The Chevy Corvette has seen production delays as well as other issues over the years. But it still goes strong no matter what model year comes out. Many drivers prefer to go the route that takes them to the used iconic collectible Corvettes.
According to Hagerty, one such collectible is the 1962 version, produced in Chevy’s first 10 years building the Corvette. This particular model has an interesting history. How much will it cost if you try to buy one? Let’s take a look at the Corvette and how far it’s come over the years.
Where it all began
It’s hard to imagine that the Corvette has been around for over 60 years and is still going strong. The models we see today are a far cry from what we were introduced to in the 50s. The first Corvette to hit the automotive market was a 1953 version that began the American Sports Car label for the Corvette.
However, it wasn’t the greatest model it ever produced, despite the eager response it got. The inline six-cylinder motor was paired with a two-speed automatic transmission and gave barely enough power to run the car. With quality issues and one available color, it just didn’t become the hit Chevy was expecting. But, that all changed in 1955.
The 1955 version is when Chevy got it right with the motor. They plopped a V8 engine under the hood and gave it a manual transmission. It finally became a true sports car that drivers scrambled to get their hands on. As time went on, Chevy continued to tweak bits and pieces to the car, but they always kept the same V8 motor.
What was the 1962 Chevy Corvette like?
The 1962 model of the Corvette, along with the ’61 version, were the only two C1 models to have a “wedge tail” rear end instead of a curvy-lined backside. This design paved the way for what was the up-and-coming C2 Stingray. What made the 1962 version so different was its color scheme and the added vent located behind the front wheels. Even the chrome border accents were removed to make it more unique to previous versions.
Powering it up was the V8, its iconic motor, which was 327 cubic inches and came in three carbureted models as well as a fuel-injected one. As for horsepower, you could expect to get anywhere from 240 hp to 340 hp with the carbureted models, but the fuel-injected one produced 360 hp. Paired with the engine was either a Powerglide automatic or a four-speed manual gearbox.
It also came with seatbelts, an AM radio, a heater, and a defroster, which you could actually choose to eliminate to save a little weight. The Sebring package brought hood louvers, a front anti-sway bar, headlight covers, and a 37-gallon fuel tank.
You also got white sidewall tires, heavy-duty brakes and suspension, and an auxiliary hardtop as available equipment for the exterior. According to NADA Guides, the price for the car at the time it came out was $4,038 for the base model. If you buy one used in today’s market, you could pay anywhere from $29,700 in fair condition all the way to $81,500 in excellent condition. With a lot of extra amenities and perfect condition, you could even pay $107,000.
How different is the 2021 Chevy Corvette?
Fast forward to today, and the 2021 Chevy Corvette is a powerhouse compared to its old 1962 version. The eighth-generation car has the same V8 motor, but it’s tweaked to produce 490 hp, and it’s no longer under the hood. Chevy moved the engine to the area behind the seats instead. The front hood is now a “frunk” which can hold plenty of items like a suitcase and golf clubs.
This model now has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, along with some extra digital display features. It also won’t allow you to release the car from Park mode until you fasten your seatbelt. The one sad loss 2021 has removed the manual transmission, but the C8 Corvette still drives like a dream.
This model comes with a Z51 package, which brings a dual-mode performance exhaust. You can increase the horsepower a bit to 495 hp instead. When it comes to price, you can see how far inflation has stretched the cost of the 2021 version compared to the 1962 model. Today, you can expect to pay over $60,000 for the coupe and around $67,495 for the convertible.
The Chevy Corvette has come a long way over the 60 years it’s been around. From the simplistic 1962 model to today’s newest Corvette version, Chevy has brought more power to the car, as well as more style. However, the price is about 15 times what it was in 1962. Where will it be with future generations? Only time will tell.