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C5 to ZR-1 trade.

A

ArtZR1991

Guest
Actually, another member got me thinking when he posted on the ZR1 board, but I have been thinking for a while about this. I already own a race car, a Shelby, and I want to do something else. My wife has convinced me (and rightfully, I believe) that I should consider trading our ZR1 while it is still absolutely pristine, and not modded. See
http://www.greatvettes.org/ZR1Trade.htm

PC290042aR.jpg


I invite comments and offers, ir just seems to me that any Vette Lover should have the opportunity to own a ZR1 at least once while he/she can still enjoy driving!

Regards,
 

Rob

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Art,

It's kind of difficult to say yes you should do it, or no, you shouldn't. The ZR-1 and the C5 are two totally different animals. Each has its own personality traits, pros and cons.

For its day, the ZR-1 was and still is an engineering marvel and the performance has often been a means of benchmarking other high performance automobiles, especially the Corvettes that marched on after the last ZR-1 rolled off the assembly line in April of 1995.

There have been times where I've considered selling the ZR-1 for a C5. I absolutely love the look of the C5 from front bumper to rear. I think it's an awesome sports car and the Z06 is incredible.

The performance of the Z06 is incredible especially when you compare it to other high performance sports cars that are double if not triple the price.

The ZR-1 however, is still much more unique in my eyes. It was very limited production, and you rarely ever see them on the road. Because the overall shape of the car isn't really any different than the base model C4, other than the rear end, it blends in with most other C4s. In my mind, the Z06 is very similar because unless you notice the wheels, the rear brake ducts, and the mesh in the front air intakes, you won't know it's a Z06. The LS1 and LS6 look very similiar in appearance other than the red plastic covers on the LS6. You can't make an LT1 look like an LT5. In fact, you can't make any engine look like the LT5. It's too unique.

In one year, GM met 3/4 of the ZR-1 production with the 2001 Z06. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a decent boost in those production numbers for the 2002 MY.

The C5 and Z06 performance are very close to the ZR-1 and in some cases, exceed it.

For me, there is too much history and too much uniqueness to let my ZR-1 go in order to make room for a C5. The ZR-1 is my first and only Corvette that I have ever owned. I basically threw three years of my life away working just so I could afford to buy it. I remember the day it was delivered to me from Bud's Chevrolet. I remember climbing up on top of the flat bed, opening the door and seeing the plastic on the seats and the steering wheel. I remember putting that key in the ignition, turning it and hearing the LT5 engine roar to life for the first time. I remember putting in reverse and gradually rolling it down the ramps off the flatbed.

I remember the next day I washed and waxed the car for the first time....I remember what it was like moving my hands over the gradual curves and polishing the paint to an almost translucent appearance and then stepping back to look at it thinking...."wow!"

I remember talking with the original owner of the car in Canada for almost an hour, and as I sit here typing this, I look up at my bookshelf at the enormous ring binder filled with every single receipt, pieces of original documentation and typed up history on the car as it was transcribed to me by the original owner.

I remember going down to Bowling Green, KY at the end of April 1995 for the Legend Lives event to see the last ZR-1 come off the assembly line. I remember hearing some of the Lotus and GM Powertrain engineers talking about what it was like to get the LT5 motor into production. And most of all, I remember hearing almost 400 LT5 engines spooling up and laying rubber in and around the streets of Bowling Green and then the gradual progression of ZR-1s from the factory to the National Corvette Museum to see the last ZR-1 take it's rightful spot inside the museum.

I remember all of this and much more. The C5 and Z06 are very special in their own way, but in my eyes, the ZR-1 is that much more so and something like it may not ever be repeated for quite some time, and if it is, I may not be able to afford it.

It only has 375 horsepower and with the recent horsepower wars we're seeing, there are a growing number of muscle cars/sports cars that exceed that level of output and performance, but each time I press the garage door opener, and see that wide rear end appear from within, and I climb inside and turn the igntion key only to be welcomed with the unique sounds that only an LT5 engine can produce, it still puts a wide smile on my face and gets my adrenaline pumping.

It shakes dues to the chassis structure (especially with the roof off), parts are hard to come by and expensive, and it's difficult to find someone competent enough to fix them....and the radio vibrates within its chassis when its cold and the glove compartment door rattles when its cold......but to me these are just inherent design traits worthy of overlooking. Because when you step back and look at the entire package, the history behind the car, how it came about, and the performance, for me...at this point in my life, to give it up would be a shame.

C5s are just about everywhere. And around this area that I live, I see at least one, sometimes two Z06s per week. If I see another ZR-1 every 3-6 months, I'm lucky. And when you do finally meet that other ZR-1 on the road and you pass by one another, nod and wave, there is that special feeling you get in knowing that you both own and appreciate a rare piece of Corvette heritage.
 
K

Karl Snedeger

Guest
If you EVER want to trade, just let me know!
 

singledad_9

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Glastonbury Ct USA
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Y2k vette, 73 under construction
I completely concur with Rob's assessment. What you have IS unique. Even though the thought did cross my mind to volunteer to trade as well. But I cannot escape the feeling that I would be getting the better end of the bargain. Don't get me wrong, I love my C5. Your car IS rare and as such a very valuable possesion. (sp.).

What you have is a collector's car that is respected by at least this vette owner. What I have is a daily sunny day driver car. There is a big difference and it is for that reason, I would never offer to trade.

