Enthusiast Bookends Entire Corvette Production With Matching VIN Num

Corvette enthusiasts are always looking for ways to make their Corvettes stand out from the crowd. Some folks gravitate toward the older cars, enjoying their classic lines and vintage styling cues; others seek out the newest offerings, capitalizing on that new-car-smell and limited-access exclusivity. Don’t think all that newness and unused leather surfaces have an added value? Tell that to the folks who are already selling their C8s at a premium online!

On the other hand, there are ingenious folks who are able to build a uniqueness around their Corvette experience that not only makes the car special to them but also appeals to the bulk of enthusiasts as well. A perfect illustration of this in action would be Larry Smith and his wife, Debi, an enthusiastic and blessed couple that not only have the means to order a new 2020 Corvette but also were able to take part in GM’s matching-VIN option to secure the corresponding numbers to their 1953 Corvette!

1953 Corvette VIN 285 has been in the care of the Smiths since the 80s.

That’s right! Larry and Debi have one of the first, as well as one of the latest versions of Chevy’s sports car. Of course, the elder version is in the iconic Polo White (as were ALL 1953 Corvettes) paint scheme with a red interior. Any guesses what colors were opted for when spec’ing out this new C8?

Larry and Debi decided to order their new C8 Corvette with a matching VIN to their '53. It took a little work to make it happen, but they're happy that it all worked out. Of course, it's hard to see, but the C8 has the 2-tone interior, Black with Red seats

When you hear Larry talk about owning the classic two-seater, you’ll realize that he’s not likely going to be one of those folks wanting a premium for this newest one. “I am the third owner of the ’53,” he says. “I bought the car in the late-1980’s from a family friend, Don Fairclough, who purchased the car in 1963 from the original owner. We have owned the ‘53 for close to 30 years and have always owned at least one Corvette since the mid-1960s.”

Ordering a brand new, 2020 Corvette with a specially-designated VIN was made possible through Chevrolet’s RPO PIN option. To make that happen, a customer contacts a Chevrolet dealer and places an order with RPO PIN included. At that point, GM will contact the customer for the exact VIN desired.

There are a few stipulations though. The customer can choose ONLY the last four numbers of the new vehicle’s VIN, not the entire VIN number. Also, the number issued must still be within the planned production quantity. The vehicle will be built within the current sequence format (no number-jumping) and there is a $5,000 charge for the option. Interestingly, some dealers have used the RPO PIN to secure low-VIN-numbered cars, ensuring speedy delivery on their allocation.

Larry and Debi purchased the assembly line photo album through the National Corvette Museum. They were kind enough to send them a couple of teasers until the entire album is finished, which Larry then shared with the Facebook group. All proceeds of the photo album sales benefit the National Corvette Museum.

Owning one of the first of 300 Corvettes to come out of the factory, the Smiths were happy to employ this handy RPO code on the C8. Larry has been a long-time owner of the early Corvette and has been an excellent brand ambassador over the years. Working with Harlan Charles and the folks at the National Corvette Museum, he was able to see his VIN-matching dream become a reality.

Larry reports, “It took a lot more work than plunking down the money,” he states. “When we first went active in getting 2020 Corvette VIN #285, the customer-selected VIN option “PIN” was not going to be offered. We got approval for VIN 285 because of our long-term ownership of 1953 #285.”

It took a lot more work than plunking down the money… – Larry Smith

He recently shared his good fortune on the Facebook group titled, “C8 Corvette Owners (And Friends) and his post got the attention of enthusiasts both on the social media site and off. It just goes to prove that while driving around in either a first-year-production Corvette or the most recent model ever produced will get you noticed, having the means and forethought to creatively join the two ends of the spectrum together seamlessly will set you apart from the crowd every time!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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