There are plenty of ways to get into the Corvette club. Granted the early stuff is pretty pricey. I'm still partial to the looks of the C6 over the C7 (not covered here). I'll take any of the C2 and early C3 stuff before they got smogged and slow, or a C4 ZR-1 (love the engine) also. C5 is good but I just prefer the C6 over it.
1953 was the inaugural year for two more GM cars: the Cadillac Eldorado and the Buick Skylark. Check out the '53 Skylark — it was a convertible only, was changed for the worse the next year; and always reminded me of some British sports car (maybe an Austin-something) on massive steroids. 'Vette-wise, I love the 1958-'62 models. There's something eternally classic about their design — the grill, the side scoops and the tail too. Later versions were cool, evolved as necessary, and certainly had their adherents, but if I had a choice, it'd be the '58-'62 model.
Prices a bit exaggerated I'd say. At least what they go for around here. Not mentioned was the 1966 Corvette built for racing team/group? with the L-88 Engine. These cars are worth around $3M. There are less than five in existence. I have a video of one my friend's family owns.
The range in value fir the C3’s could be nailed down a bit more. For example what would a 1969 C3 #’s matching convertible be worth? Base 350 with 4 speed. Thats my car. I purchased in Georgia in 2019 for $22k US. Brought it to Canada and immediate appraisal came in at $37k Cdn. C3’s value going up I think.
We've owned four Corvettes over the years and have a C8 convertible on order. That includes a 1987 C4 Coupe, a 1995 C4 Coupe, a 2003 50th Anniversary Convertible and a 1966 Red-on-Red Convertible with factory AC and virtually all the factory options. While the big block C2 cars get much of the attention in Corvette circles, the ones I see here in Phoenix mostly get driven directly to shows or car events and are prone to overheating in traffic and parade type events. At Hot August Nights it's always fun to see big block cars cooling down at the end of the Truckee River Bridge after cruising Virginia Street.
I had the opportunity to drive a '69 L-88, all original with 14,000 miles with correct repop tires - totally unmodified from the factory. This is a beast - especially combined with the woefully worthless tires. In 4th, at 55mph, punch it and it breaks the tires loose. You have to have your wits about you at all times and in town with city driving - forget it. It wasn't made for that, don't try. It will overheat, it will complain, it doesn't want to go 40mph... ever. Given the value of the car I didn't push the limits, but I also didn't learn when it stops pulling. It truly was a factory race car.
Andrew, well done. I'm not a fan of the car in general, but I loved the First Generation design both interior and exterior. My next was the '57, clean, but absolutely a statement on the road or parked. Then '63 to '66; once again, coherent design, beautifully thought out. At school I drove a '53 6 Cylinder on City streets for a while. I loved it, but it rode like a truck and of course had the early Corvette Creaking Panels Issues and I didn't care. What you do is you drive it, park it, at all times with the top down, no side curtains, and just look at it. Thanks again and sty well.
These are the cars that only the mega wealthy can buy (if you ignore the C4 and newer). The 53s and L88s being ultra scarce will be squirreled away in hidden man caves only to be seen by buddies smoking Cubans while drinking $300 a bottle whiskey. The car will only go public when auctioned by the govt. for tax seizure or the family liquidating the estate!
I'm on my second Corvette. I bought a '69 L36 427/390 hp coupe in 2005. It was a numbers matching low mileage (69K) example in LeMans Blue with a black vinyl interior, an M21 Muncie 4 speed, F41 suspension and 3.36 gears. The car was a remarkable looking vehicle that was torture to drive and a disappointment to own. It got tons of eyeball but was actually a big pig. Too nose heavy for the track and too slow for the drags. I never ran it at the drag strip because it was a survivor, but I do believe that my '69 Mustang convertible would have spanked its butt in the quarter mile. My current Corvette is a Victory Red '09 C6 1LT coupe that I bought in 2015 with an actual 27K miles on it. It's an automatic with 2.73 gears and that super 430 hp LS3. Great car with great handling and plenty of room for silly stuff like luggage or golf clubs. It is definitely the fastest and quickest car I have ever owned including my '00 Z28 Camaro with a stout LS1.
