I know all about owning and driving corvettes. I take my 96 out
whenever I can. Also looking at a 99.
Anyway, I have an opportunity to pick up a 90 ZR1 in the mid 30's. I
do not know much about the zr1's. I have a 96 lt4 and have read that
they are similar. I love my 96 but it is not a kick ass fast car. It
is a great cruiser with some balls.
Anyway, the zr1 would strictly be an investment, not for driving.
Please offer your input, it is valued.
Take it for a test drive.
Drive it to a nice lonely straight road.
At ~50mph stick it in second gear and open 'er up. Shift it into third
gear at 7000 rpms. Shift out of third gear when things start to blur.
Run it up into 4th gear until it's almost ready to shift again. Then
look down at the speedometer. You've just broken the speed limit nearly
three times over.
If a cop sees you, you better have a good lawyer.
It will take weeks to wipe the smirk off of your face.
All this, plus anti lock brakes, cruise control, climate control, heated
side view mirrors, 25 mpg on the freeway, and a Bose Gold sound system.
But as an investment, not such a great idea.
They sold originally for ~$65k+, and today you can buy a fairly low mile
example for less than half that. Check eBay and Hemmings. Some say that
they are just now hitting the bottom of the curve and are sure to
appreciate. It's hard to say. With gas now over $3 per gallon, and sure
to get even higher with Rita bearing down on Texas oil fields...
What the heck.
You can't take it with you.
You'll like it.
Boy do I agree.....seriously there were a coupke at Carlisle last
month selling (asking price) 20K and 22K. Cars are just not
investments... hedges against depreciation maybe, ?
================>What the heck.
I have to agree with you on this count also...once your dead all fun
goes out of collecting and playing with toys of any
I'd keep the LT4, as a 100% adder on the price the ZR1's are not holding
value as you might expect. Then to if you're going to buy it, and store it,
the reason it was built is lost. It's been said before, get what makes you
happy because it's not an investment with a return. I've also told this
before that a club member that has a 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 65, 67, 68 L88,
84, and a couple of GT350 Mustangs sold his ZR1 because it was loosing him
money, note that he kept the 84.
Hate to rain on your parade, but you're absolutely wrong.
Sure, GM discontinued the LT5 ages ago, but there's plenty of after
market suppliers for essential components and wear items.
Of course they're expensive! It's a Corvette, after all. A limited
production, high performance "SuperCar". The fastest production car made
at that time.
It goes without saying that replacement parts will be pricey.
Have you ever priced a tune up on a Ferrari or a Lamborghini?
Not too many ZR1s are being raced today, there's too many newer and
faster cars. The important thing to understand is that it's taken 15
years for the rest of the automotive industry to catch up to what GM and
Lotus did with the ZR1.
I've read and heard from many places certain parts are very scarce.
I even read in one of the Vette Mags that a club racer put a very low
rev limiter in his because he didn't want to break it, for the real fear of
not being able to get parts any longer.......
And also read an article in one Vette Mag about some are hoarding what
they can get..
But I have no first hand knowledge of having to hunt for heads, blocks,
etc for the LT5, so I'm only a talking head when it comes right down to it.
But I would sure confirm this through several suppliers and racers
<Blah, blah, blah>
Right now there are 13 ZR1's for sale on eBay. There's also a new "in
the box" ZF 6 speed transmission. Last week there was a complete LT5
If I blew the motor on my "Z" I could just buy another car for parts, or...
I could call Doug Rippe Motor Sports right now and buy an complete LT5
engine stoked to 402 cubes producing 550-600hp. http://www.dougrippie.com /
Expensive you ask? Sure! Damn Straight! Why shouldn't it cost nearly
as much as the car. The ZR1 option doubled the price of the car originally.
Rick, cars like these will not just go away. Right now it's cheaper to
own one than when it was new. Some years ago people said, "Who in their
right mind would buy a 1969 ZL1 Corvette with an Aluminum 427 when the
steel block 427 was so much better, stronger, cheaper, etc."?
So only two sold.
So now it's 36 years later and you can buy a C3 L88 for anywhere between
$250k and $500k.
Those two ZL1's are now priceless. Any collector worth their beans would
sell their soul for either of them.
I'd be willing to wager that parts for these cars are pricey too.
For myself, I just love to drive my ZR1. It's a piece of history, plus a
really fine automobile. And it's a sleeper. Joe America has no idea that
sitting next to him at the stoplight is a car capable of nearly 200mph
in street trim. Faster than any police car in the country. Faster than
most police helicopters too. The radio thing still beats you every time,
but what the heck.
Like I said Tom, I'm just a talking head when it comes down to actually
through looking for LT5 parts, cuz I haven't done it. But I sure have
read about it
and heard about it.... FWIW a ZF tranny (they are non-ZR1 specific) and even
a complete LT5 aren't what I'm taking about. But I digress.....
And my statement isn't a hack against a ZR1 at all and wasn't intended
they are very fine autos with a valid reputation. A person would be
fortunate to own one. But if I was to be buying one I would research
what I've read
and heard right up front. Especially if I was interested in going club
racing. But I don't see
too many people cracking the head between the exhaust valves, putting a
a skirt on the block or breaking a crank and main cap gusset driving it
around on Sundays
and to shows and such.
When it comes down to it, maybe they just had to fill mag space or it's
just gossip I've heard
and read. Dunno, haven't been through it.
Oh and I guess it's true you could start buying whole cars for a broken head
or broken block skirt or main gussets, etc but I doubt most owners could
to do $18,000-$30,000 or so for a head replacement or a block
replacement. But in
that sense you are absolutely correct. I guess a part isn't scarce if
you can afford
to buy a whole car to get a spare engine part.
I think the street rodders and club racing groups have already snatched
up most of the
the "rearended or rolled" ZR1's a person could get for $10,000 - $19,000
To sum it up,
Great car, great performance, great looks, make you feel like a kid again.
Probably not a great investment if you're goal is ROI. There's a 50-50
chance the price may go higher or lower. ;-)
At today's prices you're getting a much better deal than the guys and
gals that paid premium prices when they bought these cars new off the
Anyway, the zr1 would strictly be an investment, not for driving.
At $30K it isn't especially a good investment. If a ZR-1 is the only thing
you will cnsider, and you have patience, keep an eye out for someone who HAS
to get out from under one and I suspect you will pick one up for $20K or
less in the next 3 - 5 years. In another 10 years, the price will probably
Cars are rarely a good investment. I picked up my ZR 1 because I couldn't
pass up the price. No matter where I go it attracts crowds - expecially the
Lotus 32 Valve LT5 - we are very active in ZR1 net and these things are
built like a Rock - that is why Chevy had MercCrusier hand build the
engines - no one is having head cam or block issues - if you find a low
miler -- BUY IT-- it is definitely a sleeper and with the 16 injectors gives
you that throw back feeling like kicking in the three deuces -- Especially
fun eating up C5s --- Great cruiser --- see you at the ZR1 Gathering at
Bowling Green May '06
1990 ZR! R/R #1433
You say cars are not a good investment.....I have a 1967 Shelby Mustang
GT-500 that I paid $700 for in 1973...car will now bring
$200,000-$250,000..I screwd up and sold my 1966 Shelby for $5,000..around
1980 or so.now it too is worth $60,000-$100,000..and you think cars are a
And then there is my 1973 Pantera...still being restored...bought new for
$7,500 ( dealer close out )..will soon be worth $40,000+
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