Jan 18, 2013

She's fast enough for you old man.

You can dispense with the pleasantries, I'm here to get you back to reality.  


This is clearly beyond our price range, it's not the car your looking for.


So we are all very excited about the new C7 Stingray Corvette, aren't we?   But,  let's keep in mind that cars are poor investments.  Let's also keep in mind that for some of us money must go to Amazon.com for diapers for a long, long time - then for soccer shoes and lastly college.  So, let's all let the emotions settle down and think this new obsession through, shall we?  


You can go about your business. Move along


If you still want a Corvette after taking your heart medicine, then you've got to make some important decisions.  Your decision must pay some dividends, or you'll never sell it to yourself or others who might hold the checkbook.  I'm here to help, because I don't blog about super cars, and "rationalization" is my middle name.   I blog about cars I can personally afford, and about cars that don't hurt so bad when you sell them, either.  Which is why I have three followers: my wife, my mother and some girl from India. 


Consider something a little older, but still extremely cool.
But really, less cool and much older than this one





First,  what are you thinking?  A new car?  There's no bigger waste of money than a brand new car.  Sure, it would be cool.  Never finding all the flaws that someone else has fixed or hidden.  Never discovering the secret half-ass repairs that were missed by your pre-purchase inspection.  Never worrying about actual mileage or missed oil changes.  Having that pure perfect relationship from birth with a pristine one owner car.  No! Get a hold of yourself, man. That kind of crazy talk is for retirees and Lotto winners.


1998 Turbos beat the hell out of '99 standard Carreras.
Heck, they give even new Carreras some serious competition!
A good example of resisting the new model in 1999.
Buying used, tired, beaten down cars is the answer to us limited budget shoppers   So don't you forget it. Settle down and remember, it's a small price to pay for protection against the huge value drop you'll see as you drive off the lot.  Use your logic and maybe even some restraint.  Though I don't personally subscribe to such things.  


1995 Gave us the last windsor V8 Mustang Cobra R.
Cooler and worth over twice what a '96 Cobra fetches.
Trading for a new 1996  Cobra would have been dumb.
Second,  this is the first of a new generation. Buying the first is often a mistake. This is the starting point, not the ending point of the coolness that will be the Stingray.   All the defects that are yet to appear will be sorted out as the next 5-7 years elapse.  True, it's possible it will be flawless and unimprovable, but be real. In 5 years even those little improvements will make you regret your emotional state right now. You'll then suffer from a greater depreciation than your yearning can currently understand.


The last BMW M3 E46's had a competition package available.
They have held value over the past 3 years very, very well.
 IF you can find one and aren't stupid and sell it 2 years ago 

Third,   A more special, collectible ZR1 vette is a way cooler investment.  By cooler I mean less bad.  We all know cars are not an investment.  Please see previous, wise blogs I've written.  Example: Cars as Investments?  Then again, with the state of the real estate market, maybe a ZR1 is indeed a good investment.  My 14 year old Porsche has certainly held its value better than my home.  Unless, you count $250 oil changes.



Under 1,500 were built with the 405hp LT5.Do your homework and find one with a high-torque tranny. 
Don't underestimate the C4 ZR1's powers.
So think hard about a limited production, collectible and esoteric super car like the C4 ZR1. yes a C4.  I know you dig the C6 ZR1, but that's a no brainer.  Anyone can dream of that car.  Think outside the box.  This 1990's ZR1 goes unnoticed often, because it doesn't depart from the appearance of the common and often even tired C4.  


Googled and found: 1993 Low 8,892 Miles under $40K
click here to buy it, if it's still around.
 This ZR1 is not the same as other C4s. It's special and the people who know it will have all their teeth and not smell when they approach you at the gas station.   It has a certain secret insider elegance since it's not easy to spot from afar. You don't like it as much right now as the C6 ZR1 or the C7 Stingray.  I understand. Remember, the C4 ZR1 is a notable car and will hold your money in trust like no new Stingray can. Take your Zoloft and you'll warm to it in time.  


C4 ZR1 was definitely the coolest C4 ever conceived
The big question, is it cooler than a base model C5 now??
Search your feelings.



