You feel it right away. Start the new eighth-generation Corvette Z06 for the first time, and that exhaust bark instantly lights off those chemicals in your brain that make you giddy, hyper-aware, and maybe a little nervous all at once. This is no anodyne appliance that silently whisks you to warp speed with all the personality of a pallet of lithium-ion batteries. You’re in for a sensory treat—a little drama to go with your power and grip. But what’s all that personality worth, and would you buy it without a safety net?
That first question—what’s it worth—was initially answered when Chevy released the MSRP on the Z06 last summer. The C8Z starts at $106,695, with convertibles coming in at $7500 more, and ticking every single box could get you north of $160,000. That’s serious coin, but the market had a different, more pronounced response. Dealers across the country have seemingly raced to one-up each other with who could offer the most expensive Z06, with many well above the quarter million mark.
Of course, the over-sticker phenomenon is nothing new for car enthusiasts in the 2020s, nor is it limited to dealers. Though big sales have surely occurred on the private market already, this is the first privately-owned C8 Z06 to come up on Bring a Trailer (the first C8 Z06 to show up on BaT did so seven days prior: a dealer-offered 70th-Anniversary model that was bid up to $222,000 but failed to meet reserve). Chevy has taken steps to mitigate flips of their top-dog Corvette (more on that in a second), but market demand is strong, and this Black 2LZ-trimmed convertible sold for a cool $232,000 including fees, a full $103,820 over MSRP.
How much Z06 does the new buyer get for that princely sum? Well, this one offers solid street-car specs. The 2LZ package lands you in the middle of the Z06’s trim offerings, securing nice-to-have options like the performance data recorder, an upgraded stereo and navigation, and blind spot/rear cross traffic monitoring (legitimately helpful in such a wide car with a tight rearward field of vision). The fact that it’s a convertible amplifies the enjoyment of that screaming 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V-8, though you don’t get to see it like in the coupe. The GT2 seats are an attractive and comfortable add on—they hold you well but aren’t overly track-oriented. Conspicuously absent are the Z07 package or individual aero bits, along with the carbon-ceramic brakes, but truth be told, none of those options are necessary if you aren’t tracking your Z06.
It’s at this point that the Z06 and its value (in both senses of the word—what it brings to the table relative to others, and the massive price) beg for a bit of context. The Corvette’s long been been a model that punches well above its class and MSRP, and the new Z06 has continued that tradition with a shelf full of awards and accolades.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Z06 laps comfortably quicker than that perennial track favorite, the Porsche 911 GT3, a rare car that’s long commanded mark-ups. Given the timing of the Z06’s introduction, its own relative rarity, and its tremendous bona fides, the market has pushed the Z06 beyond the traditional Corvette value proposition. Even with the premium, the Z is still more affordable than its competition, but at $200,000-plus, most enthusiasts are priced out.
But let’s say you do have the money and you don’t want to wait to order a Z06. This is where the second question—the one about the safety net—comes in. A brand-new one owned by an individual, not a dealer, pops up on your favorite auction site, and it’s exactly how you’d order it. There’s a catch, though—GM voids the warranty if the car is sold within six months of the original purchase, and the seller bought the car new two months ago. Do you try your hand? 17 bidders did in this instance.
Yes, design elements and components of that high-tech V-8 were track-tested within an inch of their lives in IMSA’s grueling endurance races, but two early engine failures have been publicized, and Chevy honored the warranty in both instances. Those aside, there’s a lot of tech in any new car, much less one designed with the Z06’s capabilities, and nothing’s fool-proof. Heck, something as minor as a window switch can break. If you’re able to spend $200k on a car, these potential pain points might be of lesser consequence, but similarly-priced cars with a warranty are out there at dealers. The decision comes down to whether you prefer additional peace of mind or access to the right car at the right time.
It’s not just buyers who need to weigh their options: GM’s policy impacts sellers, too. The General’s carrot-stick approach enables those who keep the car for six months to receive an award of 500,000 My Chevy Rewards Points (a $5,000 value), while those who sell their Z06 within that same window will be ineligible to place vehicle reservations or place a sold order with a dealer for certain high-demand models.
