2013 Market Analysis

Annual Review of Corvette Prices in 2013

BY: Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments

2013 was quite a year for the Corvette enthusiast in many respects, and a great year, I might add!

The year began with the long-awaited introduction of the 2014 Stingray Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show in January. We had an upfront seat at a special introduction for the media. From then on the media (and us, of course) provided twelve months of Stingray coverage for this world-class performance driving machine. The accolades for this automotive icon keep coming! And, why not? The Corvette team at Chevrolet has brought us a noteworthy world-class sportscar at the right price!

Shifting gears, so to speak, in 2013 we noted an abundance of Corvettes crossed the auction block at major special interest and collector car auctions across this country. Unquestionably, Mecum was the leader in consigned Corvettes with over 1,000 Vettes crossing their auction block.

Other major auction companies, with the likes of Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, GAA Auctions, RM Auctions and Corvette Expo continue to consign Corvettes that are an ‘attendance draw’ for the consumer and a purchase opportunity for Corvette enthusiasts.

The Corvette enthusiast had an opportunity to purchase a daily drive for under $5,000 or a rare collectable for over the million dollar mark, like the 1967 Roadster with the L-88 motor option that sold for $3.2 Million at the Mecum Dallas Auction.

As indicated in an earlier Market Letter, collector Corvettes, some never before offered for sale in the public arena, surfaced in 2013. At Barrett-Jackson, the first 2014 Stingray offered for public sale sold for $1.05 Million with proceeds going to charity.

In the Corvette resale market, our 2013 Appreciation Chart registered double digit results. This has not happened for several years and is a strong indication that the Corvette resale market is back in a ‘Vette-N-Vestment’ mode. On a comparative basis, the 2009 Appreciation Chart showed six ‘no-change’ prices and no models were shown in the plus column!

This past year we also saw the Bloomington Gold Show move to Champaign, IL. Closing out 2013 was more news from General Motors with the announcement that the Z06 Corvette will return with its introduction at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Top Appreciation Models - 2013
Year Make % Change Average Price
1955 Roadster 15% $81,750
1954 Roadster 12% $65,700
1953 Roadster 11% $205,000
1963 Roadster 11% $49,000
1964 Roadster 11% $47,100
1973 Roadster 11% $21,500
1978 T-Top 11% $10,000
1964 Coupe 11% $42,700
1972 Roadster 10% $29,300
1977 T-Top 10% $11,600

The top three appreciating Vettes for 2013 were the ones that started this magnificent ‘ride’ for the Corvette over 60 years ago. The 1953 and 1954 models have been off and on again on our appreciation/depreciation charts for several years following the state of the US economy. But, adding to their collectability are the small production numbers of 300 for the 1953 model and 700 for the 1955 model. In addition, the 1955 model was the first step for desired performance with the first addition of the 265-195 V/8 motor coupled with a 3-speed manual transmission.

Three mid-year models made the Top Ten Appreciation Chart as well. The 1963 Roadster with its new body style (for the introduction price of $4,037) had an average resale price in 2013 of $49,000!

The resale mid-year entry price has historically been the 1964 models, both Coupe and Roadster. It appears that the popularity of these mid-year models and their corresponding current resale prices are now on the way to breaking the $50,000 threshold as well.

The remaining four Corvettes on the Appreciation Chart reflect the collectability and potential for additional appreciation: 1.) the 1973 Roadster, the last of the rear chrome bumper models and one approaching the phase-out of the C3 Roadster; 2.) the 1978 T-Top that always takes a ‘back seat’ to the Pace Car and Silver Anniversary models but at an average price that is several thousand dollars below those models despite the new rear styling and interior design with which it came to market; 3.)the 1972 Roadster that was the last of the front and rear bumper Vettes and the last model with a removable rear window; and, 4.) the 1977 model, the last of the initial C3 styling that continues to draw Corvette enthusiasts.

Top Depreciation Models - 2013
Year Make % Change Average Price
1996 GS Roadster -17% $29,900
1996 GS Coupe -16% $25,700
2002 Z06 -13% $20,000
2010 GS Roadster -13% $41,200
2010 Roadster -12% $36,700
2010 GS Coupe -12% $37,600
2010 Z06 -12% $52,000
2002 Coupe -11% $17,200
2001 Z06 -10% $30,500
2009 Coupe -10% $30,500
2010 Coupe -10% $33,200

The Depreciation Chart for 2013 shows only eleven double-digit factors for our entire Corvette numbers base. Again, noteworthy is a comparison to the 2009 chart that had a range of -40% to -15% with additional double digit depreciation below the -15% mark not shown!