Good luck with your debate

Mike
 

Black Thunder

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Oct 14, 2001
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143
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Port St Lucie,FL
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1968 Black Custom Vert 454 BB
Rob,
Your assessment of ownership of a ZR-1 was fair & presents a stong view of what its like to own a classic. The ZR-1 will forever be a major player in Corvettes history.

Pride for your ride is part of Corvette ownership, & it truly came thru in your post.

Art think long & hard about this decision, just my two cents.
John
 
L

LT1Vettepilot

Guest
singledad_9 said:
I completely concur with Rob's assessment. What you have IS unique. Even though the thought did cross my mind to volunteer to trade as well. But I cannot escape the feeling that I would be getting the better end of the bargain. Don't get me wrong, I love my C5. Your car IS rare and as such a very valuable possesion. (sp.).
Mike

I concur with everything said so far. If I had a C5 I would trade in heart beat...only to feel guilty about it as soon as I turned the key. You have an absolutely spectacular example of Corvette history at its finest. If I were in your shoes, I'ld trade the Cobra for a C5 and continue enjoying the ZR1. For me, a ZR1 will probably be next, assuming I can find one in pristine condition when I can afford it. Enjoy man, its a legand.
 

Rob

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BTW Art,

One other thing, check the brake fluid in your master cylinder. The front reservoir looks old and the fluid looks dark and in need of replacement if you haven't already done so. :)

I do want to make one quick clarification. Even though I wouldn't sell my ZR-1 to buy a C5, that doesn't mean I wouldn't buy one to share company with the ZR. In fact, I would absolutely love to have a Z06 share a stable with my Vette....but....I'm still waiting to find that special tree where all the leaves have presidential faces on them. After all these years....I still haven't found it. :D
 

Edmond

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Rob said:
I'm still waiting to find that special tree where all the leaves have presidential faces on them. After all these years....I still haven't found it. :D

Yeah, I've been waiting for quite some time and it only happens in a dream!

You know what word they use when they say ZR-1? LEGENDARY! Sure, there are cars today that increase their HP every year, but it's taken those cars 10+ years to catch up. You have the style of the Corvette with too much HP and that's a ZR-1. If I could afford one, I'd have one before a C5 simply beause they're still making C5's; and there will be plenty of C5's available.

It's very rare to see a ZR-1 prowling the streets; in fact, I've only seen one in my life and I just stood there gazing at the rear end, especially the "ZR-1" tag. The owner walked up to me and told me to look under the body and look at his 3" TriFlow system. I just stood in amazement and heard in amazement when he took off. Remember that feeling you got when you met your wife? Well, that's the feeling you get when you see a ZR-1.
 

danl72

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Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
678
Location
Chatsworth, CA
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2008 C6 Coupe
I totally agree with everything Rob said. The ZR-1 is a classic and you should keep it. I love my C5, but it is not a ZR-1. Those cars are truely rare.
 
A

ArtZR1991

Guest
You're right

Sounds like you guys have been reading the stuff I write. Actually I agree with everything you say, and I certainly appreciate the sincerety of the comments.

This is a bittersweet thing for me. One day I want to do it, the next day, I delete the link to the offer page.

What's happening to me is that I am a left leg amputee, and though I can handle the car and the shifting VERY well, if I take a long trip, my left knee really hurts because of the pressure exerted by the prosthetic. I drove a C5 6 speed, and the clutch was MUCH softer, so my thoughts are with a softer clutch or an auto, maybe I won't hurt as much.

Don't get me wrong. Pain doesn't stop me from driving one bit. After all, a ZR1 is a ZR1! But I pay like hell the next couple days.

Right now, though, I think I want to stay with the ZR1, and am rehabing my knee (there are certain realities that makes this not a sure thing).

But as with any emotional decision, time usually yields the best answer, so I want to leave the offer on the table. Please pass the word. and I appreciate it.

Please help me keep this topic alive.

PS.... The Cobra, being a retired bracket racer is an auto. There is a certain sentimental attachment to it as well, because we (my daughters and I) were just finished restoring it when I went into the hospital (1995). As I stared at the Grim Reaper for several weeks, I promised we would finish the car, if I could just get out. My girls are now both married, and I think they might actually hurt me if I got rid of it. Actually, it has much less dollar value than the ZR1 as well.

Regards,
Art
http://www.greatvettes.org/ZR1Trade.htm
 

Ken

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Jan 30, 2001
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8,236
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1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Can you find a hydraulic release bearing that could be adjusted for easier release of the clutch (less pedal effort)?

I got one from Tilton, but neglected to look through their site for anyhting other than what I needed at the time. You can check them out at Tilton Racing. ;)

_ken :w
 

singledad_9

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189
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Glastonbury Ct USA
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Y2k vette, 73 under construction
Sounds like this is really a question for C4C5Specialist.

Art, we've all travelled down some rather rough roads. I honestly believe that my reward for those pot holes is the vette I now own. Your completion of the Shelby was a goal and promise that you kept with your daughters. Your reward is a awesome car.

The hydraulic slave cylinder is one valid option. Plus only drive it on the highway and avoid traffic. I had a Jensen with an extremely heavy clutch in Wash. DC traffic. After a year and a half, my thigh grew 2 inches bigger than the other one.

Good luck

Mike
 

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