2009 Market Analysis
Annual Review of Corvette Prices in 2009
BY: Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments
The 2009 "Corvette" calendar year was quite
unusual; it was
one like we have never encountered in the 30 years of
publishing this Market
Letter. The turmoil in the US economy had far-reaching
implications that impacted
both the Corvette resale market and new Corvette
As we look back at past annual reports, there
have been many
years when our 'Top Ten' Appreciation Chart showed double
Last year there was a signal that all was not
well when we
reported only one Corvette model in the double digit
appreciation column, and
that at only 10%. That one model was the previously neglected
1976 T-Top. The
other models showing appreciation in 2008 ranged from seven to
growth. As expected, dominating the appreciation chart were
the mid-years with
six positions on the chart that identified twelve
Even with that early warning, this year's
Chart results were unexpected. For the first time in 30 years
of Corvette price
tracking, there were NO Corvettes in the appreciation
The best we found were five Corvettes that
registered a NO
CHANGE when their 2009 average resale prices were compared to
those of a year
ago. The other four registered a -2% in average price, thus
the "2009 Top Ten
Appreciation Chart" only shows nine Corvette models. There
were several others
that reflected a -3%, but they have not been added to the
|Top Appreciation Models - 2009
The 1958 Roadster seems to be perennially
included in the Appreciation
Chart over the years. We are sure its unique louvered hood,
dual chrome trunk
stripes and first year dual headlamps help make this a high
demand resale Corvette.
Note the appearance of Special Edition
Corvettes that include
the last of the C4 ZR1's, the 1995 model. For the first time,
a C5 making the list, the 1998 Pace Car as well as the 1996
Roadster, another C4 model
These special editions are unique to their
years, some reflecting limited production numbers as well as
mileage on individual units. This is also the first year where
all of the first
five Corvette generations appear on the chart, C1-C5!
The 1986 Roadster made a rare appearance on
Chart, primarily due to the sale prices of those painted
Yellow, the actual
1986 Pace Car. However, you may recall that all 1986 Roadster
as Pace Cars with a console plaque. In addition, all of the
1986 Roadsters included
Pace Car decals for dealer or customer installation.
The 1961 Roadster was listed as the entry
level of the first
generation Corvettes at $44,000. It also had a full array of
to 'run up' the high prices on these models.
The 1963 Coupe, a repeat from last year's
with buyer popularity due to its unique rear split-window
styling. It is also
designated as one of the true Collector Corvettes commanding
top dollar compared
to the other Coupes in the mid-year class. When we look at one
year, two year
and five year appreciation, this model exceeds the other
Coupes by a large margin.
Depreciation Models - 2009
The Depreciation Chart shows, on a
comparative basis, that
not much has changed from the last year where the percentage
change showed a
range of -16% to -20%. Most of these were C5 and C6 Corvettes.
This should not
be a surprise to anyone as the late models always reflect long
and slow negative
depreciation for at least 10 years.
The BIG surprise on this year's Depreciation
the 1953 Roadster. During the last several years we noted an
in pricing for this rare collectable model. However, in
most buyers are not looking for a Corvette that will be
displayed in their collection
with no special features other than vintage age and a low
At a glance, there is not much difference between a 1953 and a
model. With the average price of a 1954 Roadster at $56,900,
it is difficult
to justify the difference in resale price at $118,000!
The Depreciation Chart shows six of the ten
Corvettes as being
a Special Edition or high performance Corvette, quite a
difference from the
Special Editions on the Appreciation Chart. At this time it is
too early to
identify the C5 and C6 Corvettes as 'collectable', however
may change in future years.
The original base prices of these models were
priced at premium
rates, but are only selling at modest prices over the standard
models. In addition,
the new models diminish the premium paid for the Corvettes
identified on this
chart. For example, the 2003 50th Anniversary Roadster had a
base price of $55,370
compared to a 2010 Grand Sport Roadster with enhanced HP and
handling that sells
In Today's economic climate, there does not
seem to be
a willingness on the part of Corvette buyers to pay the
premium that was added
to the late model high performance Corvettes when new on the
One example of this phenomenon can be seen
with the 2006 Z06
with its original base price of $65,800 and the standard Coupe
at $44,600. Today
the Z06 sells for an average price of $44,000 and the Coupe at
NOBODY PROVIDES MORE COMPLETE,
CURRENT AUCTION RESULTS
THAN VETTE-N-VESTMENTS – NOBODY!
