Will Chevy's mid-engine bark make the used market prices bite?
Chevrolet made some serious waves when it announced the new C8 Corvette was moving exclusively to a mid-engine platform. After nearly 70 years of production, this is the most radical change the Corvette’s history. And whether you consider it progress or heresy, the change in the Corvette’s design could impact everyone, and it could signal the best time to buy a classic Corvette ever. Because we think the new C8 Corvette could drastically raise the price on used Corvettes in the coming years.
With the death of the traditional front-engine Corvette, the opportunity for older cars to appreciate has presented itself. Regardless of how fast, how capable, or how well-loved the new Corvette becomes, there is no avoiding the fact that the classic front-engine Corvette is dead. As time goes on, people will undoubtedly begin to miss that classic feel and style of the Corvette.
The long hood, coupled with the huge hips and short rear of the Corvette, creates a very specific style and driving dynamic. It doesn't matter how impressive the new car may be to drive, it will never feel the same, and people searching for that classic experience will be willing to pay for it.
This is only part of the reason that older muscle cars in general demand much higher prices. As time goes on, these cars get rarer, of course, but the vast majority of people want those older cars because of their style, sound, and driving experience. The Corvette’s legacy as a front-engine RWD car is one that people flock to. Part of the car’s success over the last six decades and change largely relied on that tradition. Every young kid watching a Corvette drive down the road knew that they could grow up and buy a new Corvette of their own, and they knew it would be largely similar.
That all changes with the 2020 C8 Corvette, and we expect that to change the entire Corvette market going forward. If you are looking to buy a Corvette, especially a C7-generation machine, your time is coming. We expect prices on the last-gen Corvette to fall when major C8 performance figures start spreading to a wider audience, but this might not happen right away. While it's a great time to get a low-mileage, clean example at a great price as people are trying to fire sale their C7s to get a C8, we could also see the previous generation cycle - meaning it could bottom out before rising beyond the original retail pricing, and this can happen too fast to react.
Gallery: The 2020 Corvette Going To Boost The Used Market
If you want to jump in early and secure yourself a relatively safe investment, typical rules apply. Choose a car that is more interesting or limited in production. One-year-only colors are a smart buy, and the higher trim of the car the better. Always doing research on major problems in a car is a good start as well. For example, if you are going to get a C7 Z06, aim for a later model to avoid concerns with overheating that plagued the first year cars.
The newest Corvette will surely be the fastest one ever made, but that doesn’t mean it will be the best. And it certainly doesn’t mean it will be the most valuable.