Home » Is This Corvette Summer Replica Worth $75,000, Or Should You Just Build Your Own?

Is This Corvette Summer Replica Worth $75,000, Or Should You Just Build Your Own?

Corvette Summer 2
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Much like Hayden Christensen and Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill found it difficult to find good jobs after Star Wars. Hamill did rack up some notable credits during his time fighting the Empire, though. Chief among them was Corvette Summer, a sunny and joyful romp to Vegas in a heavily modified example of America’s own sports car. If you’ve lusted after the hero car from that film, this could be your chance to own something pretty close.

If you haven’t seen the 1978 film, it starred Mark Hamill as Kenny Dantley,  a high-school senior with a passion for cars. Dantley finds a C3 Corvette in a crusher and rebuilds it as part of his high-school shop class. The car ends up as a glowing tribute to everything garish and chrome, but it’s stolen and winds up in Las Vegas. Dantley sets out to recover the vehicle and gets into some amusing scrapes along the way with a woman named Vanessa, played by Annie Potts. In the trailer, Metro Goldwyn Meyer appealed to the Corvette faithful, branding it “A Fiberglass Romance.”

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Up for sale on Facebook Marketplace is what appears to be a close simulation of the movie car, rather than one of the two cars built for filming the actual movie. The Colorado-based vehicle reportedly has 44,000 miles on the clock, an automatic transmission, and the owner’s asking for a lofty $75,000. All jokes about Corvette owners aside, let’s take a look at what you’re getting for that massive chunk of cash.

According to the seller, this example was built as a promotional vehicle for the film. It hews closely to the vehicle seen in the movie, with the crazy vented hood and four sealed-beam headlights. It wears a giant light-up Chevy bow-tie emblazoned with the word “Stingray” on the back, and it has flames down the side of the body. Under the hood, it has a 350 cubic-inch V8 paired with a four-speed auto, and we’re told it’s fully serviced and ready to drive away. The Autopian has reached out to the owner for more details on the build and history of the car.

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It is easy to spot some differences to the car on the silver screen. The headers on this vehicle still pop out of the fenders and lead to side-outlet exhausts, but they’re a more tangled design compared to the straighter layout seen in the movie. The flames also appear to be more of a solid gold color rather than the more artful airbrushing of the film car. It’s not right-hand-drive like the movie car, either.

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Photos of the vehicle on sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Contrast with the movie screenshot above. Easy spots are the different headers and the fact the movie car is right-hand drive.

It’s worth noting that the real movie cars are accounted for at the moment. Both were 1973 models, with MGM getting a main car and a backup model built by Korky’s Kustom Studios in New Jersey. It’s believed that the main car was used for promotional duties before eventually landing in the hands of an Australian collector. It was then modified from its movie-spec appearance. The backup car, meanwhile, is apparently in the hands of a private collector.

It’s believable that this could have been built as a promo car that was “close enough” to the real thing. To that end, the seller presents a certificate of authenticity stating it was part of the Barris Star Car collection and says the car was showcased in places like the Imperial Palace in Vegas to promote the film ahead of release.

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It’s obviously not the film car, but is it close enough to excite?
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Allegedly, it was a promo car for the film, but there are some questions around that story.

Interestingly, though, the same story was told about a similar C3 Corvette sold by Volo Cars quite some time ago. That car looked quite different, with different fenders and flames perhaps the most notable differences. You may want to verify the details independently before you part with $75,000 for the vehicle. In 2007, CorvetteBlogger.com posted a far more obvious replica that was up for sale on eBay. At that time, a poster by the name of Richard Korkes stated that no promotional cars were built for the film.

In any case, at $75,000, you’re getting a steep discount. Street Muscle Mag reported the vehicle was up for sale for a six-figure sum as recently as January.

The same problem always arises with builds like these. They’re not the real thing, so they don’t have some elevated value by virtue of a famous connection. At the same time, it’s kinda fun to drive a cool movie car. The question is, does the cool customization justify the inflated price?

