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  1. #1
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    Default ZR-1 Purchasing Advice

    Hello ZR-1 fanatics,

    I am considering the opportunity to join your illustrious ranks, but would like some of your advice first.

    Although new to the forums here, I am an old Vette fan who loved the C4 when it first came out. I remember hanging the 4 page C&D foldout on my wall as a kid. Now a friend of a friend is selling a '90 ZR-1 with 28k and red on red coloring. No mods. One accident - low speed truck hit the Vette's door when making a left turn from a stop. Both tops. Supposedly runs well and looks good, but it's across the country, so I won't get to see it.

    The owner wants $22k delivered to CA, or $20k if I make my own arrangements. I don't relish the $1-2k cost of transporting it and could drive it, but that's putting a quick 3000 miles on this baby. I also don't care for red. I would much rather have a more subtle color. I'll take dash over flash every day.

    My wife is ready to kill me, but has relented to giving up $15k and I think I can talk her into $18. Now for the questions:
    • Have any of you brought a ZR-1 into California? What's involved in passing smog? or registering it?
    • Should I drive it or truck it? How much is the 3k miles worth?
    • What do you think of the price? I've been doing a lot of research. KBB is $17.8-$21k depending on how you get it (I prefer wholesale ;-). ZR-1's on Ebay almost never reach their reserve price. When they do it's usually for a price below blue book. NADA prices are similar to KBB, and the few other ZR-1 owners I've contacted, who are looking to sell, tell me it is very definitely a buyers market.
    • What can I expect to pay for insurance and up keep? This will be a 3rd car (making the $$ justification tougher) and not a daily driver. I'll probably drive ~3000 miles a year and only when the sun is out.
    • Lastly, the baited question . . .
      A friend ('71 350 drop-top) suggests skipping the ZR-1 and putting the same money into an older C5. "Almost just as fast, better appointments, more comfortable, more space, nicer ride," etc. etc. he says. What do you guys think? Which is the better car and why?
    Sorry for running on a bit. This is a sizeable chunk of change to spend on a toy, and I want to have my ducks in a row. But in the end, what a great toy to have, right ?!?

    Thanks for any help and advice,

    -Burt

  2. #2
    ZR-1 Purchasing Advice 6 Shooter's Avatar
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    Default We have eyes every where !

    If you want someone from CAC to check it out for you . . . I'm sure they will. It has been done before . . . we like doing stuff like that . . .

    Later . . . . . .
    6 Shooter

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thxalot
    • Lastly, the baited question . . .
      A friend ('71 350 drop-top) suggests skipping the ZR-1 and putting the same money into an older C5. "Almost just as fast, better appointments, more comfortable, more space, nicer ride," etc. etc. he says. What do you guys think? Which is the better car and why?
    Obviously your friend has never driven a ZR-1.

    I drove a Z06 and a ZR-1..... I wound up with the real sports car. C5 has no soul. Chevy sold out.
    Some cars

  4. #4
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    Hi

    I live in San Francisco if the car is around this area I would be happy to look at it for you. I also own a 1990 ZR1 that I just bought about 2 months ago. I do know a little about the car and do have a couple of shop the work only with vettes. I can help you bring it to them. As for the drive If the car is in good condition I don't see any reason for it not to be able to drive back east. These car are made to run. i have 118K on mine and it runs great except for a little peoblem that was fix for not too much money. If you can buy it for 18K that would be a good deal. These car are getting pretty rare and in my opinion have more porsonality then the C5. Good luck with your choice.

  5. #5
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    '00 Torch Red Cpe, 6spd, '90 Red/Saddle ZR-1 #279
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    Default

    Welcome to the CAC, thxalot! I hope (and I'm sure we all do) that you'll be frequenting this forum as a ZR-1 owner in the near future. I just completed my search a few weeks ago, and got lots of good advice about these cars from several members of the forum:

    Considering purchase of '90 ZR-1, have Q's...


    Quote Originally Posted by thxalot
    Should I drive it or truck it? How much is the 3k miles worth?
    That's an awfully long drive, but I doubt increasing the mileage from 28K to 31K will hurt the value of the car that much-- 31K is still pretty low mileage for a 14 year-old car. Probably a bigger concern is: Do you want to drive that far? One thing I personally like about driving it back (aside from getting to spend some quality time with your new baby ) is that you have the chance to check it out before you seal the deal.


