NASCARCorvette No. 211

Numbers - The Third Rail of Corvette Collecting

This is a subject of intense interest as the value of collector cars soars. I wanted to provide some insights about this and hopefully clarify some misunderstandings.

I've attached the National Corvette Certification Board's (Bloomington Gold judges) policy and it pretty much mirrors my policy and thoughts over the past 20 years.

First of all, many people believe that a Corvette must have its original engine to qualify for a Bloomington Gold Certificate. In reality, that is not necessarily true.

If the engine stampings and the rest of the engine appear to be within 95% of they way they would have appeared at the day of production, there is no problem. In other words, if a restorer has accurately reconstructed the engine and stampings to the point that it appears no different from factory, it will pass. But it needs to be accurate to the gnat's eyebrow.

For example, our "Last" Corvette has an accurately restored engine (which is no secret) and has easily passed the Bloomington Gold standards.

On the other hand, if the inspectors can easily detect differences in the configuration or finish of the engine block, it will not qualify for a Gold regardless of its overall score or cosmetic perfection. Therefore, even though "the numbers might match", the differences in shapes of the stampings (compared to factory) will be detected by experts. And Bloomington Gold has the judges, technology, and records to do this very reliably.

Unfortunately, some less experienced judges (or over zealous "experts") can out-fox themselves by not knowing how to distinguish between inaccurate stampings and factory "flukes". If a judge makes such a mistaken identity, it may defame the automobile and engine in question. This is a disservice to the owner, but more importantly to the automobile and even the industry in general.

So what is the difference between accurately restoring an engine stamping and counterfeiting one? For this answer, I'll defer to Bloomington Gold's definition which has been their policy for decades. It is also one that I strongly support.

From Bloomington Gold's Procedures and Protocols, page 4/5.

It is not Bloomington Gold's policy to "look for counterfeits". However, if a counterfeit engine, trim tag or VIN is discovered, our policy subjects the owner to immediate disqualification and ineligibility to participate in future Certification events. If a Bloomington Gold judge is aware of such a counterfeit, he is required to advise the Division Director. Furthermore, if any Bloomington Gold judge is found to be associated with a Corvette entered in Certification which is determined to be counterfeit, he is subject to immediate and permanent dismissal from the National Corvette Certification Board.

Bloomington Gold does not necessarily consider "re-stamping" to be counterfeiting. If the "re-stamp" was done with the intention of restoring or replacing the original numbers rather than deceiving, Bloomington Gold does not consider that to be counterfeit. Bloomington Gold uses Webster's Dictionary to define:

restoration: "To renew; to put back into existence or bring back to a former or original state." For Example:
1. Repainting an original Tuxedo Black Corvette with Tuxedo Black paint.

2. Restamping an original block with the same CID/Suffix/VIN as that block had when it left the factory.

counterfeiting: "To make an imitation of something else with the intent to deceive or defraud." For Example:
1. Repainting an original Glen Green Corvette with Riverside Red paint and changing the trim tag so it appears it left the factory as a Riverside Red Corvette.

2. Replacing the engine in a small block Corvette with a big block and making the CID/Suffix/VIN stampings appear that the Corvette left the factory as a big block.

3. Replacing the carburetor on an engine with a fuel injection unit and altering the block numbers and suffix code to make it appear it left the factory as a fuel injection Corvette.

Copy from existing material excerpted from Certification Guidelines
Note: Reprinted with copyright permission from Bloomington Gold

1967 Corvette Historical Facts

1967 Corvette Historical Facts (condensed version)
The 1967 Corvette Celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (2007) and marks the end of the Corvette's second generation (1963 to 1967). The 1967 Corvette is unequivocally the high water mark or holy grail for Corvette collectors in the know and has an appreciation record that tracks well back to the mid 1970's with many selling for the six figure range today.

Recently a 1967 Corvette coupe VIN #22940 (known as the Last Sting Ray) sold for $660,000.00 and the preceding day a 1967 L-88 received a bid in excess of 1.5 million dollars.

A. 1967 Corvette were produced from September 1966 through July 1967 with a total production of 22,940 of which only 8,504 were coupes.

B. 1967 Corvette had functional side fender vents with five slots.

C. 1967 Corvette had a blue GM Mark of Excellence label attached to the back of each door above the latch.

D. 1967 Corvette engine combinations were: 327-300 hp (6,842 produced), 327-350 hp (6,375 produced), 427-390 hp (3,832 produced), 427-400 hp (2,101 produced), 427-435 hp (3,754 produced), 427-435 with aluminum heads (16 produced), 427-430 [L-88] (20 produced).

E. 1967 Corvette L-88 engines exceeded 500 hp but were intentionally understated to restrict its appeal to non-racing clients.

F. Some of the rare options were: C-48 heater & defroster deletion (35 produced), L-88 engine (20 produced), L-89 engine (16 produced), M-22 heavy duty transmission, N03 36 gallon fuel tank (2 produced), and N89 cast aluminum bolt-on wheels (720 produced).

G. 1967 colors were: Tuxedo Black (815 produced), Ermine White (1,423 produced), Rally Red (2,341 produced), Marina Blue (3,840 produced), Lyndale Blue (1,381 produced), Elkhart Blue (1,096 produced), Goodwood Green (4,293 produced) , Sunfire Yellow (2,325 produced), Silver Pearl (1,952 produced), Marlboro Maroon (3,464 produced), and ten (10) 1967 Corvettes had non-standard paint or just plain primer.

H. The 1967 was the last year of the famous Sting Ray (two words).

source: Corvette Black Book, Mike Antonick (2006)

1965 Corvette Historical Facts

1965 Corvette Historical Facts (condensed version)
The 1965 Corvette production marked the end of the famed Rochester fuel injection and the beginning and end of the famed 396-425 hp Corvette Big Block!

A. 1965 Corvettes were produced from August 1964 through August 1965 with a total production of 23,564 of which only 8,186 were coupes.

B. 1965 marked the last year of the Rochester fuel injection (771 produced).

C. 1965 marked the first and last year of the 396 ci-425 hp engine for the Corvette (2,157 produced).

D. 1965 marked the first year that four-wheel disc brakes were available as standard equipment.

E. 1965 Corvette engine combinations were: 327-250 hp (2,551 produced), 327-300 hp (8,358 produced), 327-350 hp (4,716 produced), 327-365 hp (5,011 produced), 327-375 hp (771 produced), 396-425 hp (2,157 produced).

F. Some of the rare options were: C-48 heater and defroster deletion (39 produced), F-40 special suspension (975 produced),J61 drum brakes/credit (316 produced), N03 36 gallon fuel tank (41 produced), N14 side mount exhaust (759 produced ) and 4.56:1 ratio rear end (789 produced). Other very rare racing options also were available but that information has not been printed as of yet.

G. 1965 colors were: Tuxedo Black (1,191 produced), Ermine White (2,216 produced), Nassau Blue (6,022 produced), Glen Green (3,782 produced), Milano Maroon (2,831 produced), Silver Pearl (2,552 produced), Rally Red (3,688 produced), Goldwood Yellow (1,275 produced), and five 1965's had non-standard paint or primer.

H. Chevrolet built two 1965s after production officially ended July 31st.

I. The first 1965 was painted 1964 Satin Silver and coded ZZ (Cadillac's code for the same color) and currently belongs to a ProTeam client.

source: Corvette Black Book, Mike Antonick (2006)