The Chevrolet Corvette has won the admiration and respect of American car enthusiasts for more than half a century – thanks to its incredible power and performance in a stylish, charming and distinctive body. It’s not even a surprise that the C8 Corvette was named Hotcars’ Best American Sports Car of the Year. This Chevrolet model stands out on the market today as the longest continuously manufactured passenger car in the world. While Classic Corvettes are highly desirable, especially the original Special Edition cars, most of them are now “off the beaten path” due to their exorbitant auction prices which typically exceed $400,000. But with so many cars built in its history, there’s almost a Corvette to suit every collector’s taste and budget.
Collectors are also in luck that Chevrolet has been recycling specialty Corvette titles like the Z06, ZR1 and Grand Sport, lending great success to later versions. More valuable than standard production cruisers and considering future classics, these new versions can still be purchased at “affordable” prices. However, expect that acquiring them in the not too distant future will require some serious coins due to the increased interest they are receiving. For the dedicated collector, we have listed these 10 cruisers that will soon be of great value.
10 1955 Chevrolet Corvette C1
The Chevrolet Corvette did not emerge as a true competitor in the sports car market until 1955, when Chevrolet switched from a straight-six engine to a V8 (optional). The “V” in the 1955 Corvette’s front fender emblem refers to the compact 265-cubic-inch V8 under the hood.
With 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the ’55 Corvette can go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds (a respectable performance for the day). It’s available today for $40K (Hagerty) – a bargain for just 700 Classic units. With no body reviews since 53, this is the first 1950s model worth collecting, apart from the first.
9 1957 Chevrolet Corvette “Folie”
Although the 1957 Corvette is fundamentally unchanged (from the radically redesigned 1956 model), it is specific with significant changes under the hood. The compact V8 grew from 265 to 283 cubic inches, and for the first time, the Corvette was using fuel injection—an expensive and bleeding invention of the 1950s. Only 714 of 1957 cruisers (6,339 units) were installed.
There were two variants of “Fuelie”; The base model made 250 horsepower, while the top-of-the-line “Violi” model produced 290 horsepower. It was the first time an American engine produced 1 hp/cubic inch of displacement and it never misses among collectors’ wise investment lists. Their values have been steadily increasing over the past decade, now fetching over $130,000.
8 1962 Chevrolet Corvette 327/360 “Violi”
For 1962 Corvettes powered by 327 or 360 “Fuelie” engines are more valuable than the standard production models. The 5.3-liter and 5.9-liter displacement engines once again gave buyers the option of fuel injection, turning the charming sports car into a serious performance machine capable of producing up to 360 hp.
The best examples of these classics from the 1960s sell for anywhere from $120,000 to $175,000, indicating that they will soon be “unavailable.”
7 1996 Grand Sport Convertible (LT4)
The 1996 C4 GS was a farewell to the C4 Corvette named after the original Grand Sport (GS) from 1963. It had the LT4 engine, a high-performance version of the LT1 engine from the time that produced an extra 30 horsepower for a total of 330 horsepower. Available only in Admiral Blue with the Arctic White center stripe, the 1996 Limited Grand Sport Racing included 190 cars.
With the GS moniker in use only 4 times (so far) in Corvette’s history, these particular models have found their way onto collectors’ radars. Even as it was listed by CNN Money as one of today’s top 10 value cruisers, expect more recognition.
6 Corvette Guldstrand GS90 1995
In the 1980s, after his retirement, famed GT racer Dick Goldstrand entered the business of selling custom Corvettes. For him, the advent of the fastest and most controlled Vette at the time, the C4 ZR1, was an opportunity to reimagine one of his favorite Corvette cars, the Grand Sport of the 1960s.
Guldstrand and his team built only six Guldstrand GS90 cruisers out of a planned 100 to 150 vehicles. Inspired by the original Grand Sport’s aerodynamic chassis. Rare and mostly unheard of ZR1s are considered definitive C4s by many collectors.
5 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary Convertible
Automakers never miss an opportunity to make their cars function as the Indy 500’s official speed car; It’s a great marketing opportunity. The Corvette has outrun 500 times more than any other car, with Chevy selling a limited-production replica of the official speed car to the public.
But Chevy did not officially sell a replica of the car in 2002-2003. However, for an additional $500, customers can purchase a sticker pack that turns the 50th Anniversary Fifth Anniversary into a tribute to Pace. Today, collectors will pay a premium for a Corvette with those stickers over the standard car.
4 2001-04 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Z06 Vette has always been a step up in performance and price compared to the ‘standard Vette’. One of the best performing American cars of the early 2000s, it could humiliate many exotic European cars that cost more. It was also a hit car. It judged its arch rival, the Dodge Viper, by being faster and cheaper.
When C6 appeared, it lost its freshness and began to decline. But she never lost her performance credentials. Providing excellent value for money today, 2001-’04 Corvette Z06s are a bit more expensive as the secret has spread. Examples with a few miles that have not been modified have a promising future as collectibles.
3 2013 Corvette ZR1 60 Anniversary Coupe
The 2013 Corvette ZR1 60th Anniversary Coupe, a different boiler of power and performance in the Corvette lineup, is a gem among all the special edition Corvettes built over the life of the C6. Aside from having a 638-horsepower ZR1 supercharged engine, only the 138 ZR1 got the 60th Anniversary Design Package.
The car featured arctic white paintwork with silver stripes over the twilight blue interior leather with suede accents. In terms of collectability, it beats even the most popular Grand Sport, and future values are expected to be very high.
2 Baldwin-Motion Phase III GT Corvettes
The heyday of the 1960s stingray tuner, the Baldwin-Motion Phase III GT Corvettes were built by Motion Performance (Baldwin, New York) between 1968 and 1972. Your Chevrolet dealership is on Long Island.
10 Baldwin-Motion Phase II GT cruisers are built – each completely unique. There are fewer today. It’s the fiercest two-seater dual-purpose sports car of the big block era by a tuning house. While Baldwin-Motion doesn’t have a Shelby stamp or Roush Performance, knowledgeable collectors among the Chevy brigade are aware of the collectability of these models, which have seen values soar to $200,000.
1 1971 Chevy Corvette ZR1
The 1971 Corvette ZR1 was built with the LT-1 engine and the $1,221 Special ZR1 package option basically from the ground up for competition racing. It didn’t even have features like air conditioning, a rear window defogger, electric windows, power steering, wheel covers, or radio, and it stays true to its intended use.
Only 8 were sold, which is the lowest priced ZR1, and its value is expected to double in the next few years as it is rarely changed. Any serious collector should have a great stock ready if or when one becomes available.