I am considering .... seriously considering, the purchase of a C1 and would
like to know what to look out for in the market today.
The thought of having a C1 has been a dream for many many years. When I was
15 or 16 my dad had a 1962 327-340hp White w/Red int. and my Uncle had a
Frost Blue Fuel Inj. 1959. I was hooked from there on....
Unfortunately, due to having a family and other things that always seemed to
capture my attention, not to mention my finances, I was never able to have a
C1 of my own. Times however are changing and it may be my time. The problem
however, is what people now call "Reasonably priced". It's not that I
wouldn't pay the price, it's just that I want to get the very best for the
money and have an investment as well.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. My dad paid $6900 for his '62 and my uncle paid $8500 for the Fuelie
and thought he was getting gouged. Anyone have a time machine I can borrow?
I think your best source for finding out specific things to check on a
C1, would be www.corvetteforum.com in the C1 section . They will have a
wealth of info on that generation Corvette. I do know that the area
around the headlights are prone to rusting from all the car shows ive
been to. Good luck.
Check this forum thread... it's about C2's, but the principles are the same.
If you want to avoid getting ripped off, make sure you are very
on these cars BEFORE getting serious about purchasing, or find/hire someone
you can trust who you are certain IS an expert, and who has no vested
in any vehicle you are considering. Visit reputable dealers like
attend Corvette shows, study books like "Corvette Restoration & Technical
Guide, Vol 1" by Noland Adams, etc, etc, etc. Above all, take your time,
at a LOT of cars, don't let your emotions overrule your common sense, make
certain you are buying quality rather than a dream.
Prices vary wildly based on model, year, options, originality, condition,
desirability, and the degree of desperation of the buyer or seller on
any given day, so there's no substitute for knowledge of the market.
Realistically you are going to pay at least $35k for a decent low-option
you are talking considerably more money for one in excellent (but not show)
condition, maybe the mid-50's. Your Uncle's fuelie in show condition might
If you're thinking of it as an investment, you're probably buying for
reason... that's how the prices got where they are, and there's no
guarantee the prices
will keep rising. If your Dad and uncle had kept theirs, now THAT would have
been a great investment, but back then they were just ordinary
priced as such.
======================Very true...however These cars are actually pretty cheap to own when
one remembers that even if they just hold their value the cost of
ownership over a period of time works out to a few hundered dollars a
year ... (Insurance Tags etc)...
I already own 5 Corvettes BUT if the right 61 came along I would be
very tempted to buy it even knowing just how bad these things really
rode ... King Pins?
didn't ride all that bad, I owned one back in '62. It also was the
smoothest-running car I've ever owned (base engine), with the possible
exception of a Jag XJS V12... there were times I turned the key
to the start position when I forgot I'd left it idling.
Yeah smooth. --- First time I drove one, accidentally started out in
3rd gear. Took a couple of seconds to realize my error. (At the time,
I'd been driving a MGA for a couple of years.)
'89 Hookercar '02 e-blu coupe
Thank you for the cautionary words. Is there a specific issue or issues
where it is seen that people are getting ripped off more often than others?
Although a novice in the Corvette arena, I am pretty familiar with GM
products, having had and refurbished several older Chevrolet cars and
pick-ups. Some of these include:
'63 Chev. Nova SS
'57 PU SWB W/big back window
'57 Cameo PU
'64 Impala SS
'68 Elcamino SS
'38 Chev. Coupe W/ 327cid
'67 RS Camaro
ETC...... I know each one has its own areas of problems with various
things such as rust, electrical issues, suspension issues, and I assume the
C1 Corvettes are no different.
I just don't know what they are at this point.......but always willing to
As far as buying one for the wrong reason..... I don't think so... my first
and foremost reason for buying one is the love of the car. And if you can
imagine this... actually wanting to drive it, not just sticking it away in
hopes that someday a goldmine will have appeared in my shop. I was just
thinking, when I referred to an investment, I would like to buy something
that won't lose 20% of it's value in the first year or two. I have a hard
time looking at the new C6's knowing that as soon as you drive them off of
the lot you just dropped several thousand dollars..... not to mention, I
dont really care for the styling of the C6 when compared to the C1. But that
is just personal preference.
Auctions: Avoid some, attend others. Barrett Jackson is a good place to
throw your money away. While many of the cars are great cars, the bidding
usually goes insanely high. Not to mention the hours of massaging your
brain with free alcohol beforehand.
Mecum auctions are more serious and low key, however, there are big Corvette
names and prices can also go insane. But there are some good deals going
through occasionally if you are watching.
In either, you MUST know what a car is worth and have the power to set a
price and stick to it when the bidding gets there. If you can't, don't go.
You can get a fuelie today for about $6900. But it is only the FI unit, not
You don't mention where you are or how far you are willing to travel. There
may be shows and sales that you should attend that may offer the cars you
A C1 requiring total restoration will end up being more expensive than
buying one already restored. One requiring work can cost way more than you
expect as some parts are incredibly expensive as they demand is low and the
aftermarket doesn't supply them.
The 1953-55s are very expensive to own and for parts. The 56s and up are
less expensive and parts are easier to find. Example: cherry 53-55 hubcaps:
$500+ each. Cherry 56-57 hubcaps $500 for a set...
The younger the car (58+), more were made, more parts available, lower price
- except for the split window coupes...
Tom in Missouri wrote:
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