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More often than not, it doesn’t. A lot of unofficial movie replicas are poorly built and don’t really live up to their on-screen inspirations. In this case, you could get yourself a C3 Corvette for under $30,000. Examples in decent condition sell for under $20,000 all day long. That would leave you with $55,000 to pay for custom work to get it looking like the Corvette Summer car. It would take you longer, for sure, and some of the custom parts might be hard to replicate. You’d have to factor all that into your cost analysis.

With a car like this, it’s hard to say whether it’s good value or not. On the one hand, $75,000 is a huge amount to pay for a C3 Corvette that might have some vaguely interesting history. On the other hand, it really is pretty close to the Corvette Summer car in many respects, and you might not be able to replicate it for cheaper.

I’m not sure I’d go for it. Sound off with your own educated opinion in the comments.

Image credits: Facebook Marketplace, Corvette Summer

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BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
28 days ago

Of all the piss-poor design decisions, that asymmetric hood scoop was the worst. Completely non-functional, ugly, too tall. What twisted mind came up with that?

Loren
Loren
29 days ago

Also, T.A. is So. Cal. now so don’t get caught saying Metro Goldwyn Meyer.

Logan King
Logan King
29 days ago

For aong time, probably a decade and a half, it has been a running joke with my online presence on forums and chat rooms to refer to shittily modified Corvettes as Datsuns; usually alongside the requisite clip from the movie. That’s also the only bit from it I remember.

Last edited 29 days ago by Logan King
Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
29 days ago

I don’t remember this movie at all. Not from the time it came out nor from any time afterward. If this were a promo vehicle for a movie many people knew, that would be one thing. As it is, meh.

Black Peter
Black Peter
30 days ago

This provenance thing always confuses me, I mean tracking the motorcycles from Easy Rider? That I get is problematic, because, drugs. But don’t studios or by extension promotion companies record VIN numbers? I’m sure they wrote these cars off for taxes at some point

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
30 days ago

I estimate this is overpriced by at least $55,000. Also, I hate FB marketplace.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
30 days ago

The Corvette Summer car was single-handedly the worst thing that’s ever been done to any Corvette ever. I’d rather daily the C4 that someone put a Oldsmobile diesel engine in to. This thing was so damn ugly in that movie that I wonder about the sanity and eyeglasses prescription of those involved….

The fact that someone had the (what’s the opposite of gumption?) to make a fucking replica (?)…. this is a corvette that should be immediately reverted to its original look or crushed… That’s how much I hate the look of the “Corvette Summer” car.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
30 days ago

“Educated opinion= ND/CP

Jonee Eisen
Jonee Eisen
30 days ago

Say what you will about the aesthetic merits of the car, but it’s exactly what that kid would have built at that time and place. That’s what’s important. And the movie is better than its reputation. Not an all-time great, but it’s very sweet and is a great time capsule of the mid 1970s. Shot before Star Wars actually.

Black Peter
Black Peter
30 days ago
Reply to  Jonee Eisen

I remember it being shot prior to SW as well and you’re correct, this was 100% the aesthetic of the time, as cringe worthy now as pastel 90s tuner cars, but still worth something in terms of historic value.

Clear_prop
Clear_prop
30 days ago

The side pipes on this replica don’t look right. The ones on the movie car look much better, but both cars are hideous overall.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
30 days ago

Wait… ‘Corvette Summer’ was about a car?
I must have blocked that part out of memory for some reason…

Last edited 30 days ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Extremely-Good-Opinions
Extremely-Good-Opinions
30 days ago

“Jokes about Corvette owners aside” okay but what *else* aside. That’s all there is to it lol. This is God’s most perfect Vette owner guy

MiniDave
MiniDave
30 days ago

Great movie (Annie Potts was HOT!) terrible car tho……

John Metcalf
John Metcalf
30 days ago
Reply to  MiniDave

That’s how I remember it.

Last edited 30 days ago by John Metcalf
Black Peter
Black Peter
30 days ago
Reply to  MiniDave

She still looks good IMO..

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
29 days ago
Reply to  MiniDave

Agree on the car, and Annie Potts is super hot. Especially with the red hair and those glasses… oh. Different movie.

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