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.
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.
Can a track-focused sports car be too track-focused? That’s what one major auto magazine suggested after testing the BMW M4 CSL, a special lighter, more powerful version of its M4. While the “lesser” BMW M4 Competition xDrive model (which is not a competition car, btw) is quicker in some acceleration tests, the 40-hp more powerful, 240-pound lighter, $58,000 more expensive M4 CSL is the faster car around the kind of private membership tracks whose clients this car is intended. You’ll pay for that capability with reduced comfort in everyday driving, but would you care?
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.
The 2023 collector car auction season got off to a roaring start in January. The Bonhams Scottsdale auction reached $30M in sales, and RM Sotheby’s reported $44M. The big surprise came from Bonhams, where a 1912 Simplex brought $4.8M, a record for a pre-WWI car. Supercars were still supreme, though, with a Ferrari LaFerrari getting $4.075M at RM Sotheby’s and, earlier in the month, a Ferrari F40 topping the Mecum sale in Kissimmee, Florida at $3.135M.
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.
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.
A 1969 ZL1 Camaro sold at the Scottsdale Auctions for a whopping $1.094 million on the Barrett-Jackson stage. The ZL1 was an all-out performance package that also included heavy-duty suspension and drivetrain components.