Corvette Book Reviews
When a car has as much history and popularity as the Corvette it will certainly get its share of print. Hundreds of books have been written about the Corvette trying to document and celebrate it's iconic tradition of being America's sports car. Some are simple "coffee table" books with lots of stunning photos, while others dig deep into the nuts and bolts to give you facts like production runs, VINS, "matching numbers", etc.
Here we'll give our recommendations for the top Corvette books.
Selecting the Corvette Black Book as the first in our top list was a no-brainer. It's quite simply the consummate guide that every serious Corvette enthusiast must have. Think of it as the Cliff's Notes of every Corvette made since 1953. Its beauty lies in its efficiency. There's no flowery language or automotive anecdotes. It's just page after page of the straight facts for each and every year of Corvette production; pricing, production numbers, VIN, casting numbers, features, options, colors and trim. A comprehensive glossary gives a quick reference for all the typical Corvette terms and lingo. Also included is a time line of the significant dates in Corvette history as well as a year-by-year breakdown, including photos to help in identification.
The Corvette Black Book by Mike Antonick is republished each year to bring you the latest model year production numbers as well as any new information that may have come to light on the older models. Sized perfectly for traveling and a must have resource when looking at Corvettes for sale, this pocket guide is an essential part of any Corvette owner's library.
Alan Colvin is well known in GM circles for his great "By The Numbers" series of books. They're a bible of sorts for those interested in verifying every little detail of their car. And his Corvette by the Numbers certainly lives up to his previous works.
This enormous book (600+ pages) is the product of years of exhaustive research through GM records, engineering specs, blueprints and Technical Service Bulletins. It contains simply everything you could want to know about which parts were used on which Corvettes and how to verify that those on your car are correct. This book is invaluable for those restoring the C1, C2 or C3 generation Corvettes. There's simply no better book to verify that the parts you're getting are correct for your exact car.
Corvette by the Numbers is made to confirm whether a Corvette is "matching numbers" or not. It starts with Corvette VIN decoding and then expands to give extremely detailed and researched casting numbers on virtually every coded hard part on your Corvette including engine blocks, cylinder heads, transmissions, starters, crankshafts, carburetors, water pumps, intake & exhaust manifolds, axles, wheels, harmonic balancers, radios, fuel injection components and more. And each of these sections is accompanied by detailed photos and/or diagrams helping explain exactly where to look on your car.
If you're a "numbers matching" kind of Corvette owner this book is not one you can live without.
There are so many Corvette books on the market that often volumes are simply more of the same rehashed photo books. But occasionally one comes along that just blows you away with it's detail, designer's layout and amazingly well researched history. "Legendary Corvettes: 'Vettes Made Famous on Track and Screen" is one such book of greatness. Fairly new the the Corvette book scene (published August 2010) this book features amazing photography and very artfully laid out pages. The design of this stunning book is as elegant as it's subject matter.
Legendary Corvettes is an in depth look at 18 of the most legendary Corvettes of all time. These are the amazing, historical, iconic... even mythical cars that have become part of the storied Corvette name. Some of these cars include the earliest surviving 1953 Corvette ever built; a C5 Corvette raced by both Dale Earnhardts (Sr. and Jr.); The 1959 CERV I and 1964 CERV II; Corvettes used in the TV series Route 66 and 13 more.
If only one Corvette book could grace your coffee table, this one should be it.
Mike Mueller has done a superb job on this hefty 352 page volume documenting the great American Sports Car. It covers every model from 1953 to 2006 and does so in exhaustive historic detail. In addition to the great writing and interesting research, there are dozens of photos from the GM design archives that hadn't been published prior to this great book.
This is a book focused on Corvette history, not a "numbers" book designed to give you every casting number or VIN derivative. (See "Corvette by the Numbers" above for that) But it does it's job very well; which is to tell the fascinating story of the birth and maturity of a great American icon; the Corvette.
Just one note of warning. This book was published in 2006, so don't expect it to include the most recent few years of Corvettes.