If there's one nugget of wisdom I can impart on anyone, it's to never be afraid of a challenge if there's an enormous upside upon completion. Case in point: This nearly new 2015 Chevy Corvette Z51, that's available for almost half price because it needs some frankly basic work done. This may be the best bang for the buck, ever.
This 2015 Chevy Corvette Z51 is everything a modern supercar aspires to be. Its 460 horsepower V8 and 7-speed manual transmission get it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds. That's not just quick, that's half-million-dollar Ferrari quick. And considering that's not even the car's Z06 final form, it's an insane number for what's essentially the base model. This car, however, needs a bit of work since it looks like it's been brushed by the business end of a bag of bricks. But at an asking price of a hair less than $39,000, it's a gamble worth taking if you can put in the leg (and arm) work.
The barely 1,000 mile, fully loaded car is bruised, but the underpinnings look to be unscathed, and the only damage that the car sustained was to the rigid carbon fiber and aluminum exterior. Here's an excerpt from the description:
We recently purchased it from an insurance company with very easy accident damage. Mainly this Corvette needs a left fender, left door, left headlight, left taillight, left rocker molding and cosmetic repairs to the hood, and left quarter panel.
On a good note; the rest of this Corvette is in great shape. The interior is complete and very clean . The airbags did NOT Deploy!!!
This Corvette lot drives and there is no visible damage to the motor or the drive train. The frame appears to be in great shape as well.
This Corvette is loaded and comes with the 3LT Package, Z51 package, Navigation, Memory Driver Seat, Heated & Ventilate Front Leather Seats, Rear View Camera, BOSE Premium Audio, Heads-Up Display, Keyless Entry and Keyless Start, not to mention a powerful 6.2L 460hp V8 Motor with 7-Speed Manual Transmission
If the car doesn't have frame damage and you're not concerned about future resale value, it's a serious no-brainer. Even with the carbon fiber/aluminum construction and the fact that the model is only at a maximum of one year old, I managed to find a fender, door, and rear quarter panel, under $1,300, combined on eBay. With paintwork and body work, you could spend well under five figures on repairs, and have a brand new Corvette that beats the pants off anything for miles around. Do it, do it, and do it again. I'm all over this.
Based on the history of the VIN and pictures of the car its original crashed state, there may be more damage than stated, with the driver's side airbag being deployed. For anyone looking into this car, make sure to do a thorough inspection of the frame and suspension components, underneath the visibly damaged panels. It is a salvage car after all, but with cars like these, it pays to be meticulous.
(H/T to 62imperialcrown, SJULawStudent, v8RWD4doorSTICK, hudsonvalley, SidewaysOnDirt)
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.