This adds up to yet another twist: market forces and GM’s efforts to reduce flipping have created a thread-the-needle scenario, the outcome of which remains undefined. Seller Kenraabe1 indicated in the comments that he was “willing to work with the purchasing party on a deal to delay title transfer for (4) months which would take care of the [warranty-voiding] problem.” Is that a viable solution, or is the Bring a Trailer transaction language enough for GM to claim that the vehicle wasn’t retained for the full six months? Given that this is new ground for all parties and the auction just ended, it’s unsurprising that a member of the Corvette team had no comment when I posed the question.
While a fresh challenge for GM, other companies have ventured into this territory before. Ferrari is perhaps the most famous, with a decades-old set of eligibility requirements and policies that stipulated buyers couldn’t sell their car for a period of time. It wasn’t long before owners came up with an end-around by placing their car in the name of a newly-created LLC and simply selling the LLC, including its only asset, the car. Ford had its own requirements for buyers of the latest generation of their limited-run GT, and settled a suit with professional wrestler John Cena in 2018 over his early sale of one.
What’s all this mean? If you’re a C8 Corvette Z06 buyer or seller, you have some decisions to make before you pull the trigger. More broadly, though, the market’s rewarding Chevy’s best Corvette execution to date with mark-ups previously reserved for European brands. That’s great for Corvette’s overall image, but it’s also causing some of the model’s faithful to be left behind.
GM will void the warranty on the car if sold within 6 months to deter flipping, but its okay for a Chevy dealership to auction a new one to the highest bidder for $50k+ over sticker…
Note that MSRP is Manufacturer’s SUGGESTED Retail Price. The dealer sets the actual sale price, GM cannot require the dealer to sell at the MSRP due to federal regulations. It is common for dealers to mark up the price of hot selling cars in limited supply. To address your question directly, the dealer can offer it on his lot for $50k over MSRP or offer it for sale to the highest bidder. Don’t want to pay $50k over MSRP for a ZO6? Then go to a dealer, place a deposit and go to the end of a long line of thousands of buyers waiting for a ZO6. Don’t want to wait? Then pony up the $50k premium to get it now. That’s just how the system works.
Our game, their ball.
my question is for those that have the desire and funding for these cars, why not order one the way you want it from a dealer as soon as they can be ordered, rather than buying one that may not be just exactly how you want it from a flipper allowing him to profiteer at your expense
This is unreal. As a new C-8 owner and considering selling it due to never driving it, I am just suprisrd GM would enforce a rule as this. O well I am just a buyer not a MAKER
How can you do this article without even a note of who the actual owner is?
Hi Scott, the seller’s Bring a Trailer handle is noted.
I’m sure some lawyers will have fun with GM’s voiding of the traditional 36 month warranty or resold Z06s.
You can’t fix stupid…..
And what ever came of the threat by GM to cut Corvette shipments to dealers that tacked on Added Dealer Markups?
Look I would love to have one of these in a heartbeat. But I will never pay over MSRP for one.
Sales will catch up and prices will fall till then I will enjoy the sports car I have now. I have even considered picking up a low mile cheap C5 to play with for now.
So warranty or no warranty no I will not pay over sticker.
As for the dealer complaints they are protected by the FTC and even GM can not prevent this directly. Some dealers may get smacked by limited allocations in the future.
This mentality to be the first or I have to have it right now just makes you a pastry to sone who will take advantage of it.
Don’t be a sucker. If you pay over you are the problem not part of it.
Why would you worry about voiding the warranty when all you’re going to do is put up on one of your lifts for five or so years and then resell it as an ultra low mileage example? I mean it’s not like you’d actually drive it or anything other than pulling into the garage after it gets taken out of the trailer. Geez, what are you guys thinking !?