I had a 1980 coupe (a far cry from your '69) and felt the same way about its driveability. Looked great but low power, wandered and had imprecise steering on the highway, and was impractical (I thought that the bubble back would let me haul golf clubs but they only fit crossways and driver out of the bag).
Then I went to a C6 Grand Sport coupe. Loved that car! The gills looked awesome on the fenders, fun to drive, great looks.
Now I have a 2013 427 Collector's Edition convertible. TOO MUCH FUN!!! I almost thought they picked my model for the C6 but it was the ZR1.
I had a 74 Coupe with an L48 Auto. I changed all that into a 400 Smallblock with about 400 hp and a Super T10 4 speed. Easy fix for low hp. Also, I drove that car to it's limit (about 150 mph) and I was never uncomfortable with it's handleing. Maybe not as good as a new one, but outstanding for it's time.
Hey! What happened to the 1968 Vette? No mention of it in the article. It was the first of the new style C3. I admit it had a few bugs, well maybe a bit more than a few, but it was the start of the era. I bought my 1968, California made, 427, 4 speed in 1969. It had only 75 miles on it. I bought it from Mark Stein, the lead guitarist of the Vanilla Fudge, and I have it to this day. It had it's minor quirks, but I love it.
>>The L88 option was only around for three years, 1967–69. The ’67 version is the only one with the more attractive C2 body. Excuse me? That's a matter of opinion. The C3 has that hourglass shape of a beautiful woman. Nothing better looking than that.
This article really isn't about the most valuable Corvettes as titled. If it was, there would be big-tank Corvettes and C1 racing variants, original Grand Sports, Yenko and other dealer hot-rod Corvettes, Astronaut Corvettes, and all the other specials and sneaky cars that got Chevy racing stuff through unofficial channels.
The C6 pictured looks more like the 2013 427 Convertible, and not a ZR1 Coupe. But it's a pretty rare vehicle and in some ways more desirable (e.g. one year only, convertible, LS7 motor, etc.); essentially a Z06 with wide open air.
So after a 2 year tour in Viet-Nam, I was discharged in late 1969. Made it home for Christmas! Considering that the military for all those years had lost my pay records? Really? I had the cash to pay for a 1969 Corvette. i was looking at a big block with a 4speed. Nicely equipped I must say. However, My mother suggested that before I purchased it to contact our insurance agent. OK, I did, and the insurance for a 22 year old in California was a third again higher that what I'm paying now! I had to have been rolling in gold to afford the darn insurance. But now, after all those years have passed under the bridge, there is a 2002 Torch Red Coupe sitting next to my 1932 Ford highboy coupe. Hard decision to make as to which one gets driven. The coupe has a 415 HP Corvette engine! LOL! But the "02 Corvette gets the nod a lot more often! Decisions -- - decisions!!
Love the corvettes early and newest editions, always wanted to own one since my youth and finally had a 2001 convertible roadster witch was amazing to me. Sold it and got me a 79 for it’s availability and mostly it’s sexy lines but has enjoyed for the past 14 years until I can afford a 2020 (😂 being hopeful).
I agree with you Steve. Frankly, I think the C7 is a better looking car than the C8. As for the C5, those pop-ups are nostalgic and sexy, and those LS/LT engines are bullitt proof. C5 Corvettes are the best bang for the buck sports car in America...IMO.
Really good article, I recently purchased a 1991 red on red L98, six speed with 176K miles here in SW Oklahoma for $4500.00! Needs paint and few other cosmetic issues, but runs great and is SOO much FUN to drive! I had a 1977 L82 white on saddle, 4 speed in the early 80's...not near as much fun to drive, not near as much power and nowhere near the torque, but it was a very COOL ride. I didn't think I "stole" my 1991 but considered it worth the money. My only question is simple? What in the world is 6th gear there for? AT 70 MPH, the RPM is on 1700. REALLY, I normally drive it in 5th and not worry about the hills! Love my "new to me" C4 Corvette!