Vette Owners Quick to Customize

Chevrolet’s Corvette has been a perennial favorite among gearheads for more than half a century. From classic models to modern editions, enthusiasts continue to search for the latest high-performance and restyling products for this iconic sports car.

SEMA Show exhibitors brought 30 customized examples of the classic coupe to the 2008 SEMA Show, and 58 Corvette-specific products have been displayed during the past four shows. Registration data from Experian Automotive shows that nearly 750,000 Vettes, ranging from 1967–2009 models, are scattered throughout the United States, with heavy concentrations in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

SEMA research periodically profiles owners of vehicles when a significant amount of information can be obtained for a specific model, demographic or other notable characteristic. These sample groups often paint an accurate portrait of the remaining body of owners in that automotive profile. In this case, submissions from the latest Automotive Lifestyles Survey catalog a detailed snapshot of Corvette owners.

Responses to the survey include both vehicle and lifestyle data. Corvette owners are passionate about customizing and presenting their vehicles and the automotive lifestyle; 87% claimed to have purchased a custom part or accessory within the past 12 months. Compared with other sports car owners, Corvette enthusiasts are more likely to purchase accessories and electronics (perhaps due to the car’s inherent athletic ability from the factory).

The top product purchased, by roughly nine out of 10 people, were automotive polishes/waxes, followed by exhaust upgrades (54.6%). Nearly half of the top 25 products that Vette enthusiasts purchase are performance-related, including intakes, brake upgrades and performance tires. 

One in four Corvette owners modify their engine control systems, valvetrains and electrical systems, while the most popular accessories include floor mats, license plate frames and alarm systems. Corvette owners who make purchases of specialty equipment often do so within a short span of time after obtaining the vehicle. 

Nearly seven out of 10 (69%) owners surveyed made their first purchase during the first two months of ownership. And split nearly in half, Vette owners buy from both traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, including from mail order, installers and at shows, while 51% purchase from Internet retail. 

Other demographic data on Corvette owners includes:


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