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collectible hardtop



Thougt you'd find this interesting.


The first FRC is @ the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. It's Torch Red with cloth seats? From the build sheet it looks like no power windows, single power mirror, single manual mirror, power locks, power drivers seat, this would be a rare one.

This kind of occurence is what has made Corvette what it is today. By adding a new model and then dropping it, for a performance model, has again added to a piece of Corvette history.

I have always liked the FRC's. In fact, it was a toss up between my ZR-1 and a '99 FRC for me. That's an interesting fact about the first FRC........I wonder how much lighter that car is than one that's loaded.

First 1999 Hardtop

Here's what the link is:


Racer78 said:
The 1999 HardTop (FRC) is no Billy Bob, they all had 6 speeds, Z51 suspension, much stiffer chassis and were like 80 lbs lighter.
Those babies are bred to be race cars.

See these two articals:



Keith :w

I've read the first link before, however, not the second. Very interesting, thank you. What they meant by Billy Bob is that they were going to keep the car as plain jane as possible, which they ended up not doing. The car in the picture above is in the National Corvette Museum. There was a lot of controversary as to which way to go with it. But, it was all marketing strategy. They wanted to see if the sales would keep up with the coupe and convertible, which it didn't, so they made the Z06 the performance package and dropped the hardtop from the line.

But the rarity of the car is that they only made 6,000 for the two years, and just think, its the first fixed roof hardtop with a trunk, EVER produced in Corvette history. Imagine! The '63-'67 was a fixed roof hardtop, but had no trunk, and was actually a fastback. The rest of the Vettes were all removeable hardtops that had the trunk, up until 1962.

It's a piece of history and a better performer stock, than the coupes and verts, but is not a Z06, and is not made anymore. Voila...collectible.

In today's market, its very hard to tell what's going to be a collectible, because corporations such as GM, Ford and Chrysler live on the legends of the past collectibles. Look how they came back with the styling of the Thunderbird. They use marketing strategies based on the performance and styling of their old products, and create a bigger market for the cars and increased production. So naturally, there are more Corvette Coupes and verts, so it stands to reason that the hardtop being the first in a series in '99 and dropped after '00, may be one of these oddities.

I would say in today's time, its very hard to determine what is going to be a collectible. In 1990 they were speculating with the ZR1, and people paid over MSRP. It created a false market for that car. That was good marketing. They did give you something different, knowing it would be a collectible in years to come. The people that bought the ZR1 and were able to afford them, and some took a big hit, didn't want to tie their money up and wait around for it to become a classic. So, after paying $67,000, getting their enjoyment out of it, they knew when to take the hit and got out of it for $30,000. The ones that will benefit will probably be the second owners, who were probably more enthusiastic about the car, but couldn't afford it at the time, and will keep it for posterity, and drive the price up, while some are still being raced and destroyed, decreasing the numbers available of pure, mint, stock Z's.

On the other hand, it's the ones that are beat up, that will stimulate the collectibility of them even more, because people will want to buy them at the right price, looking to restore them, and therefore, creating another market.

I believe the first sentence of your last paragraph may be closer to the truth then your second sentence, because I have seen this happen before, and the collectibles are usually the models that were the beginning of a series, and usually dropped a year or two later from the line, like the '57 TBird. It lasted only three years. I feel the same about the hardtop, even though the Z06 is the same body style, the hardtop has a certain history behind it, and it was the first in a series. Who would ever think the '59 Cadillac would ever evolve the way it did as an icon for Cadillac. Back then people would say that it was the ugliest car that Cadillac ever built.

Granted with the hardtop, it really can't be predicted for certain that it will become a collectible, however, it certainly has some characteristics that would be considered collectible potential, based on past scenerios. Also, being our market has opened globally, you will see a lot happening, that you may not have seen before.

And, who said you can't drive and enjoy a car, even if it is a collectible. Maybe with a Duesenberg or Packard, it would be different, because those cars are like a precious diamond in our automobile history. And, have you ever seen some of these restored cars? They are better than factory, if done right. I could tear my hardtop apart now, and restore that body, and paintwork, much better than what the factory has given me. So enjoying the car, getting a few scratches and nicks, doesn't really take away from collectibility. Yes, granted, if you have a collectible thats been stored and mint, it would bring more money than a restored one, but I still would buy a restored gull winged Mercedes, for a good number, opposed to one that is all original, unless the original one was the same price. So, there is still a collectible market for those with less money to spend. There's a lot more to collectibles than meets the eye. There are a lot of factors involved. There are different markets for collectibles in cars.

One is the manufacturer limiting production to control price and feel the market. Another would be the collectors, like Reggie Jackson and Jay Leno, buying them and then auctioning them off at a higher price as a signature car that they owned. Then there's the person who is not a collector that has enough money not to care what he pays for the car that he wants, and naturally this will drive the price up eventually. And, lastly, there's the average person who buys a car that doesn't depreciate as others do, and it keeps pace with the economy and market. That's what is characteristic of the Corvette. So you might want to say that all Corvettes are a collectible in a sense, as they don't depreciate as fast as other cars, and then usually turn around 20 years later and appreciate in price. Then you'll get a few that may stand out as collectibles amongst the rest like your GTO, 442, Roadrunner, Cuda and so on.

If I had invested $5,000 in the right portfolio back in 1967, I would have had a lot more money, then what a nice '67 L88 would have brought today. But, would I have the car and enjoyment for all those years? No. So it's not all about money. Like you said yourself, you get into your car and it makes your day. I enjoy driving my hardtop, and I enjoy feeling that it IS something different. Remember, its what's in your heart that makes you feel good. And, when you buy a Corvette, you are buying something with a lot of history behind it, otherwise, we wouldn't be here, would we?
Don't know much about the FRC's...but learning about them from reading your posts. Happy Birthday, Father Larry and best wishes on your special day. :)

A question about Z51 suspension?

