The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette is Here, So Is Now the Right Time to Buy a C7 Corvette?
You better believe it, folks. Supplies of the Chevrolet Corvette C7 won’t last forever.by Kirby, on
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8’s long-awaited arrival has answered as many questions as it has opened new ones. One of the prevailing questions surrounding the C8’s arrival is one that doesn’t pertain to the model at all. This question is all about its predecessor, the Chevrolet Corvette C7, specifically as it relates to the ideal time to buy one before production of the model completely stops. So, is now the right time to buy a Chevrolet Corvette C7, knowing full well the kind of resale value it could attract when supplies are officially off the table? It’s an interesting question when you consider what kind of stature the C7-generation Corvette will one day have in the annals of the sports car’s long and rich history. But as far as short answers go, yes, now is the right time to buy a brand-new Chevrolet Corvette C7. You can risk it and wait to see how the market will look like once production ends, but doing so doesn’t guarantee you a better shot at a Corvette C7 at a cheaper price than what you’ll have to spend for a brand new model today. Take all that risk out of the equation and go buy one now.
The C7 Corvette is the Last of Front-Engined Vettes
We’ve talked ad nauseam about how the Chevrolet Corvette’s stature as the first mid-engined Corvette in the nameplate’s history is a big deal. But every new beginning starts just as a previous chapter closes, and in this case, it’s important to shed light on the growing significance of the departing Chevrolet Corvette C7. It is, effectively, the last front-engined Corvette, at least for the time being. That distinction carries its weight, especially for Corvette purists who have enjoyed nothing but front-engine madness from the nameplate for more than 60 years. Imagine that for a second.
The first-generation Corvette (C1) arrived in 1953 as a front-engine roadster. It’s kept true to that layout for seven generations spanning 66 years.
And to think that the Corvette was supposed to be only a show car when it was introduced at the 1953 New York Auto Show. There’s a lot of distinction that comes with being the last front-engine Corvette. That distinction now rests on the shoulders of the Corvette C7. That’s the kind of built-in provenance that very few models will ever get to wear.
How Well Will the C7 Corvette Holds Its Resale Value?
This has been one of the most often-asked questions that I’ve gotten since the Corvette C8’s debut, and the answer is a resounding “very well!”
Several factors back up this thought. First, there’s the provenance, which I just mentioned. No other version of the Corvette other than the C7 generation can lay claim to being the last of the front-engine Corvettes. No one. That’s also not the only thing the Corvette C7 has going for it. By and large, the C7 generation has been well-received by Corvette fans and enthusiasts. Even people who aren’t considered legionnaires of the Corvette have shown a great affinity for the model. It is, simply put, a well-built car that speaks to its stature as the quintessential American sports car. There’s a reason, folks, that the final-production Corvette C7 sold for $2.7 million at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Connecticut last month, becoming the fifth-most expensive Corvette ever sold in an auction.
The Corvette C7 ZR1, in particular, is probably one of the best Corvettes that Chevrolet has ever built.
Ever. It boasts a litany of incredible specs and features, none more attention-grabbing than the new 6.2-liter LT5 V-8 engine that produces a staggering 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. Even with the arrival of the base-level, 490-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette C8, the Corvette C7 ZR1 is still the fastest and most powerful Corvette ever built. It’s going to keep that title until its successor — the rumored 1,000-horsepower hybrid Corvette C8 ZR1 — arrives sometime in the middle part of the next decade. Here’s the thing: even if there’s already talk of the next-gen Corvette ZR1, it’s release is so far into the future that you can’t automatically assume that the car being talked about today will be the same car that will arrive in four or five years. That’s too long of a gap for everything to stay as they are. That plays into the hands of the Corvette C7 ZR1, which, by all accounts, tugs at the heartstrings of the model’s older — and core — fanbase.
|Type:||LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm)||4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92|
|Block material:||Cast aluminum|
|Cylinder head material:||Cast aluminum|
|Valvetrain:||Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder|
|Fuel delivery:||Direct and port injection|
|Horsepower||755 HP @ 6,300 RPM (SAE certified)|
|Torque||715 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM (SAE certified)|
|Transmission||7-speed manual with Active Rev Match 8-speed paddle-shaft automatic|
Speaking of which, you can excuse a lot of these people for not taking too warmly to the début of the Corvette C8. While we celebrate it for its historical significance, others aren’t too fond of it precisely because of that same significance. For them, the C8 is a break from tradition, an affront to the sensibilities of hardcore fans who kneel at the altar of the front-engine Corvette. Maybe this specific narrative will change in the future as more and more people warm up the all-new mid-engine Corvette.
But for as long as some will shy away from it, you can bet that they’re going to gravitate towards the Corvette C7.
That’s the perfect recipe for the Corvette C7 to not only hold its resale value, but it could also be the reason that value goes up in the future.
The C7 Corvette’s Proven Technology and Timeless Design is a Winning Combination
Provenance and a powerful engine lineup aren’t the only things that make the Chevrolet Corvette C7 special. The car’s design is also one of its biggest strengths, even if there was initial dismay about the disappearance of the Corvette’s iconic round taillights. Give Chevrolet credit, too. From the moment the C7 arrived in 2013, the Bowtie has done an impressive job keeping the sports car’s design up-to-date, often with minor tweaks here and minor updates there. It was, in some ways, a never-ending cycle with the clear aim of continuous improvement. The results showed, though.
The most recent design of the Corvette C7 is as aspirational as it gets.
