Did you ever jones to buy a brand-spanking new C4 Corvette ZR1 but for whatever reason could never pull the trigger? Well, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe never-been-kissed Corvette ZR1 will give you another chance, while its price may feel like you're the one getting spanked.
Capri pants are those high-water jobs that can look awesome when wrapped around a curvaceous lady, and ridiculous when strapped on the hairy stilts of a dude. Similarly, yesterday's veddy British and extremely eighties Tickford Turbo Capri came with a price that looked ridiculous to more than 90% of you. God may be saving the Queen - for what I don't know, dessert? - but you may have just saved some poor Capri nut sixty-five large with that vote. Strong work!
Remember what that barn-find '78 Corvette with 13 miles looked like? Yeah, that's what happens when you buy something and then forget about it; a patina of dust settles on it (which is made up primarily of discarded skin cells and microscopic bug excreta, gross!) and fashion and technological advancement leave it in that very same dust. And while that ‘78 Pace Car was a perfect example, as far as time capsule Corvettes go, those late ‘70s C3s were about the poorest choices for time shifting you could pick.
But what if the Vette wasn't one that made you feel like Elvis on the toilet every time you drove it? What if it was at one time one of the fastest, most brutal cars General Motors had ever unleashed? One whose lineage included Lotus and Mercury Marine and whose ass was fat enough to qualify for Kardashian duty? And what if it was so fresh, it had never even been in the hands of a dealer prep monkey, and its original buyer refused to do anything more than just look at it?
That car exists, and it is today's 1990 Corvette ZR1 coupe which sports both see-thru and no see-thru roofs, and only 25 miles on its digital odometer.
For those of you with ADHD, the ZR1 was the range-topping Corvette from 1990 through 1995, and was the result of a collaboration between Chevy engineers who only spoke pushrod, and Lotus slider rulers who were fluent in DOHC. The resultant 5.7-litre 32-valve all-alloy V8 shared cylinder bore spacing with its L98 predecessor, but nothing else. GM at the time was too busy figuring out innovative uses for mousefur upholstery and how to fit two Big Gulps in a Cavalier's center console to actually build the new engine - dubbed LT5 - and outsourced that as well this time to Mercury Marine. Other attributes of the nearly double priced uber-Vette were a rear end goatsee incorporating squared-off versions of the traditional four round tail lamps, and suspension updates, also at the hands of Lotus engineering. Behind the 375-bhp eight sat a ZF 6-speed manual, the possessed by Satan Doug Nash 4+3 thankfully being a thing of the past.
This ZR1 still has its card-stock break-in warning label attached to that tranny's shifter, as well as every piece of plastic and cardboard protective material applied by the factory - back when Bush Sr was telling people to read his lips or something. Of course strip away all that and you're left with an interior that's barely a step above that Big Gulp-carrying Cavalier and sporting many of the same wobbly knobs and dreary grey buttons. The seats at least are leather-faced, and of course look brand new. The rest is all wonky, ill-fitting plastic bits and the aforementioned digital display jazzing things up.
The exterior, in arrest me red, looks better assembled and the injection molded plastic panels seem to have survived the years better than did their prone to crack fiberglass predecessors. The roof on the car in the pictures is not suffering a need for Just For Men, but is the tinted plastic roof panel still sporting its protective white plastic cling. The flag waving hub caps are included for the alloy wheels - massive 11" wide jobs in back - and the seller includes not just the expected companion literature, but also a Taco Bell binge's time on the pot worth of magazines featuring ZR1 tests.
And the damn thing has only ever done 25 miles. The seller claims it's 99.9% original, right down to the oil in the crankcase and air in the tires, with only the battery having required replacing with a non-factory unit. They say the only imperfection is a blistering of the TBI paint, which may indicate that the car has been started and run over the past 21 years, but they don't mention if the Goodyears are flatspotted or the A/C's gasses have escaped like ephemeral unicorn flatus.
They do say that this ZR1 is not for everybody, and with its $75,000 asking price, I can tell you that includes me - what they pay bloggers these days! But what if someone were so rabid a Corvette fanatic that they were seeking a museum-grade ZR1 to add to their collection, or say, museum? Despite what Madonna once sang, you can't re-up your virginity like a magazine subscription, and the first time that blister-packed fuse is popped from its pack and slotted into the fuse block, there's no going back. A car is only new once, and using this Vatte as it was originally intended - picking up chicks - will send its value plummeting making it simply a very nice ZR1, in the way a Kryptonite aflicted Superman is just a good looking dude in tights. And who wants that?
So, putting your inner-hoon aside and considering this Vette for what it is - a rare opportunity for a museum grade example of a very significant branch of the Corvette family tree - what do you think of that $75,000 price? Sure, it's no rich hooligan's Capri, but it's also likely the only opportunity that the appropriate audience will have for such a car. What do you think, should they jump at the deal? Or does that price make you jump out of your skin?
H/T to Rock517 for the hookup!
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