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looking at buy my first corvette and need some help

mikeman

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
56
Location
New York
Corvette
'93 red coupe
im looking to buy a corvette soon, but iam not sure about the prices, but i did come across one that i like and wasnt sure if it was priced fair

it is a 1987 coupe
-two tops
-43000 miles
-4 speed manual
-zr1 wheels
-pioneer cd player
-some performance mods on the car are "slp cold air intake, Fidanza aluminum flywheel, hypertech chip, a new exhaust and low restriction catalitic converter with front y pipe"



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CORVETTE-BLACK-1987-EXCELLENT-CONDITION-RARE-4-3-TRANS_W0QQitemZ200012999314QQihZ010QQcategoryZ6168QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

MoeJr

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2002
Messages
797
Location
Londonderry NH USA
Corvette
Vetteless
Thats pretty steep IMHO. I saw today an 88 or 89 for sale up here that looked good from the road and the price on the window was 6700. I did not stop and look at it.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,240
Location
Northern Indiana
Corvette
1987 Z52 Black Convertible
It might be a little on the high side, but it does have a lot going for it. The miles are low, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It sounds like its highly optioned, and looks like it has dual power seats. I could not see from the pictures if the odometer stated 43xxx miles.
 

MoeJr

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2002
Messages
797
Location
Londonderry NH USA
Corvette
Vetteless
Mike I see you're in NY. If you would like I could look at this car for you if you're interested.

:bar
 

racsluos

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
82
Location
North Vancouver, BC
Corvette
1987 Gold Coupe
Looks like it has a "carbon fiber" dash kit. If it was installed with adhesive and you are interested in returning the car to a more stock interior at any point, it can be a very tough job.

fyi.
 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
Just to give you something to go by, I bought my 88 five years ago for $11K. Almost all options, totally stock, 32K miles. It's still in excellent condition with 42K miles today and I'd be lucky to get $8K for it.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

mikeman

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
56
Location
New York
Corvette
'93 red coupe
Ok, i have another question, would a car like this be cheaper towards the end of the year or would it stay the same?
 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
I don't believe you'll see any change in the price at the end of the year. It's basically depreciated (it's a 19 year old car). It's not like the dealers trying to get rid of their stock in anticipation of getting new model year ones in. If it's really something you have your heart set on maybe the seller will come down in price after a couple months. There's still a lot of C4s out there. It's really all a matter of what you want, not what any of us can convince you of. For me I wanted one totally unmodified. If you want one that's already got the mods done that you want to do then maybe that is someting for you to consider.

Good hunting!!

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

mikeman

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
56
Location
New York
Corvette
'93 red coupe
thanks for the help from everyone, I dont think im ready to buy my first vette yet, i think i need to learn more about buying them first, but if anyone know of one for sale in the ny area ( i live about 90ish miles north of nyc) i would very happy to know about it the only things on the car i would want is it to be a manul and possibly have a cd player in it.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,240
Location
Northern Indiana
Corvette
1987 Z52 Black Convertible
Baldie88 said:
I don't believe you'll see any change in the price at the end of the year. It's basically depreciated (it's a 19 year old car)....

Im gonna go on a limb, but if anything the older C4's should start to appreciate. Especially the 86 verts since they are considered all pace cars, and the other highly optioned C4's. I know mine is one of around a thousand with the Delco Bilstein shocks, and the other options it has, heated mirrors, dual powered seats etc etc.
 

OldCorvetteFan

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
117
Location
Northwest Illinois
Corvette
Black 95 6 spd Coupe (Sold); 2011 GS
Mike -

Here are some specific inspection items that I can recommend. These are pretty much off the top of my head, so don't think of it as a complete list.


1. Quality of paint. Expect rock chips, but look for mismatched panel colors, which may indicate body work.

2. Weatherstripping. C4 W/S is expensive, and is sometimes difficult to install properly. The hatch W/S is intentionally loose at the back, so no need to worry about that. Look for cracks and missing chunks. Even when new, the W/S looks kind of folded and wrinkled, so don't let that throw you.

3. There was an exterior styling change in '91. Some owners of earlier C4's will install the later front and rear pieces if the car sustains damage (or sometimes just because they like that look better). If that's important to you, you'll want to keep it in mind.

4. Power antenna. These have a tendency to not go all the way down. However, the antenna can usually be persuaded to go down with a little help from your hand. Check this out to make sure it goes up w/the radio on, and down w/the radio off.

5. Wheels. Right wheels? Right size tires? There are several combinations, although '89's and up should have standard 17" wheels. How do the tires look? How long since last alignment? How do the wheels look? Curb rash? Oh yeah - ask the owner if he has the wheel locks installed, and if he has the wheel lock.

6. Brake dust. If it's been on a recent drive, there will be some brake dust on the wheels. Is it relatively uniform, or does either side have more build up than another? Speaking of brake dust, does it appear that the owner keeps the wheels clean? Brake dust will eat through the clear coat, and can make the wheels impossible to clean back up.

7. Suspension. Any obvious broken or bent parts? If the car is equipped with Bilstein shocks, it isn't unusual to see oil on the bottom of the shock. It shouldn't be a grease pit, however. If the car has more than 50k miles, you may want to consider replacing the shocks (~$300 for a set of non-FX3 Bilsteins).

