Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspections
Congratulations, you are interested in purchasing a vintage, classic or show corvette. You undoubtedly have some questions and we are here to help guide you. Below are some common questions we get when someone decides they need a Corvette Inspection done but not sure quite how to get started.
- How much should I pay?
- What year or body style should I get?
- What kind of resale value do Vintage Corvette's have?
- Should I buy from a dealer or a private party?
- Is buying a Classic Corvette at an auction a good idea?
- How do I know I am getting an authentic and or original Corvette?
- Who can I trust?
- Is the seller representing that the car is matching numbers, and/or all original but you would like confirmation?
- Are you unclear what "matching numbers" means?
- Not sure about obfuscating terms and phrases such as tribute, factory built, clone, re-body, ready for judging (our personal favorite), real deal, born with, body-off, restomod, all original, restored to NCRS specs, restoration motor, matching numbers, period correct, NOM, body-on, restamp, recreation, or CE block?
- Can you confidently recognize an original stamping?
- If you see these terms, we highly recommend calling us BEFORE you contact the seller.
You want a car that is reliable, will not have mechanical issues after the purchase and will retain (or perhaps increase) its value over time. But you also want to HAVE FUN driving it. And most importantly, you do NOT want to buy a fake or a lemon.
Let the experts at VetteWork
help you with a Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspection.
How Our Pre-Purchase Inspections Differ
Inspecting a Classic, Vintage, Show or any Corvette for that matter requires a particular skillset and LOT'S experience. Here is a brief summary of the difference between what we do and what others inspectors have done to investors.
How we inspect a Corvette
Our Corvette inspections are always done on-site by a Master Level Corvette Judge with over 25 years of experience. We have a well defined and strict process of evaluation so much so, we are often called as an Expert Corvette Witness in Corvette fraud cases. When we inspect a Corvette, it is a hands-on process. We know what to look for, what determines appraisal value and the fakes from the real deal. We know Corvettes like no other!
How others inspect a Corvette
Our competition either contracts out the inspection with other third party vendors located throughout the country, "who know very little about corvettes" or inspect Corvettes from pictures while sitting in a remote office. Our competition sends an “inspector” to do a cursory review. Unfortunately this “expert” has rarely, if ever, inspected a corvette and has no clue what they are looking at. The result is either an incomplete or inaccurate inspection.
After you contact Vettework, a Pre-Purchase Inspection Agreement is forwarded to you.
You contact the owner and receive permission to have the vehicle(s) inspected.
You return the executed agreement, the details of the location of the vehicle(s), contact information of the owner.
We do a full and comprehensive inspection on the chassis, interior, exterior and all mechancials looking for damage, authenticity and possible fraud.
We road test the vehicle when possible and complete a thorough operations check to confirm all switches and controls function as they were originally designed, intended and expected.
We then do our best to arrange a date as soon as possible for the Corvette inspection that is convenient for us and them.
ALL Modifications, replacement parts, collision repairs, defects, fluid leaks, rust or corrosion, if detected, will be noted and photographed.
After we have finished the Pre-Purchase Inspection, we provide a comprehensive written report with all the data we collected as well as highly detailed photographs outlining what we found.
Don’t risk discovering AFTER you have bought the Corvette that you overpaid for the wrong car. Before you look up the online price guides that are so generic they are useless, before you call your brother-in-law who “knows a guy”, before you log on to the online forums to consult the ”internet judges” and before you call a dealer, I suggest we talk first. Once you have an independent evaluation, you will be armed with the knowledge, information and protection you need to move forward.
WHY YOU SHOULD CALL US
Here is a brief summary as to why getting a classic, vintage or show Corvette inspected by an actual judge/expert is so important so that the following things do not happen to you.
There is an ever increasing amount of collector car fraud in the market place today. This is represented by the following:
- Reproduction paperwork including Tank Stickers, Window stickers and Dealer Invoices.
These “documents” are being advertised as a “novelty” item by online sellers. What happens to that “novelty” item after the car is sold multiple times? We can tell you. It suddenly crosses the line and becomes “original” and then the price of the car doubles. And the next buyer becomes the latest fraud victim. Don’t let that person be you!
FAKE TRIM TAGS, VIN TAGS AND PROTECTO PLATES
These fake production tags have gone through several iterations over the last few years. The fraudsters and criminals are getting better at it every day. Fake VIN tags will also create a legal liability issue for the unsuspecting buyer.
Corvettes with engines that are not original to the car are becoming more prevalent. This greatly affects market value.
