Rarer Than Rare – 2009 Special Edition Corvettes
Sold 2009 Corvette Special Editions Are Few In Number!
By Illustrated Corvette Series Columnist & Artist, K. Scott Teeters
Down Economy Creates Rarest Corvette Special Editions
Today’s down economy is no secret. Since late 2008 Detroit’s problems have been well publicized and now it looks like the “can do no wrong” Asian companies are in the hot seat as well. According to Edmunds Auto Observer, Chevrolet sold 13,934 Corvettes for ‘09 – the lowest sales figure since 1961! Since the entire sports car market took a dive, Corvette had a lot of company. It’s not that the market doesn’t want sports cars, but to quote one of my least favorite politicians, “It’s the economy, STUPID.”
Things look pretty glum. But remember that the Chinese character for the word “crisis” translates to, “opportunity on the wings of danger.” And so I happened to notice a very interesting development.
Chevrolet has been offering special edition Corvettes since the $399 ‘78 Silver Anniversary Paint option. I’ll outline all of the special edition Corvettes later, but beginning in ‘78, every so many years, Chevrolet would offer a special edition option. I’m not referring to the pace car specials here, just the special editions. For the longest time, it was just an occasional thing.
Since ‘03, Chevrolet has dished up five special edition Corvettes. Some of the special editions have had very low production numbers. Up until ‘09, the lowest was the ‘07 Ron Fellows Z06 Special Edition with only 399 units produced. By ‘08 it was looking like Chevrolet was really getting into the special edition thing.
So, for ‘09, Chevrolet offered up two special edition Corvettes – both commemorating the car’s racing success. First, to commemorate the extraordinary success of the C6.R racing Corvettes in the ALMS GT1 series, Corvette buyers were offered the GT1 Championship Edition. And second, there was the Competition Sport.
While both special editions offered no performance enhancements, the GT1 Championship Edition offered lots of goodies in its package and was the more expensive of the two offerings. Let’s look at the GT1 Championship Edition first.
For $7,840 the package included the following: Hood graphics with the Jake skull logo, commemorative decals on the side rocker panels, a unique engine cover, special interior embroidery, the Z51 suspension package, NNP Performance Exhaust, a ZR1 rear spoiler, and an owner-installed GT1 windshield banner. Total production was to be 600 units, broken down as follows: 200 Coupes, 200 Convertibles, and 200 Z06 cars. Of each group, 100 were to be painted yellow and 100 were to be painted black.
But thanks to the tanked economy, actual production was as follows: 125 units total. 55 Z06 versions, 53 Coupes, and 17 Convertibles. Of the 17 Convertibles, only 7 were equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission.
The second special edition, the Competition Sport, cost $3,350 for the Z51-equipped Coupe and $2,750 for the Z06. Included was: Dual-Mode Exhaust (for the Z51 Coupe) unique engine cover, racing pedals, custom race numbers, custom wheels, ebony/titanium interior and hood, roof, and rear deck stripes. The Z51 option by itself cost $1,695. These cars were built in the Spring of ‘09 only. Unlike the GT1 Championship Edition, there were no pre-planned production “limited run” figures. Total sales were as follows: 72 total units, 13 White Coupes, 39 Blade Silver Coupes, 10 Black Z06 cars, and 10 Blade Silver cars.
So, we have an interesting situation. While in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Chevrolet’s planned special edition Corvettes turned out to be the most limited production special edition cars in all of Corvette history. The rarest being the GT1 Championship Edition 6-speed convertible, with only 3 units made! It will be very interesting to follow these cars in Keith Martin’s “Corvette Market” magazine to see how these very rare Corvettes perform at auctions as the years roll on.
Here’s a list of previous “special edition” Corvettes and their production numbers:
1978 Silver Anniversary Paint ($399) -15, 283 units
1988 35th Special Edition Package ($4,795) – 2,050 units
1993 40th Anniversary Package ($1,455) – 6,749 units
1996 Collector Edition ($1,250) – 5,412 units
1996 Grand Sport Package ($3,250) – 1,000 units
2003 50th Anniversary Edition ($5,000) – 11,632 total units – 4,085 coupes and 7,547 convertibles.
2004 Commemorative Editions ($4,335 for Z06 and $3,700 for coupe & convertible) 6,899 total units – 2,025 Z06, 2,215 Coupes, & 2,659 Convertibles
2007 Ron Fellows Z06 Special Edition (11,035) 399 units
2008 427 Limited Edition Z06 ($13,195) – 505 units
Save the Wave,
K. Scott Teeters
If you had your choice which 2009 Special Edition would you like to own?
The Competition Sport or the GT1?