25 Years of Quality
Upstate New York's sales,
service and restoration facility.
Longtime corvette enthusiast
Jim Glass has dedicated his career to fulfilling buyers' dreams
of owning honest cars of original quality.
By Richard A. Lentinello
If you've been searching for
a previously owned Corvette then you know all too well how many
car dealers are out there claiming to be long-time specialists
in the sometimes- market of used Corvettes.
While many have been around
for several years, or at least since they jumped on the Corvette
band wagon once the cars became recognized as worthwhile automotive
collectibles back in the late '80s, many dealers are fly-by-night
operations that come and go in the blink of an eye. Yet, others
have made a successful business out of dealing in Corvettes that
are less than pristine, have been repossessed, or are downright
fakes. Sad, but true.
However, there are many dealers
that trade in only top-quality Corvettes, and whose originality
is as honest as the dealers are in their business conduct. One
such dealer is Jim Glass, who has been dealing exclusively in
Corvettes since he first entered the used car business 25 years
Located along the Hudson River,
just outside the town of Kingston, about two hours north of New
York City, Jim Glass Corvette Specialists was an outgrowth of
Jim's fascination and love of Chevrolets finest. Having raced
on dirt tracks in the area back in the '60s, Jim found the sport
too expensive to remain competitive. Instead, he sold his race
car and spent the money on a Corvette, a move that would change
his life forever.
But living in the fairly isolated
Catskills region, there was no shop in the entire area that dealt
in old Corvettes. Jim figured that if he couldn't locate a Corvette
specialist, then perhaps other owners and enthusiasts in the area
were experiencing the same frustrations. So, being an enterprising
young manand the fact that he was born and raised in a family
of auto mechanicsit was only natural for him to start his
own car business specializing in the cars he cared about most.
That was 1974, and a quarter-century
later, he's still going strong.
Having expanded several times
through the years, Jims current facility encompasses two fairly
large buildings. One is a dedicated showroom that can house 12
cars, while the other features a three-car showroom with a roomy
repair facility in the rear. Add the spacious parking lot in between,
and you'll find close to 25 Corvettes on the premise at any one
time. All of the cars for sale are owned by Jim Glass Corvettesthere
are no consignments.
With a long list of dedicated
clients throughout the United States, Canada, South America and
Europe, the convenience of having Newburgh International Airport
40 minutes away makes fly in and driving out a real attraction.
And, just what are those buyers looking for when it comes to old
Corvettes? Jim told us that solid-axle cars remain as sought-after
as everbut only honest, decent examples that are getting
increasingly harder to locate.
As expected, 1965-67 mid-year
convertibles remain big sellers. Jim also has had strong sales
over the last three years with the 1968-72 models, particularly
convertibles. As the appeal of early Stingrays continues to rise,
Jim has seen a recent surge in interest during the past year in
1969 L88-powered cars. Those more serious buyers looking their
first Corvette, usually go for C4s. Regardless, if it's an automatic
or a six-speed, Jim told us that the fourth-generation models
sell very quickly, usually in less than two weeks. And demand
remains very strong for hard-to-get C5s. These, regardless of
body style or transmission type, sell in just two to three days.
The only Corvettes which Jim hasn't had any interest in from buyers
are the 1975-77 models. But right now, he said the hot sellers
are the 1978-82 carsdue no doubt, to their captivating styling,
respectable performance and affordable value.
With each Corvette that a buyer
purchases from Jim Glass Corvette Specialists, there's a warranty
that extends to either three months or 4,000 miles. Jim said,
"If something goes wrong, we want to know about it." And, he backs
up that claim by doing whatever is necessary to ensure the buyer
is satisfied with his or her Corvette. Warranty claims are quite
rare since Jim deals exclusively in Corvettes that are well maintained
and documented. These are usually garage-kept cars with low mileage
and minimum wear. Many of the Corvettes he sells have already
gone through his shop years earlier. So, he may be selling them
for a second or third time after their owners decided to sample
other models. This intimate knowledge of a car's past is a rarity
in today's market, and it provides buyers reassurance of a car's
integrity. And, with four- and five-year bank financing available,
the buying process couldn't be any easier.
To maintain the business, Jim
has five full-time employees, allowing a 50/50 mix of sales and
service. Repairs began back in 1978, with restoration services
being offered soon after as interest in old Corvettes began to
increase. Although demand for complete restorations has slowed
in recent years, four to five body-o£f restorations are still
commissioned each year. Jim also offers his customers a regular
maintenance program that seems to be growing in popularity as
today's collector car owner has less time to maintain a Corvette
himself. Regular service includes complete mechanical, suspension
and engine rebuilding, interiors and body repair. The only work
that is contracted outside is engine machining, chrome plating
and painting. And, just like the quality of the pre-owned Corvettes
in inventory, the quality of repair work is first class as well.
Should you decide to add a
Corvette to your current collection, or perhaps buy the model
of your dreams now that the kids are out of the house or your
divorce is final, Jim and his staff will be glad to assist you
in your search for the finest Corvette in your price range. Call
Jim Glass Corvette Specialists at (914) 331-5666, or visit the
showroom on Route 23 North, Kingston, New York, 12401.