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Fix up or trade?

RV Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
190
Location
Nampa, ID
Corvette
1986 Silver/Gray Coupe
I have an ’86 coupe that I bought four years ago. It only had 55,000 on it then and now it hads 70,000. It runs great and I just started driving it to work every day. I figured if I have it I should enjoy it all the time instead of just on the weekends or occasional evening runs. So now I'll be putting 10 - 12,000 miles on it a year. It runs great, uses a little oil, a quart every 1000 miles or so. The interior is in really good shape. I put a new carpet kit in it about two years ago and the rest is still very nice.

The body is in really good shape, no signs of any prior damage but it needs paint. I figured about $4,000 to $5,000 would fix that as I am not after a show car. I just want it to look like it did when it was new. I got two quotes today. The low was $3,500 and the high was $6,000. It also needs tires, brakes, and weather striping.. I have been considering a new exhaust system and replacing the shocks. So if I do all of this I’ll be putting around $7,000 in it.

My concern is what else then happens. It appears to have been well taken care of but I really don’t know about the maintenance it got for those first 55,000 or how hard it was pushed. I know this can vary a lot but what can I expect from engine life?

So my dilemma is do I put $7,000 or so in it or do I take that money add in what an engine rebuild would run and trade up to a newer one? After waiting 30 years or so for my first Vette I won't be without one. I also start wondering about things like the digital dash and suspension components. My other problem is I really like this one.

I would really appreciate some advice from anyone that has worked through such a decision. Thanks.
 

G Winter

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
2,177
Location
NW Iowa
Corvette
1990 red convert 6 sp
Go for a newer C4, you will have the same feel, just not the same dash.
I believe your thinking on the cost of repairs verses a newer lower milage vette is sound.
I have had my 90 for 3 yrs now and am thinking about upgrading a few yrs. The only problem may be to find a 6 speed convertible again. I don't really want a slush box and after having a convertible I want one back.

Glenn
:w
 

BlackNBlue95

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
589
Location
Downers Grove, IL
Corvette
1995 AdmiralBlue LT4/A4
I have an ’86 coupe that I bought four years ago. It only had 55,000 on it then and now it hads 70,000. It runs great and I just started driving it to work every day. I figured if I have it I should enjoy it all the time instead of just on the weekends or occasional evening runs. So now I'll be putting 10 - 12,000 miles on it a year. It runs great, uses a little oil, a quart every 1000 miles or so. The interior is in really good shape. I put a new carpet kit in it about two years ago and the rest is still very nice.

The body is in really good shape, no signs of any prior damage but it needs paint. I figured about $4,000 to $5,000 would fix that as I am not after a show car. I just want it to look like it did when it was new. I got two quotes today. The low was $3,500 and the high was $6,000. It also needs tires, brakes, and weather striping.. I have been considering a new exhaust system and replacing the shocks. So if I do all of this I’ll be putting around $7,000 in it.

My concern is what else then happens. It appears to have been well taken care of but I really don’t know about the maintenance it got for those first 55,000 or how hard it was pushed. I know this can vary a lot but what can I expect from engine life?

So my dilemma is do I put $7,000 or so in it or do I take that money add in what an engine rebuild would run and trade up to a newer one? After waiting 30 years or so for my first Vette I won't be without one. I also start wondering about things like the digital dash and suspension components. My other problem is I really like this one.

I would really appreciate some advice from anyone that has worked through such a decision. Thanks.


As a C4 Owner... I would sell and buy a C5!:cool
-=Rick
 

lone73

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2003
Messages
456
Location
Texas
Corvette
'73 4spd coupe, '04 6 speed coupe
If it were me... and I was going to make a driver out of it I'd just keep it and drive it. You probably won't get much for it considering its needs. If you want a sunday cruiser - trade it. JMHO.
good luck
.
.
.
 

MarkC

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
11
Location
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Corvette
1998 Coupe
I'd sell and get an LT1 car in good condition. They can be had in my area fo $10-13,000 no problem, $15-16,000 for a really nice one.
 

jrzvette

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
287
Location
NJ
Corvette
1969 RED SB COUPE, 1993 BLACK ZF6 COUPE
Since you're planning to use it as a daily driver I would hold off on the paint job (unless your paint is really really bad). While it's nice to have a good looking car, paint isn't going to make the car any safer or more reliable. Put the money into maintanence items, hold off on the paint job, save the rest of your budget for necessities and enjoy the car.
 

