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Best Corvette Books

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.

Corvette Black BookCorvette Black Book 1953-2009

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.

Corvette by the Numbers book reviewCorvette by the Numbers 1955-1982

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.

Legendary Corvettes Book ReviewLegendary Corvettes

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.

Complete Book of Corvette Book ReviewThe Complete Book of Corvettes

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.

Corvette VIN Decoding

Decode Corvette VINHow to decode Corvette Serial Numbers

When looking to purchase a Corvette for sale one of the first items on your list should be verifying the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). It’s a critical part of researching a used Corvette and it’s important that you can decode and understand it. You need to know what information it provides, but also what it doesn’t tell you about a car. The VIN is only the first step in confirming that the Corvette you’re looking at is really what the seller says it is.

The VIN (sometimes called a serial number or body chassis number or simply vehicle number) is a unique number given only to that one specific car. It’s used by the factory, motor vehicle departments, law enforcement and owners alike to identify that exact car. In addition it gives valuable info (depending on year) such as model year, when it was built in relation to other Corvettes that year, engine size and body style, including special editions such as the ZR1, Z06 and Grand Sports. Decoding the VIN is part of verifying a “matching numbers” Corvette.

VIN Locations

The VIN on a Corvette has always been stamped on a plate, although the location of that plate has varied over the years. From 1953 through early 1960 the VIN was located on the drivers side door post. For the rest of 1960-1962 it was on the steering column in the engine bay. 1963-1967 saw the VIN move again to the instrument support brace, below the glove box. In 1968 it moved to the top of the instrument panel, visible from outside looking through the windshield. From that point on it was either there or on the windshield support post (A-pillar)

In addition to the VIN plate, Corvette frames are stamped with the VIN in several locations not visible at a casual glance. These are to help law enforcement track down stolen vehicles and discourage VIN swapping.

Corvette VIN Decoding

Just like the location, the configuration Corvette VIN numbers has evolved through the years. The early years of 1953-1959 had a 10 digit VIN. 1960-1964 had 12 digits. 1965-1980 got an extra to bring it up to 13 digits. Then in 1981 the VIN increased to 17 digits which is where it remains today. Follow the links below for a breakdown on each specific year range.

1953-1959 Corvette VIN decoding (10 digits)

1960-1964 Corvette VIN decoding (12 digits)

1965-1971 Corvette VIN decoding (13 digits)

1972-1980 Corvette VIN decoding (13 digits)

1981-Present Corvette VIN decoding (17 digits)

Transport your Corvette

CorvetteTransportFinding a Car Transport Company for your Corvette

When you start looking for transport companies to get your newly acquired Corvette safely back home you’ll find you have plenty of choices. Enough in fact to make narrowing it down pretty confusing. As with most things you get what you pay for with transport services, so don’t make your decision based solely on price. You’ve spent countless hours searching hundreds of Corvettes for sale. When you finally find the perfect one, bringing it home should be an exciting experience. Don’t risk starting it off poorly by using a cheap transport company that ends up damaging your car. Read the rest of this entry »

Buying a Salvage Title Corvette

Guidelines for Buying Salvage Title Corvettes

While shopping for Corvettes for sale, you may find that certain vehicles come with the phrase “salvage title.”  Salvage title cars are vehicles that have been claimed to be a complete loss due to an accident or even if the vehicle has been recovered from theft.  Insurance companies have the right to declare a total loss for vehicles with such damage. Salvage title cars have experienced a significant amount of damage and the cost of professional repair is often 75% or more than the market value of the car.

Be sure to check out our listing of salvage Corvettes for sale Read the rest of this entry »

Classic Corvette Insurance Tips

How to Get Classic Corvette Insurance

It goes without saying that if you own a Corvette or other classic car then it’s near and dear to your heart. The investment of time, care and labor is substantial and needs to be protected and insured. But it’s important to know the differences between standard car insurance and those who specialize in classic car insurance. Regardless of the company, if you’re looking at Corvettes for sale then a good insurance policy, specializing in classic autos is a must.  The best way to find the right company is by doing research on both independent and commercial companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Financing a Classic Corvette

What to Know about Classic Car Financing

An increasing number of people are putting their time and money into restoring classic Corvettes as a hobby.  There is nothing like finding an old vintage or classic car and starting a restoration project.  Whether it is a new paint job or new motor, classic cars (Corvettes especially) are considered a work of art for most.  Many people are looking at classic Corvettes for sale for the first time either as an investment, hobby or to actually drive (gasp!) as their daily transportation.  Classic cars can be more affordable than most brand new cars these days and they are also more enjoyable and exciting to restore. Read the rest of this entry »