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B Jake Moran

Making the Case for the C4 Corvette

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

I had to use a quarter to get a TBI on a Fiero to idle down.

 

How long was it before it shook you down for another quarter?

 

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1973 Corvette is my favorite C3 and can be had for under $10k needing work. This car had been sitting in a local garage undisturbed for over 25 years and is very nice underneath.

Has a fresh 383 stroker, original 4 speed, code 952 Corvette Yellow

movet 008.jpg

14chrvw 058.jpg

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Agree the '73 is the best looking C3 with the body color front bumper and chrome Kammback rear. The block off plate where the AC vent is supposed to be doesn't help.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Agree the '73 is the best looking C3 with the body color front bumper and chrome Kammback rear. The block off plate where the AC vent is supposed to be doesn't help.

Canadian ordered car, no A/C was the majority of them sold here in the early 70's. Hot in the summer, but better than the 78-9's with the microwave rear glass!

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Some of the early C3s had a removable rear glass but think it was gone by '73. No vent windows either. When I came into the pits with my fuelie, crew had two things: quart of chocolate milk (was before energy drinks) and a pail of water to dump over my head.

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4 hours ago, padgett said:

Some of the early C3s had a removable rear glass but think it was gone by '73. No vent windows either. When I came into the pits with my fuelie, crew had two things: quart of chocolate milk (was before energy drinks) and a pail of water to dump over my head.

Yes, the rear removable window was gone after 71 or 72 along with the fiber optics on the console. Both were good features for the cramped, usually hot  C3 cockpit 

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On 10/11/2019 at 9:53 PM, 8E45E said:

The ONLY C4 'vette I would seriously consider would be the ZR-1; the first-year1989 model, having the most preference.  It had the squared-off taillights to distinguish it from the 'regular' Corvette line that year.

 

In fact, is it the very first car on the market to come with a 'valet key'?

 

Craig

 

Craig

 

I was looking for this kind of comment.  Not picking on you, but as I understand it you don't want a C4 Corvette unless it has the 405 hp ZR-1 engine, providing a higher level of performance.  99% of C4's are not ZR-1's.  I appreciate they are more collectible and prices warrant that out.  But, the rectangular taillights came along late to freshen the old body.   If a person needs an enticement to buy a model, then overall - they don't like the model.  That's my take, and this is maybe why the C4 remains an under appreciated market place dog, relatively speaking.  

 

The ZR-1 seems like a good choice until someone notes that subsequent Corvettes, C5 C6 all came out with performance packages and even base packages that blew ZR-1 performance away.  This happens all the time now.  A modern sports car is always faster and handles better than previous generations.  The new Mustang GT comes tock with hp in the high 300/400 range.  0-60 times probably beat the ZR-1, but it's just another modern muscle car.  

 

This is part of the reason for the phenomena witnessed at festival car shows and show n shines at drive ins. 90% of the cars are less than 5 years old, many less than 3 years old.  Why buy a C4 Corvette, meh!   

 

I have 3 collector car now so am not in the market for a C4 Corvette but if I were I could (would) buy Matt Harwood's Polo Green convertible for $10,000 ish and a coupe for the same scratch.  That would put 2 reasons to smile in a garage for about $20,000 when we all know how expensive some old "classics" can get.  Just seems like a good alternative in the marketplace.  

 

But needing a ZR-1, as much fun as they are, implies a general dissatisfaction with the body and interior.  Not enough joy in the shape to justify a purchase. 

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34 minutes ago, B Jake Moran said:

The ZR-1 seems like a good choice until someone notes that subsequent Corvettes, C5 C6 all came out with performance packages and even base packages that blew ZR-1 performance away.  This happens all the time now.  A modern sports car is always faster and handles better than previous generations.  The new Mustang GT comes tock with hp in the high 300/400 range.  0-60 times probably beat the ZR-1, but it's just another modern muscle car.  

See my comments here---------->https://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/forum/your-studebaker-forum/stove-huggers-the-non-studebaker-forum/110181-i-need-a-gas-station-attached-to-me-69-charger-promo-vid  when I provided the times of a new Dodge Challenger Demon vs. a '69 Charger.

 

Craig

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I've owned 6 Corvettes over the years, all as daily drivers. I bought the first one, a red 78 model used. The other five were all brand new cars. The last two were Z06 models, and were really fast. ALL of them were really comfortable drivers (not so much for entering and exiting the car, but once inside, it was like driving an easy chair). The first new one was a 97, I think, and the last one was a 2002 or 2004. I loved them all, but every year seemed better than the previous one. The 78 didn't handle or ride anything like the newer cars, but in fairness it was used with 50-60,000 miles, if I recall. 

