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Old 03-09-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
calmtgguy
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Default Perspective. The History of Corvette Prices, in 2010 Dollars.

Here is a list of Corvette prices from 1953 to present, adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars. I used the base price of the Corvette (C1), and Coupe for the comparison. I added Verts, FRC's, Z06's, and the ZR1's, without the dollar conversion, just as a point of interest.

The Corvette started life in 1953, as basically a $30,000 car in today's dollars. This chart shows how that has changed, and when. Corvette pricing stayed pretty, dollar adjusted, stable until 1979, which was Corvette's biggest year at 53,807 units. From 1979-1985 the Corvette turned into a $50,000+ car, which is where it remains today.

It is amazing how much better the Corvette has become while the price has basically stayed the same in real dollars. My first was a 1959, I bought it in 1974 for $350, without a motor, or trans. It cost like $700 to get it back on the road. My second was a cherry 1969 that I bought in '77 for $4,000. After looking at this list it's no wonder I was able to sell those cars for so much more than I paid originally. Let's hear about some of the deals you guys got on Corvettes that you've owned. How much did you pay for your 19?? in todays dollars? http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

The 2010 model year will be the lowest production year since 1997 when, because of the switch to the C5, only 9,752 Vettes were produced. With globalization taking jobs from the United States, and lowering the wages for the jobs that do remain here, and due to the present state of the economy, G.M. is going to have to make some changes to keep the Corvette a viable product line. What do you think?


C1's
Production....Year..Base Price..2010 Dollars..Other Base Prices
300.............1953, $3,498.00, $28,388.43
3,640..........1954, $2,774.00, $22,345.34
700.............1955, $2,774.00, $22,428.72
3,467..........1956, $3,120.00, $24,855.27
6,339..........1957, $3,176.32, $24,493.50
9,168..........1958, $3,591.00, $26,924.67
9,670..........1959, $3,875.00, $28,854.37
10,261........1960, $3,872.00, $28,345.00
10,939........1961, $3,934.00, $28,509.92
14,531........1962, $4,038.00, $28,972.92
C2's
21,513........1963, $4,252.00, $30,109.58, Vert $4,037.00
22,229........1964, $4,252.00, $29,721.07, Vert $4,037.00
23,564........1965, $4,321.00, $29,723.95, Vert $4,106.00
27,720........1966, $4,295.00, $28,724.40, Vert $4,084.00
22,940........1967, $4,388.75, $28,472.61, Vert $4,240.75
C3's
28,566........1968, $4,663.00, $29,034.81, Vert $4,320.00
38,762........1969, $4,781.00, $28,228.35, Vert $4,438.00
17,316........1970, $5,192.00, $28,995.85, Vert $4,849.00
21,801........1971, $5,496.00, $29,405.23, Vert $5,259.00
27,004........1972, $5,533.00, $28,682.52, Vert $5,296.00
30,464........1973, $5,561.50, $27,142.00, Vert $5,398.50
37,502........1974, $6,001.50, $26,378.24, Vert $5,765.50
38,465........1975, $6,810.10, $27,428.63, Vert $6,550.10
46,558........1976, $7,604.85, $28,960.85,
49,213........1977, $8,647.65, $30,921.34
46,776........1978, $9,351.89, $31,080.26
53,807........1979, $10,220.23, $30,504.01
40,614........1980, $13,140.24, $34,554.84
40,606........1981, $16,258.52, $38,756.98, First year of Bowling Green Plant, 8,995 Vettes were built there.
25,407........1982, $18,290.07, $41,069.64
C4's
51,547........1984, $21,800.00, $45,464.64
39,729........1985, $24,403.00, $49,143.24
35,109........1986, $27,027.00, $53,434.30, Vert $32,032.00
30,632........1987, $27,999.00, $53,406.86, Vert $33,172.00
22,789........1988, $29,489.00, $54,014.23, Vert $34,820.00
26,412........1989, $31,545.00, $55,124.12, Vert $36,785.00
23,646........1990, $31,979.00, $53,017.85, Vert $37,264.00, ZR-1 option $27,016, (3,049)
20,639........1991, $32,455.00, $51,634.19, Vert $38,770.00, ZR-1 option $31,683, (2,044)
20,479........1992, $33,635.00, $51,947.74, Vert $40,145.00, ZR-1 option $31,683, (502)
21,590........1993, $34,595.00, $51,877.42, Vert $41,195.00, ZR-1 option $31,683, (448)
23,330........1994, $36,185.00, $52,907.01, Vert $42,960.00, ZR-1 option $31,258, (448)
20,742........1995, $36,785.00, $52,302.04, Vert $43,665.00, ZR-1 option $31,258, (448)
21,536........1996, $37,225.00, $51,409.65, Vert $45,060.00
C5's
9,752..........1997, $37,495.00, $50,621.05
31,084.........1998, $37,495.00, $49,844.66, Vert $44,425.00
33,270.........1999, $39,171.00, $50,947.46, Vert $45,579.00, FRC $38,777.00
33,682.........2000, $39,475.00, $49,673.17, Vert $45,900.00, FRC $38,900.00
35,627.........2001, $40,475.00, $49,522.34, Vert $47,000.00, Z06 $47,500.00
35,767.........2002, $41,450.00, $49,925.94, Vert $47,975.00, Z06 $50,150.00
35,469.........2003, $43,895.00, $51,692.80, Vert $50,370.00, Z06 $51,155.00
34,064.........2004, $44,535.00, $51,086.05, Vert $51,535.00, Z06 $52,385.00
C6's
37,372.........2005, $43,710.00, $48,496.61, Vert $51,445.00
34,021.........2006, $43,600.00, $47,937.70, Vert $52,335.00, Z06 $65,800.00
40,561.........2007, $44,995.00, $47,937.70, Vert $52,910.00, Z06 $70,000.00
35,310.........2008, $46,950.00, $47,251.80, Vert $52,335.00, Z06 $65,800.00
16,956.........2009, $48,565.00, $49,051.70, Vert $53,220.00, Z06 $73,255.00, ZR1 $104,920.00
10,???..........2010, $49,880.00, $49,880.00, Vert $54,530, GS Coupe $55,720, GS Vert $59,530, Z06 $75,235, ZR1 $109,130

