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  1. #1
    Member MaineShark's Avatar
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    Default Should I get a ZR-1?

    I was considering selling one of my cars, and someone suggested the idea of selling both and getting a ZR-1.

    So, what do you guys think? Am I going to be able to find a ZR-1 in respectable condition for high teens to low twenties? I'm not looking for a show car, but a reliable car to drive on a regular basis during the spring/summer/fall (I have a truck for the winter).

    How well can the ZR-1's handle rough roads? I'm not talking about going off-road, but the frost heaves raise havoc with the road surfaces here. I don't want to be bottoming-out on every bump.

    Anything else I should be aware of, in making my decision?

    And, assuming that I decide this is the right direction to go, does anyone know someone who might want to take an '87 Grand National and a modified '79 Corvette in trade for a ZR-1? I can post detailed descriptions of the cars, if anyone is actually interested, or knows someone who is. The Shark is itching for an owner who will appreciate it, and the work I've put into it, and I don't see that happening easily if I were to put an ad in the classifieds.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Member Edmond's Avatar
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    Joe,

    Here is an excerpts out of the September issue of Corvette Magazine.

    Page 71. "Movement-wise, C4 prices have been easy to figure this year. The earliest cars have steadied and are even showing signs of appreciations; the later ones are still depreciating; and special models like ZR1's and Pace Cars all fell faster than plain-Jane models."

    Page 74. On the 1990 ZR1: "When new, ZR1's cost nearly double as much as a standard Corvette, and their current values aren't too far off that original relationship. Because they started higher, though, ZR1's are now falling faster than other C4's. Buy 'em for bargain thrills, not as investments."

    Page 71. "This model (C4's) lacks the collector-driven inflation of the first two Corvette generations; is more refined than the C3; and has burned up more of its depreciation than the still-plummeting C5's. Early C4 prices have essentially bottomed out now, and even the later (and markedly better) examples are hardly so expensive that a little more loss will kill you."

    Joe, I see no reason not to pick up a ZR1.

  3. #3
    Member Rain's Avatar
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    President of my Corvette Club just picked up an 04 spiral grey vert to go with his NCRS 59 and his silver 73.

    He has a ZR 1 with LOW miles that he said he would sell. (but not for a below market price)
    pic of his cars on this page. Carl's ZR1 in the top row is his.

    http://www.msgccc.com/members/members.htm


  4. #4
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    Hi Hows it going? I am sorry to say but I am the one who sugested to sell both and get a zr1. I am happy to see that you are looking into it more. As for price the ZR1s price have droped quite a bit over the last few years. I picked up mine for a little over 13K the car does have alot of miles (118k ) but the car is clean and I mean showroom clean no ding paint is perfect and it's a runner just had a tune up and dynoed 333 RWHP These car have strong motors and will last for a good long time. The down side is when somthing goes wrong it will cost alot to fix and even then you have to find a person that has worked on these in the past. Good Luck on your search. I am sure once you drive one you will love it. (just make sure to turn the power key on first)

  5. #5
    Member MaineShark's Avatar
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    So, anyone want to trade?

    Seriously, I think this might be a very good idea. I'd have better performance, and an even rarer car than the Grand National, while still having a Corvette.

    I just need to find someone with a nice ZR-1 who really wants a C3 project car and a fast Buick...

    Joe

  6. #6
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    Don't forget about the 96 LT-4 Collecter Editions. I've seen quite a few of these in excellant shape in the price range you're looking at. Not quite the ponies of the ZR-1 but many people think they were under rated at 330 hp. Not to shabby and an extremely nice looking car. Good luck in you search, Tim

