C4 General Discussion General C4 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech

State of the market for other than C4's

 
Old 03-08-2019, 12:41 PM
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drcook
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Default State of the market for other than C4's

It sure doesn't look like newer Corvettes are selling too well. On just Autotrader, there are 122 Corvettes sitting on dealer lots within 25 miles of me. One dealership alone has 27 (new and used late model).

Very few of them are C4's or earlier (on dealer lots). Most are new, with some dealerships in the area still sitting on 2017's.

If you go out on Craigslist for the NE Ohio area (includes some bordering states) there are 496 listings. This is weeding out dups and only searching titles to get rid of the ads where people imbed words like Vette, Corvette, Mustang, Firebird to grab people's searches.

There are 25 C2's for sale.
127 C3's
122 C4's
94 C5's
69 C6's
52 beginning with the 1st year of the C7 to present

Granted their can be some overlap between Craigslist and dealerships. I didn't look at autotrader as far as private sellers, because of the CL overlap

My point ? As I keep saying in various posts, I have been watching the Corvette market really change in the last 2 years since I bought mine. It is truly becoming a "buyer's market". If you are looking for a car of any generation, take the time to go get the statistics in your area and present the seller with the cold hard facts. With so many to choose from, regardless of which generation you want, you should be able to get a great deal.

This also tends to negate the statement about just waiting for the C4 to become a collector model. The value that a C4 has is performance for price value and even that is starting to diminish due to the drastic price cuts I am seeing on the C5's. Even the 6's are falling.

How can these people that are sitting on 96 GS's and CE's and asking $40,000 expect to get it, when brand new cars are slipping down into those price ranges ?
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:12 PM
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They don't need to sell. I think a GS just sold here for 15k. That is a good deal IMO. I would park it if it was in good shape. Why drive a special c4 if it is the same as any other c4?

Used cars are more expensive period than in the past. Dealerships are taking in trades and dumping them off at auctions for WANNA BE dealers to get their paws on something with some meat left on the bone.

Most people are leasing or getting loans on new vettes, an old vette has to be bought with real money and that is not something the average Joe has to throw around anymore especially at c2 prices.

I would expect the used car market for sports cars to get flooded in the next 10 years if the economy and young culture continues on the path it is on. Then we will see prices drop, baby boomers in diapers and croaking off, and value is only what someone will pay.

I'll buy an affordable c2 because I like them, no memories or nostalgia for me. In fact I only want the body on a tube chassis so really I am not even in to a C2 it self.

Look at collector plates people used to deal with. I have a bunch in my basement from people that dies with them always waiting for the big score with their paperwork and everything. The time has come and gone for that scene. So will cars. it is not like every old car is valuable.

Most are just in too deep or hoping for the big score on these things. Unfortunately emotional buyers set the market prices.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:12 PM
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How can these people that are sitting on 96 GS's and CE's and asking $40,000 expect to get it, when brand new cars are slipping down into those price ranges ?
This refers to some businesses in my area that are hoping to sell them for that.

Most people are leasing or getting loans on new vettes, an old vette has to be bought with real money and that is not something the average Joe has to throw around anymore especially at c2 prices.
This supports what I said about a buyer's market. If seller X wants $35K and seller Y wants $30K for essentially the same car in the same condition, then X better beat all the Y's or he is going to be sitting on that car, once again caveating unless it is truly something special that someone really wants and to get rid of it, he needs to realistically be at $29K. I posted about this a few weeks ago where a local person knocked $10K off his price to try and move the car. He went from essentially KBB value to what the dealership had offered as trade in the first place when he got his new one.

In fact I only want the body on a tube chassis so really I am not even in to a C2 it self.
Watching the auctions, it is these "retromods" that are bringing big money. Lots more than just restored members of the genre bring, unless they are something truly special, such as a 1 of 10 etc. that someone with money can brag about having. Having an old car on a modern chassis with all the amenities of a modern interior and equipment is much cooler than an old hard to maintain gas guzzler. This would have been part of the equation of the 65 I had. I would not be able to afford to drive it at 5 to 7 MPG.

In my situation, I would not have paid what I did for our 96 LT1 except for one fact. The dealership that had taken the car in from the old lady that owned it was willing to give me an excellent price for a paid for Ranger that I wanted to get rid of. It was worth the extra $2k to get rid of the POS before it took anymore depreciation. The next buyer would have had an opportunity to get a dealer warranty to cover the inherent issues that truck had and I dealt with some issues the car had from sitting for 10 years. But had I not wanted to get rid of that truck, the situation would have been different. We each had something we needed to dispose of and were willing to make concessions.