Price Sources;
1953-2005, Corvette Sports Car Superstar, by the auto editors of Consumer Guide.
2006-2008, http://www.web-cars.com/corvette/1953.php
2009-2010, http://jeffhardy.com/lookupvette.php
Adjusted Prices, http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

Last edited by calmtgguy; 03-10-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by calmtgguy View Post
With globalization taking jobs from the United States, and lowering the wages for the jobs that do remain here, and due to the present state of the economy
I find this notion, that jobs are magically lost to other countries for no reason, quite perplexing. Jobs are lost because American labor and regulations price us out of the industrial market place. Simply put the theory that everyone deserves middle class life regardless of skill set is bankrupting this country.

Because GM's union contracts weren't invalidated by bankruptcy, do to government meddling in the economy, GM can not be competitive and also doesn't really have any reason to be. We've set the precedence that companies of a sufficiently large size can do anything because they're "too big to fail" GM should have gone through standard bankruptcy proceedings just like any other insolvent entity.

Instead we have transferred massive debts to the public sector and soon we will see the results of government interference in private markets. A sovereign debt crisis is almost certainly in our future, only a dramatic shift in foreign and domestic policy can save us now. Unfortunately the lower class and the huge corporations won't give up their cash cow until its dead and then it will be too late for us all.

Back on topic: the adjusted 40k to 50k price point is probably where a luxury sports car with the Corvette's performance should be.

Last edited by RACN1320; 03-09-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Your own figures indicate that todays Vette costs less in today's dollars than it did in 1986, 24 years ago. This would suggest that the base model is not presently "overpriced", but simply that people can no longer afford to spend as much for a car as they once could due to increased taxes, schooling costs, medical costs, etc. plus the fact that wages have not kept up with inflation, mostly because of the economics of globalization, that is lowering America's standard of living and raising nearly every other counties
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by laconiajack View Post
Your own figures indicate that todays Vette costs less in today's dollars than it did in 1986, 24 years ago. This would suggest that the base model is not presently "overpriced", but simply that people can no longer afford to spend as much for a car as they once could due to increased taxes, schooling costs, medical costs, etc. plus the fact that wages have not kept up with inflation, mostly because of the economics of globalization, that is lowering America's standard of living and raising nearly every other counties
But life goes on, and in order for the Corvette to go on adjustments will need to always be made, now, and in the future.

Last edited by calmtgguy; 03-09-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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The car is priced where it should be, given its performance and features. If you want a 370z price, expect 370z performance. Not terrible, but not Ferrari-level either.

I think the challenge for GM is to figure out how to build it profitably at a lower volume.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #6
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I think the American prices are reasonable for a car of this calibre, but apple-to-apple we pay quite a bit more up here in Canada. Anyways, interesting to see the real cost going up over the years.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:53 PM   #7
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If they make then too cheap, they'll be all over the place like Hondas and the exclusivity will be gone. Base price in the low $40K is about right and of course you can spend more if you want.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gannet View Post
The car is priced where it should be, given its performance and features. If you want a 370z price, expect 370z performance. Not terrible, but not Ferrari-level either.

I think the challenge for GM is to figure out how to build it profitably at a lower volume.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:05 PM   #9
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If you compare corvette prices to other vehicles its really not bad for what you get. I just priced a Mazda 6s and it ended up being over 30k

Last edited by MARSC6; 03-09-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:18 PM   #10
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The cars of the future can be seen in the way Chevrolet is heading: the Cruze that will replace the Cobalt and goes on sale late this year with 136 HP (one more than a 1950 Oldsmobile) and the minicar Spark to go on sale in early 2012. This trend will be accelerated by gas prices that will again be around $3.00/gallon and increased numbers of young people living in cities.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:21 PM   #11
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Gm has raised the price of the c6,since 2005, like it's going out of style! People are still paying it,although at a discounted price,but still more then just 3 or 4 years ago.That is a problem.This car is a superb 35- 40-45 (4lt,z51 or z52) grand car.It's not a 60 + grand car.The interior is not even as good as a freakin' HYUNDAI! Anyway,performance aside,the prices need to go down in order to boost sales again and keep the ship steady as she goes.
Thanks for the info,it's interesting to see it in writing!
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:45 PM   #12
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Thank you for posting this data. It shows that C6's are actually less $ than C4's.

