Bargains are Out There
John Gunnell - May 28, 2014 10:14 AM
A little hood alignment may be needed, but this could be a good starting point.John Gunnell
Not really a great place to store parts when the time comes to move the attention to the interior.John Gunnell
Rust, leaves and nuts were found here. They have to go.John Gunnell
Yes friends, there are $2,000 Corvettes out there if you look hard enough. This is a 1977 Corvette with 59,545.4 original miles that auto shop teacher Dave Sarna bought about a year ago for a final price in the $2,000 range. He still has the car and plans to fix it up over time.
In April 2003, Valley Corvette of Appleton, Wisconsin, sold this car to a buyer from Manawa, Wisconsin. Ten years later, the bank took it back. The car had no serious damage, but the paint was fading and the clearcoat was lifting in spots, several tires were flat, the interior was filled with boxes of spare parts, the carpets and door panels were beat up and the engine compartment looked like a total mess.
Obviously, a $2,000 Corvette is not going to stay a $2,000 Corvette for long if you plan to restore it or at least fix it up. Cars like this have appeal to “working stiffs” who are never going to fit the price of a pristine Corvette into a tight monthly budget.
With a little do-it-yourself work and the purchase of a few parts each month, that $2,000 Corvette might eventually become a $20,000 Corvette. It’s true that some Corvettes have more to offer collectors and appreciate faster than other models, but history tells us that a rising tide in the Corvette world “raises all boats” over a period of time.
To look for $2,000 Corvettes, check out local estate auctions, garage sales and classified ads for bank liquidations. Visit car shows that have big swap meets or large car corrals. Check old car price guides so you are familiar with value estimates for cars in poor condition. Chances are pretty good that the initial asking price for your $2,000 Corvette is going to be higher than $2,000! People see the fiberglass Chevys as collector cars and you’ll need to negotiate.
One last thought. When we started driving in the mid-‘60s, we remember seeing Gen 1 Corvettes for sale in backyards and driveways in our neighborhood for as little as $200. Just think how happy you’d be if you had bought a 1957 Corvette for $200 in 1964, fixed it up little by little and sold it for fair market value 50 years later! People would say you had the Midas Touch!