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Value of 81's?????

R

rbell@idtfla.com

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I have a one owner 81 that I have recently had a rekindled interest in. I have been poking around and found that the cars do not command a whole lot of dough. Actually is is pretty wild that you can buy them in great shape for less than what they cost new. I wondered what ideas you guys have on the future value of this model and why they are so cheap now? Seems like they should be worth more than they are based on the value of other models Etc. I am not interested in setting a price for my car I just wonder what the future might hold.


Thx,

Bob
 
Joined
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274
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1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
Bob,

Since you are asking about the future, I can only speculate. There are many, many factors that affect the market value of an automobile, but most cars fall into the category of depreciating assets for several years after purchase. Certain vehicles, such as our vettes, will begin to appreciate due to their special interest. How much is hard to tell. I would say that you are pretty lucky to have purchased a vehicle that is still worth almost as much as you paid for it 26 years ago. Some of the things the '81 has going for it is: last carbureted model (with ECM) and only year built at two locations (St. Louis & Bowling Green). The early C3's (bumper cars) are seeing good appreciation currently. I would guess that at some appropriate time, the later C3's will experience something similar, adjusted for the increased production numbers of the later years. The hard part is being patient enough to wait until that value curve turns upward following the normal vehicle depreciation period. You're past that point, so I only see them going up, even if it may be at a slow rate. Of course that all depends on how the car was maintained over those 26 years. Just my two cents.
 
R

rbell@idtfla.com

Guest
I know what you mean on the depreciatinng asset thing as I have bought and sold a few over the years. I guess I was just suprised to see how cheap they are actually selling for, even the clean survivors. I have always loved the C3 and the look and I guess that is why it is co suprising to me what they are going for.

Enjoy
 

Yoda

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Bob,

Since you are asking about the future, I can only speculate. There are many, many factors that affect the market value of an automobile, ...... The hard part is being patient enough to wait until that value curve turns upward following the normal vehicle depreciation period. ...

:w Mike :D or in some cases.. "The hard part is Living Long Enough to see that value curve turn upward" ;) ;LOL :boogie

Seriously...
The 1981 Corvette will eventually increase in value, maybe not like the much older C3's but our rather "Young" C3's will continue to increase in value. There will probably be more value placed on the certian aspects of the 78 ~ 82. I would expect the L82~4sp in 78 (same for the 79), and in perticular the Pace Car L82~4sp, then in the 80 model probably the L82 and the L48~4sp, in 1981 it would be the 4sp and maybe the 12 or so production 2-tone St. Louis Painted ones, in 82 look for the CE to continue to gain in popularity and $$$.

With over 40,000 production each year except 82 and just a shade over 25,000 my guess is there will be certain optioned cars gain in value more so than the run of the mill production Corvettes from these years.

The Corvette is not what I would consider as an investment, even keeping it for 30 years and cashing in for a retirement ;) I would think (I don't know for sure) investing the same amount of money one would have cost new, in the Stock Market over the same time period would yield more return on the investment :dance

Of Course I really have no idea :chuckle ;shrug I hope y'all realize that :D

Bud
 
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Messages
274
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1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
Bob & Bud,

The truth be told, I hope the L81's don't go up too much. I don't want any more anxiety than I already experience driving such a beautiful piece of Americana. I would love to pass the car down to my son (born in '81), but not in my will. I would prefer to hand him the keys. :L
 
R

rbell@idtfla.com

Guest
Roger that with you boy!! Mine just turned 18 and loves the car.

I feel the same way driving mine these day's. I think nothing of driving the the $50k grocery getter and worry about the 81?? Go figure.
 

Yoda

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Roger that with you boy!! Mine just turned 18 and loves the car.

I feel the same way driving mine these day's. I think nothing of driving the the $50k grocery getter and worry about the 81?? Go figure.

:D :beer I couldn't have said it any better than you two guys (Bob, Mike) ;) :Steer

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Bud :w
 
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1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
How much is your grin worth?

I try to not be distracted by the value that others may place on the Vette. I know that emotionally, my Vette is very valuable. I have seen other L81's for sale, and the asking prices appear to be averaging $12K - $14K dollars.

Well I paid $14K for my Vette back in 1985, and therefore makes me wonder...Am I seen the strength of the American Dollar decline and thus it takes more "mu-la" to buy an L81?, or is it truly the situation that about the same value of the dollar was in 1985, and I am seeing a rebound?

Meanwhile, I'll just drive my Gail around and enjoy the ride.:upthumbs
 

Peer81

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Netherlands
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'81 Black
Here in Europe you can get a nice 81 for 14-16k euro's. I would be happy if they hit the 25k euro's in 10 years or so. But after doing a body off there is no money to pay for my vette, knowing where every bolt is has more value to me then any price. But for the insurance it is important to value the vette at the right price.

Groeten Peter
 

Tom Bryant

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I think that very nice examples will always bring a premium and some options more than others. They are holding or going up now but slowly. Just wait until Pro-Team gets done running up the prices on the chrome bumper sharks and then they will start on our cars next.

Tom
 

herron

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98
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1981 T-Top, Silver over Blue
Roger that with you boy!! Mine just turned 18 and loves the car.

I feel the same way driving mine these day's. I think nothing of driving the the $50k grocery getter and worry about the 81?? Go figure.
LOL!!! :L

Boy, was that on target!
I take the STS to the grocery and park as close to the door as I can get...I take the 81 Vette, and it's the hinterlands, with nothing around it!
 