    What do you think of the price? I've been doing a lot of research. KBB is $17.8-$21k depending on how you get it (I prefer wholesale ;-). ZR-1's on Ebay almost never reach their reserve price. When they do it's usually for a price below blue book. NADA prices are similar to KBB, and the few other ZR-1 owners I've contacted, who are looking to sell, tell me it is very definitely a buyers market.
    Yes, it is a buyer's market, but I would say that $20K for 28K miles is still a pretty good deal, assuming the car is in good shape. That point is important-- low mileage isn't everything. Just take a look at the discussion of the car I looked at first in the thread above to see that. They wanted only $20K for a 13,500-mile car, but I didn't feel it was even worth that much. BTW, again assuming a good-quality car, in my experience, the KBB pricing was a little low on the bottom end, and didn't accurately reflect the increased value for lower mileage ZR-1s.


    What can I expect to pay for insurance and up keep? This will be a 3rd car (making the $$ justification tougher) and not a daily driver. I'll probably drive ~3000 miles a year and only when the sun is out.
    My ZR-1 is my third vehicle as well. Since I also will not be driving it more than 3-4000 miles per year, and since I see it as more of a collector's item, I have insured it with what my agent calls "Exhibition Auto" coverage. Costs a little over $200/year, and stipulates it cannot be regularly used (such as going to/from work every day), must be kept in a locked garage, and cannot exceed 4000 miles/year or 1000 miles/trip. Otherwise, it would have been around $1200/year.


    Lastly, the baited question . . .
    A friend ('71 350 drop-top) suggests skipping the ZR-1 and putting the same money into an older C5. "Almost just as fast, better appointments, more comfortable, more space, nicer ride," etc. etc. he says. What do you guys think? Which is the better car and why?
    Tough to say. I have both and love both. The C5 is a fantastic automobile in most every way. The build quality is better, ergonomics are better, frame stiffness is amazing... Just an all-around awesome vehicle. OTOH, the raw power, exotic nature, and mystique of the ZR-1, the sounds of the engine and whine of the transmission, plus the way it wraps around you make for an incredible experience there as well. If you are already well on your way toward "ZR1-hood", I wouldn't change your course now. It's a great time to buy a Z, and you can always get a C5 or C6 in addition to the Z once the wife realizes how much fun Corvettes are and loosens the purse strings!


    Sorry for running on a bit. This is a sizeable chunk of change to spend on a toy, and I want to have my ducks in a row. But in the end, what a great toy to have, right ?!?
    Exactamundo!

    Good luck!
    Fred

    P.S. Jeff-- I gotta stand up for my C5, man! Don't knock it! I love 'em both. The C5 has plenty of soul-- it's just not as raw and mystical a beast as the ZR-1...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhturner
    P.S. Jeff-- I gotta stand up for my C5, man! Don't knock it! I love 'em both. The C5 has plenty of soul-- it's just not as raw and mystical a beast as the ZR-1...
    I knew that would get ya Fred I've grown up around people with C2/3's, and the ZR-1 just carried on that evolution. The C5 lost some of that sports car feel in the driving experience.

  7. #7
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    If the car is in my next of the woods let me know I'll be happy to check it out.
    It's not the car, it's the people

    Doug Johnson

  8. #8
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    Hi Folks,

    Thanks for all the helpful answers and advice. You guys are quick on the draw. Probably not to shabby off the line either, huh?

    The car is in Virginia, not sure if I'll need a local check-out, but thanks for the offer. I will definitely keep it in mind.

    As for the drive, I don't mind putting in the miles. I like time on the road. I'll have to look into the costs of travel though (1-way flight, some hotels, lotsa gas, etc.). Now I'm leaning back towards the shipping option. Can anyone recommend a good auto transport company?

    I'm still a little worried about bringing it into CA. They are painfully strict around here about passing smog. Anyone out there have any experience with this? Any good threads I should read? Jhong321 did your Z come from CA, or did you import it?

