Buying a Corvette


Looking for the right Corvette can be a difficult task. When we bought our first Corvette it tooks months to find a good car. You want to look for a good, clean, straight car. Check out the general condition of the interior and paint and all the mechanical stuff. There are some good inspection checklists at:

Then look at the tolerances....

How does the hood fit? It should be evenly spaced on each side.
The spacing around the light covers should also be even on all sides. The covers shouldn't be recessed or too far above the body. Most of the adjustments are simple, but moving them up or down (recessed or above the body) can be difficult.

Most tolerances on body panels are 1/8". Keep this in mind when looking at the exterior of the car.

Check the interior tolerances too. Look at where the console meets the right and left portions of the dash. The dash or console shouldn't be pried out away from the radio/gauge bezel.

This is a problem area on many C-3 Corvettes. Some owners take apart the dashboard to put in a new radio and cause a lot of damage. Check out the interior thoroughly, interior parts can be expensive.

Look under the car. Is the frame rusted? Some specific places to look for damage are under the front and rear bumpers. Check for repairs that would indicate an accident. You can cover the damage on the exterior, but it's rarely hidden underneath. Also take a look at the wheel wells for the same things.


A few other things to consider. Don't pick the car to pieces, but don't let a seller try to convince you their car is worth much more than it is. Get an appraisal or look at the market trends at:  


Some Corvette owners believe incorrectly that their cars are worth their weight in gold. Some of the prices quoted to me were outrageous. But don't insult someone by trying to lowball them either, you might end up passing up a good vehicle. Most importantly, be patient and you will find the car you are looking for. Buy a good manual!