of the body is chopped up or gone. I was saying I would love to hang out by their metal barrel and just pick up what they are throwing out
MrBill-1943
Advanced Driver

Every single one of them are a head turner but I am more of an original kind of guy. Also seems that engine swaps are the big change out that I really am not happy with.
Caprice81
Intermediate Driver

All the Corvettes pictured in the article look great. The price paid for them is outrageous. They most likely won't hold their value like an original or a restored Corvette would. If I had that kind of money to spend I would buy a 2022 Corvette and invest the rest of the money.
Numberscruncher
Detailer

I'm sorry, but no restomod will ever win me over. I don't do vettes, but both my Mustangs are totally OEM, with the exception of radial tires, period, full stop. As others have said, there are too many overpaid buyers seeking vanity cars.
JAG
Detailer

This is just like watching shows like Bitchin Rides. Really fun, amazingly talented people...building undrivable cars for people with untold amounts of "disposable income". I have built two resto-mods, a 69 Camaro back in the early 2000's before it got crazy, with an LSI 6spd tremec from a GTO and Baer brakes. Used DSE before they did the hydroformed front. Drove it everywhere. Finishing a 70 Chevelle now with an LS3(L99) 6L80E and ride tech all around. just boxed the stock frame and used the Brembo's and seat from a wrecked 12 SS Camaro. Point is having a beautiful car that will not have so much money in it that I will be afraid to drive. Next up is a 71 C10, doing it the same way. The point is resto-mods extend the utilization of wonderful older vehicles. The cars in this article are great to look at and find some inspiration, you can find a way to do 85% of these cars for 20% of the cost.
Javman
Intermediate Driver

Even though I am not really a big Corvette fan I agree with other posters that it is a crying shame that these classics are being butchered so someone can make big bucks on them. Hope the market for these crashes and all the buyers have overpriced so called " works of art ". By the way I wasn't able to see the BJ cars go on the block because the money grabbers at BJ, 30% commisions and the audacity to charge an offsite bidder an extra 2% who couldn't be there to pay their admission fee, did not care enough about Canadian enthusiasts to televise here. Thankfully Mecum was there for us.
Blade123
Intermediate Driver

Wow. Very nice Reto mods.
I'd rather have anyone of these verse a more old expensive American classic or European Expensive 1-5 Million waste of money.
SJ100
Intermediate Driver

How to ruin your Corvette with the wrong steering wheel choice.
Beautiful cars, some of the choices made for steering wheels is so bad.
People that have no clue should get proper advice on what is good and not good.
Oldmanhiker
Intermediate Driver

Take the price away, and the fact that in some instances irreplaceable cars are being cannibalized, I think it’s kinda cool how they  look…..but oh my, you are spot on SJ100, some of those steering wheels!!!  What were they thinking???

RickB
Intermediate Driver

notice that there are not ANY late model corvettes in the group? Wake up GM, this is what the buying public wants, and you have the ability to build one/any of these. Your biggest problem would be that you won't be able to meet the demand for years to come. Wonder why aftermarket builders have to show the major car manufacturers the way to what the public wants?
Blade123
Intermediate Driver

Chevrolet should run a production line of the 63-67 Corvette and price it similar to the current Ford Mustang just option it up.
They would trap the benefits.
Save that body style and put in all Modern technology
dvredc5
New Driver

I agree with it seems terrible to modify especially the 1-year 63 spit wind design. However, several companies offer kits to convert non-spit windows cars into split-window versions and with flush mounted glass. Hopefully more builders will choose that route versus destroying original 63-split window coupes. They are only original once so those who have them hang onto them. They should only go up in value. That is until the next generation of car enthusiasts turn to EV's. Values are determined only by the desires of those buying vehicles and with each generation those desires change.
gtokdx1
Detailer

Glad I'm not going to be in the minority here! These cars couldn't be less appealing to me. I just hope that all of these came from non-salvageable vette's (accidents, stolen/recovery...etc), just to create these abominations.
Oldmanhiker
Intermediate Driver

“Plenty of Sting Ray buyers want the beautiful lines wrapped around a more modern and highway-friendly packages”…lol, yup, I think I just saw that ‘67 Jeff Hayes custom rolling down the interstate, too funny. Pretty soon they’ll all be daily drivers😅. Can’t possibly imagine having enough disposable income to drive a half a million $ car on a public road. But hey, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em…
ed
Advanced Driver

I'm not sure how the market has developed like this, except that some people just have money to burn. If I am going to spend $250K for a vehicle, I can think of a hundred different things I would rather have than a resto-mod anything.
MATTMERICA
Technician

I am with you, excellent point.
Islander
Detailer

I'd be interested to see a few profiles on those that do this sort of high-end bidding.
'Seems more things have become investment commodities, real estate, NFT's and so forth. Are nifty cars part of this or what the flipped profits from other investments get spent on. A bit of both maybe.
KYColonel
Detailer

I didn't know Xzibit had made a comeback.
MATTMERICA
Technician

A few takes that nobody asked for:
People with more money than good taste is A-ok with me, but on the $700k resto vettes, does anybody have a good guess at how much it costs to build it? If the donor car was $200k and the mods were $300k (pure guess, I have no idea what a blah-blah chassis is worth or any of the other stuff) then I can see maybe a $100k bump for the look/idea and another $100k bump for being so unique. But if it "only" cost $400k to source and build it, why the hell would you pay a stranger $700k when you could bank roll it yourself and get exactly what you want? In general I am not a resto mod fan - it pains me to see a rare classic that has been worked on, like a Hollywood star who has too much plastic surgery and is now not only a mockery of their former beauty, but unable to be cast in anything because that person is now almost a parody. Finally, I feel like the classic auto has a certain provenance about it that resto modding simply erases and cancels which leaves me not caring that somebody spent $700k on an "old vette", but rather I am saddened that the "old vette" had to be sacrificed for some ego maniac who needs to spend $700k for the world to know how awesome he is.
Javman
Intermediate Driver

