First new Corvette sold for $1.1mComment on this story
It hasn't even been built yet - won't be for another six months - but the first production 2014-model Corvette Stingray has been pre-sold for a whopping $1.1 million (R9.77 million) at the annual Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The 'Vette-obsessed buyer was Nascar team owner Rick Hendrick of Charlotte, North Carolina, who also runs the largest GM dealership in the United States. Hendrick already has a notable collection of Corvette's, including the first 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition.
At this year's auction he also spent nearly a million dollars (R8.9 million) on the 1968 Owens/Corning L88 Corvette racing car and $270 000 (R2.4 million) on GM boss Dan Akerson's 1958 Corvette, recently featured in Jay Leno's Garage.
The actual car on the auction ramp in Scottsdale (complete with its own security crew) was, of course, not the car Hendrick was bidding on - it was the bright red pre-production display car from the Detroit motor show.
Hendrick has been promised that he can have his car - which will have a VIN number ending in “00001” - when production begins at GM's Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant in the third quarter of this year, in any standard colour of his choice and with any listed GM options.
At that price his answer should be “All of them”.
What will be standard, of course, will be the 6.2-litre, 335kW V8 engine, that can take it from 0-100 in four seconds flat.
The proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Detroit College for Creative Studies, renowned for its automotive design school. More than 170 CCS graduates already work in the GM design studios, and the company's global design head, Ed Welburn, is keen to help cultivate the next generation of designers.
Akerson also donated Hendrick's winning bid on the 58 'Vette to a worthy cause, in his case Habitat for Humanity's campaign to improve the Morningside Commons neighbourhood in Detroit.
WATCH THE BIDDING