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.
The “Elkhart Collection” is no more. RM Sotheby’s offered all of them at no reserve and brought in $44.3m. The top sale was a 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale, which brought in $2.8m, followed by 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia $2.04m.
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.
The first mid-engine Corvette is finally going into production in February. The $59,995 base price seems almost unbelievable until you remember that Chevrolet will make it up in volume.
The Mecum Auction is back at Monterey at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa. It takes place from Thursday, August 13th through Saturday, August 15th. Read more to see the cars the PFS Team will be watching.