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Classic Corvette Purchasing Tips, Part I

It is not the destination but the journey.

A case in point. Jay Leno, well known car collector, wrote a guest editorial in AutoWeek a number of years ago. He spoke about a problem that often plagues celebrities: "hangers on" that do odd things to attach themselves to famous people. In his case, they will call up in response to an ad for a classic car and pretend to be his "representative" and will say something along the lines of "Jay saw your ad and asked me to call for more information". Jay wrote that if someone gets a call like that they are definitely talking to an impostor. He never has anyone call on his behalf when it comes to classic car shopping; if he sees your ad and he is interested, he'll call you himself.

Beyond saying something about Jay as a person, the article said a lot about the car collector hobby. It is fun. Lots of it! Researching and deciding what collector car to buy is fun. Shopping for them is fun. Buying them is a real blast. Owning them, maintaining them, driving them, preserving them, showing them and yes, eventually selling them is a source of pleasure.

As the saying goes: "It's not the destination, it's the journey!" Enjoy your search for a Corvette as it is almost as much fun as owning one.

Where to look?

You are best off if you can limit your search to locally available Corvettes. The logic here is simple: investigating and purchasing is much easier if access to the car and the seller can be easily done in person. But that can limit you if

  1. You live in a sparsely populated area
  2. You are looking for a "special" Corvette, i.e. one that is not commonly available
If your circumstances are such that you cannot find what you want nearby, then a wider search is necessary. There are also the many online auction sites, starting with the industry leader, ebay.

Do not buy a Classic Corvette unless you have inspected it personally.

Avoid the temptation, no matter how busy you are or how good the deal looks. To start with there is the constant possibility of fraud. There have been cases of sellers "fixing" body damage by way of modifying the images on Photoshop (yes, we are serious!). There is always the possibility that while the seller is mostly truthful, they still leave out some negative information. This, in our experience, is what happens most of the time.

Weeding out the Turkeys

While it is not possible or practical to tour the world looking at every available Corvette, you can still do a lot to check out a car even if all you have is a web page and an email contact. Here is what we recommend:

Next: Corvette Buying, Part Two

Corvette Buying, Part Three

Which Corvette To Buy, Part One

Which Corvette To Buy, Part Two

Classic Car Rating System