NICB’s Hot Wheels Classic Report: Chevrolet Corvette

NICB’s recently released Hot Wheel’s Classic report takes a look at the theft of Chevrolet Corvettes over the past 30 years. The following is taken from a press release issued by Frank Scafidi, director or public affairs.

A Truly Hot Car – More Than One in 10 Stolen Over Past 30 Years

Although racing purists might recognize the Stutz Bearcat or the Mercer Raceabout as America’s first sports cars, there is no question that the Chevrolet Corvette holds the title as America’s oldest, continuously produced sports car.

In this, NICB’s second Hot Wheels Classics report, we look at how the Corvette has fared as a theft target. For a video report on Corvette thefts, click here.

A Little Corvette History

The public saw the Corvette for the first time in January 1953, at the Motorama Show held at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. It went into full production on June 30, 1953, at the General Motors facility in Flint, Mich. By the end of the year, 300 were produced—all of them white convertibles with red interiors and black soft tops. The price tag was $3,498 with a heater and AM radio as the only options.

In 1954, Corvette production moved to a renovated facility in St. Louis, Mo., where it remained until 1981. That year, Corvette production moved into a new assembly facility at Bowling Green, Ky., where Corvettes continue to roll off the line today.

The first-generation Corvette—C1s as they are known—were manufactured from 1953-1962. Successive generations appeared in 1963 (C2); 1968 (C3); 1984 (C4); 1997 (C5); and in 2005 with the C6. A seventh-generation Corvette is expected sometime next year.

At the 1978 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Corvette made the first of its 10 appearances as the official Indy 500 Pace Car, an unmatched record on two counts—most appearances as a pace car and most consecutive years pacing the field (2004-2008).

Often compared to more exotic European sports cars, the Corvette has performed well in racing circuits around the globe. However, with the introduction of the supercharged, 620hp ZR-1 in 2009, Corvette has convinced its few remaining skeptics that it can perform on the world racing stage, as well as (and mostly better than) cars three times its price tag.

It’s no surprise then to find Corvette owners doting over their cars and keeping them in showroom condition. But like other items of high value and popular attraction, they get stolen. NICB reviewed Corvette theft data from 1953-2011 and identified 134,731 theft records. However, since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required vehicle identification number (VIN) standardization beginning with the 1981 model year, confidence in pre-1981 records is low due to the inconsistency in reporting protocols and VIN systems. Consequently, only 1981 and later data was used to produce this report.

 Visit to read the full press release.


NICB Hot Wheels Report Names 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

The NICB recently released its Hot Wheels report for 2010. Hot Wheels identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the nation and in each state using data provided by law enforcement and contained in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

As the report clearly shows, the most stolen vehicles are not always the sparkling-new “glamobiles” piloted by paparazzi-dodging celebrities. Make no mistake, their class of ride gets jacked too, but not nearly in the numbers experienced by older Hondas, Toyotas and domestic brands.

So what’s up with that?

Year after year, Hondas and Toyotas have dominated our Hot Wheels report. In a way, that’s a backhanded compliment. These are very popular vehicles and there are
millions of them on the road—a testament to their durability and their owners’ satisfaction.
So what if they get banged up in an accident?

Insurance may cover the repair costs within your policy limits. You take it to a few places and get estimates then leave it with the shop that is mutually agreeable to you and your insurance company. But some repair facilities are shady and obtain replacement parts from older or stolen vehicles.

That’s fraud and that drives up the cost of insurance for all of us.

How can you protect yourself from these kinds of scams? Use reputable business owners. Most repair shops are staffed with decent, hard-working and honest employees. But some are not. If you are uncomfortable with a repair facility, look for another.

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