Imagine how much the first-production model will fetch over if it’s auctioned

The all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 has arrived. Mind you, the Corvette C8 isn’t just the latest-generation Corvette to arrive. Everyone who has waited to see a mid-engine Corvette can finally breathe a sigh of relief. It’s here, folks! After 60 years of waiting — it’s been a long wait that included many prototypes that almost made it to production — the vision of Zora Arkus-Duntov has finally come alive. There are a lot of firsts that come with the arrival of the Corvette C8, not just for the model itself, but for Chevrolet as a company. It stands to reason then that this could be one of the most important models of the Chevrolet Corvette in its long and illustrious history. And as one of the most collectible cars in the auto industry, you can be sure that the C8 has “instant collectible” written all over it. Don’t be surprised if the first-production model ends up in an auction house sometime in the latter part of the year. All bets are off if that happens, ladies and gentlemen. If you thought the $2.7 million price tag the final-production Corvette C7 fetched last month at the Barrett-Jackson auction is too much, wait until you see the frenzied bidding that will come in the auction of the first-production Corvette C8.

It’s hard to imagine that it took almost 70 years for the Chevrolet Corvette to get this dramatic a makeover. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, though. Zora Arkus-Duntov, the man many consider as the Corvette’s godfather, was the first champion of a mid-engined version of the sports car. Not only that, but he also led the charge in making the Corvette a real sports car, complete with fuel injection, an independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Arkus-Duntov is best remembered, though, for his unbridled passion in bringing a mid-engine Corvette to life. Numerous times, he tried to persuade Chevy execs to build a mid-engine Corvette, citing, at one point, competition from the likes of Ford as one of his reasons.

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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Undaunted by previous denials, Arkus-Duntov spearheaded the creation of the XP-882 Concept, which débuted at the 1970 New York Auto Show to great acclaim.

Unfortunately, General Motors thought the car would be too expensive to build without offering any tangible advantages over the front-engined Corvette.

Give the man credit, though, for his persistence. Shortly before his retirement, Arkus-Duntov made one last-ditch effort to convince GM execs to build a mid-engined Corvette. He and then-GM president Ed Cole agreed to give it a shot, only for the Wankel engine, which GM had just purchased, to torpedo his dreams. And so, Arkus-Duntov’s dream of launching a mid-engined Corvette remained a dream until his death in 1996.

Why is all of this important? It’s important because it tells the story of a man and his dream that never came to be. It took almost 70 years, and more than 20 years since his death, but General Motors and Chevrolet finally came through and did right by Arkus-Duntov. The engineer’s dream to build a mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette isn’t a dream anymore; it’s a reality.

The mid-engine Corvette has become a unicorn among unicorns for Corvette enthusiasts.

It has, in many ways, become the Corvette-that-was-never-meant-to-be. Funny how time and huge changes in the automotive landscape can turn that narrative completely, huh?

The all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 has arrived. Naturally, it comes with significant changes compared to its predecessor. It has an all-new look, a new LT2 engine that’s an evolved version of the LT1 unit that sat under the hood of the Corvette C7 Stingray. Even the eight-speed automatic transmission is new. None of that, though, compares to the importance of where the LT2 engine is placed. For the first time in history, the Corvette’s engine sits behind the driver, and it precisely that reason — and really, that reason alone — why the Corvette C8 has earned “instant collectible” status among die-hard Corvette aficionados.

Lock it Down: The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Has "Instant Collectible" Written All Over it
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All the pieces have fallen into place.

You have an all-new model with a lot of attached history behind it and, just as important, it’s attached to a nameplate that’s tightly woven into the fabric of American culture.

There’s a reason the Corvette is often referred to as “The Star-Spangled Sports Car.” Likewise, there’s also a reason classic car insurer and valuation firm Hagerty calls it “the most collectible car of all time.”

"The Corvette has existed in a category all its own as an American car," Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty told USA Today. "It’s a pretty magical story through and through. It’s very evident they’re about to do it again."