The majority of depreciating models on our 2012 chart were special editions and performance models. This year, 2013, we again have the same configuration of models including a few repeat models. However many of the models on our charts are newer models when depreciation is the norm.

The top depreciating models are the 1996 Grand Sport models. Since their introduction and low production numbers (Roadster – 190 units and Coupes – 810 units), special paint and trim, they continued with low depreciation. However in today’s market, newer models offer an array performance factors and low entry level prices, thus 1996 Grand Sports have lost some of their value.

On the chart are two early Z06 models, 2001 and 2002. The 2001 was the first of the Z06 series with a new LS6 motor pumping out 385 HP. The 2002 HP was increased to 405, well above the 350 HP for the standard Coupe. It appears that the 405 HP is on the same level with the ‘new’ C6 2005 Coupe model rated at 400 HP as the base engine. A step up buys you a new body style, features and comparable HP. However, the 2002 Z06 with an average resale price of $20,000 is, in our opinion, a good buy for the performance minded. You are buying an abundance of performance, handling and comfort features at the right price.

The average price of the 2001 Z06 appears to have impacted the 2002 Coupe price with its close proximity of $17,200 average resale price compared to the performance of the Z06 for an additional $800.

The others on the depreciation chart reflect normal depreciation accelerated by minimal return on the upgrade model options.

Following are highlights from our 2014 Corvette Price Guide:

1953-1962: As shown on our appreciation chart, the early models in this series regained their popularity and collectability. All of the models are showing positive appreciation results ranging from +2% to +15%. One of the +2% factor Vettes was a 1960 Roadster at an average price of $57,500. Six of the ten models in this series show double-digit appreciation over a two-year period.

1963-1967: The mid-years remain a popular choice among Corvette enthusiasts. These models offer unique options and high performance motors, when so equipped, have the potential to ‘break the bank’ in the resale market. All ten models were in the appreciation column ranging from +1% to +11%. One at +1% was the 1966 Coupe at an average price of $50,400.

1968-1982: The C3 series is represented by 26 models with good results during 2013. Only three models are showing modest depreciation results, from -1% to -4% with one showing no change in average price. The average appreciation factor for the C3’s is +5%. The entry price to purchase a C3 was $10,000 for the 1978 T-Top shown on the appreciation chart. The high average price for this series was $32,500 going to a 1970 Roadster with a +7% appreciation factor.

1984-1996: The 4th Generation Corvettes offer 38 models for resale with mixed results. Included are fourteen with depreciation ranging from -7% to -1% (excluding the 1996 Grand Sports model), six show ‘no change’ and eighteen have an appreciation factor of +8% to +1%. As one would expect, the entry level is the 1984 Coupe at $7,500 that showed a +4% factor. The 1996 Grand Sport Roadster at $29,900 in average resale price is the high priced 4th Generation Corvette for 2013.

1997-2004: Last year the question was ‘how low can the average price of this series go?’ The answer is ‘lower’. We noted negative results for 21 of the 24 C5 models. The entry price for this series is $13,300 for the 1997 Coupe with a +3% factor. Fifteen of the 24 models show an average price of under $20,000 with a high average price of $23,500 going for a 2004 Z06 at -4% over the past year.

2005-2010: Results are similar for the C5 Corvettes, all but two of the 26 models showed normal depreciation results. The entry level at $23,600 is the 2005 Coupe at -1%. At the high end average price was the 2010 ZR at $82,000, -3%. All the specific data for all years and models through 2010 are included in our 2014 VETTE-N-VESTMENTS CORVETTE PRICE GUIDE that is now available.

The Price Guide includes high, low and average prices as well as options add-on pricing for each model. Another important feature is the appreciation factor in average price for one, two and five years. This is an excellent tool to use when buying, selling and insuring that special Corvette.

VETTE-N-VESTMENTS also publishes a monthly Market Letter that covers the latest Corvette news on the C7 models, vintage Corvettes, Corvette racing and complete Corvette auction coverage.

The auction coverage lists each Corvette that crosses the auction block with specifics including year, body style, transmission, motor, options (2-Tops, Wheels, Side Exhaust, A/C), certification, condition, bid price and sale designation.

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High / Low / Average 2011 Sales Prices.
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Pricing for Optional Equipment including Motors
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