Even the stubborn skeptics who initially scoffed at the sports car’s looks have softened their position with some even crossing over to the “I-like-it” side of the fence. The car’s core fanbase — middle-aged people and retirees — are notoriously hard to please, in part because they are, justifiably so, set in their ways on how they see the Corvette. But a lot of them have been converted to the extent that the Corvette C8 now has an uphill climb ahead to live up to the aesthetic standards of its predecessor.
I always liked the look of the Corvette C7 from the start. I appreciated Chevrolet’s decision to take a swing on the C7’s design, even if it meant initially rubbing the Corvette faithful the wrong way. Right or wrong, these people have always been set on their ways on how they viewed the Corvette. Veer too far away from that, and they’ll make their voices heard. But Chevrolet had to do it because it understood that they needed to extend the Corvette’s appeal beyond its aging clientele. So it turned up the aggression on the Corvette C7’s design. Six years later, you’re not going to find a lot of people who still cringe at the sight of the C7. Most of them have come to appreciate it, even if some people have a higher level of appreciation for the C7’s design than others.
On the side of technology, the Corvette C7 will probably be best remembered for coming with a seven-speed manual transmission. Chevrolet didn’t need to offer the manual, but it still did alongside a paddle-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
You can argue that Chevrolet did this to maintain the Corvette’s roots and you wouldn’t be wrong.
But it also goes beyond that, in part because it’s not just the transmission that plays a part in the overall Corvette driving experience. It’s also about the active rev-matching technology — as soon as you start to shift gears, the car pumps the throttle to make sure that it’s at exactly the perfect RPM level that it needs to be to ensure that those shifts are as smooth as possible — the dual-mass flywheel and the and dual-disc clutch. All these components play important roles in enhancing the Corvette’s drivability.
If you’re a fan of unique driving dynamics, Chevrolet addressed that by offering as many as five different driving options courtesy of the round drive mode selector on the center tunnel. Between Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport, and Track modes, the Corvette C7’s ability to change exhaust sounds, transmission shifting patterns, electronic throttle controls, electronic slip-diff, chassis rigidity, steering feel, and traction control all make for an incredible driving experience.
All of this was done to make the Corvette C7 one of the best-driving Corvettes in history. For the most part, Chevrolet accomplished that goal, and in so doing, it provided the Corvette C7 two key ingredients that could potentially help increase its value in the long-term.
Will Chevy Discount the Remaining C7 Corvettes in Stock?
This is a tricky question because Chevrolet dealerships are already offering discounts for the Corvette C7, even if I don’t think it should. But dealerships are more concerned about moving inventory than they are keeping healthy stocks of a car that may or may not increase in value in the long-term. It’s not smart, at least from a business perspective, for Chevy to keep stocks in the hopes of the C7’s value increasing in the future. It’s not good business ethics, too, in case you’re concerned about that.
Fortunately, neither Chevrolet nor its dealerships should be worried about extra inventories of the Corvette C7. As of this month, einventorynow.com says that there are still a little over 6,000 units — 6,025 units, to be exact — of the Corvette C7 that are available on the market. That converts to an 84-day supply, which means that we are less than three months away from the Corvette C7 going completely off the market.
Production of the Corvette C7 is already winding down, too, and Chevy has completely stopped taking orders for Z06 and ZR1 models.
That said, production of the all-new, mid-engined Corvette C8 will not begin for another few months to give the folks working at the Bowling Green production facility enough time to retool the factory and get it ready for the Corvette C8’s production. The downtime could take up to 10 weeks, accounting for the two-week summer hiatus and the eight-week factory updates.
All this points to one inescapable conclusion: if you want to buy a Chevrolet Corvette C7, today’s the best time to do it. Don’t dilly-dally and assume that there will still be stocks by September or October. There’s no telling how fast sales of the Corvette C7 will go once more people realize that as the days go by, the scarcer the Corvette C7 becomes.
Should I Buy a Used C7 Corvette Now or Wait To See if Prices Drop?
I would buy one now lickety-split. Between the dropping supply and the expected increase in demand for the Corvette C7, waiting a few months to buy one is the worst thing you can do. It would be understandable if you still don’t have the funds to buy a model now. That means that saving up and waiting is your best option. But if you have the finances to make it work, don’t wait until supplies are scarcer before you buy a Corvette C7. You will regret it.
If money is an issue and you can’t wait for more to come in, you can go the second-hand route and buy a used Corvette C7.
That’s an option worth taking, too, provided that you understand that all of that will be documented in the provenance of the car. Sure, some of you might not care about it, but if you’re thinking of buying a Corvette C7 now with the intention of flipping it for a profit once its price goes up, you’re not going to make as much money if you go the second-hand route. Your best bet is still to buy a brand-new model now and keep tucked inside your garage.
Waiting’s an option, too, but it’s one that I don’t advise. By waiting, you’re assuming that prices of the Corvette C7 will drop once its full production run ends. Considering what we know about the model and the potential historical significance it has as the last-ever front-engine Corvette in history, do you think that prices of the model will drop anytime soon? Maybe it will for a quick period, but you’re still going to compete with a lot of people who share your motives. It’s a risky approach, and you might not have anything to show for it when all is said and done.
So, go buy one now and take advantage of the fact that there are still a little over 6,000 units of the Corvette C7 available. The longer you wait, the bigger the chance that you end up with nothing but regrets.
Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!
Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1
Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
Read our full review on the 2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.