Corvette Advice sought....

nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,678
I am looking at getting a used Corvette, and have narrowed the choices down to a 1978-82 C3, a 1990-93 ZL1, or a 2000-03 Z06...

The Z06 would be a high mile car (over 75k miles) the ZR1 about 50k miles, and the C3 would be around 25k miles....

My budget is around 20k, and nice cars can be found for all three around that price point. I am leaning towards the ZL1 because that car represents the rebirth of performance not only for the Corvette, but for many other cars as well. It is also the rarest, and the car I have my sights on is a 1 of 3 built in that color/trim. Drawback to the ZL1/Z06 is that there is nothing I can do on these cars that won’t require a very competent mechanic.

The C3 cars are still fun, and most of the things the car will need I can handle on my own. I am looking for something to work on with my son, and something to enjoy with him as well. A C3... it will be another 20years before he will be able to see over the hood!

Any insight will be appreciated. I would ask over on the vette forums, but they tend to be biased towards what they have in their driveways...


Thanks
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Comments

  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 9,549
  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 2,505
    Forget the Vette, a Demon is where you want to be. >:)
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  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,678
    la2vegas wrote: »
    Forget the Vette, a Demon is where you want to be. >:)

    I tried...
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  • vmaxervmaxer Posts: 4,210
    Sorry sir, I can’t help. But to share and enjoy with your son you can’t go wrong. Best of luck.
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  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,448
    I'll be the last person to recommend a Chrysler product to anyone, but, you want a Viper.

    After that, the ZR-1 is the car to get for collecting, but the late C3 for driving.... Build it to can-am spec and have a ball.
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,709
    edited July 7
    Z1
  • John MegadethJohn Megadeth Posts: 1,868
    Get the C5.
  • charley95charley95 Posts: 637
    Having owned a couple through the years I'd say say the C3's are the worst. Total rattle traps. Not sure what the tire availability is for a ZR1 but it was getting thin back when an old friend sold his 94. 01 Z06"s were known crop dusters and had motors or rings replaced under warranty. If it were me I'd look for 94-96 LT1"s or LT4 cars. I'd stay away from the ZR1"s personally. The last one I owned was a 95 LT1 coupe and it was a pretty good car overall. Getting a C4 or C5 towards the end the generation is your best bet.
  • charley95charley95 Posts: 637
    Even though the 90-95 ZR1's were the king of the hill back in the day you don't want to have any engine issues with the LT5 motor. You could run into a real money pit and surpass the value of the car real quick. Whatever your looking for should be an easy find since the market is flooded with many to choose from.
  • DabutcherDabutcher Posts: 1,557
    Get a manual transmission. Way more fun in any year and more collectible and valuable. Peace. D
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  • mantismantis Posts: 14,897
    I don't think the year really matters much other then the fact when you look at it at first sight you get that tingle in your stomach. Thats when you know the year is right.
    Next thing to lookout is the condition of the interior and front end.
    Mileage is important for resale value and how many miles are left on the factory block.Someone who loved and took very good care of it is the one you want. Garage kept is highly important.
    The C3 was a special run, very nice classic body lines but gonna be tuff to find a really nice one unless your willing to pay top dollar.
    The 90-93 model years where that year they really made awesome changes to the body style. One of my personally favorites. Again same thing hard to find a really nice one for a good price. Your gonna pay top dollar for that special model.
    The Z06 is a monster and a killer platform for tuning. This is a racer and a beautiful model to boot.

    In my opinion on all your options, I can't see going wrong as they all have a special place in the car world to me anyway. I think if I was gonna buy one the Z06 is at the top of my list no question unless I found a special 93 I fell in love with.

    Good luck man, I'd love to go shopping with you as I love the hunt.
    Dan
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  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,072
    I have a c6 z51 suspension 07 ragtop. If you go non rag top, you can get a c6 05 or 06 for 20k when i bought my c6, i did drive an c5 and there was quite a difference on the ride. The late 70's modes and early 80's while they looked cool, they were not quick at all. Some even under 200 hp!. And the ride was quite jarring.

    My 07 is actually tame enough for every day driving if i wanted. We recently took it from IL yo MN and i averaged 30 to the gal with the top up and air on!. Shocked the heck out of us.

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  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,072
    edited July 7
    I almost forgot my 07 has the same hp as the 90's z1 (c3-c5 z06 actually) and the 08 has 20 or 30 more hp. You might as well go for an 05-08 for the same 20k and get the better riding and more features car unless you are in love with the other body style.

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  • verbverb Posts: 2,689
    I had a 96 LT4 that I really loved. Sold it and bought an SSR for the Mrs. The chassis stiffness on the C4 has a lot to be desired. In fact, I rarely removed the top for that reason.

    The newer Vettes are vastly better than previous ones, on many levels. Of course I love the looks of the C4, the LT4 was a rocket engine, but had to sell to make room for the SSR.

