Americans love Corvettes and, unfortunately, so do a few unsavory characters. The National Insurance Crime Bureau found that, since the fiberglass two seat debuted in 1953, more than 90,000 have been stolen. That’s 6 percent of the 1,526,747 ‘vettes ever built, or one in 10 over the past 30 years.
NICB said that before 1981, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Board standardized vehicle identification numbers industry wide, theft reporting wasn’t entirely accurate. But cars were still relatively easy to steal in the early ‘80s. When Chevrolet took a year off from producing corvettes, built up a bunch of hype, and released a much anticipated 1984 model, GM enjoyed record sales (still unsurpassed today) of a much sought after and easy to jack sports car.
The General churned out 51,547 of the sleek new ‘vettes in 1984 and, over the years, thieves have made off with 8,554 of them — nearly 17 percent. But even with blistering modern Corvette performance making the cars more desirable, better security systems have made recent models less likely to get stolen.
The old ones still get stolen but, once in a while, one makes its way home. NICB reported that a 1965 Stingray stolen in Memphis in 1970 was finally returned to its owner in 2009 after having gone through several owners in multiple states. Better late than never.
Photo credit: Associated Press