Which C2 Corvette Is Better: Restored or Modified?

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The choice between restored perfection and modified performance can be a tough one.

It is an argument that is nearly as old as cars themselves. Should you mod your car, or keep it pristine? Lots of people will argue that you should do what you want, it is your car after all. Others say destroying the original vision will somehow ruin the car. While other others say they want more performance, and the factory just can’t give it to them. And then there is the cost factor. Traditionally the thinking goes that a stock and unmolested car will be worth far money in the long haul when compared to a modified machine.

Well, it’s time to get everyone here to chime in on the subject, and we have some data to add a bit of fuel to the fire. A few weeks ago, Mecum auctioned off two gorgeous C2 Corvettes: a pristine 1963 split-window coupe and a fully restomodded ’67 coupe. The ’63 is painted in Riverside Red, and comes with the L84 V8 and an M20 four-speed transmission. The car is not completely original, which will hurt its value, but it stays true to the machine that rolled off the factory floor.

The ’67 Coupe, on the other hand, is anything but stock. Barely any pieces aside from the body have survived the transformation. Under the hood is a 500-hp variant of an LS3 engine mated to a five-speed auto. And the suspension is a mishmash of C5 and C6 parts. Massive six-piston calipers clamp down on all four corners to bring all that power to a halt. The interior is also changed with custom leather, new gauges, revised climate controls, and a new stereo with Bluetooth. This sexy, silver machine is basically a new car wearing an old suit.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Tough Choice

And now for the numbers. After the gavel fell at auction, one car sold for $140,000 while the other managed to bring in a bid of $185,500.

The higher bid was for the restomod.

That blows our mind. The fact that a tarted-up ’67 could outsell something like a restored split-window makes our brain hurt. The fact that it went for so much more only serves to drive that nail of disbelief further into the base of our skulls. But what if we are wrong about this? What if that classic ’63 really isn’t as desirable as an LS3-powered C2?

We have to get to the bottom of this, so we are asking the community. Below we have two polls for you to check out. The first is a simple one asking which of the two cars you prefer. Purely based on taste and preference, which car would you park in your garage, if it was free? The second is about those prices. Do you think the ’67 is actually worth more than the ’63? Yes, we know that obviously one sold for far more than the other one, but do you think those numbers came out the way they should have?

Sound off and let us know.

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Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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