I agree with mattmerica regarding the Hollywood star analogy. Case in point the Ringbrothers Defiant build. For those not familiar, they took what in my mind was a beautiful sculptured vehicle, a 72 Javelin SST, of which I own one, and violated it by doing surgery on it to alter the beauty that it was reminding me of that movie star overly cut and filled with botox, silicone etc. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with adding fuel injection for better drivability or disc brakes to make it stop safely, but don't drastically change it into something it never was. By the way I opted to leave mine the way it was born with a carb and drum brakes and love cranking down the windows to cool down on a hot summer day cruise.
pghutch
New Driver

Sold my red '63 coupe in 2000 for $25,000. Had it at Carlisle Vettes in Aug 99 with no interest at all at $30K... because it wasn't 'numbers matching'. Had a 350 and a/c. Great driver. Can't imagine what it would be worth today as a starter for a restomod..
pauluptime
Intermediate Driver

Sure - but you had $25K plus 20 years of no insurance, maintenance and storage costs for that '63. Don't feel badly about the financial side of what it sold for. Now, if you failed to enjoy or invest well that $25K for 20 years then perhaps that would be the truly regrettable part.
HotRodGTO
Intermediate Driver

WHAT?? WHOA!!!

The biggest issue I have with these cars besides the insane prices are all these ugly wheels. Often too big and usually overstyled. Hard to go wrong with a C2 Corvette on looks for sure.
Geok86
Instructor

Not a fan of over the top RestoMods, but as others have said, if it was a basket case, it doesn’t bother me so much….but why does everyone of these seem to have the most Godawful wheels….reminds me of the awful billet aluminum craze.
ClassicGMFan
New Driver

These are basically one-off cars.
Down the road these cars will need to be maintained.
Better hope that these "mods" have been well documented by the builder and this information, if any, stays with the car.
You will not be able to troubleshoot issues like you would with a production car without knowing what modern technology is installed or how it was connected.
Buzz
Detailer

I’m not a fan of tall rims on older cars but I think the early Vettes look terrific with them.
I hear the complaints of the purists but I’m smiling. You only live once. Buy and build what puts you in your happy place. They are just cars, and there are plenty of original examples collecting dust all over the country. The only travesty is that these cars will likely make the boring, trek to a private collection with an occasional load into a car hauler to be displayed at a show and garner the 1st place trophy for the car owner who had zero to do with its creation. If I had the bank account to buy a car like this, I’d keep it full of gas, store it in my garage, and drive it like I stole it.
digger
Pit Crew

I own a 1965 396 without the original motor, You can get a really nice LS motor for less than numbers matching. Not a tough decision when they sale at those prices
Jpdelpozo
Intermediate Driver

I'd love an original "63 Split window with all the performance upgrades! Of course if I was endowed with major green, I'd have to take one of these for sure. like the # Lot 1403, the "63 Split window.
bblhed
Instructor

I will admit that the C2 is my least favorite Corvette, I know there are people that think it is the apex of Corvette, but when I was a kid the C3 was a Corvette and the C1 was on a lot more car show lawns than the C2, at least in my area. That said, I have to admit that while I am still not a fan of the bodies on these cars, I do like what was done with a lot of the interiors. I also agree with those that said it was a lot of money.
BIGHOCK
Intermediate Driver

All are very nice however WAAAAY OVERPRICED!
Joee383
Intermediate Driver

Oh stop whining. There will be plenty of stock split windows. As for these, I love them and I want them all!
cassman66
Intermediate Driver

I had an all original, matching numbers '66 Coupe. I owned it for six years, put under 500 mile on it and "downgraded" to a '72 Convertible. The '66 was too nice to drive; the '72 was purposely chosen because it was a driver, albeit a very nice one. I kept it for the same six years and didn't drive it much more. I received my new C8 in early December and have already put more miles on it than the '66 and the '72 combined. I went new this time so I could go anywhere, any time, without worrying about hurting it. I think making a '63 into a restomod accomplishes little. A survivor has been sacrificed to make a car that, while as dependable as a new one, won't be driven any more than the very original older Vettes I had. So, why? I hope to start seeing these mid-year restomods on the road but, I'm not optimistic.
JagManBill
Intermediate Driver

even if I had the money, not a one of them interest me. The 64 comes the closest with the only visual change the lowered ride height and Hildebrandt-style wheels. Both would/could of been period modifications, of which could easily be rectified. BUT... with all the add'l body mods new AM chassis and modern running gear, there is nothing really original about the car. Nor any of the others for that matter
Numberscruncher
Detailer

Human "resto-mods"restomod.jpg

jowcol
Pit Crew

None of the above, I'm not seeing any improvements over the beauty of these Vettes as born.
Inline8OD
Technician

A respected Brit motoring journalist once summed Corvette as "a V-8 surrounded by four pieces of drywall."

Please don't tell us you can't afford a Bristol --with Honda, L.J.K. Setright's favorite make-- or Jaguar while boring others possessing a broader interest in automobilia with how much money you've dumped into your 'Vette.         Please.

pauluptime
Intermediate Driver

And that same Brit would only be displaying well his ignorance and jealousy. Corvettes have always been high production cars offering an unmatched combination of performance, value, style and above all - reliability.
Not only by opinion but experience as well, this combination has never been bested by anything ever offered by the British motorcar industry (or for that matter Japan, Germany or anywhere else.)