Chevrolet recently launched its Corvette Stingray in the Philippines. It’s an iconic nameplate highly coveted by fans of performance cars, and boasts history of fetching more than US$1 million at collector car auctions — often for the benefit of charities. That means buying a Corvette could prove a savvy investment in years to come.
“Corvettes have been America’s sports car and an American icon for generations. People have been collecting them equally as long,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.
Jackson added that first- and second-generation Corvettes (1953-62 and 1963-67, respectively) with most of their original components (so-called “matching numbers”), big-block 427 engines and fuel injection (“Fuelies”) have been desirable for years due to their low production numbers. These models are especially popular with “Baby Boomer” collectors who grew up with them. Meanwhile, well-maintained third-gen Corvettes (1968-82) are becoming more valuable in the eyes of younger Gen-X and Millennial collectors. Early- and late-production serial numbers (like those of the first and last seventh-gen Corvette) can increase the collectability of a vehicle as well.
Recently, Barrett-Jackson has seen a big movement in restored and modified (“resto-modded”) Corvettes selling for a high premium. These are usually classic-looking first- and second-gen Corvettes with upgrades such as a modern performance chassis, modern suspension and a fuel-injected engine.
“Corvette collectors want that old-school look without sacrificing the modern amenities and power of a modern sports car,” said Jackson.
Here are the nine most expensive Corvettes sold at Barrett-Jackson auctions to date, including five that benefited charities, educational and medical institutes. (All information and photos courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company.)
1. 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Two-Door Coupe. Sold in 2014 for US$2,860,000, t is one of only four lightweight L88s built in 1969, ordered new by professional racer Or Costanzo. This world-record holder won several races and appeared on many magazine covers.
2. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette #57 Rebel Convertible Race Car. Sold in 2014 for US$2,860,000, t is one of only four lightweight L88s built in 1969, ordered new by professional racer Or Costanzo. This world-record holder won several races and appeared on many magazine covers.
3. 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. Sold in 2018 for US$1,400,000, this benefited George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Military Service Initiative. Only 650 Carbon 65 Editions were produced and this one is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with automatic transmission.
4 . 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2 Door Coupe “First Retail.” Sold in 2013 for US$1,100,000, this benefited the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. At the time, the C7 was the most powerful and most capable standard model Corvette ever produced.
5. 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway Coupe. Sold in 2018 for US$1,100,000, this unusual vehicle began its life as a road-ready production model, but was fully disassembled and rebuilt as this one-of-a-kind display stand for use by GM and Chevrolet on the auto show circuit.
6. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Owens/Corning Racecar. Sold in 2013 for US$1,100,000, it holds the title as the most victorious Corvette in history, driven by racing legends Tony DeLorenzo, Jerry Thompson, Don Yenko, and Gib Hufstaeder.
7. 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2-Door Coupe “First Retail.”Sold in 2014 for US$1,000,000, this benefited Karmanos Cancer Institute. It is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter aluminum V8 engine delivering at least 625hp and 635 ft/lbs of torque.
8. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible “First Retail.” Sold in 2013 for US$1,000,000 also to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute, this Corvette offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design, with nearly identical power-to-weight ratios and structural stiffness to the coupe.
9. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. Sold in 2018 for US$925,000, this benefited Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Building for America’s Bravest. It is the fastest, most powerful, most advanced production Corvette ever produced, incorporating select technologies born from Corvette Racing