    Have fun looking around!
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  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,072
    Go drive a few. Thats half the fun of it!. l3esrv8gspm3.jpg
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  • Msabot1Msabot1 Posts: 2,088
    1965 L78 4 spd manual...Only Stingray worth having..
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,678
    edited July 7
    I would rather have a ‘65 fuelie coupe, but unless someone is willing to part with one for 20k, it won’t happen.
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  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 2,676
    For 20k, you could upgrade your Jag. :p

    l28gq25p4o5e.jpg
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,072
    My fave body style was 68 stingray 427 with the chrome sidepipes.
    https://classics.autotrader.com/classic-cars/1967/chevrolet/corvette/100947663
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  • charley95charley95 Posts: 637
    I’d buy the latest model I could afford. Not all year models are good Corvettes. Usually the last of a generation is a good rule of thumb. C3’s are crap IMHO but do look good. If C4 is in the budget you can’t go wrong with an LT4 car.
  • verbverb Posts: 2,689
    I've always really liked the 4 headlight vettes. My fave, 59!
    sksbnk4lv0ut.png
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  • NotaSuvNotaSuv Posts: 2,514
    edited July 7
    true work of art.....timeless styling... ^^^^
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,207
    I dunno John....re-think the criteria.

    You want a car that you both can actually work on.....so stay away from anything more computerized.

    If this will be a car eventually commissioned as his daily driver, look elsewhere. If this will be a car as his daily driver, then one must also consider safety. Young drivers are not the best drivers as we all know.

    Maybe, considering everything I just said, an SS Camaro or Cutlass 442 convertible, GTO, Buick GS, they have some metal to them and would make a better daily driver. Easier to work on too. He would also have room for some friends. Not the kind of car you would want to be taking curves at higher speeds, but that's the point. A vette begs you to step on it taking curves.

    Your talking 15 years from now the kid will actually be able to turn wrenches. Maybe a car 10-15 years older than today which puts it at the early 2000's- 2010 models. Not too many models in that time frame that you could actually work on yourself.
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,207
    Also...being in California, if your hip to foreign cars, an older Ferrari can be had fairly cheap. Working on it though may require some education but the cool factor for a kid is off the charts.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
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    Polk 500 surrounds
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    Music-

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    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,207
    Can't forget the Trans Am's too.....any kid would love them.

    https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/d/reduced-89-pontiac-trans-am-1/6618650387.html
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    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

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  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 1,793
    I've had a 73, 76, 94 and 02. All had positives and negatives to some degree.

    The only one I still have is the 76 and although it was one of the highest production runs of approx. 46,558 units, mine has the L82 engine which only 5,720 were produced.

    Not monster power but a head turner and a blast to go get some ice cream with the wife on a Saturday night.

    Each one I have personally worked on and the older ones are easier for my skill set.

    For me it is all about the lines these cars represent. The mechanics you can tweak here and there. Nothing like sitting in something that sits low and goes fast.

    I'll never forget, once a few years back, some kid about 10 years old or so at the ice cream place came up and said "excuse me sir, is that a Maserati" I just laughed.

    Once you find it, you'll know.

    If I may ask, what color/trim you looking for?
  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 2,542
    If you get a 80, 90's version be sure to have a lift. Why, because that is where it will spend most its time, on the lift. If you just want to be a weekend warrior any of them would do. If you don't drive it much, it will have less opportunity to break.


    My girlfriend has a 1976 she has owned since new. It is pretty reliable, but man is it slow with only a 350. It is a good looking ride though.
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  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,727
    tonyb wrote: »
    Also...being in California, if your hip to foreign cars, an older Ferrari can be had fairly cheap. Working on it though may require some education but the cool factor for a kid is off the charts.

    Which Ferrari's are cheap? Keeping an older one running is a maintenance nightmare from a knowledge, parts and cost stand point. A labor of extreme love I'd say, and you have to have deep pockets to dedicate.

    Older ones are finicky, temperamental and not well suited to be a daily. All the other points you made earlier go out the window. Ever looked up the cost of insurance on a Ferrari for a teenage driver?

    H9

    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 17,678
    Ferrari has been and always will be my favorite cars, but as H9 states, there is nothing at all cheap about them. Even a Mondial, which is currently the least expensive to buy, sells for 40k for anything approaching decent shape. and an engine service requires removing the engine from the car and will set you back 12 grand every 30k miles. Oil filters are a dealer only item and those are a couple hundred each, and need replacement every 1500 miles.


    I love Ferrari, but I will need to wait for one until I hit a very large lottery jackpot.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with PS Audio NuWave Phono converter, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Stradivari v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X1 two channel preamplifier Signed by Poppa himself, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 525a CD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Oppo UDP-205 Blu-ray , Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds

  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,727
    edited July 8
    If I ever hit the lottery I will own a late model 246 Dino Spyder! Sex on wheels, my top 3 favorite Ferrari eye candy!

    In early 2000's you could buy a Dino driver for $60-65K. Can't touch one now for less than $150-175K. Maybe a higher mileage driver for around $100K. Certified Restored trailer queens were fetching $225-250K

    Or this one for $295K

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/246-Dino-GT/223050995216?hash=item33eee01610:g:bLsAAOSwKb1bQZ1q&vxp=mtr

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
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