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Old 03-08-2019, 02:23 PM
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New vettes (C7) aren't selling for 1 reason, C8 mid-engine. Lot's of speculation that the C8 release was delayed so GM could sell the C7 inventory just sitting around. This has happened before when a new generation starts off, and it's a trickle down effect. I think the camaro ss has eaten into the new vette sales as well. Rare cars will always command a premium especially as the economy improves, doesn't matter what generation vette or any other limited production car/truck.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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New Vettes aren't selling because the number of people that can afford and want them is diminishing. Yes there are some that are holding out for the mid-engine, but...... You have to look at the big picture, not the picture from our own perspective of having come from the muscle car era. Modern day manufacturing is capable of producing and does produce, more than demand justifies. That is part of the reason behind the recent GM closures. They were making far more cars than they were selling in models that the public had moved on from.

I am working with the Corvette Club I belong to, in order to help it try to survive. I did some data analysis today on the average age of the club members. The average age is 70. There are 6 people that have their birth dates on record that are under 60. It is the older folks that have the newer Corvettes. Very few younger (than 60) that I have seen around our area have them, unless their parents were into Vettes and it transposed generations and they leveraged that Corvette interest into a business or racing (we have a 2 time Trans Am champion here that leveraged her dad's interest in Corvettes into a very successful career). In fact on one page of the NCCC it acknowledges that the club's member's average ages are increasing.

The average young man/lady starting out with a family cannot afford $50K for a base model 2 seater, especially when there is a new baby on the horizon. Nor can he/she afford that high $80K Camaro. At least the lesser priced Camaros and Challengers have backseats. Nor can they afford the financial drain of one that requires high maintenance. Every day there is someone new in our forum that is asking how do I fix this, fix that, overcome this issue, etc. Magnify that.

It is also the average age 70 folks that own the majority of the C2's. Just using the mortality tables that insurance companies use, that says there are going to be lots more hitting the market as Jr doesn't want to maintain that old car, and Mrs Jr is pressing him to sell it so they can buy a house.

We are seeing the diminishing interest in performance cars at Summit Racing. Every week or so, they have a scratch and dent, open box, not moving, demo parts, you name it, sale as they get rid of inventory that is just not moving anymore. People go in there and grab cartloads of products to try and sell on eBay or Craigslist.

The guy that started Summit used to belong to the club I belong to and lives local around here. He was smart enough to build it into the powerhouse it is today, and he is also appearing to be smart enough to get out from under what he can while he can.

If you go out to Autotrader and do a search on Corvettes from 81 to 2019, regardless of dealer or private person, all it tells you is that there are 1000+ results. Page after page of Corvettes for sale.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:45 PM
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The C7 is in an odd position right now. Used prices seem to be staying put, while the new ones are being deeply discounted. Some will see the new ones being discounted, and wait to see how low they go, and/or wait to see how much it impacts used prices. Add to that all the people waiting for the C8 details and pricing to drop, and you end up with stagnation.

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Old 03-08-2019, 11:51 PM
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I had been following '89 Vette vert ads since Oct-Nov last year and the ads seemed to be holding rather static through the cold weather.

About a month ago local dealer dropped his asking ~20% I drove into NJ to have a look. After a little test drive a quick "negotiation" got me another 10% reduction for a cash deal. Final cost was a few thousand below the Car Gurus suggested average price.

Anyway, I didn't buy it to "make money" but to have fun driving it. BTW, I am one of those >60s guys...
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:10 AM
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The c-5 prices are dropping like a stone. 10 grand used to be a great deal. Now there are easy to find at that price. That fact is one of the reasons c-4 prices are leveling out at around 6 grand for a decent one. 3 grand for one that needs tlc. The ypunger guys and gals seem to be into imported cars with fart cans. Their prices seem to be high to me.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:24 AM
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Anyway, I didn't buy it to "make money" but to have fun driving it. BTW, I am one of those >60s guys...
So am I. And I didn't either. I bought mine for fun, to get back into and be able to mould it into what I want, before I get too old to do so. I am into spirited drives (not saying excessive speed) just great drives through the country, down through southern Ohio and into Pa.

