C5 Corvette Interior Temperature Sensor - Seriously?

Older vehicle parts constantly amaze me.  Sometimes the weirdest parts are dirt cheap and sometimes the most common things are outrageously expensive.  We found that out a few months back when selling old Z28 Camaro parts

This is a new one that I am thinking leads to a scammer in the industry.  The C5 Corvette is one of the best deals going right now for performance.  They are just cheap enough where you can buy one and not feel bad about driving it and loading up the miles.  Chevrolet loaded the C5 with technical goodies that are now super common, but in 1997 were ahead of their time.  Repair parts aren't Ferrari expensive, but they also aren't junk yard grab bag cheap either.

One of these high tech 1997 features was automatic climate control.  The Corvette reads the temperature from a small opening in the dash, right by the key slot.  There is a small grille that has a sensor inside, basically so the car can adjust your HVAC controls automatically for you, keeping you comfortable. 

The cover on our 2004 Z06.

Long story short, the grille is a stupid piece of plastic that pops off if you need access to a screw for radio changes, if your sensor goes bad, or whatever else.  I spotted this one on eBay, the guy is asking $1,000+ for this small piece of plastic.  He is price gouging, flat out.  So a quick call to a local Chevy dealership informed me of a sad truth - this part is discontinued by GM.  That is a major bummer, because this is a part that breaks constantly, but asking $1k is a joke.  This guy needs to be called out and questioned as to what he is thinking.  I get that the part is getting rare, but I found them for sale elsewhere online in the $20 range. 

Just an FYI - The $1,130 vent cover is being sold by Patriot Buick GMC in Pennsylvania.  Maybe they are really nice guys, but if they are gouging on a piece of plastic, I wonder what they do on new/used car sales...

/