Chevrolet’s Corvette has some interesting options available. One is the Corvette Engine Build Experience, a $5,800 extra that allows you to travel to GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, (airfare not included) and actually assemble the engine that will be installed in your new Vette.
For an extra $490, a consumer can also take delivery of a new Corvette at the National Corvette Museum across form the assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There are plenty of other options, including choosing the color of the brake calipers for $595. Still, while looking through the pricing information for the 2012 Chevy Corvette, one option really got my attention: “Customer Selected VIN number, $5,000.”
Why would somebody want to select a car’s VIN? Curiosity soon had me flipping through the 2012 edition of the Corvette Black Book by Mike Antonick. The book’s charts revealed that the option was first offered in 2011. That year, the custom VIN was ordered by four people. According to a blog post from the National Corvette Museum, an additional six people sprung for the option on 2012 Corvettes.
So, in two model years 10 people stepped up and paid five grand apiece for a VIN. Still, I wondered, why? Remember, every other Corvette buyer got a “free” randomly selected VIN. I figured that the option had to do with collectors wanting something special, but it was such an unusual offering that I wanted to know more.
Monte Doran of Chevrolet Communications provided me with some answers. Doran explained that the option had been inspired by customer demand, as the company found itself fielding requests for specific VINs for many different reasons. Now, the option allows for an official process for a customer to select the last eight digits of his or her car’s VIN. Doran says that most of the customers who have ordered the option pick numbers to match another Corvette they already own. For example, one owner matched the number of his 2011 ZR1 to his 1991 ZR-1.
I collect model cars, so I can understand the allure of something unique. Even so, five thousand bucks for a specific serial number seems a bit excessive. But hey, to each his own.