See http://www.zr1netregistry.com/ for compelling stats.  Just like the Millenium Falcon,  She's fast enough for you, old man.  They are giving these away at the auctions too!!  See:  http://www.barrett-jackson.com/application/onlinesubmission/lotdetails.aspx?ln=59&aid=466

With stats like: 186 mph, 0-60 mph 4.4-4.7 sec,  qtr in under 13sec.
The force is strong with them.












Plan B,  There is another
Buy a raffle ticket for the fastest convertible Vette ever produced 
http://store.corvettemuseum.com/detail.aspx?ID=3051  
I've spent my limit on these strategies, but good luck to you.




High miles, well maintained. CarFax shows some battle damage.
 Owner made a lot of special modifications himself.
 Tidbits from wikipedia:


During 1986, General Motors acquired Group Lotus, the UK based engineering consulting and performance car manufacturing firm. The Corvette division approached Lotus with the idea of developing the world's fastest production car, to be based on the C4 generation Corvette. With input from GM, Lotus designed a new engine to fit in place of the L98 V8[citation needed] that was powering the standard C4. The result was what GM dubbed the LT5, an aluminum-block V-8 with the same bore centers as the L98, but with four overhead camshafts, 32 valves. Lotus also designed a unique air management system for the engine to provide a wider power band by shutting off 8 of the 16 intake runners and fuel injectors when the engine was at part-throttle, while still giving the ZR-1 375 hp (280 kW) when at wide open throttle. In addition to the engine, Lotus helped GM design the ZR-1's (which in prototype version was called "King of the Hill"[4]) upgraded braking and steering systems[citation needed], and helped them pick the settings for the standard "FX3" adjustable active ride control that Chevrolet was fitting to the car[citation needed], helping to ensure that the vehicle was more than just a modern-day muscle car with a big engine and no real capability on the track.
GM found that the engine required special assembly, and that neither the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky nor any of their normal production facilities could handle the workload, so Mercury Marine corporation of Stillwater, Oklahoma was contracted to assemble the engines and ship them to the Corvette factory in Bowling Green where the ZR-1s were being assembled.
The vehicle went on sale in 1990 and was available only as a coupe. It was distinguishable from other Corvette coupes by its wider tail section, 11" wide rear wheels and its new convex rear fascia with four square shaped taillights and a CHMSL (center high mounted stop lamp) attached to the top of the hatch glass instead of between the taillights.
The ZR-1 displayed stunning ability both in terms of acceleration and handling capabilities, but carried with it an astonishingly high price. MSRP for the ZR-1 in 1990 was $58,995, almost twice the cost of a non-ZR-1, and had ballooned to $66,278 by 1995; some dealers successfully marked units as high as $100,000. Even at base MSRP, this meant that the ZR-1 was competing in the same price bracket as cars like the Porsche 964, making it a hard sell for GM dealers.

1992 Corvette ZR1
In 1991, the ZR-1 and base model received updates to body work, interior, and wheels. The rear convex fascia that set the 1990 ZR-1 apart from the base model found its way to all models, making the high-priced ZR-1 even less distinguishable. Further changes were made in992, including extra ZR-1 badges on the fenders and the introduction of Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR) or traction control. For model year 1993, Lotus design modifications were made to the cylinder heads, exhaust system and valvetrain of the LT5, bringing horsepower up to 405. In addition, a new exhaust gas recirculation system improved emissions control. The model remained nearly unchanged into the 1995 model year, after which the ZR-1 was discontinued as the result of waning interest, development of the LS series engines, cost and the coming of the C5 generation. A total of 6,939 ZR-1s were manufactured over the six-year period. Not until the debut of the C5 platform Z06 would Chevrolet have another production Corvette capable of matching the ZR-1's performance.
Although the ZR-1 was extremely quick (0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and onto 180+ mph), the huge performance of the LT5 engine was matched by its robustness. As evidence of this, a stock ZR-1 set a number of international and world records at a test track in Fort Stockton, Texas on March 1, 1990, verified by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), including seven new international records: Walken

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