This is more of a question than and answer. I have a 2000 hardtop and I was curious, did all hardtops come with the Z51 package or was it an option? I have looked at the specs but I am kinda confused. I have also read some books and from what I have read it sounds like it was an option. I was under the impresion it came standard. If someone could tell me it would be much appreciated.

Dustin. :confused
FatherLarry, I enjoyed your post and I think your points are dead-on!:cool

Hats off to Father Larry, very informative. I enjoyed that post very much as I feel you have quite a wealth of knowledge from your history and experience. Not to push or be pushy, but I'm still looking forward to the 9 second posts:)
Re: A question about Z51 suspension?

White-00Hardtop said:
This is more of a question than and answer. I have a 2000 hardtop and I was curious, did all hardtops come with the Z51 package or was it an option? I have looked at the specs but I am kinda confused. I have also read some books and from what I have read it sounds like it was an option. I was under the impresion it came standard. If someone could tell me it would be much appreciated.

Dustin. :confused

Sorry I haven't been around. A little late with my answer, but it came standard. Read the article at the link below.


Been pretty busy working on my own website. Should have it up an running soon. Lot of work, but fun. Not only that, I have been working the Corvette. Putting a factory Bose CD player, as the hardtop came standard with tape deck only. Also putting a new dashboard, as I wasn't happy with the quality of the original one, and lastly I am also replacing my windshield and also the vacuum lines which the dealer kinked when trying to put a cd player in for me. I am doing the work myself and enjoying it.
hardtop and Z51

Z51 was standard on the 99 hardtop as was the 6 speed.if you read the options for 99 the hardtop was not available with hud but mine has it along with fog lights. so who knows what GM is doing most of the time
1999 Corvette Hardtop Classic within its own era

Thought this was interesting also:

1999 CORVETTE HARDTOP HITS THE STREETS The all-American sports car the Corvette gets a fixed-roof coupe for the first time since '67 back. The fifth-generation Corvette, in it's third model year, adds a new sibling to the stable - the 1999 Corvette hardtop, the first fixed-roof Corvette offered since the legendary second generation Sting Rays of 1963-1967. The Corvette hardtop joins the coupe (with removable roof panel) and the convertible in the 1999 Corvette lineup. According to Corvette Brand Manager Dick Almond, the newest Vette has a character all its own. "Part of our potential customer base really wants a simpler, more elemental, yet high-performance machine," said Almond. "The new hardtop is the ultimate hot sports car yet, it will carry the lowest base price in the Corvette family. Those factors combined should make the consumer appeal for Corvette even greater." The hardtop features a subtle silhouette distinction that sets it apart from the coupe and convertible, while still preserving the classic Corvette lines. Corvette hardtop standard features include: · Z51 suspension, designed for sanctioned racing competition or for drivers who demand the ultimate Corvette handling package. Z51 features stiff springs, large stabilizer bars and large monotube shock absorbers. (F45 Real Time Damping Suspension Package not available on hardtop.) · Six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available). · Limited-slip rear axle with 3.42 ratio. The hardtop is a rarity among the many iterations of Vettes offered through the years. The only other fixed-roof coupes offered in the '60s are among the most collectible - the most memorable of which is the first, the 1963 "split-window" Corvette Sting Ray. "The 1999 hardtop is most certainly 'legend' material," said Almond. "There's a historical significance surrounding this car that's hard to come by these days. While it's impossible to predict, there's an excellent chance that the Vette hardtop is going to be one of the classic Vettes in an already legendary lineage." 1999 Corvettes are Big on Power, Handling and Comfort All three Corvette models are designed to provide a high-level of performance and convenience, contributing to Corvette's standing as the premier American sports car. The 5.7-liter LS1 V8 engine is standard on all models. The aluminum small-block V8 delivers an incredible 345 horsepower and features a deep-skirt design, lightweight aluminum cylinder heads and composite intake manifold. Optional new for 1999 features include: · Head-Up Display (HUD), which projects key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view vehicle vitals without taking their eyes off the road. (Available on coupe and convertible only.) · Twilight Sentinel (not available on hardtop), with delayed shutoff of the headlamps, allows for exterior illumination after the ignition is turned off. · Power Telescoping Steering Column, allows Corvette drivers to more accurately tailor the position of the steering wheel to their specific needs. In conjunction with the standard manual tilt feature, the driver is able to better create an optimum driving position. (Available on coupe and convertible only.) Additional standard performance features include: Heavy-duty four-wheel disc/four-wheel antilock brakes, Electronic Throttle Control, Traction Control and Goodyear Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) and tire pressure monitor system. The optional Active Handling System (introduced mid-1998 model year) available on all Corvette models is one of the most advanced stability-control systems of its kind. Active Handling operates in harmony with the ABS and Traction Control systems to selectively apply any of the four brakes in an effort to help the driver counteract and diffuse potentially dangerous handling characteristics, such as severe oversteer or understeer. Active Handling offers three settings. "On" for everyday driving, in which case Active Handling, ABS and Traction Control all function. "Off," which disables all three of these functions. And for high performance driving, a "Competition Mode" setting, in which Traction Control is disabled, but Active Handling and ABS continue to function. In addition to its high-tech performance features, all '99 Corvettes benefit from a wide door opening and low sill for easy entry and exit, and a long list of standard interior features such as air conditioning, leather seating surfaces, power door locks/windows, Remote Function Actuation (RFA) with Remote Keyless Entry, PASS-Key II theft-deterrent system, electronic speed control, AM/FM Stereo with cassette player and the electronic Driver Information Center. 

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