Finishing mine will tick off 1 of 2 remaining items on my bucket list. The last one is to take the car and drive out and get my picture "standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:22 PM
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C7s are actually selling pretty well, theres obviously inventory of them, but that's not a bad thing, it means dealers are ordering because they CAN sell them. I also dont think c7 prices have much bearing on other vettes. Certainly a portion of buyers get older ones because they cant afford a c7, but not all. Furthermore, the price differences are major and so people looking at a used c4 arent cros shopping with a 60k new c7. And people buying a collector car dont typically say "o either want a collector car or to spend more on a new car". Admittedly, I was looking at a 96 GS when I bought my 2012 GS, but I ended up deciding a true collector car wasnt what I wanted.
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:31 PM
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well said and I am in the same group as you. That winslow idea is a good one, might just have to do that one and one down in Kentucky.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by FAUEE View Post
C7s are actually selling pretty well, theres obviously inventory of them, but that's not a bad thing, it means dealers are ordering because they CAN sell them.
no, they want to sell them so they get a higher allocation of C8ís. Go cruise the C7 dealer inventory forum, just a casual glance,10-15k off immediately. Available ZR1 allocations with nobody stepping up to fill the order. C7 is dead. Thank god, because itís a hideous POS.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:34 PM
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Someone finally said it (Chumpvette)

Just enjoy what you got, noones gonna sell their corvette and become rich. Even stored properly they are going to rot anyways.
I could never own an L88 or ZL1 and just let it sit. (a pic is cheaper)
The day these ever become pricy Im out but after all the yrs on here havent seen it happen even C3 owners are stupified at how little they are getting.
20 yrs ago things were different but new cars do it all better to a point where it really isnt worth it gettting something old unless you are real real nostalgic.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ChumpVette View Post
no, they want to sell them so they get a higher allocation of C8ís. Go cruise the C7 dealer inventory forum, just a casual glance,10-15k off immediately. Available ZR1 allocations with nobody stepping up to fill the order. C7 is dead. Thank god, because itís a hideous POS.
The forum dealers, sure. But that's not representative of the whole country. If you walk into a dealership to buy a car they're not gonna throw 15k off immediately at you.

The real irony is that everyone is all whipped into a frenzy about the c8, which is totally unsubstantiated. It's just as likely the mid engine car is a 200k plus special edition car like the Ford gt.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:13 PM
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I'm another of the > plus 60 guys and will also attest to never buying my 91 with the thoughts of ever seeing it as a investment. My thought was to just have a toy to play with. Horsepower wise the C4 is rated at 245, but my Hemi truck is rated at 395 and it accelerates very strong. With that said the 91 still wins the fun factor.

Hell, id never be able to by a used or new Corvette and not drive it or be afraid to let a raindrop hit it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:08 PM
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One of the club members is restoring a 67 coupe. The other day he said he wishes he never put the money into a restoration. Keep in mind that the family owns a professional team, the daughter has won the Trans Am championship twice (driving a Vette of course), so money isn't an issue. Both daughters drive late models as their daily drivers and they have multiples themselves besides the 67. He said he knows that the money spent will never be recovered and that it would have been better spent turning it into a Resto-mod. The 67 is the car that launched the racing career for him and then the daughter's and from what gathered, that attachment is what led to the restoration.

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Old 03-10-2019, 06:55 PM
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The younger generation just arenít into cars. Our Corvette Club has an average age of 65. I belong to a local chapter of AACA, our average age exceeds 70. I was 65 when I joined and was told by the current Chapter President ď good to see some young blood joiningĒ.

And itís not only cars. The aviation industry is hurting for pilots. The airline I retired from is going to need 3500 to 4000 new pilots over the next 5-7 years. And thats only one airline. The regionals have all but doubled the starting pay for new first officers and are sweetening the pot with sign on money and training reimbursements.

Prices are set by the buyers of the cars.

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Old 03-10-2019, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by skyhawk50 View Post
The younger generation just arenít into cars. Our Corvette Club has an average age of 65. I belong to a local chapter of AACA, our average age exceeds 70. I was 65 when I joined and was told by the current Chapter President ď good to see some young blood joiningĒ.

And itís not only cars. The aviation industry is hurting for pilots. The airline I retired from is going to need 3500 to 4000 new pilots over the next 5-7 years. And thats only one airline. The regionals have all but doubled the starting pay for new first officers and are sweetening the pot with sign on money and training reimbursements.

Prices are set by the buyers of the cars.
I dont think thats entirely true. I will say, young guys like me probably aren't as interested in clubs for spdcific cars as oldsr generations. We don't want to sit and eat pancakes and talk about the same crt, we want to be able to post pics of a ton of different cars, or several identical cars. We want cool backdrops to show off on social media, and things like that. We are far more likely to be interested in a cars and coffee type event than a vette show. Also, we don't want to wake up super early to do it either. Night shows are popular for us, we can go after work or classes.

