2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 sold for $925,000

Konstantin Sheiko
January 26, 2018

A day after the first 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt raised $300,000 for charity, the debut ZR1 went under the hammer for $925,000, a fair way north of the $119,995 list price. The very first 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 with VIN 001 was sold on 20.01.18 at the Barret-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the auction go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America's Bravest program.

The Siller family started the foundation to honor the memory of their brother Stephen who lost his life on September 11, 2011, as a New York City firefighter. The program builds smart homes for catastrophically injured service members returning home and first responders. Each home is custom designed to the needs of the individual, while also being energy efficient, easily accessible, and automated.

The Corvette ZR1 sold on Saturday, January 20, was the very first example ever produced. It packs a hand-built supercharge supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V8 engine making 755 horsepower (563 kilowatts) and 715 pound-feet (969 Newton-meters) of torque. The winning bidder will get to select if they want a ZR1 coupe or convertible, and whether it comes equipped with a seven-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or the available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. 

The ZR1 is the current flagship of the Corvette range and is the fastest, most advanced Corvette ever produced. The supercar takes the existing C7-generation Corvette platforms to new extremes, extensively uses carbon fiber, a more serious, sophisticated aerodynamic set-up like a massive rear wing and more power, offering 60 percent more downforce than a Corvette Z06. Magnetic ride control, an electronic limited-slip differential, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes are just a few of the performance parts the ZR1 comes with as standard. 

The winning bid came from Hendrick Automotive Group and the owner and founder of NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports Rick Hendrick, who has previous in this area - he snagged the first 2017 Acura NSX for $1,2 million and Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE for $250,000 not long ago and has won various other charity car auctions.

When Barret-Jackson announced it was selling the first ZR1 for charity, Craig Jackson, chairman-CEO of Barrett-Jackson, said, “We are incredibly fortunate to have the resources to support wonderful organizations that strive to make a difference for so many people in need. To date, Barrett-Jackson has helped raise nearly $96 million for charity and those funds, along with the generous donations that will be raised in Scottsdale, bring much-needed relief to countless people through many great charities.”

The ZR1 may be the most extreme production Corvette up to date. But the Texas-based Tuner Hennesy is already planning a series of upgrade packages that will push the ZR1 into an even crazier territory. The mildest version, relatively speaking, is called HPE850 and boasts output to 850 hp (torque remains the same). With 100 extra horse-powers on tap, Hennesy says the Corvette ZR1 HBE850 will 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 10.3 seconds at 136 mph.

You can guess that the HPE1000 package offers 1000 hp, as well as 966 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for 0 to 60 mph surge in just 2.5 seconds, a quarter mile of 9,7 seconds at 147 mph, and a top speed of over 220 mph, according to Hennesy. Hennesy said production of its upgraded ZR1 will be limited to just a few copies. The company did not discuss pricing, but buyers will have to buy stock ZR1 to upgrade, starting at $119,995 for the coupe, and $123,995 for the convertible.

The ZR1 was not even the most successful sale for Chevrolet at the Scottsdale event. Atlantic Automotive Group owner John Staluppi snapped up the first retail Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition, for an incredible $1.4 million. The Carbon 65 Edition Coupe celebrates the 65th anniversary of Corvette and features a new Ceramic Matrix Gray paint with visible carbon fiber exterior elements all over including the hood and rear spoiler. The Carbon 65 will be limited to a run of 650 cars available in Z06 and Grand Sport models. The delicious 3LZ interior is full of carbon fiber accents and Alcantara, giving it a very exotic feeling.

Former US president George W. Bush, who was present at the auction, signed the car. The Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is an exclusive model that can be ordered as either a Grand Sport or Z06. Only 650 will be built worldwide; however, only one of these will have the signature of a former president of the United States.

Proceeds for that auction will help “post-9/11 veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war” via the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative.

Speaking at the auction, Steve Hill, GM Vice President of US Sales and Service, said, “GM and Chevrolet are proud to honor and support the brave men and women of our armed forces. Thanks to the generosity of two of our dealers, John Staluppi and Rick Hendrick, we will be able to offer additional support to some of our most severely wounded veterans through the Bush Center Military Service Initiative and the Siller Foundation Building for America’s Bravest effort - both extremely worthy organizations.”

 January may not be a great time for most people to drive a car, but apparently, it is a good time to buy one. All told, General Motors raised just over $2.3 million for charity at this one event. The moral of the story here is, getting President George W Bush to sign your car is a major win. But it is also great to see the automotive industry and collectors come together for a good cause.