CORVETTES BEING “RE-CREATED”
We know of cars that were re-created around an original VIN tag or around an original engine where the original car was previously destroyed. Sellers are very skilled at telling you what you want to hear with the sole objective of separating you from your cash.
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE/SKILL
The justification we hear from some do-it-yourself buyers to spend tens of thousands of dollars working with a seller they have never met, on a vehicle half way across the country that they know next to nothing about is::
"Why pay for someone to inspect the car when the seller seems so nice?”
“I will go look it over myself. I know about cars. How hard can it be?”
“I did my “research” online"(There is no fraud on the internet, right?).
“XX is my favorite color.”
"Your prices are too high. Billy Bob down the street knows a little about cars. He can do it for less money. And since he just got out of prison for forgery of documents and theft of services, he has lots of free time on his hands and needs the cash."
"It reminds me of a car I once had or always wanted.”
And, best of all, “my spouse likes it.”
And on it goes…then two years later I get the call from the attorney…”We have a problem.” Shocking, although entirely predicable and avoidable. And at this stage you have a real financial problem.
HIDDEN/UNKNOWN/UNDISCLOSED DAMAGE OR REPAIRS
This may include prior collision, damage to the frame, aftermarket body panels which do not fit properly, unreliable and inadequate fiberglass repair that may begin to fail AFTER your purchase leading to costly repairs. When questioned about these areas, sellers typically develop selective amnesia and cannot seem to recall any details about the car.
These can run on for several pages. Some examples:
It is the customer’s sole responsibility to verify the existence and condition of any equipment listed and to thoroughly inspect the vehicle personally or via a third party inspection company. All vehicles are sold “as is” and without warranty. As always, we welcome independent inspections and or independent appraisers prior to the sale. In referencing the phrase “Numbers Matching”, the seller is providing information provided to us and/or our opinion about the engine and does not refer to any other part on the car. We CANNOT guarantee the authenticity of any vehicle. Any descriptions or representations are for identifications purposes only and are not to be constructed as a warranty of any type.
This is typically followed by some sort of hold harmless language, such as:
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Dealer ABC, its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors and suppliers from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from any violation of these terms and conditions.
The use of "as-is" language does not allow the seller to commit fraud (where the seller KNOWS they are not telling the truth as opposed to simple negligence). Nevertheless, the above should concern you. Ask yourself, “Am I absolutely confident I can verify everything on my own?” If so, terrific. BUT, if not, we should be talking. Because otherwise, you are on your own, and it is the wild west of fraud, misrepresentation and deception out there. As Ronald Reagan once said "Trust, but verify."
What We Do Benefits You
Everything we do in regards to the Corvette Pre-Purchase Inspection Process is designed around arming you with ALL the information you need to make an informed decision.
Better Negotian Position90%
Armed with the knowledge contained in the Pre-Purchase Inspection, this benefits you in the negotiation process to purchase the vehicle by providing leverage with the seller. This also saves you the time and expense of traveling to the vehicle. Reports are confidential and not shared with the seller.
Give us a call today and you will be driving your dream corvette in a matter of days! Let the experts at VetteWork help with a Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspection. VetteWork serves the United States and Canada.
Commonly Asked Pre-Purchase Inspection Questions
How long does the inspection take?
The process typically takes 2-3 hours depending on the quality of the car. We examine all areas of the vehicle including chassis, mechanical, exterior (body/paint/fit/finish) and interior. Additionally, we perform a system check and take the vehicle for a test drive.
What geography do you cover? Are you (or someone that works for you) in my area, or the area where the car is located?
We cover all of North America. We can schedule an appointment immediately. Our website is accessible 24/7 to meet your needs. The appointment date will be dependent on a few things such as access to the car, your schedule, the owner of the cars schedule and our schedule. But, we work fast so there usually are no delays.
Are you trained to inspect Classic Corvettes?
Do you contract out your services to third parties?
No, we do all the work ourselves. That is the only way to maintain our “Best-In-Class” high quality standard. We have no mysterious, untrained “middleman” or “contractors” performing the work.
Do I need a lift?
A lift, or access to one (preferably two post), would be helpful but is not required. In the absence of a lift, a jack and jack stands will suffice.
If I decide to move forward with an offer, but I am unsure what the market price is, can you provide advice?
Absolutely, we regularly attend the classic car auctions and visit dealers weekly, so are abreast of current market trends and pricing with respect to prices where cars are selling. We know what years and options are in demand now.
Do you offer refunds?
On those extremely rare occasions when a car is sold after payment is received but before the inspection date, then we will work with you to offer a refund.