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Saint Charlges Corvette Show - Golden Opportunities

Corvette prospectors look to strike it rich in Saint Charles.

Walt Thurn Dec 28, 2011
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Mecum's Bloomington Gold auction was held in July during the eponymous Corvette show in Saint Charles, Illinois. Despite a sluggish economy, this year's event proved a great place to shop for investment-grade Vettes as well as drivers from every generation. It also provided buyers and sellers with a good opportunity to gauge the current state of the market.

The show's highest individual sale was $410,000 for a rare '71 ZR2 LS6 convertible. RPO ZR2 included the 425hp, aluminum-head 454; M22 four-speed transmission; heavy-duty power brakes; transistor ignition; and special springs, shocks, and front and rear sway bars. No creature comforts were available with this package, which was intended for all-out performance. This sale was the highlight event for the auction, as only 12 ZR2s were built, and only two of these were convertibles.

The other notable group of Corvettes for sale was the "Black Collection," which comprised 23 '54 to '69 cars--all black--offered by one owner. Their selling prices ranged from $41,000 for a '69 convertible to $110,000 for a '65 fuelie four-speed coupe. The total sale for all 23 cars (before commission) was a little more than $2.2 million. All of these cars were displayed near the auction tent and lined up with their hoods raised. It was an impressive sight and gave people a great opportunity to inspect a 15-year span of Corvette history.

Let's review how each generation fared as it went through the Mecum auction process. Seventy-two first-generation (1953-1962) Corvettes were available, 12 of which went unsold. (It's important to note that, thanks to Mecum's "The Bid Is Still Open" feature, all unsold cars still had a chance to find a new home after the event's close.)

The lowest price was $31,000, for a non-original yellow '62 convertible. The highest was for a beautiful, black '58 fuel-injected Corvette with rare options; it sold for $142,000.

A total of 53 second-generation (1963-1967) Corvettes were auctioned, and 23 did not sell. The lowest price was $39,000 for a '65 small-block automatic coupe, while the highest was for a Survivor '67 427/435 convertible, which sold for $132,000.

The third generation (1968-1982) provided 67 cars, of which 37 did not sell. The lowest selling price was $4,400 for a white '81 L48 coupe. The highest was $410,000 for the rare '71 ZR2 convertible mentioned earlier.

Forty-one fourth-generation (1984-1996) Corvettes were auctioned, and 20 did not sell. The lowest price was $4,100 for a red '87 convertible, while the highest was $39,000 for a '90 9RG coupe with 371 miles on its clock.

Only 25 fifth-generation (1997-2004) Corvettes were auctioned, and 19 did not sell. The lowest selling price was $11,500 for a red '00 coupe, and the highest was $62,000 for a '98 convertible that had been converted into a 50th Anniversary clone.

Finally, 22 sixth-generation (2005-2011) Corvettes were available; 15 went unsold. The lowest price was $25,750 for a silver '05 six-speed coupe, while the highest was $80,000 for a white '10 Callaway SC606 Grand Sport convertible.

For more information on Mecum's upcoming auctions, visit The website enables you to check current selling prices for your favorite-generation Corvette. Who knows? Maybe you'll get auction fever and put in a bid for your dream ride!



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