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I need to do a LOT of reading on CorvetteForum and get up to speed on it all.
Just buy a 2008-2013 Z06
Buy aftermarket heads (my opinion the only real fix to the valve issue) and a good cam
Headers and exhaust and have a 550whp 3100lbs 6 speed monster!

I have been looking at them but prices have trended up in 2020 but i think that is because every used car went up in price in 2020.
 

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Only anecdotal, but there's a couple of things I can add. I've had a little seat time in a C4 as a passenger and have driven a C5 Z06 a few times.

A buddy at work was looking to get a C4 Corvette. All over the map, but a C4 ZR1 if possible. I assisted in the search and he test drove a couple, but he still didn't find "the one." I urged him to up his budget just a bit and look at a C5 Z06, since I'd had firsthand experience with one and it was just a nicer, better vehicle overall. He was pretty much sold on the Z06 on the first test drive. Still blames me for making him spend the extra money.

My wife's late grandfather owned several Corvettes. I think he had a red C5 convertible, then a black C5 Z06, and then a red C6 convertible. The Z06 is the one I'd taken out a few times, at his insistence. It was a blast, and I was sold. I was never a Corvette guy, but I will now own one someday. He purchased the C6 with an automatic because he said he was getting older and wanted something a little newer and more comfortable. We were at a car show several months after he bought it, and he told me he really wished he'd never traded his Z06. Sure, the C6 was a nicer car and likely just as quick, but the C5 had a much more more raw feel that he was missing with the C6. I think he may have been planning to replace the C6, but unfortunately we lost him before that time came. I'm a bit torn, since sure I could take the C6 out any time if I asked, but I don't really have the heart to. At the same time, I'm sure he'd want it to be driven, and I hate seeing it just sit there. At the very least I've volunteered to keep it maintained until it finds another owner.
 

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Sure, the C6 was a nicer car and likely just as quick, but the C5 had a much more more raw feel that he was missing with the C6.
I totally get this. When a C6 goes by in the paddock it's cool but sort of just another car. When a C5 Z06 goes by in the paddock it's like someone is taxiing a WWII fighter plane. You get the sense that it might attack you if it didn't have better things to do.
 

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Sure, the C6 was a nicer car and likely just as quick, but the C5 had a much more more raw feel that he was missing with the C6.
Quoting this again because I heard the same thing from a co-worker who went from C5Z to C6. Now, if raw is what you're after, that's great. However, for a weekend cruiser, the C6 is probably better.

Mine is so raw, it refused to start at the gas station yesterday! I had to get my wife to bring jumper cables and rescue me.

I totally get this. When a C6 goes by in the paddock it's cool but sort of just another car. When a C5 Z06 goes by in the paddock it's like someone is taxiing a WWII fighter plane. You get the sense that it might attack you if it didn't have better things to do.
I feel somewhat the same way. To me, the grey wheels and rear brake scoops make it. I think having the targa would make mine a better cruiser, but I'd be a little sad knowing there is the Z06 out there. Now, for C6 and C7, GrandSport is enough for me.

Let me know when you guys find me a nice $10k C5 ZO6. 😂
I think some others in this thread have set unrealistic expectations. Can a C5 be had for under $10k? Absolutely. Will it be a 2001+ 6-speed in good condition? That's the hard part. By stating that 2001+ are the best ones, we've thrown out half the production run. Assuming you want a manual, again that limits the pool. We all know there are tons of automatic 'vettes made, certainly more than manual. In the COVID induced sports car craze, the good ones are going to be harder to find. Are C5's better than C4's - sure. If your budget is a hard $10k, you might be better off looking for a really nice C4 (which are also hard to find in manual) for around $8k and then use the extra for maintenance and upkeep.

Getting my Z06 insured was a shock. It's the oldest car I own and the most expensive to insure.
 

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Vermonter ~ '20 Si Sedan – '94 Miata – '16 RAV4
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Yeah, and this is a very entry-level buy for me, I've never owned a car like this. The Miata is our first convertible, first sports car, first-weekend car, really. I'm only just now getting to a place financially where an expensive toy is even realistic. Staying on-budget is key for us.

But it wouldn't be a TCL thread if people didn't suggest you double+ your stated budget. :D :D :D
 

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I think some others in this thread have set unrealistic expectations. Can a C5 be had for under $10k? Absolutely. Will it be a 2001+ 6-speed in good condition? That's the hard part. By stating that 2001+ are the best ones, we've thrown out half the production run.
Getting my Z06 insured was a shock. It's the oldest car I own and the most expensive to insure.
The '97-99 cars (I'm pretty sure I got the date range correct) can have EBCM issues (electronic brake control module) that are unfixable, as the early C5 EBCM is out of production and no longer available. The ECU is also different and I think that's also NLA now.

