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Used Corvettes

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ed124

Guest
HI!! I was referred to this address as a good place to get input & advice. I am interested in buying a Corvette (always wanted one, never had one) as a toy. I am looking for something not too expensive, fun to drive (probably would be driven 5K+/- a year) and would hold its value. I find that I can get a 1986-93 for about $12k or under that seems to have reasonable miles and stated to be "in good/excellent condition, on the internet classifieds and eBay auctions. Are there some desireable models to own in this age range, and what might be some of the negatives of vettes in this age range? I have been told to look for something pre-1970, but am not interested in spending that much $'s Any input you can share will be appreciated..... thanks
 

fastglass95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2001
Messages
208
Location
St. Peters, MO.
Corvette
1996 LT4 coupe + 2004 Z06 Z16
Welcome,
I'm not sure where you are located, but a "convertible" Vette is always more fun than a coupe (my opinion) something to keep in mind. Also hold there value a little better.

Look for the book "Corvette Black Book", it has all the info you could want on options and colors and production numbers so you know what to look for. Many book stores have it, it's small, about 8" by 4" in size and about 130 pages long. Good info!
 

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,756
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
Ed,

Welcome to the Corvette Action Center. You've asked a popular question, and hopefully I can help shed some light.

Contrary to popular belief, the C4 generation is an extremely good generation to find good buys. This particular generation although not as...visually appealing as the Shark years, is better engineered for better all around performance (there's no way in hell you can beat the eyeball-sucking torque of a '69 big block!!:eek ). Acceleration, handling and fuel consumption were excellent in that generation. As a result, you can pick up an excellent performance car that will be very reliable for you in the long run vs. a pre-1970 model that (if not fully restored), could be problematic and more costly to repair down the road. (I could be wrong here, so you Shark folks...just put down your rotten vegetables before hucking them at me. :D )

With that said, keep in mind that each year, Corvette Engineers worked hard at addressing quality and performance issues. Each year, there were decent improvements in both areas. Of course, the '94 - '96 model years saw their greatest advances in quality due to Chevrolet's implementation of stricter quality control regulations on the production line in Bowling Green, KY.

Along with improvements in quality and performance, some options changed from '86 - '96.

I recommend that you run through the '86 - '96 specifications here on the Corvette Action Center, or just <a href="../specs/1986.html">click here</a> for the 1986 Specifications page. From there, you can scroll through each model year, one after the other. I also suggest that you pick up a copy of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0933534493/104-6366133-0896715">The Corvette Black Book</a> by Michael Antonick. This is an extremely valuable pocket guide that you can use as reference and take with you when you go to look at used Corvettes. Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Welcome Ed! Keith is right, I am a little partial to the Sharks but I too am in the C4 market. My opinion is that now is probably one of the best times to buy one of the earlier C4's. My reasons are twofold. First, the prices for the older ones seem to be nearly bottomed out (according to Trader and the Corvette Fever price guide) and once a Corvette bottoms out, the only way the prices go is up, up, up. Also, and this is strictly my opinion, I believe that the release of the C6 in the not to distant future will have a very beneficial effect on the older C4 cars, much like the C5 debut did on the later model Sharks (say 78-82). Cars that may have just seemed old to some suddenly become nostalgic in a sense because they are two bodstyles away from current cars. As I said, that last part is only my opinion.

I will caution you about the onset of Corvette fever. Be careful when you start looking and go in armed with all of the knowledge you can possibly take. There are a lot of Vettes out there needing lot of help, some beyond help, so be careful. If at all possible, take a Vette person with you as an impartial expert. If you have any doubts about a car, walk away and don't worry, another will come along soon enough. The key to a happy Corvette purchase is education.

Keep us posted and ask anything you can think of. The C4 guys here really know there stuff and even Shark guys like myself are glad to help.

Good luck in your search!
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Welcome,

You will love it here. I just got my 84 for $6k(69,000miles). I saw a 92 today for $12k with 59,000 miles on it. They are out there. I agree with sharkey totally about the bottoming out and time to buy. I agruably:argue have the worst year c4 and I still love it. It is, after all a labor of love. I fell in love with the body style, but any vette that chose me would have been fine. I did see some that were more than I could handle, workwise, so I passed them up. Just like being in love, you'll know when you find the right one.

Good luck and post pix when you find her.:love
 
C

c4ever

Guest
Boy, that is a tough question. I love my 85 for everyday driving in any weather and the L98 is such a sweet engine. After 75k she runs better everyday. I do have to admit that my 82 which I just bought is soooooooo good looking:s C3 is the best looking ride on the road.:cool :cool
I agree with the others. They're all great beautiful cars. The key is to find a solid, straight, clean car. I really don't care about mileage as much as the way the miles were put on. For the price your targeting you can find a super C3 or C4.
Now you've got me thinking about that 72 I have an itch for:beer :J :dance
Good hunting. You'll fall in love with each one you look at.
 
E

ed124

Guest
Used Corvette

Thanks for the quick in-put.... you guys are great. I appreciate the information. I am now focusing in on a 89 convert with 32K miles, said to be in pristine condition. Its more than I want to pay, but might be worth it. Is a Greenwood trim on it a good or bad thing in the long run?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Couple things to keep in mind... may or may not affect your decision.

When people buy used Corvettes, especially as they get older, they prefer stock ones. Something with an appearance package usually gets less at resale time. This can be an advantage for you now and a disadvantage later.

Also, if you're planning any track time with your new Vette, you might want a coupe. I believe you need roll cages in convertibles for most events (I know the drag strip I frequent and the track days I've attended do). This is one reason why I got a coupe.

Whatever you get, you'll enjoy it. I'm still trying to get my "new" 86 on the road (soon! just in time for winter :( ) but even just looking at it in the garage gives me a thrill.
 

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