Classic Corvettes Destroyed in Hurricane Ian Are Now For Sale on Copart

Heartbreaking photos showed these cars destroyed in the storm’s aftermath. Now another man’s trash can be your treasure.

byLewin Day| PUBLISHED Feb 13, 2023 8:00 PM
Classic Corvettes Destroyed in Hurricane Ian Are Now For Sale on Copart

When a hurricane hits, people are forced to evacuate, leaving their homes and possessions behind. When Floridians fled Hurricane Ian last year, some left behind gorgeous Chevy Corvettes in exquisite condition. These cars are now turning up for sale battered, beaten, and bent. As always, where insurance companies have written off a car, opportunities lie.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida in September last year. The third-costliest weather disaster in world history tragically claimed 152 lives and left a damage bill of $113 billion. Classic cars make up a mere fraction of the damages and pale in comparison to the human suffering incurred. Regardless, it's still sad to see the parade of beautiful-yet-trashed Corvettes now showing up on Copart. While not all are directly confirmed to be victims of the storm, the timing, titles, and visible waterlines are the smoking gun of hurricane-related flood damage.

Perhaps the most notable victim is this 1956 Corvette, wearing the classic red and white two-tone finish. The C1 Corvette was the subject of a viral TikTok video last year which revealed how one resident's collection was wiped out by Hurricane Ian. As seen today, the car has significant damage to the fenders, and is missing both the hood and trunk lid. The convertible top is in tatters, and the entire body and interior wears a layer of dust and grime.

Appearances suggest the car is currently being stored outside without a roof, which only worsens things. Any rain is likely winding up straight in the engine, further sealing its fate. Of course, given it's been in a flood, it's perhaps realistic to admit that little additional damage will come from a few weeks outside.

Meanwhile, the 1965 C2 Corvette pictured below was absolutely destroyed by the storm. The whole front end has been ripped apart, with huge tears in the rear fender and trunk area, too. The driver's door has been torn off entirely.

The car appears virtually irreparable in its current state. All the glass has been destroyed, and half of the front bumper is sitting up with the radiator, which is similarly out of place. It looks like it would fall to pieces if any attempt were made to move it. If it seems familiar, it's because it was the subject of several news photos in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Comparing how it appeared immediately after the storm, versus how it appears now, it would suggest that the body likely crumbled as it was moved to the salvage yard.

Other examples fared less badly, like this 1959 Corvette convertible in black. The body is still straight and everything is present and accounted for, though there's a coating of grime and filth indicative of the flood. It's got a rebuildable title, so a new loving owner may yet get it back on the road. It's likely to need a new interior at the very least, and quite possibly a new engine depending on how much filthy water made its way into the block. Like many of the convertible examples, being stored outside isn't doing the car any favors. Hardtops have a little more protection, like this 1966 C2 Corvette, though they're more likely to harbor moisture inside with the possibility of harmful mold growth.

Hurricanes don't discriminate, and newer models have ended up on Copart, too. A 1995 C4 Corvette on sale from State Farm Insurance has been given a Certificate of Destruction. That's a death sentence that goes beyond the usual salvage title, indicating the car cannot be used on road again. Much of the body looks intact, as is the convertible top. Inside is another story entirely, with sand, dirt, and plant matter coating every visible surface. The engine bay is similarly clogged with filth.

Corvettes have always been produced with fiberglass bodies, which has given them some degree of rust resistance over the years. However, just because the body is fiberglass, doesn't mean that Corvettes don't rely on all manner of steel components in parts of the frame, suspension, and beyond. The bodyshell's construction is not enough to save Corvettes from flood damage, which also ruins engines and electrical systems. In some cases, too, a ripped-apart fiberglass shell is far more difficult to repair than a traditional steel car, upon which panels can be swapped and patches welded into place.

The sales on Copart should provide some useful parts for those restoring their own Corvettes. A couple of the less-scathed examples may even one day drive again, bringing joy to their new owners. By and large, though, these listings serve as a reminder of the totality of destruction wrought by the devastating Hurricane Ian.

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