Yes, Chevrolet did it again, only this time, they did it while also satisfying the decades-old demands of Corvette enthusiasts, a lot of whom have pushed General Motors to create what Zora Arkus-Duntov fought tirelessly and passionately for. This isn’t your typical next-generation Corvette, folks. This is a history-making next-generation Corvette.

Lock it Down: The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Has "Instant Collectible" Written All Over it
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It’s precisely that reason why I think that, if Chevrolet sends the first-production model to the auction block as it has done many times in the past with other first-production Corvettes, the first-production Corvette C8 could become the most expensive Corvette ever sold in an auction setting.

Think about it. Just last month, Chevrolet auctioned off the final-production Corvette C7 and it sold for an insane $2.7 million.

Last year, Chevrolet also auctioned off the first-production 2019 Corvette ZR1 and it sold for $925,000. It’s a pittance compared to what the final-production Corvette C7 went for, but that’s not the point. The point is that anything and everything Chevrolet Corvette will fetch a king’s ransom in an auction.

Last Production Chevrolet Corvette C7 Fetches $2.7 Million at Barrett-Jackson Auction
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Now, compare the provenance of those two models with that of the first-production Corvette C8. Guess what? There’s no comparison. Neither of those models has any historical significance beyond that they were the first and last models built of a specific Corvette model. The first-production Corvette C8 has that, too. It also happens to be the first-production mid-engined Corvette in history. For starved fans who have waited this long to see a mid-engine Corvette, that’s the recipe for potential auction bids that could go through the roof.

So, here’s where we stand. The $2.7 million, last-production Corvette C7 ranks as the fifth highest-selling Corvette to go through an auction setting. The 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Rebel Convertible Race Car comes in at fourth when it sold for $2.86 million back in 2014. Coming in at third place is the 1967 Corvette L88 that sold for $3.2 million in 2013. The 1967 Corvette L88 Convertible sits at the runner-up spot after selling for $3.4 million in the same year the L88 did. Taking the top spot (for now) is the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe that sold for a record $3.88 million in 2014.

Lock it Down: The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Has "Instant Collectible" Written All Over it
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While I do think that top two L88 models will retain their spots on this list, I’m confident that, if Chevrolet decides to auction off the first-production Corvette C8, it could clear the $3 million threshold easily. Whether it can beat the $3.2 million price of tag of the 1967 L88 is unclear, but if Corvette fans think that the first-production mid-engine Corvette C8 is important enough to fetch that amount, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t.

Call it in, folks. I predict that, if auctioned off, the first-production 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 will sell for $3.3 million!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray drivetrain specifications
Type: LT2 6.2L V8 VVT with direct injection and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block Material: A319-T7 cast aluminum with cast-in iron cylinder liners and nodular main bearing caps
Oiling System: Dry sump-type (7.5-qt. capacity); includes oil-spray piston cooling
Oil Type: Dexos 2 0W40 synthetic
Cylinder Head Material: 319-T7 cast aluminum
Combustion Chamber volume: 59cc
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder; dual-equal variable valve timing.
Valve Size (in / mm): 2.13 / 54 hollow (intake) & 1.59 / 40.4 sodium filled (exhaust)
Fuel Delivery: Direct injection with Active Fuel Management: Max pressure: 2,175 psi (15 Mpa / 150 bar)
Firing Order: 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3 (all cylinders); 1-7-6-4 (with deactivation)
Throttle body: 87mm single bore (electronic)
ECU: GM E99 (32-bit processing)
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): SAE-certified to 495 / 369 @ 6450 rpm (with performance exhaust)
Torque (lb.-ft./ Nm @ rpm): SAE-certified to 470 / 637 @ 5150 rpm (with performance exhaust)

Further reading

Lock it Down: The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Has "Instant Collectible" Written All Over it
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Wait, the All-New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is Priced How Much?!

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

1953 - 1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1 High Resolution Exterior
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Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette

1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2 High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 Exterior
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Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3

2001 - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
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Read up on our review of the 1997-2004 Chevy C5 Corvette

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Read up on the 2005-2013 Chevy C6 Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Check out our full review of the 2014-2019 Chevy C7 Corvette

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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The 9 concepts that led to the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8

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