I think Corvette in particular has a hard time with younger buyers. They keep making them more expensive and pushing younger buyers out. We likely have more experience with imports or Mustangs and similar because theyre more affordable, so we connect with those cars more. Corvettes have a stigma of being an old man car. While current chesp prices are slowly changing that, establishment corvette owners are not exactly welcoming to us younger owners. Of the two run ins i have had with corvette groups, both were negative. One guy with an 05 with 80k miles told me "if i'm lucky, maybe one day i can own a car like this", to which i informed him that both i, and the friend i was there with had newer and nicer fettes than his. The other was when i parked at a car show with other vettes. All the owners sat there and stared at me, nobody said hi or anything. One guy said something about me driving my dad's car to the guy sitting next to him, i dont think he realized i heard him. The (younger) guys with mustangs across the street all yelled to me about having a cool car.

This was sort of ranty, but people act like younger people are not into cars, but it just isn't true. We just aren't into people being ******** to us.

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Old 03-11-2019, 09:36 AM
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The younger generation doesn't mean individuals but more of a generalization. As such, when you look at the big picture, the just isn't as many of the younger people into performance cars as there was "back in the day". The ones that are, do want something that they can afford and Corvettes increasingly aren't.

GM is targeting the cars above the base model at people that buy Porsches, etc. You see that mentioned in lots of writeups about the cars. This is a mistake. They are also outpricing the Camaro in some models. A couple weeks ago, the dealership we go to had a $80,000 Camaro in the showroom, across from the $50,000 base model Corvette . The guy we have worked with at the car dealership (I have been dealing with the same place out in the country since 1990 because they give us great deals) told me that they can't sell Corvettes and can't sell the higher end Camaros. The owner has 3 dealerships, in 3 different demographic areas and his dealerships just can't move them.

A new Corvette in 1982 listed at an amount that is pretty close inflation wise to a pretty stripped down 2019 base model. The $18K'sh they cost then inflates up to almost $50K now but wages haven't inflated like that. I was making good money for a young guy when I bought my 65 but I had a skill that was needed then. I was very very good at precision machining. But as a rule, those days are gone. CNC machinery has replaced the need for a bunch of talented people with the need for parts loaders and a few that can program the machines.

I was also willing to drive and fix the beater mobiles while I paid off the Vette and the other muscle cars I owned through the years to keep them nice (I have also had 2 5.0 Mustangs, 1 I bought new in 1990). It was a great car EXCEPT the struts would move if you hit a bump while turning and it would be out of alignment again. Because of that, I got rid of it and I needed a pickup truck at the time. (from my comments you can probably figure out I was a working class guy, didn't come from a family with money).

As I said above, I am working with the club to attempt to attract younger people in, but it is like walking a tightrope. The club president sent me pictures to post to the website. (I help with it a bit). I looked at them and realized that they weren't exactly a great recruitment poster. A bunch of folks, over 70 sitting and eating. It would have made the club like like a geriatric gathering.


Yes, Corvette people can be asshats. And racists. So can others. But I understand what you mean. I can see that myself. There is one club in the area that the folks are "trophy collectors". Their club members go to shows en masse and vote for each other. You see the same people over and over getting trophies for just a plain off the lot car. Almost always the late models. Most of them don't acknowledge the C4's.

I too prefer cruise-ins, and other type of gatherings, other than "Corvette shows". It is a waste of time to go sit there all morning to ultimately see the trophy hunters vote for themselves. However around where I live, the cruise-in crowd are older folks also. When they are gone, the cruise-ins will go with them.

I like going and talking to people that work on their cars themselves. It just doesn't impress me for someone that bragging about a machine that they have done nothing to achieve its state of existence other than sign the contract/check. If they haven't invested any kind of sweat equity, even such as researching and applying a specialty paint coating, something at all, I just don't have the interest in their cars. I have more interest in people that somehow put their own twist on a car with their own hands, no matter how small the change, at least they aren't just paying someone else to do it and then showing off someone else's work as if it was their own.

The club I belong to does put on other than sit and visit shows. They put on autocrosses and rallies. There are a handful of folks that raced when they were younger, and one just gave up racing, he is well into his 70's. They are different than the folks that just got the cars for "image". He is going to sell his C4 that is set up for racing. If I had the money, I might have an interest.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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I was listening to the auction that was broadcast today on the Motorweek station. I don't know the exact date of the auction, whether it is going on right now or was on another date.

What I did notice, that Corvette restomods or other heavily modified (let's call the restomods) were the ones going for big bucks. Often times more than 2 to 3 HUNDRED THOU. The announcers keep saying that is where it is at. Either they have to be 100% original low mileage cars (meaning not restored) or restomods.

I saw an original Dodge Daytona go for 185K but one of Dave Kindig's restomod Camaros pulled 300K.

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