Conventional wisdom says that a restored-to-original-specifications car will almost always retain more value than a restomod, which, typically speaking, is built to address a specific owner’s styling and performance tastes. Last weekend’s Mecum auction in Denver, Colorado, showed that both camps have strong devotees; of the five Corvettes in the sale’s top-10, three were restorations, while two were custom builds.
Denver top sellers included this restored 1963 Corvette (L) and this restomodded 1957 Corvette (R). Photos courtesy Mecum Auctions.
1963 Corvette coupe.
The most expensive restored Corvette sold in the Mile High city was a 1963 split window coupe, reportedly restored by a regional NCRS judge in 2010. Powered by a fuel-injected 327-cu.in. V-8 bolted to a four-speed manual transmission, the black Corvette has clocked just 100 miles since being restored, spending the rest of its time in a climate-controlled garage. Following its restoration, the Corvette received Top Flight recognition at a Rocky Mountain Chapter NCRS meet in September 2011, and its pedigree and condition helped the coupe achieve a selling price of $140,000.
1957 Corvette restomod.
On the restomod side, a 1957 Corvette, said to be the result of a two-year build by Joe Peck Customs in Van Nuys, California, achieved an impressive $135,000 selling price. Beginning with a non-numbers-matching car, the shop fabricated a complete custom frame, repaired the crash-damaged fiberglass front end and dropped in a modern LS3 V-8, rated at 480 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Inside, the dash sports retro-look gauges, while white leather wraps the seats, dash and door panels. Purists may shy away, but one bidder clearly found the metallic light blue with white cove convertible to his (or her) liking.
1967 Corvette convertible.
1966 Corvette coupe.
1965 Corvette convertible.
A trio of mid-year Corvettes also fought it out, with a restored 1967 convertible achieving a hammer price of $125,000, likely due to the 427-cu.in., 400-hp Tri-Power V-8 beneath its hood, along with an option list that was said to include factory air conditioning and the J56 Special Heavy Duty Brakes. In counterpoint, a 1966 coupe restomod powered by a contemporary 427-cu.in. LS7 V-8 (further enhanced with a 100-shot nitrous oxide system) sold for $115,000, while a more subdued restoration of a 1965 convertible, powered by the 300-hp, 327-cu.in. V-8 and boasting three NCRS Top Flite awards and Bloomington Gold certification, changed hands for $72,000.
1967 Shelby G.T. 500 fastback.
Other lots in the top-10 included an R-Code 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL, which sold for $155,000; a 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1, which sold for $115,000; a 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo, which sold for $80,000; an unrestored 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 fastback, which sold for $80,000; and a 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge, which sold for $67,000.
1967 Chrysler 300 hardtop.
More affordable lots of interest included a 1977 MGB convertible, which sold for $4,000; a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, which sold for $4,500; a 1967 Ford Mustang, which sold for $5,000; a 1957 Mercury Montclair, which sold for $5,000; a 1962 Willys CJ-5 Jeep, which sold for $6,000; an unrestored 1964 Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser, which sold for $6,500; a 1967 Chrysler 300 hardtop, which sold for $8,500; a 1984 Buick Regal T-Type, which sold for $8,500; a 1960 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Sedan, which sold for $9,000; and a 1969 Ford Galaxie convertible, which sold for $9,500.
For complete results from Denver, visit Mecum.com.