C4 electronics are available, as some of the Corvette parts companies have them available, like the dash cluster and some other key parts.

If you're not trying to daily drive a Corvette, then get a collector policy- my C6 was about $1400/yr. on "normal" insurance, but about $500/yr. on a collector policy.
 

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If you're not trying to daily drive a Corvette, then get a collector policy- my C6 was about $1400/yr. on "normal" insurance, but about $500/yr. on a collector policy.
From the little bit of research I've done, collector policies require the car to be stored in a garage, which I don't have. So by your estimate alone, it would take me 50 years to pay for a garage based on insurance savings! :(
 

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Let me know when you guys find me a nice $10k C5 ZO6. 😂
That ain't happening
C5 Z06s are still in the 20s
C6 Z06s are mid 30s (a few have been high 20s)

If you just want a Vette, there was a 97 or 98 C5 with a 6 speed and A&A/Vortech supercharger here locally for 16k. I thought about it but kind of dragged my feet on it and it sold. They are out there.
 

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From the little bit of research I've done, collector policies require the car to be stored in a garage, which I don't have. So by your estimate alone, it would take me 50 years to pay for a garage based on insurance savings! :(
No garage would be a problem!
 

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If you just want a Vette, there was a 97 or 98 C5 with a 6 speed and A&A/Vortech supercharger here locally for 16k.
Yeah, but that's still not a $10k 'vette.

This is:
1991 CORVETTE COUPE - $8,995


 

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Let me know when you guys find me a nice $10k C5 ZO6. 😂
they are out there. it will be a flaming pile with a r title but they exist lol. 12k is a better range for a C5 base car. 2001+ 6spd in fair condition with sub 100k miles. they exist but you gotta be ready for when they pop up. thats why I would suggest test driving one locally to get a fit and feel for them then search out of state and be prepared to travel to get the right deal. a buddy of mine just bought a 6spd vert out of cali and road tripped it back to philly with zero issues
 

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Yeah, but that's still not a $10k 'vette.

This is:
1991 CORVETTE COUPE - $8,995


Bingo! An on-budget option :)

We'll see what the market looks like this summer, and if my budget changes. I really appreciate all the great input and advice, thanks gang.
 

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But it wouldn't be a TCL thread if people didn't suggest you double+ your stated budget. :D :D :D
TBH I just lost the plot with that one. TCL is also a place where we daydream. 😂

On a serious note I wouldn't recommend a Z06 here regardless of cost. Not saying you'd end up backwards in it, but a Miata to C5 is a large enough jump it doesn't hurt to leave room for later. 🍺
 

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Great point, and one that is not lost on me. I feel like I can get in plenty of trouble with a lowly L98 C4. ;)

I don't mind dreaming though. :)
 

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Honestly, in the sub $10k range, I'd rather have a clean, well kept C4 over a beat up C5 especially considering your intended use case. The latter would probably cost a lot more to get up to snuff anyway.
 

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Yeah, but that's still not a $10k 'vette.

This is:
1991 CORVETTE COUPE - $8,995


No but you could pull off the supercharger and sell it for 3-4k
Maybe negotiate 1k off and that 16 gets close to 10k.

C5 even at 20k is the best bang for the buck in terms of performance for me. I would hate to see what type of work would be required on a 10k version.


And I will note, the C4 to C5 was a HUGE change in how the cars perform. I've driven C4s and have 0 desire to own unless i made it into a drag car.
The C5 to me is worlds better overall driver/performer. Find a way to get a few more grand together and get the C5.
 

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We’ll likely have a $10k-ish budget and being the age I am I still love C4s.

Are you in it more for the having a corvette, prefer the c4 styling? or do you want the performance of a corvette.

If the first, then shop away at later model C4s, the facelifted ones of the early 90s were pretty good cars.

If you want the performance side of things, would suggest looking at the C5s as the change to a torque tube was an absolute game changer.

Either way good luck shopping. I just saw a purple 1995 ZR-1 for 25k, that I'd love to have, but can neither afford nor merit.
 

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It's a combination of things. I've always wanted to own a Corvette. It was a dream car when I was a kid. I had posters of the ZR-1 all over my wall.



I'm really not looking for every last ounce of performance. I'm sure that compared to everything else I drive, any good C4 or later Corvette is going to be plenty fast for my needs and wants. I actually do think the C4 is good looking and I'll take an extra nice late C4 over a tatty C5 if budget dictates.



 
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