The Corvette is going electric! This fall, customers start taking delivery of the quickest Corvette ever, the E-Ray hybrid. Combining combustion and electric power, the E-Ray is designed to deliver the ultimate street Corvette experience. Just as the 2020 mid-engine Sting Ray realized a Corvette layout first promised more than 50 years ago, the E-Ray’s all-wheel drive delivers on legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov’s vision and experiments with all-wheel grip for the Vette even before that. The E-Ray is available in coupe and convertible models, starting around $105,000. A full electro-Vette is in the pipeline, too.
What does $400 million buy today? It was enough to take home about 1,200 of the world’s finest collector cars offered at the 2023 Monterey auctions held from August 17-19. That was down from $475M in 2022, and the sell-through rate was lower, too. Just the same, some stellar automobiles traded hands in Monterey at auctions held by Bonhams, Broad Arrow, Gooding & Company, Mecum, and RM Sotheby’s. The top sale was a 1967 Ferrari 412P racecar for $30.2M at Bonhams, while a 1957 Jaguar XKSS, one of just 16 made, was #2 at just over $13M.
Revered by Corvette enthusiasts, the 1963 Sting Ray, especially when equipped with the fuel-injected 327 engine, remains a legend among the car’s 70 years of production so far. The radical new design covered a new, more advanced chassis than the first-generation Corvette had, and both performance and refinement edged closer to the European GTs. Sales soared, and the “fuel-injected Sting Ray” ended up in pop songs. Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance® auction is offering a multiple-award winner with a pre-sale estimate of $250K-$300K.
Pioneering Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov would have been thrilled to see the new-generation mid-engine Vette comparing favorably with far more expensive sports cars. And he would have been floored to see the new-for-2023 Z06 version called “an American Ferrari” by a leading automotive magazine. Lapping a racetrack faster than all but a handful of exotics and priced from $110,000 to nearly $180,000 with all options, the Corvette Z06 has indeed “arrived” in a new echelon of the performance car world.
Of the 38,762 1969 Corvettes made, just two were built for sale with the legendary ZL-1 427 cu.-in. race engine. One of those was a convertible. The original owner campaigned it for three years before storing it until 1989. Then, after 15 years of shows and some competition, it went to a second owner, who had it restored by the world’s top Corvette restoration shop. RM Sotheby’s estimates the next owner will pay up to $3M to take the car home from its Scottsdale auction.
A few Scottscale Auction highlights: a record $6.8 million for a 1955 alloy-body Mecedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing; a $335,000 sale of the 1949 “Rain Man” Buick Roadmaster convertible; and $775,000 for a rebuilt Duesenberg Model J engine – yes, just the engine. Read all the highlights here
The F355 was Ferrari’s successful response to the next-to-last ranking of its F348 predecessor in a five-way Car and Driver comparison. This 1995 F355, with only 900 miles, is offered by Bonhams at its Scottsdale auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $130k – $160k.
Mecum Auction House is selling a twofer 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 at its Glendale, AZ auction this Saturday, March 14. Pre-estimates for 1967 L88s, can command well over $1m, the rarest Corvette, with just 20 made. The more “common” 1968-1969 models draw less impressive sums, but remain a powerful draw for collectors.