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Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspections

Congratulations, you are interested in purchasing a vintage corvette. You have some questions, however.

  • How much should I pay?
  • What year or body style appeals to me?
  • Should I buy from a dealer or a private party? Who can I trust?
  • 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.

Let the experts at VetteWork help with a Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspection.

  • 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? If you see these terms, we highly recommend calling us BEFORE you contact the seller.
  • Can you confidently recognize an original stamping?

As an independent third party, the professionals at VetteWork can give you peace of mind.

Classic and Vintage Pre-Purchase Corvette Inspections

Corvette Pre-Purchase Inspections

Our competition either contracts with third party vendors located throughout the country who know very little about corvettes or inspects vehicles 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 classic corvette and has no clue what they are looking at. Go online and read their unsatisfactory reviews to learn more about these outfits. The result is either an incomplete or inaccurate inspection. Don’t risk discovering AFTER you bought the car that you overpaid for a car that is not as represented, or worse. So, before you look up online price guide values 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, we suggest that 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:

1) Fraud – 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.

  • Re-stamped Engines

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.

2) 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.

3) The other nationwide online sites will not allow you to speak with the inspector, do not offer refunds, do not personally test drive the vehicle, do not perform appraisals and offer no hard copy of the report. Is that what you want? Of course not!

4) 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.

5) Dealer Disclaimers

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 our 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 you can expect:

      • After you contact Vettework, a Pre-Purchase Inspection Agreement is forwarded to you to execute.
      • 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 inspect the chassis, interior, exterior and all mechancials.
      • Modifications, replacement parts, collision repairs, defects, fluid leaks, rust or corrosion, etc., if detected, will be noted.
      • After the Pre-Purchase Inspection, a comprehensive written report with photographs is forwarded to you.

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.

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