Following are highlights from our 2010
Corvette Price Guide:
1953-1962: The solid axle Corvettes
were few in number
at auctions and that is reflected in the sales column during
the 2009 calendar
this year. Other that the previously mentioned 1953 Roadster
and the 1958 Roadster
at 'no change', the depreciation range was -2% to -10% in
price. Excluding the 1953 model, the average price for the
series was $54,000,
with the 1959-1962 models showing average prices under the
with the 1954-1958 models exceeding the $50,000 mark.
1963-1967: The auction action
continued to excite buyers
with numerous mid-years crossing the auction block. The
in average price ranged from -2% to -8%. The price leader in
average price continued
to be the 1967 Roadster at $56,300. The entry level priced mid-
continued to be the 1964 Coupe at $33,900. The average price
for the mid-year
models was $44,760. Only three exceeded the $50,000 mark
– the 1963 Coupe,
1967 Coupe and the 1967 Roadster – as usual!
1968-1982: The majority of sales in
the 2009 auctions
went to the third generation Corvettes. The entry level price
at $8,900 went
to the 1978 T-Top. Representing the average high price for
this series was the
1970 Roadster at $28,600 with a depreciation factor of -3%.
None of the models
in this series were on the plus side of the appreciation
ledger with only one,
the 1982 Collector Edition, at 'no change' in average price at
depreciation percentages ranged from -3% to -12%.
1984-1996: The fourth generation
models are interesting
from a price perspective. We noted little change in average
prices between model
years. As an example, the price spread between the 1984 Coupe
started at $8,000
and ended at $10,300 for the 1990 Coupe. The price difference
on many of these
models was only a few hundred dollars between model years. The
entry level was
the 1984 Coupe and the high average price for this series was
$45,000 for the
1996 Grand Sport Roadster.
1997-2004: This generation, the
fifth, continues with
resale prices in double digit depreciation. Many of these
sales are termed excellent
buys and are below the $20,000 mark. As we say frequently,
these prices buy
a considerable amount of styling, performance, handling and
The entry level price at $13,000 goes to the first year model
– the 1997
Coupe that showed a -13% depreciation factor. The high price
at $26,000 is represented
by the 2004 Z06 at a -12% depreciation. The 1997 model through
the 2002 models
showed a depreciation range of -10% to -14% with the majority
of the 2003-2004
models showing -14% to -18%. It appears that the earlier
models in this series
are slowing down from a depreciation perspective. One wonders
how low this great
Corvette can go from a price perspective.
2005-2009: Depreciation ranges from -
7% to -20% for
this series is expected. The higher levels of depreciation
represent the Z06
models. The entry level remains the first year of the series,
the 2005 Coupe
at $27,500 that showed a -13% depreciation factor. At the
other end of the spectrum
is the 2009 ZR1 at an average price of $110,000 with
depreciation at -12%.
We continue to monitory other Price Guides as
a sanity check
and continue to be confused! We are at numerous Corvette
in the front row in an effort not to miss any of the auction
action. We know
who is bidding, what the final bid is and whether or not the
Vette is sold at
the final bid. Prior to and during the auction, each Corvette
is inspected and
pertinent data on each is recorded. In addition, we attend
to monitor the wholesale prices of Corvettes.
BOTTOM LINE: We feel our price data is
accurate. A few examples
of prices from other Price Guides that are suspect are as
follows. All were
shown as in good condition with the base motor, except for the
1995 ZR1 that
had no optional motor:
• 1957 Roadster at $37,000
• 1961 Roadster at $34,775.
• 1963 Coupe at $36,500.
• 1967 Roadster at $39,000.
• 1970 Roadster at $18,500.
• 1978 Pace Car at $13,600.
• 1995 ZR1 at $27,500.
• 1996 Grand Sport Roadster at $29,000.
We are the lookout for the location of
priced Corvettes and will pass on to our subscribers their
locations when found!
All of our data in this report is available
in our 2010 VETTE-N-VESTMENT
CORVETTE PRICE GUIDE. The Price Guide remains priced at $20
retail, but we continue
to offer a 25% discount to VetteFinders subscribers. Your
price is $15.
The 2009 Price Guide with Appreciation/Depreciation figures
for 1, 2 and 5 Years
The 2010 Price Guide features:
134 Corvette Models and Special
High / Low / Average 2009 Sales Prices.
1, 2 & 5 Year Appreciation/Depreciation Figures.
Pricing for Optional Equipment including Motors
AC, Tops and Wheels.
A must for any Corvette collector or
Price: $15.00 - Free Shipping!
Click Here to
As indicated in our 2009 year review, you should consider
subscribing to our
Corvette Market Letter.
It provides complete results from major Corvette auctions
options data, condition, and sales prices, plus more, for each
The market letter also provides the latest Corvette news,
price charts, and more. Combined with the Corvette Price
Guide, only $50 + free
Return to Corvette 101