Update: This Corvette shouldn’t exist, but you can own it

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The car sold for a high bid of $182,999, and is on its way to its new home — in Helsinki, Finland.

Late this summer, the big orange Reliable Carriers 18-wheeler rolled up to Randy Kent’s door in Sarasota, Florida, and a yellow 2021 Chevrolet Corvette rolled out. Kent, who describes himself as an “enthusiast,” has a small car collection and he was happy to add the C8 Corvette, which he wanted as a daily driver.

It seemed like a pretty good deal when he bid on the car at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas in July. The car had just over 50 miles on the odometer, and it was part of the GM Heritage collection. When bidding topped $100,000, Kent hoped it wouldn’t go much higher. It didn’t. Kent bid $104,500, and the car was his.

One of the things that appealed to Kent about the car was that it appeared to be an IMSA GTLM Championship C8.R Edition, a $6595 package when sold. Admitting that he didn’t know that much about C8 Corvettes, he assumed that his car, which was sitting next to one such GTLM Championship Edition, was the same thing, just lacking the graphics. The VIN number ended in 000010, so Kent knew it was an early car.

Preproduction 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray VIN
Bring a Trailer/coolstuff

The motorsports-inspired package was introduced at the IMSA race at Belle Isle, in Detroit, in June of 2021, honoring the 2020 season championship won by the C8.R race car. The package came with a high-wing spoiler in Carbon Flash, yellow brake calipers, black Trident design wheels with black lug nuts and the “Jake” logo on the center caps, exterior mirrors in Carbon Flash, plus black side rockers and splash guards. Inside, the Championship Edition features a Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray cabin that mimics the exterior yellow and gray racing theme, with standard GT2 seats, along with yellow seat belts and a C8.R Special Edition numbered plaque.

A plaque? Kent had missed that. Driving to lunch the next day, he glanced down, “and I did a doubletake.” The plaque was there, between the seats, and it read, “C8R Edition 01EX.“

Preproduction 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 01EX
Bring a Trailer/coolstuff

EX, as in “experimental,” 01, as in the first, and maybe only experimental car. Hmm. When the car arrived, it was quite dusty, so Kent took his California Duster to it. In several places, the Duster found some adhesive from the original C8.R stickers, which had been stripped off.

But wait. Kent’s car is a 2021, though it was built in 2020. The C8.R Edition was for 2022, with Chevrolet building only a thousand. Kent had met a GM Design employee at Las Vegas, and they stayed in touch. Kent texted him a picture of the badge.

“Two seconds later,” the GM employee called Kent. His first two words: “Oh, shit!” Kent was told the car was supposed to be stripped or even destroyed, but it was hiding in the Media Building at GM when the other cars met their fate. It had been used as a display car at IMSA races, and apparently was a photo car for GM brochures. And then it was supposed to meet its fate. But this one got away.

Bottom line: There were only supposed to be 1000 of the IMSA GTLM Championship C8.R Edition cars. Now there were 1001, and one of them was a 2021 model, while the rest were 2022s. Kent had one of one.

He thought about keeping it, but with such low mileage—it still has under 100 miles on the odometer—and its rare status, “I figured this car deserved to be in a collection.” GM sent a tech down the next day to erase some proprietary software, such as a program that has the car speaking to GM in real time, “telling them how it’s cornering, the spring rates, that sort of thing,” and apply some warning stickers. The changes make it a street-legal and entirely insurable car, Kent says.

Now the car is on bringatrailer.com. Bidding is up to $89,200 at this writing, but with four days left on the auction, it’s likely to go much higher. How much higher? Kent, who owns a boat cover company, isn’t sure. After all, “it’s one of one. How do you put a value on that?” A set of C8.R graphics is included with the car, but it looks awfully clean without them.

Meanwhile, Kent bought a 2022 Corvette C8 to drive, with no backstory. And he’s hoping his C8.R-that-isn’t finds a good home.

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    Look this car really is not physically a big deal different but the paperwork and the EX number marks it’s place in history. There are collectors willing to have that one if one that escapes.

    As for the rest I too am getting tired of the piss and moan crowd that are upset they either over the engine or they went to paddles.

    Look you see Ferrari and other sports car owner no pitching fits. They understand that for these cars to exist and do the things they do they have to go to these systems. In exchange for the lost they are getting faster and higher lever performance.

    Have of these complainers couldn’t heal to toe if their life depended on it.

    Look you have 68 years of manual shift Corvettes to choose from. Buy them enjoy them and preserve them.

    I like to shift too but I also appreciate that GM has given us the car Zora had wanted since the early 60’s finally and not only is it a great Corvette but it is a greater sports car vs some major players.

    A $100k Z06 can out perform a $500k Ford GT and others is saying a lot.

    It is this effort of keeping the Corvette leading edge that permits it to survive. If they had not started to advance things in 84 this car would have died long ago.

    In fact it nearly did die at the end of the C4 had not the Vette team ignored orders.

    We all know the newer automatic transmissions are faster than a manual. That’s not the point, I find the manual is just more fun to drive. The nice sound of the engine pausing as you row through the gears. For full out performance an automatic is the way to go, but some of us just like the fun of shifting gears. Everybody to their own.

    Neat story…not a car I’d ever want but curious to see how it sells…many modern Corvettes (in my view/opinion) underperform on BaT. Conversely, I am constantly amazed what premiums ppl pay on BaT for NSXs, S2000s and Supras.

    @hyperv6 – No disrespect, but somehow Porsche manages to continue offering customers their choice of transmission.

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with the philosophy of “this deserves to be in a museum”. If I was fortunate enough to own this vehicle it would be driven like it deserves to be. I don’t see the point in preserving til you’re dead and gone so someone else buys it and gets to say “look what I’ve got!”

    If he thinks the car is too precious for him to keep, and that it deserves to be in a collection, why is he offering it for sale to the general public on BAT? How many speculators are going to flip it before it, hopefully, lands in the hands of someone else who appreciates it?

    I dunno, there are so many “one of one” cars the IMO term doesn’t really mean anything. “The only 1966 OldsmoBuick ordered direct from the factory with a two-barrel, bench seat, 4-speed & radio delete in the rarely seen gold/brown/beige/tan color way
    ONE OF ONE!”

    If you have a thousand different “one of one” cars does that make each of them one of one thousand? 🙂


    Great story. I have a 2018 Z06/07 with a VIN 00002. One of these days I will find out what I have. In the meantime I will put miles on it. 32,000 at the moment. I like the C8’s. I have the 7 speed in my 2018, but would swap for a 2023 Z51 or Z06. I figure mine to be nothing special.

    I really like the debate of clutch vs fingertip controls. They both certainly have their place in automotive history. I satisfy the urge with both types, truly enjoy driving a performance car with the syncro trans with out using the clutch, as well as the exhilaration you get driving a dual clutch trans. Enjoyed all the views.

    AUTOMATIC (in my world) simply means LAZY. Point and shoot doesn’t compare to downshifting through some twisty’s and pounding it into the straightway. ONLY a stick produces that kind of feeling. My Dodge Dart GT six speed make my heart sing.

    The C8 is nice. This is nothing special to me, it just another one with a special badge. Whoop de do.

    All this griping about it should have a manual, well it doesn’t. Pretty soon cars won’t have an automatic transmission either in the EV toaster future so you can gripe about that too.

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