A new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau states that Chevrolet’s Corvette is one of the most often-stolen cars ever produced, especially the 1984 version. Be especially wary of your Corvette if you live in California.
More than 10 percent stolen
According to the NICB’s second annual Hot Wheels Classics report, Chevrolet has produced 863,000 Corvettes since 1981. Of those, more than 90,000 have been reported stolen. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that Corvette is America’s oldest, most continuously produced sports car. It is a stylish package of power and form coveted by motorists the world over.
Data post 1981
Vehicle theft data is sketchy before 1981, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instituted standard vehicle identification numbers and theft reporting practices. For that reason, the current NICB report begins with data from that year.
Most stolen year
The most stolen car of all time in the U.S. is the 1984 Corvette, the model’s fourth generation. It was the first Corvette to have a front-mounted V8 engine. There were 51,547 cars built that year, meaning it is also Corvette’s largest production year ever. An astonishing 8,554 of them have been cited on theft reports since.
Least stolen year
The least-stolen model year of the Corvette was 1976. Just more than 3,000 Corvettes made in America’s bicentennial year have been stolen.
Most stolen states
Broken down by states, California is the place to be most cautious of where you park a ‘Vette. In the past three decades, more than 14,000 of the coveted sports car have been taken in California. It beats second-place Florida by a full 6,000 cars.
In descending order below Florida, the following states round out the top 10 for Corvette thefts since 1981: Texas, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri
Chevrolet’s Corvette made its first appearance in January, 1953, at New York’s Motorama Show. It went into full production in June of that year. Only 300 Corvettes were produced that year, all of them white convertibles with red interiors. The base price was $3,498, and the only options available were a heater and an AM radio.
Since then, there have been five successive generations of Corvettes in 1963, 1968, 1984, 1997 and 2005. A seventh-generation is in the works for 2013.
Indy 500 pace car
The Corvette was a pace car at the 1978 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and has repeated the chore nine times since, more time than any other model.
The NCIB, which tracks vehicle theft data and regularly works with law enforcement, urges victims of auto theft to report the crime anonymously at 1-800-835-6422, by texting the word “fraud” to 847411 or by going directly to its website at www.nicb.org.