 

I drove them all every day, rain or shine, dry or snow. They were leased cars, and I knew I would be trading them in after 3 years. So while lots of other guys were parking them carefully away in their garages and trying to keep miles off of their odometers, I was DRIVING them all over the place. I miss those days. Great times! 

 

The photo below shows the one day that I had TWO Vettes at once. My new Z06 was delivered the day before my previous one was picked up. I couldn't resist a photo, and I spent the whole day driving first one, and then the other. LOL

Corvette pair 2.jpg

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This is my favorite generation of Corvettes. When I was young and just getting into cars, these were current...I grew up with them being among the most prestigious, exciting cars. Unfortunately, I grew up and out and sincerely doubt I could fit into one, although I've never actually tried. I know getting into a new Corvette at this year's New York International Auto Show was a challenge at best and the top of the windshield was right at eye level; I couldn't see a thing.

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About 8 years ago, I took my brother with me to look at a 1988 Covette Roadster.  Maroon with a new tan top and new tires, 58,000 miles,  a one owner golf course garage kept and pampered car.  $8,000.   Drove like a truck to me, so my brother bought it.  He spent a fortune on the electronics in the dash an sold it for $6500 a year later.   We were both  disappointed in comparing it to our former 57 & 58 Corvettes.

Was higher tech but a lot lower fun value.

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On 10/11/2019 at 5:50 PM, B Jake Moran said:

I drive a lot for work with plenty of time to think.  I heard about the new Corvette coming out.  I remember the hub bub over the C4 Corvette made from 1984 to 1996.  Years later it is the dog of the Corvette world.  Obviously the C3 Corvette was long in the tooth and the 1976 to 1982 versions are less admired than the 1968 to 1975s, but because of the shape and design, most still agree the 1976 to 1982 Corvettes are fun to own and collect.  The C4's - the shape is considered by many to be lacking, styling is bland and interiors fair.  Build quality during the 1980's was hammered hard and if I recall from working at a Chevy dealership in 2005, deserved. 


I typically buy in the "value" grades of collector cars. I own a Buick Reatta and a Cadillac Allante, for instance.  I am not considering a C4 Corvette, because my garage and lot are full, but why not?   For a period piece of automotive collectability, it seems like a good fit.  And I would hate to see more of them be run down and sent to the crusher.  No, I never see them at the U Pick It Yard, but their prices are not outrageous. 

 

It's still a sports car, and it has cool features like the front flipping hood, wheelsets which were attractive and distinctive, great handling but what about the looks?  Like it or hate it?

 

 

 

I have had every era of vette and like things about each one, and the c4's are very good looking, and with the z51 suspension, they handle like a go cart. the quality of some of the parts is unfortunately sub par, however, if one doesn't abuse the car much, they aren't really unreliable.

 

 

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I'm a Vette guy through and through.  I've only owned two, a 78 and an 02Z.  Still open the Z.  I would absolutely love a C4.  I grew up in the 80s, so those are the cars that hooked me in the Vette.  When I had the money to spend on one, I decided to get the most I could for the money I had to spend, which landed me on the Z06.  The 78 was a desired project.  I considered a C4, but C4 projects scared me.  This was my first real project car and did just about everything you could without seperating body and frame.  Now that I've done that, a C4 doesn't seem so scary.  I just don't have time (3 kids and a 36 Plymouth gifted from Grandpa).  But one day I would like to own one, an 85 I think.

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Why buy a C4 Corvette, meh!

 

totally agree.  Just as happy in a Prius..................... yes Im kidding.

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+1 as a technophile I tend to agree. The electronics have issues and are hard to repair. Headlamp actuator rollers got to dust and the crossfire ignition is a pair of Throttle Body Injectors that never worked well (had a single on my '84 Fiero.

 

That said they are basically attractive: replace the dash when breaks and drop in an LS and you have a decent cruiser. However are now at about 2X the current value. For instant gratification best buy something later.

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Did all C4 automagics have lock up/OD tans ? (4L80 maybe ?)

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@GregLaR that looks like a nice one but the white top kills it for me.

Black or tan would be much better.

My '64 Malibu SS had a white top when I first bought it and it was a pain in the butt to keep clean.

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