Interesting comments. I am a collector not a dealer. There is lots of risk in putting a car on a lift to keep it with low mileage. Cars need to be driven. Cost are expensive, insurance, tire expiration someone to help take care of cars needs. Then who knows what the market will be for a mass produced car with little background. I want one also, have owned many cars with hope of the value going up. Read and listen to all the car nuts. Fact is there is a very very small number of regular car people that have the resources to sit on price of a production car for years. Some will be flipped. The dealers that GM will favor with large allocations will hurt the small dealers that have been good customers for lots of years. They will be penalized and hurt the customer relations they have counted on for generations. These dealers are losers, Corvette Z06 is not their primary means of supporting their business. But it helps them substantially to be shoved aside for a quick buck. I have a dealer I have been buying GMC, Chev, trucks and cars for years. I was number one on two dealers allotment. Not to flip but enjoy with my other 6 corvettes. I put my order when I picked up my new car every year. My salesman and owner of the company I been doing business with are not flippers. But they are being called by people that offers them premiums to be moved toward a higher allocation. I will be buying Dodge Rams, and Fords looks like now.
JUST MAKE SURE YOU GET THE ENGINE BREAK IN PROCESS COMPLETED AND DOCUMENTED…SOME FF THESE ENGINES HAVE BEEN FAILING AND GM’S BREAK IN PROCESS MUST BE FOLLOWED TO A “T’……………………
Paul S Murray- I totally agree with your snark. The monied who are paying- and supportive of- these rip scams are never going to use any Z06 of any trim level for their primary purpose. Here GM greenlighted and Chevrolet produced an exotic, jumped through all sorts of engineering and budgetary hoops to smack Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Lotus dead in the chops, and it’s now an “investment”. The new, mid-engined ‘Vette is amazing. The Z06 is superlative at any price. But the customer base so far won’t use the Z06 for it’s intended purpose. Instead of ripping up the road or smoking a track, they’re to sit in storage to “accumulate value”. The frickin’ value is in what it can do, morons. I always feel sad for real driver’s cars that are never used in anger. If they have feelings and heart, they’re lonely and sad as well; I often have tears when I visit my hometown Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. All those valiant warriors, shiny and still, when they’re capable of so much more. At least the IMS museum keeps them in race trim, and drives them occasionally. Sigh.
I do not believe the street 5.5-liter LT6 V-8 is the same as the IMSA race engine. The former has a flat crank, the latter does not.
Hi Don, they share parts like the cylinder heads, block, and other components, but you’re correct. I’ve edited to clarify.
The entire scenario is odd to me. We now live in a world where the owner can’t wait six months to place the car on sale? It’s not as if there will be a glut of Z06 cars flooding the market a year from now. This will be a tough car to buy for the next few years. There are also plenty of Corvette dealers who will sell at list price.
Greed. Pure and simple. Sad. Short term gains and long-term losses
I can think of better cars for $230k, they also have a warranty. A fool and his money…
The “fool and his money are soon parted” comments are ignorant. If you have enough money to pay $100,000 or more over sticker price, you have so much money you just don’t care about spending $100,000+ more of it to get what you want. There are lots and lots of stories about people dying while their dream custom/hot rod/restoration/special order new car was being built. People who don’t have money, don’t understand the freedom that comes with having “extra” money you can spend on whatever you want without it having the slightest effect on your budget, future car purchases, or even on your bank balance. People spend $10,000 on rare oil cans. Or 6-figures+ for art. Or $15,000 per chair at their dining table. They have so much money, it doesn’t much matter how much any of that stuff costs. The FOOLS are the people WITHOUT “extra” money who leverage their home or other major asset in order to be able to get a 6-figure car loan they can’t quite afford.
While sitting at a stop light in my 64 C2 A gentleman in a new Corvette pulled up beside me and looked over and said, “I see you have a real one”. I can do all my own maintenance on the C2, and beside all that, I can’t afford a new Corvette. For those who can I say go for it and enjoy the ride, life is fun.
Does anyone think that a buyer paying near a 1/4 million dollars would sweat no having a warranty?