8. Exhaust. Stock exhaust, cat-back replacement, or headers? The stock exhaust is the quietest. Many of the aftermarket systems introduce a resonant drone at highway speeds, so you want to note that during your test drive.

9. Engine compartment. Condition of hoses, belts, underhood rubber, and wiring. Early C4's had wiring that will crack/harden over time due to engine compartment temps (I'll have to find the reference for that - I don't have it at my fingertips). How does it look? Does it appear reasonably intact, or does it look like mice sleep in it? Wiring issues are tough gremlins to solve, and you don't want to buy somebody else's wiring nightmare. How about fluid levels and smells? Sniff the AT, PS fluids, and take a gander at the coolant overflow tank.

10. Engine. You'll want this checked out by your pre-purchase inspection. However, you can learn something by removing the oil filler cap and looking closely in the head. Repeat the smell test here. Burned smells or evidence of sludge may be a warning sign.

11. Lights. Do all the lights work? Do the headlamp pods come up together, or do you have C4 lazy eye? Check the interior lights as well (especially the dash lights).

12. Interior. Carpet and seat wear. Driver's side bolsters typically wear out. Later C4's had a rubber coating (I don't remember when it started) on the doors, and console called Dulco or something like that. When it wears, it comes off. There are some references on how to restore it, but I haven't tried any of them. Replacing the Dulco upper console with a reproduction part runs about $150 for the part. Does the A/C work, and does it blow cold air where you expect it to?

13. Radio/CD/Cassette. If you really like listening to your tunes while you drive, then you can plan on replacing the stock stereo with something else. I don't play the radio in mine (the sound of the car is all the music I need), but if you invest in repairs, it will run $150 - $600 (or maybe more if the head unit needs work).

14. Undercarriage. Look for the typical suspects - leaks around seals and such like that. If you have to replace the pinion or transmission rear seal, you'll have to remove the exhaust system to get to it. Of course, if you do that, then you can add C-Beam strengtheners from ZFDoc.

15. Targa top. If you have a blue or bronze clear top, be sure to look for cracks and/or crazing. Crazing will occur if the car has been stored outside, as the plastic reacts to UV radiation (do a google search on crazing). Crazing looks crappy, but doesn't affect the strength of the top. Cracks, on the other hand, may be cause to replace the top (depends - some people have repaired their cracks, and it never gets bigger - but it still looks like crap). A replacement top from a quality source will run about $700+.


I'm assuming you plan to spend some money for a pre-purchase inspection of the potential car. Find someone that has a C4 that you trust to go with you.

Look at lots of cars - I spent a year looking for mine, and learned a lot of the things I mentioned along the way.

IMHO, if you find the right C4 - a well maintained, solid example that has the equipment you're looking for - then it may be well worth the investment. I'm not saying that this particular car is worth $12k, but if you find the car you want, in the right color and options, then you might consider paying a premium for it.

I spent about a year looking for my Vette. Take your time and enjoy the search.

Good Luck!

Steven
 

SleekStreak

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2006
Messages
16
Location
Western Washington
Corvette
1999 Pewter Roadster
Mike,

There are lots of folks on this site that know Corvettes better than I (I bought my first, a '99, fully loaded, 6-speed roadster with 39k on the clock a little over a year ago), but after looking for a long time, I happened across a deal on my present car that I couldn't refuse. My advice: look at as many different cars as you can, not only from the standpoint of being a prospective buyer, but also from an educational one. You'll benefit immensely from this for several reasons.

First, it will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. There are a lot of 'Vettes out there that have 'been rode hard and put away wet.' You'll learn how to recognize these and steer away from them. You'll also see how wide a margin that exists in the quality of what's available.

Second, don't be in a rush. There are enough nice rides to go around, and it will pay off every time you drive it.

Third, do a little research (web sites like this one are invaluable) and find out what the trouble spots are and look for them. That's hard to do when buying on eBay!

Looking at C4s, the differences between the early and later cars are quite pronounced. In my search, for example, I wanted a '92 or newer coupe, equipped with an LT1 and manual transmission, rather than the old L98 engine and the junk 4 + 3 (or automatic) gearbox. Looking at roadsters, I was drawn to '94 or later because they have glass rear windows.

Decide on what you want and stick to it. I lusted after a manual transmission roadster since I was in puberty, knowing that was the only thing that would satisfy me. In my search, however, I came across an absolutely cherry '93 40th Anniversary car, a coupe with an automatic that I almost went for. Only at the last minute did I appreciate that I would be doing myself a disservice by getting anything less than what I had my heart set on.

I always liked the looks of the C4 exterior (still do) and was looking for a C4 when I came across my C5. They are still great looking rides.

Enjoy the search - when it culminates it will be ecstacy!
 

mikeman

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
56
Location
New York
Corvette
'93 red coupe
thanks OldCorvetteFanfor the buying advice, its gonna be really helpfull for getting a c4, and thanks SleekStreak for the searching tips, I know what you mean and i have been doing that only ive been looking at c5s so im sort of at a loss when it comes to c4s.
 

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