1984 Corvette opinions

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Hello All:
I have the oppurtunity to buy from the original owner a 1984 Corvette. She has all the history and documents on the car, the original paint is
beautiful, the interior is pristine, everything works including the AC and DELCO tape deck. She has the glass top and body color top. The car just turned over 61K miles. Her husband joked that it has never been driven in the rain, nor ran through a car wash. Color is light blue; paint and body is pristine without a crack, chip, or blemish. It has been driven by a mature women only. Never been in an accident.
My brother, who has owned a 1972, 1979, 1984, and 1989 Corvettes does not have much good to say about the 1984, and does not like the Cross Fire V8 at all. He claims that I would be better off with a high mileage 1989 that needs work than a low mileage cream puff 1984 that needs nothing for about the same price.
So, I am looking for a few opinions.
What is a realistic offering price for this car? I have been told anywhere from $1400 to $5000 from the local Corvette club president (who also believes that the 1984 is not a good car).
I have alwyas wanted a Corvette, and value this particuliar car due to it's one owner, low mileage, and well cared for history. My wife has been friends with this women for several years, so we trust what she is telling us about the car. Most C4 Corvettes I have looked at are at 100K miles, or more, and need TLC and comestic repairs, and run in the $6000 to $14000 range depending on the year.
Thanks for any inputs! Take care, and have anice day,
Johnny
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something wonderfully witty:

Listen to your brother or you may end up never listening to your wife again. Which I guess could have its upsides.
--
You can run, but you'll only die tired.

ZombyWoof
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Hi.... As an original owner of a 1984 vette.....I have kept the car pristine also....mine is a 4 plus 3 tranny with only 22,000 original miles on it.. .every thing works also and it has every option available at the time I ordered it.... my opinion?? well it rides really rough.... you feel every bump....it rides like a truck.... the good thing about it is the stereo.... cept it doesnt have a cd player... just the cassette... lol... remember those?? I ve got tons of cassettes....never had really any problems with it, although I did have it repainted due to an accident. Paint is not original, but repainted original color (2 tone charcoal/grey).... Would I sell it? not right now...but yes probably within the next 8-10 yrs....oh .. i do drive it too...even has the orginal tires on it... ugh... So.. I prefer to drive my caravan than the vette....its a more comfortable ride... on the other hand.. a buddy of mine gets a new one every two years... and yes the newer ones are much better than the older ones.... they are kinda getting out of the price range though...but better on maintenance and the ride are greatly improved....
Fwed
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billccm wrote:

Chevy sold a ton of these in 84, and I don't recall them all being denounced as lousy cars at the time. Yes, the later models have a better fuel injection and a stronger transmission, and you may encounter difficulty finding someone who can work on the crossfire (should that misbehave), but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with an 84 as a boulevard driver. price guides say the car is probably in the $7k to $10k range... http://www.manheimgold.com/car_lo.html
I'd suggest you buy it.
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Price Line is sure different than NADA http://tinyurl.com/s9f8j
my2
--
"Key"
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NADA http://tinyurl.com/s9f8j but listen to your brother.
I also have an 84...
--
"Key"
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I had an 84 before my 93, I enjoyed it, would own another if I found the right one. It's a rougher ride, but handled magnificently. Never had problems with the cross-fire, but will admit that the TPI is better. I'd suggest you get it, you won't find many in that shape again.

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billccm wrote:

<snip>
Johnny:
Deciding to buy a Corvette is not something that you do with your mind as much as you do with your heart. If this car speaks to you, buy it.
Yes, it'll cost you more for upkeep than a Toyota or a Honda, but at the end of the day, you'll be driving a Corvette, YOUR Corvette. It probably won't be your last Corvette, but it will be your first, always. Buy it and don't look back. Don't expect to make a dime on it when and if you ever sell it. This way you won't be disappointed if it is worth less when you pass it along to the next owner, and pleasantly surprised if it's worth more. At any rate, a Corvette IS NOT a wise investment financially speaking. (unless you had a time machine and could go back to 1969 and buy one of the only 2 Corvette ZL1's made, but I digress).
As that it's the first year for the C4 design, there were still bugs to be worked out, and the design improved a great deal until '95 when it was replaced with the C5.
The L83 350 engine was not a world class performer, HP was rated at 205hp @ 4300rpm with 290lb-ft torque. That can be improved somewhat with bolt-ons, but to significantly improve performance requires heart and lung transplant surgery. Not trivial (or cheap), but certainly a handy, mechanical kinda guy with lots of tools wouldn't find it too much of a challenge. The Doug Nash 4+3 transmission was not the greatest design, a lot of people had problems with them while others did not. If it's never been repaired or replaced then you may be one of the lucky ones. The Crossfire fuel injection system was another problematic item, a lot of people replaced them with newer FI systems or carburetor systems. If you do take it off, box it up and store it away in a dark corner of your garage. You'll want to keep it for the next owner, he may want to put it back on. I've always liked the air cover lid, I think it looks really cool.
Good luck! Welcome aboard.
TomC '90ZR1 #792
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Thanks for the replies and advice.
I am not looking for an 'investment', but rather a daily driver to enjoy. I do not expect Honda reliability, but also cannot afford a car that is constantly in the shop, either. I am pretty handy with my cars such as belts, hoses, brakes, and maintenance, but high tech electronic glitches do stump me (and many mechanics for that matter).
My idea was to get the car at a price that I could afford, and enjoy it. If I bought a newer Corvette, for more money, I would constantly be babying the car and probably would not enjoy it as much.
This car is an auto trans, so I need not worry about the 4+3 issues.
I just looked at eBay for completed listings on 1984 Corvettes with less than 70K miles; most did not sell, or meet reserve even in the $8,000 to $9,000 range. Then I see a few here and there that sold on the $5,000 range I was thinking about $7,000, but now I am really not sure what it is worth?
I am still thinking about the car; my brother is adamant that I run away as fast as I can, and see some of you agree.
Thanks again for your time in your replies! Have a nice day,
Johnny
Crabs wrote:

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something wonderfully witty:

There are real good reasons that a lot of `84's have low milage. They have the harshest ride of all C-4's among their other flaws such as the lowest HP of the series. Take this one for a ride and then go drive a 90's series. The differences are obvious.
Like most cars in a series the first year model, especially those with as great a re-do as the C3 to C4 transitions have bugs that need to be worked out in successive model years.
While this particular vehicle maybe a good candidate to "Time Capsule" I can assure you it is not a good candidate to become a daily driver. Who knows what value time may bring to this car, but rest assured that your bank account will devaluate quickly if you try to place it in service as a daily driver.
Here is an example of a good candidate for a daily driver from e-bay http://tinyurl.com/lw9zv @ 10k (+/-) for a `92 with 80,xxx and a 6-speed it will be a lot more fun and a lot less worries. Plenty of other examples are out there in the `89 - 92 range. Such as http://tinyurl.com/nznon with only 40k on the clock. I'm sure www.autotrader.com has plenty of examples in your local area as well.
In the end you're going to have to go with your heart, but if you value your brothers advice you just might want to listen. If price is your only consideration remember that the expenditures are just starting with the purchase price.
--
You can run, but you'll only die tired.

ZombyWoof
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DO NOT BUY A 1984......better off with a 1985-87..which are also very very cheap....I REPEAT DO NOT BUY A 1984....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! been there done that and it was a BIG mistake. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I've been there done that, looking for another. They're great! Least cost to buy, and no less reliable than a Toyota.
Most problems people have with these are from their screwing with it and trying to make it something it isn't.
Daily driver, sure. Race car, no.
I remember the night I brought my 84 home. Kept walking out to the garage, looking, smile, back in the house...
I had a Vette, I didn't have a lease obligation, nor a mortgage on it. It was all mine.
Johnny...this is your conscience speaking...buy it. You won't go wrong, and if it has problems...sell it. And as for your brother...I wonder what he'd say if it were his friend wanting to sell it.
-GeorgeC RED/RED 92 C4 (with the gawd awful LT-1)
(BTW, there's one to really stay away from, the early 90's LT-1 engine)
Maddog wrote:

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What's wrong with the LT-1 other than the optispark? Less that, pretty much standard small-block Chevy, which is to say a thoroughly tested design.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp (both tops)
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------020303060507010702080800 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
CardsFan wrote:

The LT1 is a hell of an engine. Some have had OptiSpark issues, but other than that its a great engine. Now having said that if you are hot rodding an Gen2 LT1 it can get more expensive because many parts are specific to it.

--
Ric Seyler
Online Racing: RicSeyler
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I was specifically referring to the Opti-Spark.
Mine went out at about 125K. There just had to be a better way to do that.
Other than LT-1 valve noise(its a 92) it's been (knock on simulated wood grain) fine. OK, alternator expired at 92K. No big deal, 20 minutes to fix.
The only real issue with my 92 was a failure of teh clear coat on the drivers door and a spot on the hood. But it's a 15 year old car this month, I'll make allowances.
But my point on the 84 is that for the money spent, its fun. And the cross-fire is no big deal to make work right.
If a person wants to try the size out, and not spend a lot, its great. If you aren't a motor-head, you may want to take out a mortgage on a newer one.
But an 84 is something most can write a check for.
But sorry to mislead on the LT-1. It hauls fine. This one is still pretty tight, passes Texas smog test with no issues.
-GeorgeC
RicSeyler wrote:

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You might want to consider a Honda S2000 if you want to avoid having "a car ..constantly in the shop." On the other hand, as a one-time Vette owner back in the late 60s -- through the mid 70s I found the old C3s of that era pretty reliable and relatively easy to work on. My 71 454 roadster was near bulletproof -- wish I still had it when you consider I paid around 6,200 for it new.

is
always.
cool.
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You and your wife should take it for a drive and if she likes it and you're still interested then only the price should make up your minds. What other people think will have nothing to do with how the car will treat you and yours.
Sure, there is always things that are changed to make a new model better and that happened in '84 as well as any other year, first year or not. Yes, it is a stiff ride and it has a unique injection system that has been pulling that car around for 22 years, no reason it can't do it another 30 years.
If the cars turns the two of you on and you can do it without a high price it can be a great pleasure car. Don't forget that it will need a garage to stay in and lots of loving care.
--
Dad
05 C6 Silver/Red 6spd Z51
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Many will denounce the '84 simply because it is the '68 Corvette of the C4.
A car in the condition you describe is always an intriguing buy. But I take exception to the "buy with your heart" comment someone made. That is the fastest way to get in trouble.
Arrange for you and your wife to drive it some day. Since they are friends, maybe they would turn you loose with it for a few hours so both of you can see just what you are getting into. It will be stiff. However, either most who describe the ride are real pansies or they have never driven an older Corvette. My first drive in an '84 reminded me of a big block '67 or '68. Not the power, the ride, the feel-every-pebble ride. It really isn't much different than most C2s and early C3s in ride. But it may not be what you or your wife want.
At the same time, arrange to drive some others within a few days for comparison.
The Cross Fire is cursed by many, but really, there is nothing wrong with it. It just is not a performance injection system. It is basically the same parts as most Chevy vehicles from the same time period up into the '90s with the TBI, except there are two TBIs on a cross ram manifold that has poor flow.
Most problems with the '84 are possible in most of the C4s - LCD display, 4+3, Bose, and so on. So buying an '85 or 88 won't automatically protect you.
And you know the history. It is in great shape. That is better than most of what you find.
That said, the value on '84 is basically very low. I don't know if they will ever increase. After all, they are 22 years old now, so it isn't like we have to wait until they are old. Hopefully your friend isn't expecting a huge price. It would have to be something like less than 5,000 miles or still on the MSO for that.
I also agree that a daily driver is not what this car should be. Of course, that depends on what you define as a daily driver. A friend had a '72 convertible as a daily driver up until 4 years ago. But he worked across the street from his house. Now he works 8 miles from home, and a '68 Chevy pickup is his daily driver. The Corvette is the evening and weekend car.
I wouldn't suggest a 20 mile one-way commute each day in rush hour traffic. For one, those 61,000 miles will rapidly become 100,000.
I also wouldn't suggest modifying it. While most do to make the '84 perform, the value of this car will be its present condition. Any changes, excessive miles, body changes, engine changes, etc, will just drop the value unless you do something like drop $20,000 into creating a Pro Street or some such out of it.
Good luck.

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Good thread, and I do value all of the opinions! It seems the tally is to pass on this car. The seller is in no hurry, nor am I as a buyer. I have offered to help her sell the car, either on eBay, and/or locally. She wants someone who will take care of it, and in a way, really wants someone she knows to buy the car. It has been her babied pride and joy for almost 22 years, and I don't blame her for wanting to see someone she knows get the car. On the other hand, she is expecting top dollar for this car, and she is in for a disapointment when we start revieiwng the market values for this car. I think locally she might get $6,500, and eBay will be a crap shoot between $5,000 and $8,000?
Harsh ride is not an issue for me (my favorite car so far has been a 1985 Shelby Charger that I drove 14 years and put 111k miles on it). Relibility is an issue for me, though. I do not need Honda relibility, but also cannot tolerate expensive repairs (BTW, I drive Chrysler and Chevy cars daily, never owned a Honda, but hear it is total bliss).
My only reasoning for this particuliar car is that I value the owner's history and low miles. The car is almost a time capsule survivor kind of car, and I thought I could justify buying a less desired year 1984 due to this cream puff's history.
Cars are emotional, and I understand the buy with your heart comments, but the emotion can swing both ways when you buy a car that becomes a money pit immediately. I have always wanted a Corvette, and good things come to those who wait. I'll keep shopping.....
Thank you all again for your time and comments.
Johnny
Tom in Missouri wrote:

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if the car is what you have said it was ? she shouldn't sell it to someone else less than NADA. High Retail $14.8K http://tinyurl.com/k2oyg in about 8 years, the first C4 in that type shape should bring a lot more $$$$'s...

I at first said to listen to your brother, but the more you talk about this car, It does sound like a cream-puff. you really are not going to find many 84's in that shape. most are in the poor shape because someone didn't maintain to car as they should have. sounds like your friend has done the proper maintaince.
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