Buying a used Corvette? These tips may help!
Buying a used Corvette requires keen research, thorough inspection and plenty of common sense. Used Corvettes are typically exotic collectibles that require the right engine and specific spare parts to deliver satisfactory performance. Here’s what you should look out for before spending money on a used corvette:
Assess the car for serious flaws
No matter how sweet-looking your desired Corvette may seem at face value, it is crucial that you check out the car for any serious damage. A good indication of a Corvette’s condition is its A-Arm shims. A car with many shims on one side and none on the other is an indication of damage issues such as suspension damage and damage to the cross member. Buying a Vette with these problems will mean spending more money fixing these flaws. If the number of shims on both sides of the A-frame is equal, that is a positive sign.
Evaluate the outward appearance of the car
You need to look at how the car sits on a flat surface—does the car sag down or look unbalanced; do the doors fit into the body? Assess the bumper as well to see if there are any signs of damage from collision. Given that Corvettes are built from fiberglass, any damage to the front bumper and panels needs to be replaced not just merely repaired.
Go down under
Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty by going underneath the car to have a look at the condition of the unprotected parts of the chassis including the frame in front of the rear wheels and the cross member. Over the years, rust can really take a toll on these unprotected parts, lowering the car’s performance and value.
It is recommended that you invest in an original Vette, not one that has been pieced together from different parts. A Corvette that is not an original and that seems like a bargain will certainly cost you more money later on as you delve into restoration and repairs.
If buying a restored Corvette, ensure that Bloomington Gold or the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) have certified it.
Regarding the Bloomington Gold certification, here’s what they’ve posted on their Website,
“A Gold Certified car appears as it would just after completion of “typical factory production.” It means that a Corvette has been preserved or restored within 95% of the way it appeared when it left the factory – no better, no worse, no different. Bloomington Gold’s standards for authenticity and condition are clear – the goal is to attain historic perfection, not cosmetic perfection.”
And, as noted on the Website for the National Corvette Restorers Society,
“The judging system is designed to educate each owner about their car as well as providing recognition for excellence in the areas of restoration, performance, or preservation. It is not a “cleanliness contest” like other events, nor do you compete against your friends’ Corvettes. Judging is not done by some secret group of “experts”.”
All in all, be cautious of restored, reconstructed or salvaged Vettes- they may cost less upfront but will cost more in repairs and will be difficult to resell.
If you are looking to buy, don’t forget to check out our own website current listings for some of the best Vettes on the Internet.