At $7,300, Does This 1990 Chevy Corvette Tell Us It’s Time To Buy a C4 Corvette?

Nice Price or No Dice: 1990 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice C4 may not be the most desirable Corvette model of the moment, but with its 6-speed stick and reasonably low miles, it may be one of the best values. Let’s see if it’s actually worth it.

First, rewind one day: If you’re going to own an older car that has questionable long-term reliability and iffy parts availability, then it very well better counter those foibles by being damn interesting. Yesterday’s 1987 Sterling 825SL was interesting. But damn interesting? The Sterling, aka Rover, aka Out of Business, had historical relevance. But like that wooly mammoth diorama you pondered at the museum, would you really want to make space for it at home? That question plagued the Sterling and was a significant contributor to the car’s $10,850 asking price falling in a 75 percent No Dice loss.

Owning an older car is less of a headache when parts are available and there’s a support community to answer questions about repairs and offer a sense of camaraderie. One such model that has this in spades is the Chevy Corvette.

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Photo: Craigslist

Not all Corvettes are created equal, and the C4 edition (1984 to 1996) is one that seems yet to bask in the warm glow of universal adulation. It’s not that they are bad cars, it’s just that compared with both earlier and later cars, they may seem less appealing. By dint of that association — however unfair it might be — values on the C4 editions have dropped well into four-figure territory.

Take for example this 1990 Corvette coupe. This car looks to be in solid shape and sports both a 350 horsepower L98 V8 and a six-speed manual gearbox. That’s a decent driveline and one that should make the ’Vette an entertaining drive.

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Photo: Craigslist
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The car is one of 16,016 coupes built in 1990 and enjoys the interior redesigned that year to incorporate a driver’s airbag. That interior looks OK, with the exception of the driver’s seat. The upholstery shows significant signs of wear and tear, including the failure of the leather on the left-hand bolster and what appears to be a lot of denim dye transfer across all of the panels.

A funny thing (or maybe not) about this generation of Corvette is that the heavily bucketed seats, along with the cabin’s high sills and low dash make egress a struggle for the car’s current prime audience — dad-bodied middle-age men. Come on, guys, you can do it!

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Photo: Craigslist

The exterior of the car presents in better shape, with its Bright Red paint still looking shiny enough and the body panels not way out of whack. The car still has its factory 17-inch alloy wheels and those seem to be in excellent shape. Another plus is the smoked glass roof that currently rides in the boot and can be swapped out for the body-color panel as the mood hits.

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Photo: Craigslist

The seller describes the car as having a mere 76,000 miles and being in “beautiful condition.” The ad further claims that the car “Runs & shifts great” and has been “very well kept, adult driven.” The title is clean and the car has its tags up to date.

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Photo: Craigslist

The asking price is $7,300 which brings us back to the whole question of what C4s really are worth these days. While you’re debating that in the comments, take a moment to consider this particular car at that $7,300 price and vote on whether it seems a good deal.

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What do you think, is this ’Vette worth that much as it sits? Or, does this C4 still have some rungs to drop on the ladder — price-wise — before it becomes a deal?

You decide!

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San Francisco Bay Area, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

This is a Corvette you drive, and enjoy, rather than collect.

It’s very cheap to modify, and very easy to beat on to your heart’s content. This is the last generation of ‘Vette to have a transmission directly behind the engine. C5-7s may be more “balanced” with their rear-mounted transaxles, but they are far more expensive to maintain. And far more costly when they break. Later C4s like this one, which were built with assembly adhesives, have the best build quality of the run. Admittedly, that’s a qualified term.

And hey, if you’re crazy enough to think these are going to be big money in the near future, you can save the original parts and slowly refurbish the worst, like the seats, and modify this ‘Vette with any and all kinds of bolt-on mods. And in the near term, if you save everything, it may be worth more for the whole kit’n’kaboodle.

Nice Price.