I also see that I bought my C6 for less 2010 dollars than my C5 and I get a car with a ton more features!
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #13
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Thank you for posting this data. It shows that C6's are actually less $ than C4's.

I also see that I bought my C6 for less 2010 dollars than my C5 and I get a car with a ton more features!
Your welcome! The C6 is sure a whole different ball game than the C4.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:51 PM   #14
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The car is priced where it should be, given its performance and features. If you want a 370z price, expect 370z performance. Not terrible, but not Ferrari-level either.

I think the challenge for GM is to figure out how to build it profitably at a lower volume.
We got our 09 3LT Coupe well under 50k and not a car made on this planet with the complete package for this price and I just hope our Vettes live with the reduced productionClick the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by laconiajack View Post
Your own figures indicate that todays Vette costs less in today's dollars than it did in 1986, 24 years ago. This would suggest that the base model is not presently "overpriced", but simply that people can no longer afford to spend as much for a car as they once could due to increased taxes, schooling costs, medical costs, etc. plus the fact that wages have not kept up with inflation, mostly because of the economics of globalization, that is lowering America's standard of living and raising nearly every other counties
While all the above might be correct, it may not be. It may not be due to globalization. It could be that people are choosing to use their money in other ways. In the past two years, people have decided to save more of their income and other earnings. That takes money out of the spending "economy" and puts it elsewhere. As to wages not keeping up with inflation, there hasn't been a lot of "inflation" but people have been spending in the historical past. It's only recently that people have noticed that their incomes, savings and investments either are at risk (loss of actual value, loss of job), or may be at risk (savings could be going down, job could be eliminated, pay increases could be in jeopardy for years).

It's not all bad, but it surely is not all good.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RACN1320 View Post
Because GM's union contracts weren't invalidated by bankruptcy, do to government meddling in the economy, GM can not be competitive and also doesn't really have any reason to be.

Actually they took a pretty significant haircut on wages and benefits so GMs labor costs are in line with their competitors.

Instead we have transferred massive debts to the public sector and soon we will see the results of government interference in private markets.
True we have transferred massive debts to the public sector but just like the banks are starting to pay back their TARP funds GM will also pay them back. Buying GM cars is a sure fire way to help them pay them back sooner. Its known as looking out for yourself.

There are far worse debts where we aren't going to get paid back.

A sovereign debt crisis is almost certainly in our future, only a dramatic shift in foreign and domestic policy can save us now. Unfortunately the lower class and the huge corporations won't give up their cash cow until its dead and then it will be too late for us all.

Agreed that it most likely will happen and probably will be because China will threaten to call the mortgage.
Bill
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:45 AM   #17
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The 2010 model year will be the lowest production year since 1997 when, because of the switch to the C5, only 9,752 Vettes were produced.
As you point out, production of the '97 model year was limited - mainly because production started much later than normal, and the ramp up was slowed due to parts supplier quality problems. (See All Corvettes Are Red for an extensive discussion of these issues.)

Current Corvette production levels, imho, reflect a lowered demand for what is, in reality, a luxury item for upper middle class consumers/enthusiasts, who are being pinched by the current economy. It would be interesting to know whether, for example, Ferrari sales have had a similar hit, given that the purchasers tend to be much wealthier - and maybe less impacted by a recession.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:28 AM   #18
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As you point out, production of the '97 model year was limited - mainly because production started much later than normal, and the ramp up was slowed due to parts supplier quality problems. (See All Corvettes Are Red for an extensive discussion of these issues.)

Current Corvette production levels, imho, reflect a lowered demand for what is, in reality, a luxury item for upper middle class consumers/enthusiasts, who are being pinched by the current economy. It would be interesting to know whether, for example, Ferrari sales have had a similar hit, given that the purchasers tend to be much wealthier - and maybe less impacted by a recession.
There are many thoughts I have when looking at these numbers. One is that from 1953 - 1979 the Corvette was basically a $30,000 car. The inflationary period the U.S. experienced through the 70's and 80's changed the Corvette into basically a $50,000 car, I think that's going to change. Today, in the business news you hear all this concern about inflation, when in reality our government is doing their best to fight deflation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US..._Inflation.svg

Another thing that comes to mind is what a great job G.M. has done improving the Corvette, year after year, and giving us the C6 at a price that's been about the same since 1985.

Ferraris aren't selling well, and I'll bet you can pick a great deal on a nice Yacht right about now too.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:32 AM   #19
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Thanks for posting this interesting data.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:04 AM   #20
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Great data, thanks!

Isn't the break point from a $30K car to a $50K car about when they moved from St. Louis to Bowling Green? Not that it means anything, but it is interesting ... (of course, its also when we became a more "electric/computer" car and when a bunch of new government regulations took effect).
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:04 AM
 
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