  7. #7
    Registered User Last Ride's Avatar
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    Joe--
    Several months ago, I was in the same boat as you. I had my work-in-progress LT1-powered '78 which the wife didn't really like. When I started adding up the cost of what I wanted to do with it and added in the fact that she STILL wouldn't like it, I began shopping for a newer Vette. I was looking at the late C4 and even the C5 as she liked both much better. I liked the C5 better until I started looking at ZR1's. I was never a big fan of the C4 body style, but once I sat in one, it all started to change. The interior wraps around you like a jet fighter! My once ambivilent feelings as to the looks faded and are now gone completely. I was fortunate in that I was able to find a guy selling his ZR1 and was willing to take my car on trade (which he then flipped and sold with relative ease). There is no comparison, the ZR1 is easily ten times the car that '78 ever was! They are not without problems, and I still get frustrated with the ZR1 from time to time, but generally it's something I can just jump in, turn the key, and drive off. The ZR1 I have now is a Rippie Conversion, so it might not be an exact comparison, but any stock ZR1 would be a huge improvement over your current rides. They have Selective Ride Control (most if not all of them do) which lets you change the stiffness of the suspension to three different modes. My car is lowered, so I do ooacionally "bottom out", but I never have on the road. Usually, it would happen on driveways and things like that. I would think a stock ZR1 would be less of a problem. In any event, good luck in your decision. You won't be sorry getting into a ZR1! By the way, check out http://www.zr1.net/ZR1_sale.html as there are some ZR1's in your price range that appear to be solid cars at first glance.

  8. #8
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    I just purchased a 1994 ZR-1 with 16 kmiles for $26,200 in August 2004 in San Jose, CA. The dealer had it on their lot for ~2 months and couldn't get rid of it. In the end, I got it for ~2 k$ under wholesael.

    I have been following prices on these for years (since they came out in 1990) and have noticed they really dropped off in the last two years as demand seems to have tapered with the upcoming C6 announcement. Based on my personal crystal ball, I think they will continue to go down for the next ~5 years or so.

    I went for mine because mileage was really important to me, and as time goes by, the low mileage cars are going to be hard to come by. I'll live with the 10 k$ depreciation I'll probably see in the next decade. If you really want one, and can hold off a bit, you might save some $. In my humble opinion, the ZR-1 will be the only truly collectable vette from the mid seventies on. The production numbers are low and it'll probably have the claim to fame of being the only overhead cam vette ever produced (at least for the foreseeable future).

    As for rough road drivability... I for one would not be comfortable driving this car over anything but smooth pavement. It's really a rough ride, even with the suspension set in touring mode. also, I'm not sure how these cars would hold up to the rough ride.

    Good luck and keep us posted. It'll be interesting to see what you decide.

  9. #9
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    Oh and one more thing...


    I read the cited (see Edmonds post) article in the September issue of Corvette magazine. What a joke. The guy only gave the 1993 anniversary edition a 2 k$ premium (try finding these at what he suggests), and also stated that there are $25,000 sedans currently being sold that will outperform a ZR-1. Name one.

    I really couldn't believe this guy was writing for Corvette magazine.

  10. #10
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    Default Re. Should I get a ZR1? The Answer is a big YES!

    I just got my 1990 ZR1 on 8/20/04 and I am so happy I made the choice to get one! If you want a real fast, road hugging sports car, this is the car to have.

    I could have gotten a newer Vette for less money if I wanted to, but there was nothing in those price ranges that seemed special to me. Then I thought more about the ZR1. I found this 1990 ZR1 w/ 86,000 miles on EBAY and I bought it for about $18,000.00. It needed new tires, shocks and a few minor things, but all in all even with the money I dropped into it, it was a good price for a great car. Especially in the Washington, DC area where you see very few ZR1's.

    My ZR1 mechanic thought it was a great car with the underneath in great shape, the paint still looks nice and the interior shows only light wear. I wanted something with a little more miles on it so I wouldn't feel bad about putting any more on it. I need to drive a car like this as much as possible!

    I would recommend a ZR1 to any person who can appreciate a really fine sports car.

    Thanks for the chance to crow about them!

    Flower

  11. #11
    Member Wegone's Avatar
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    Just one word...YES...
    Steve
    1993 ZR-1 # 179 Yellow/White Flowmasters, Haibeck Tune
    1991 ZR-1 # 118 Quasar/Black SW Headers/Corsa-3:73 gears-Haibeck-500HP/350

    My other Vette 95 LT1

  12. #12
    SurfnSun
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    i agree
    Quote Originally Posted by Wegone
    Just one word...YES...

