The 5 best Corvettes under $20,000


Most enthusiasts would argue that there’s no comparison between the 1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider and 1962 Chevrolet Corvette, and they would be correct.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/08/07/5-best-corvettes-under-20000


You are dreaming. I have been looking for a decent Corvette for a while. Supply-demand has NOTHING to do with the Corvette market. For example, Hemming’s lists over 2000 Corvettes for sale today. The first 18 pages of “'70’s” cars (433 listed) are listed above $20K, and the last few pages are Auction. The most fun is found in the '60’s models, of which there are 744 listed today. In the 50 pages there, they start at $400K and run down to about $28K before the “Inquire” listings. You know, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. I was hoping to pick up one to work on, but the average price of good ones is well over $100K, and there are thousands and thousands of them for sale at any time. Interesting marketplace and one where $20K will buy you something to work on, maybe. The car I was looking at went in for “service” before it was listed. The bill was over $26K to put it into sellable shape, and it looked brand new BEFORE it went in. Be careful what you buy.


Richopp…I know where 2 are at and priced very reasonable…a 77 with 80k for $11,000 and a 71 with 39,000 original miles, numbers matching that you could probably get fit $20,000


richopp, I have just what you are looking for a 1976 Stingray widebody 4 speed manual with 27,000 original miles. I found it in Maine 7 years ago. I did much of the work but still needs some more, mostly the interior needs a refreshing. Original leather but no tears or rips. I have about 30K into it and I’ll take 40K (Firm) just don’t use it enough because I work alot. Trust me, you really need to check this one out. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send you contact information. I could send pictures and whatever you request.

Rich W.


I find the pricing on the 73 model to be very close to the market in Canada,we were able to find a one owner BB coupe in the mid teens which i at the time thought was reasonable the car required minimal repair and has been a great weekend cruising car,now looking for a 82 for a longer distance cruiser.


My Le Mans Blue '69 L36 427/390hp M21 4 speed coupe with matching numbers, 77K original miles and an NCRS Top Flight award went for $30K at auction in Monterey about seven years ago. Can’t tell you how disappointed I was at that result. Compared to other vintage cars I think Corvettes are way under priced. The '69 Camaros and even some Novas were going at higher prices that evening. You can still get the plastic bumper C3s for less than $15K.


I have an 1984 corvette, I got it for a good price. but it sure has been a headache


I just bought a 1978 Silver Anniversary edition in April 2018, so very recent, for $10,000 from a dealer in Indiana that has like 70 Vettes on his lot and some are under 20K. The guy knows his stuff too, he worked on the line for GM for 35 years.


I agree with richopp I searched for a Corvette for many years and finally found a 1973 Corvette convertible with numbers matching 350 for $20k and then put another $10k into it to make it mine. In Canada if you find a car with a 454 in it or anything with “Z” in the model you are looking at $30k plus for an average car.


I have a 1996 Collector Edition convertible w the 330hp LT-4 and I love it. Paid $13k for it which is on the high side for a C4 but it’s in near perfect shape and has had all the expensive stuff replaced. I love the simple clean lines it has. I get a lot more people asking me about it than I ever did when I had my C6, maybe bec you just don’t see that many nice C4s on the road these days. Relatively cheap thrills!


I’ve got an 86 coupe, white with red interior. Picked it up as a “toy” for the wife. It’s optioned with the tinted removable top and the Z51 suspension package. It’s got a little over 53K original miles and is unmolested. The price was so very reasonable, I couldn’t pass it up. Not one of the fastest Corvettes built, but fun to drive and not too bad to work on. It wasn’t my first choice for a Corvette, but the lines grow on you. Get a lot of turned heads and thumbs up at stoplights.


Thanks, all, for the suggested buys. I was looking at '66 or '67 and finally found a rare bird–a true (by new NCRS standards, anyway, survivor '66). It is VERY EXPENSIVE for me personally, but much, much less than anything out there being advertised. I have come to the conclusion that many ads for the 6-figure cars are just feelers from guys who have a couple hundred thou sitting in the garage and would dump the car for the right amount of cash, but no rush. That’s OK with me, but a strange way to collect cars, I guess.

On the other side, there are thousands of C1 and C2 Corvettes out there that are driven, used, enjoyed, and are what these CARS should be. They were not meant to be museum cars, but whatever. The NCRS evidently has HUGE sway over the marketplace for some reason. It is nice to have a 100-pt car–I had one once (Buick)–but it is very little fun other than 3 x/year at a show that you spend a month getting the car ready for. As a hobby, that is fine, but I can only afford to own one of these cars, so I plan to insure and drive mine and enjoy it as much as possible. I got the small block–not a “real” Corvette to many–but a big block is impractical to the max for driving around today…too front heavy, to temperamental. The 327–what parts do you need and how many?

Thanks to the guys who offered me C3 and up cars; I bought a '71 new in '71 and liked it. Back then, I traded every year like a dummy, so I only remember the heat at my feet from that car–we did not wear shoes a lot when we were silly kids. Today, there are many fixes for that issue, but I wanted a C2 and was lucky enough to find one. Now, all I have to do is pay for it!