Achilles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
447
Location
Back in Sunny California!
Corvette
1982 CE, 03 MY Z06
Speaking from personal experience since I own two C4's, a C3 & a C5, don't invest your money into a car that already has very little market value. The odds are against you recouping on your investment especially on a Corvette model that gets very little respect as far as the popular market value is concerned. Now if this car has some sentimental value or you feel it is a car you plan to keep for a very long time, then I say go ahead and sink your money into it. Otherwise I say spend your money on a newer model.

Something to consider - That extra $7000 will get you a lot more car for your money in another vehicle than it will putting it into your '86.
 

RV Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
190
Location
Nampa, ID
Corvette
1986 Silver/Gray Coupe
Thanks everybody. I still considering what to do but I am leaning towards spiffing this one up. I am going to go drive a C5 though.
 

navy2kcoupe

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
799
Location
West Central FL and SE Mass.
Corvette
2000 Navy Blue Coupe A4 Z51
You'll be SORRRRRRRY! Once you drive a C5..........YOU'RE HOOKED!
Andy :)
 
S

Sunstroked

Guest
Tough call. I use my 92 as a DD if the weather is OK. I've put around 3k into mine to bring it up to snuff since buying it 1 1/2 yrs ago. I agree with many that the C-5 has newer technology, styling and will bring better resell prices. That said, my latest mod was a full VB&P sport suspension package. I took it off the jackstands yesterday, every bushing and joint was replaced along with springs and shocks. What a difference in ride. Tight, lower, and really feels like a sports car now. I guess I'll just have to suffer with the outdated C-4. I can deal with that!:grinshot
 

rapril

Active member
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Messages
34
Location
Maine
Corvette
1996 Polo Green LT1
You're going to take a hit on depreciation if you buy a C5 or even an LT1 that will rival or surpass the $7,000. If you pay $25,000 for a C5 today, you may be selling it for $8,000 in ten years. The bottom line is you are probably going to put more money in than the monetary value you can get back from just about any C4 or C5 you purchase today. If you love the car, keep it and if it were me I'd do everything but the paint or I would explore cheaper paint options that may not pass as show car quality but would get me through another 3-5 years before considering a true corvette $5,000 paint job. Go for the paint job when the car starts appreciating and you're not using it as a daily driver.
 

aboatguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Messages
424
Location
Slidell Louisiana
Corvette
AI head/cam/intake, Vig converter, D44, EM LTs etc
I believe:

Most cars are not an investment.
If you like your C4 spiff it up.
If its a DD I't will never be a show car .




When I bought my C4, I actually went out to buy a C5 vert but saw how cheaply I could get into the low milage great condition 95 vert. So I used my C5 money to buy the C4, and had enough money to mod the car and still be under the purchase price of the C5 I drove out to buy.

Now, just a few years later and my wife wants me to get the C5 (the prices have dropped enough that I can afford to buy a C5 keep my C4 and mod the C5 too) But I kind of like the C6 but I don't know whether I like it enough to sell my C4.

So IMO do what you want, asking a bunch of strangers really won't help your decision and what ever you do don't think of your car as an investment.

Mike
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,547
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
I have had my 90 for 3 yrs now and am thinking about upgrading a few yrs. The only problem may be to find a 6 speed convertible again. I don't really want a slush box and after having a convertible I want one back.

Glenn
:w
Here ya go Glenn!!!! And they'll take a trade!!:upthumbs

CLICK!!
 

Achilles

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
447
Location
Back in Sunny California!
Corvette
1982 CE, 03 MY Z06
They're really proud of that one, aren't they?

Seems priced pretty high for a car with that many miles.

Check around and most of all be patient. There are good deals out there.

I paid 32k for my '03 MY Z06 w/ 14k miles on it still under factory warr. Verts are generally priced about $1000 above a Z.
 

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