Evolution1980

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I also think some of the market value has to do with the current crop of cars coming out new. (and those just a few years old).

If the downward trend of decreasing power and whatnot had continued, the earlier cars would have continued to increase in value, not much unlike the late C2's and early hi-perf C3's. Our cars were nearing the tail end of being strangled by government regulations.

Now, the new cars are at or above the power put out by the best vettes of the past. Since the new vettes and even the C5's really didn't go up in initial cost, their resale value is respectively lower. So now you have the issue of a low mileage '81 for say $16K or a equivalent mileage C5 for a reasonable couple of thousand more. Spec for spec, the C5 will crush the '81. So where's the incentive to pay big bucks to get your hands on an 'lesser' vette? The only real deciding factor there comes down to preferences of the physical appearance.
So unless there's a huge shift in what people like in terms of looks, I wouldn't expect a great leap in value for our cars. It's one of the reasons I don't care that my car isn't stock.

I got my car for me. I drive it for me. I'm not concerned about the value because "I might want to sell it in the future". Nah. And I have less than zero concern about what the next potential buyer might think because it's not stock. Hey, I didn't build my car for him. Did I buy it and keep it pristine so he could enjoy it. I enjoy my car the way I like it! Would you make payments on a car, store it in your garage, and maintain it for years and years just so someone else can pay to enjoy it later!?!? BAH! "I'm drivin' the ßitch!" :rotfl

:L Sorry, got on a bit of a rant there. All that mumbo jumbo aside, the only reason I care about the value of my car is for insurance purposes. If you don't have special insurance or "agreed value" and your car gets totaled, only getting blue book for it will make you cry. (Which is something I have yet to do!...get the car appraised and the insurance corrected.)
 

Yoda

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Andre' what you say does make some sense, but for maintenance and for simplicity to work on (and since you specficially chose 1981 Corvette for comparison) we have a very basic computer system. Replacement is around $80 ~ $90 and comparing that to the cost of digital dash, mulitiple computers, sensors and other intelligent devices replacement costs :eek

You're right on with the hp and creature comforts. The 78 started with a bit more driver and passenger comfort and the refinements contined in ride and overall quality through 1982.

Without overstating or trying to rebutt your response, for the money the C4 is really a great buy right now, we'll see what happens as they age and all the computer stuff as well as the stuctural design age..

;) :beer
Bud :w
 
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One added bonus we late C3 owners enjoy is low theft rates.

Aside from the occasional "valuables" left in plain view inside a C3, there is no real motivation for thieves to target the late C3's.

It is comforting to find my Vette where I left it every time. And when one compares the 200k plus manufactured 1969 Camaro to the low 40K L81 production, it really increases the chances for L81's sustaining moderate values over a long term.

We Corvette owners are a strange breed. We like it when others covet our favorite flavor of Vettes. Go figure! :ugh
 

Evolution1980

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...for maintenance and for simplicity to work on, we have a very basic computer system. ...comparing that to the cost of digital dash, mulitiple computers, sensors and other intelligent devices replacement costs :eek
I agree 100%!! :beer
Our cars are easy to troubleshoot. Your problem is either your carb, your vacuum, or a bad ground. And those are pretty cheap to fix. :L
 

c3cvte

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1972 Stingray
As for me my main consideration on my Vette was that it used to be my Dads. He found himself a '72 and wanted the '81 to stay in the family. Also he isnt doing the best in his health so it really gives us something to "bond" together with. We love to sit around and complain about the prices of parts or having to wax it all the time or something. But I wouldnt change a second of father and son time in the garage surrounded by Vettes having a cold one.
So whats the value of my vette? More then you can imagine!
 

Evolution1980

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tcxd40

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I look at it his way. The '81 ranges in price from $4k t0 $30K depending on the car and condition. It is more like what are you willing to pay. Is it an investment in fun or monetary return. My '81 was bought cheap. My '93 was bought because I wanted it and paid more for it than I should. If I sell either of them I'll make money. Is it going to be my retirement I don't think so.

tcxd40
 

o2bnkc

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Carson City, Nv.
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$30k for an 81? And I thought the $16k mentioned a while back was awful high for an 81. I must be living on another planet. I know everybody who has an 81 loves them, but let's get real. These are not a classic, and never will be. I'm sorry to say it, but please refute it with logic. It's like saying that my 02 will be worth something someday. No way Hose'.
 

Yoda

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...... .. . . . I know everybody who has an 81 loves them, but let's get real. These are not a classic, and never will be. I'm sorry to say it, but please refute it with logic. It's like saying that my 02 will be worth something someday. No way Hose'.

I remember folks cutting out the center divider on their 63 split windows when the 64 came out with the full window :eek I also remember them saying it'll never be worth anything, and "I doubt they'll stay together long enough to be a Classic...."

I wouldn't go so far as to say 1981's will NEVER be a classic, production numbers where pretty high, no engine options, yadda, yadda yadda ... Anyone that buys a Corvette as an investment might want to look back about 20 years or so... Classic Cars were considered an investment... then what happened... badda BOOM

Collector NADA list the 1981 high book at around $24,000 :eek

;LOL That's about right for me to break even :boogie 2 Fools would meet before that became a reality :rotfl

Bud
 

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