    Thanks again for the very helpful advice,

    -Burt

  9. #9
    Member SPANISHVETTS's Avatar
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    As for the drive, I don't mind putting in the miles. I like time on the road. I'll have to look into the costs of travel though (1-way flight, some hotels, lotsa gas, etc.).
    ZR1´s get great gas mileage; you can’t ship it back as cheep. Unless you want a garage queen this car needs to be driven. Bad things happen when LT5´s arn´t run on a regular basis.
    I'm still a little worried about bringing it into CA. They are painfully strict around here about passing smog.
    ZR1´s are clean burners; if everything is to factory spec she will pass the test.
    After years of searching and even considering buying a wrecked ZR1 in Europe, the cheapest one here is over 30K, I dumped a 383 in the ´90. It is loads of fun and I will take most of you guys up to 160MPH but it just ain´t a ZR1.

    Do not quote me on this until I own one of the Kings. ¨The ZR1 will end up in the same parking lot as the ´63 Split.¨

    Oh yeah did I mention that you should drive it home. We take several 2000+ mile Vette trips around Europe every year where we pay $5 a gallon for gas. I wouldn’t go another way.
    ¨To be or to do? Which way will you go?" Col John Boyd

    www.SPEED-KARTS.com
    www.racing-engineering.com

  10. #10
    dennisinmaryland
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    Well, I have a C2 and a 40th Anniv ZR1. I've driven the C5 and these guys are right on the money. The King of the Hill is no doubt the most incredible Vette ever. It has guts, it has soul and I consider it a direct descendant of my BB 67.

    I go to Virginia from Maryland practically every other weekend. If I can help by eyeballing the car, let me know. Driving fron VA to west coast would be a great adventure in a Z car and the other writer was correct, 3000 added miles still is gonna give you a low mileage Z plus the fun of bringing it home.
    Besides, my Z drives like a dream compared to the 67 BB. How much more "comfortable" can they make the Vette and not put a Cadillac emblem on it? (or did they do that already?). The C5 may be easier to get in and out of, but I still prefer to "wrap my ass in fiberglass" so the C4 fits like a glove and I just go crazy every time I look in the garage and know I have the most incredible corvette ever built!
    Good luck with the decision, but my vote is for the Z car.

  11. #11
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    Road Trip. If you ship, do NOT use Horseless Carriage. Spend the money and ship by Intercity. I have learned this lesson already. ted

  12. #12
    dennisinmaryland
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demps
    Road Trip. If you ship, do NOT use Horseless Carriage. Spend the money and ship by Intercity. I have learned this lesson already. ted
    And don't use Kanter either, they shipped my 67 and loaded the ramps next to my car without securing the ramps....800 miles later the ramps had ground down the edge of on of my bolt on wheels. How they didn't bounce and take out some of the side I'll never know. Still trying to settle with them.

  13. #13
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    I bought my 92 ZR-1 from A person in Virginia and had it shipped to Redding Ca. I paid $900.00 and had no problems at all with damage to the car they took very good care of it. The car had to be inspected by the DMV after it was smogged, it passed with no issues and it had 30k on the ODO. I paid $21k for it 2 years ago and it is yellow/black and have had not one single issue with it other than buying rear tires.

    As far as the C5 vs ZR-1 I would get the ZR-1 but if you have the chance to drive each car do so and you will see. Good luck. Also I agree with Demps go with Intercity if you have it shipped but if you get the chance to drive it back that would be one hell of a road trip.

  14. #14
    Member WB9MCW's Avatar
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    Default heart of the beast

    read "heart of the beast" then u will understand why we zr-1ers are so passionate abt the zr-1. she is a true racer the lt5 is in my view the best ever engine out in an amer.car bar none...a true race motor...none other incld. the ls2 comes close....factoid..the lt5 can rev. out to 10,000 rpm if it were not 4 the access. limiting the rev's to 7500!!! this is why she was the "darkhorse" of the chev. brass.. an english motor design built by a motorboat engine co. with a german tranny....only the body/frame was chev...a bit of an embar.. for chev. brass... the king of the hill---international sportscar they they could not build themselves....till now the c-6 and still it uses "stinkin pushrod tech."!!!

  15. #15
    Brett
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    Quote Originally Posted by WB9MCW
    she was the "darkhorse" of the chev. brass.. an english motor design built by a motorboat engine co. with a german tranny....only the body/frame was chev...a bit of an embar.. for chev. brass... the king of the hill---international sportscar they they could not build themselves
    GM owned Lotus at the time, and they have always contracted out their engine blocks to MercuryMarine. The LT5 was completely funded by Chevy and was used soley in the ZR-1. So, I've never understood the comment that it's not a Chevy engine. It is 100% a Chevy engine.

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