  13. #13
    Registered User Last Ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfnSun
    i agree
    I don't know, I hear those B2K cars are fairly good runners as well....

    Bryan

  14. #14
    Member MaineShark's Avatar
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    I've kept an eye out, but I'm having a few issues to deal with, on this one...

    The 93-95 ZR1's are still a bit out of my price range (unless I stumble across a killer deal), and I hate to get a 90-92 car, when I know that the later ones are likely to be within my price range, in a few years.

    There are early C5's that will run with a ZR1, for similar money.

    There are numerous modified C4's on the market for mid to high teens that will outrun a stock ZR1. (side question: what would it take, in terms of mods and money, to put a ZR1 into the low 12's/high 11's?)

    I don't have much experience with dry-clutch manual transmissions, and I'm not certain if this would be the best way to learn... (and, of course, there are no automatic ZR1's).

    There are no convertible ZR1's, and part of me wants a vert.

    I'm not certain I really want to sell my Shark. The newer 'Vettes certainly have a mechanical advantage, but the Sharks just look so darn nice, and I've put a lot of work and thought into mine, so I don't want to sell it unless it goes to someone who will appreciate that, and finish the project properly...

    And, I can't so anything about getting another car, unless I manage to sell both the Shark and the Grand National, or find someone who wants to take both in trade, and give me a ZR1 and some cash.

    On the other hand, there's only one upside, but it's a big one...

    ZR1's are just plain cool! They are a unique piece of automotive history. The Grand National has that appeal, but I find I miss the handling of a Corvette...

    Joe

  15. #15
    Registered User Last Ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineShark
    I've kept an eye out, but I'm having a few issues to deal with, on this one...

    The 93-95 ZR1's are still a bit out of my price range (unless I stumble across a killer deal), and I hate to get a 90-92 car, when I know that the later ones are likely to be within my price range, in a few years.

    There are early C5's that will run with a ZR1, for similar money.

    There are numerous modified C4's on the market for mid to high teens that will outrun a stock ZR1. (side question: what would it take, in terms of mods and money, to put a ZR1 into the low 12's/high 11's?)

    I don't have much experience with dry-clutch manual transmissions, and I'm not certain if this would be the best way to learn... (and, of course, there are no automatic ZR1's).

    There are no convertible ZR1's, and part of me wants a vert.

    I'm not certain I really want to sell my Shark. The newer 'Vettes certainly have a mechanical advantage, but the Sharks just look so darn nice, and I've put a lot of work and thought into mine, so I don't want to sell it unless it goes to someone who will appreciate that, and finish the project properly...

    And, I can't so anything about getting another car, unless I manage to sell both the Shark and the Grand National, or find someone who wants to take both in trade, and give me a ZR1 and some cash.

    On the other hand, there's only one upside, but it's a big one...

    ZR1's are just plain cool! They are a unique piece of automotive history. The Grand National has that appeal, but I find I miss the handling of a Corvette...

    Joe
    Joe--
    I went through many of these dilemmas as well. The 90-92 cars while slightly less-powered are lighter than the later ZR1's. Performance is not radically different from one year to the next. As for your arguments about the C5 and modified C4's running with a ZR1 for similar money. My rebuttal there was (and is) that the ZR1 will hold its value better than a standard C5 and a modded C4. Say you buy a ZR1 for $30,000. Ten years from now, the car might be worth $25,000. Take that same money and buy a C5. Ten years from now, it might be worth $15,000. As for the mods needed, I am not sure. My car came with a host of mods, but it is set up for road racing. I would think header/exhaust, maybe a port and polish would get you close to your goal. Gears would be the cheapest way to go. The ZR1 is not a cheap animal to mod; however. Once you start getting into the motor, the thousands add up quick! Again, good luck whatever you decide.

    Bryan

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