What Corvette do I buy

Got roughly $10,000 Looking for a good "driver" Never owned one Drove a 1976 and a 1996 Looking for input on a good driver... Personally I am looking for an 1982...need the hatch (stereo) or an
1984 - 1988. Like the older style...thanks.
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The old advice, the newest you can get is best, still holds true for the most part.
However, '81 and older are easier to work on and the value is better as they are slightly climbing.
For the price of many '90s Corvettes, you can get into an early C5 which is much better. However, that is about $15,000 to $20,00 and out of your $10,000 range.
Probably '87 to '91 is the best bet.
The '82 won't have the juice for a huge stereo. Then again, the early C4s won't either, because even those are bigger, they use it on the electronics.

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How difficult is it to work on the C4's Is changing plugs, wires, filters, brakes any more difficult on these than the C3's? How about starter and alternator changing... thanks.

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Tom's suggestion on 87-91 is excellent good since it meets your price range and avoids the optispark woes of the early LT-1 engines. (Precise ignition timing but subject to damage from coolant leaks.) If you are looking for a six speed then it's 89-91. (Six-speed manual arrived on the 89s.) 90 is an excellent choice--bit more refined & better displays than 89.
If you enjoy 'old fashioned' wrench-bending as a labor of love, you might do well with a late C3 -- good car to 'grow old with.' These cars won't go out of style and there will still be well-cared-for C3s on the road when all of the C4s are retired. They were just starting into computerized but carburetted engine control and in some states, smog can be problematic. Late C3s and very early C4s were short on thermal insulation in cockpit (fixable).
If you're talking daily driver, the gasoline bills will be lower with a C4 and the performance much better. I commute in my '89 (auto) and average 21-22 mpg mixed city-freeway, 24 hwy. (C5 does even better). L98 engine on C4s has excellent torque off the line but the torque and horsepower peak around 4K. The LT-1 engine has just a tad more torque but it peaks later for more horsepower and higher top speed. LT-4 in a '96 is the best of the bunch but the prices on those take you into C5 territory.
The jobs you speak to are all doable with little fuss but you'll need to carefully select a socket & drive for the plugs. Get a factory shop manual and pick up a Haynes as well (nice accessibility and tool tips that Chevy/GM never thought of). Also plenty of maintenance tips and discussion on web sites.
Beyond 87, C4 alternator has plenty of reserve output but has poor cooling between 20 and 35 mph. If you much spend time in traffic, a.c. on, you'll replace an alternator every other year. Easy job. (make/borrow a thin breaker bar for the belt tensioner.) Brakes and the rest of it have few surprises.
I've seen a couple of audio installations in C4s with an second (externally vented) battery in the car to handle audio power peaks. I think they connected that with an RV style secondary battery charger. That eases the burden on wiring and alternator.
Enjoy. -- PJ '89 auto-coupe '02 e-blu 6spd

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Tom in Missouri wrote:

What the drawback with a '92 ?
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'Got roughly $10,000 Looking for a good "driver" Never owned one Drove a 1976 and a 1996 Looking for input on a good driver... Personally I am looking for an 1982...need the hatch (stereo) or an 1984 - 1988. Like the older style...thanks.'
REPLY: The 1987-88 will be much quicker than a 1982 and have greater technology . You can get 1987-88 's in nice shape for $10 k. or less with a bit of looking. They are relatively easy to work on in terms of routine maintenance and plug changes. Id stay away from the 4plus3 manual trans . in these years though ; bit of a joke and many problems with them. I drove one for a weekend . The auto trans. holds up pretty well in them. If you scrape together a few more thousand, you could get a 1990 which has some distinct advantages over previous C4's : especially the 6 speed manual trans for good economy and LT-1 motor for even more power . If you go with the 1982 , I dont think youll be as happy with it. I could be wrong. Test drive quite a few of each C3/4 era , then decide. BUt if its your first vette, id encourage you to go the 1988-1990 route.
Look in Corvette Trader Magazine for some good deals. Let us know what you end up getting.
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These are really good people. Ask for Jack Gentle!! http://www.buyavette.net /
--
1972 War Bonnet Yellow Corvette
1981 White Corvette
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On 15 Feb 2007 11:56:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

========================I would be looking for a 90 or 91...Both L48 cars but with rounded fronts and rears...(not definite on the 90 but fairly sure)..
Nice, dependable, fun to drive, and not expensive.....
Bob G. 64 72 & 98 Rag Tops 76 & 79 Coupes
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Thanks for all the input I had my eye and heart on an 82...like the look...and a hatch....even with less power. A 1990 - 91 does still fit the pocket book...and I guess as a driver cheaper to own and operate...
Thanks.

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