Owning a classic Corvette - the true American sports car - is a car collector’s dream realized. The 7 generations of Corvettes owe their illustrious history to their first chief designer, Harley Earl, the head of GM’s Design Studio from 1927-1958.
The first corvette, in a classic polo white, was rolled out of the assembly line on June 30th, 1953. Out of the 300 cars built that year, only 225 are known to exist today. The 1953 model, original C1 Chevrolet Corvette is a highly sought after car amongst avid classic car collectors.
In the decades that followed, the successive generations of more powerful Corvettes had a tough time living up to their competitors, the Ferrari, Porsche and the Lamborghini. But now, surpassing the downswings in the automobile market, GM is set to hit the US market with its all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. On Jan 13th, 2013, GM unveiled the first model of the car in an old dilapidated warehouse in Detroit. Fitted with the exclusive and powerful Stingray title on its fenders, the car is slated to be the most powerful Corvette ever built. It can go from 0-60mph in less than 4 seconds and can gain more than 1g in cornering grip.
While owning a Corvette of any model is definitely a dream come true for any collector, it’s important to ascertain the true value of your collectible. The most important factor in determining the value of a Corvette is the originality of the car. This can be largely determined on the extent of the documentation available. Here are a few important documents that will help you trace the origin of your Corvette.
- The Factory Built Sheet: Considered to be the most informative document, the Factory Built Sheet has details like engine number, transmission, axle details and so on.
- Tank Sticker: Considered to be the second most important document, the Tank Sheet/Sticker is glued to the top of the gas tank. It contains all info regarding the various installations done on the car and also the Regular Production Option Codes (RPO).
- Protect-O-Plate: This is a small metal plate fixed at the back of the warranty book. The reversed characters in this piece of metal contain info like the VIN, trim/paint codes, specific engine no, transmission no and axle no.
The previous owners of the car are the best source to gather info on your search to retrieve these documents. The Dept of Motor Vehicles, sources from National Car magazines or National Car Club periodicals can help you widen your network to find the previous owners.
Having collector car insurance is equally important in owning and maintaining a classic car. Classic Auto gives you the best collector car insurance quotes around and we can offer competitive prices and plans tailored to your personal needs.
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.