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garyla Buying a C4
Guru Newb
los angeles
2 Posts
Member since:
1/10 18:31



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Hello Gurus! I need your help. Is it better to buy older with lower mileage?

I am a first time corvette buyer looking at two convertibles, either an 89 with 70,000 miles at $6,000 or a 93 with 140,000 also for $6,000.

What's your opinion?

Thanks in advance!
Posted on: 1/10 20:18
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GRIS Re: Buying a C4
Elite Guru
OKLAHOMA
3011 Posts
Member since:
2013/1/27 22:26



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1. I LIKE LOWER MILEAGE, ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL.

2. WITH THE '89 YOU GET THINGS I LIKE: THE EARLY BODY STYLE, STARWARS DASH, AND POSSIBLY A SIX SPEED. AND NO OPTISPARK.

2. BOGUS HAS AN OUTSTANDING BUYERS CHECKLIST FOR C4'S; NOT SURE WHERE YOU'D FIND IT, BUT YOU COULD ASK ANDY.
Posted on: 1/10 23:37
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THERE WAS NEVER A REDHEAD BORN THAT WAS NOT BORN A REBEL.
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Matatk Re: Buying a C4
Webmaster
SW Chicago Burbs
21093 Posts
Member since:
2008/1/7 0:00



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Hi Gary,

Welcome to the site!

Unfortunately this is a really open ended question with no simple answer. There are too many factors involved to say just pick one or the other.

First off, let me say there are a ton of C4s out there. Don't settle and don't think you have to buy the first one you drive! It's a buyer's market.

In general, I would say buy the newest and lowest mileage car in the best condition. But since that doesn't really apply here you'll have to compare them.

Do you prefer one body style over the other (ie round vs square tail lights)? Do you prefer the old style dash (atari) or the new style? You might not notice much difference in the low end/torque feel of the motors, but the later LT1 engine in the 93 has a higher rpm and power band with more HP.

All C4s require work and maintenance. Are you able/capable of doing it yourself? Do the cars have documentation and maintenance records? Which is in better condition.

As a new buyer, it's worth having the car checked out by a professional if you are serious about it. I know Andy always recommends a place out there called Mcjacks Corvettes. Not sure if that's local or not.

If you look here it has some decent information on model year differences:

http://www.corvetteonline.com/feature ... -onlines-c4-buyers-guide/

Good luck and keep us posted.

Matthew
Posted on: 1/11 14:56
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1989 Corvette...custom 383 stroker, superrammed and cammed, built trans with PeteK 2800 stall. Mustang dyno results: 336 rwhp / 419 rwtq.
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bogus Re: Buying a C4
Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah
San Pedro, CA
20401 Posts
Member since:
2005/9/7 0:00



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Hey Gary - welcome aboard!!!

There are soooo many things to consider.

The later C4s have so many small bugs fixed that later ones don't have.

But in this market, as Matthew said, the options are endless.

I have a few rules:

1. Don't buy the first one you see

2. NEVER buy sight unseen

3. Avoid cheap. C4s are victims of deferred maintenance, big time

4. The market evaluations are trip'n on acid. These are not cars that can be appraised as collectables, because no one is paying those prices for them. They are still used cars.


With that said, the 89 is a fair deal, the 92 is a shitty deal.

Think of it this way... about $8k will buy you a later C4, with a 6spd and lower mileage.... and it will be nearly perfect.

I do have a buyers guide... it is more then likely on my desk top computer, but that is all apart...

Please, ask questions. What is you max budget? Do you have money set aside to fix it?
Posted on: 1/11 15:29
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Education is the best tool to overcome irrational fear. - me

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garyla Re: Buying a C4
Guru Newb
los angeles
2 Posts
Member since:
1/10 18:31



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Thanks for your replies! Very informative and I liked that C4 buyers guide.

UPDATE:
The 89 with 70k miles decided to keep it.

And the 93 with 140k miles for $6k: I decided to take Bogus' advice and not buy it.

My GM dealer had a 2004 coupe with 150k miles for 10 grand SO I BOUGHT IT!

What a thrill it was to navigate through traffic to an open stretch of coastal highway and punch it for the first time at 55 mph and accelerate to 95 in a couple of fast heartbeats!

WOW.

No wonder Corvette owners are such a tight group of ardent believers!

I actually returned the 2004 after 24 hours of ownership and my dealer took it back, thankfully.

I had a C5 corvette mechanic inspect it and it needed a rear bearing (was grinding) and a differential rebuild (was leaking bad).

So now I've upped my price (will get a loan) and am lining up appointments for my ideal vette.

Guess I'll join the C5 forum, but thanks for all the sage C4 wisdom.

Gary
Posted on: 1/14 8:02
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hcbph Re: Buying a C4
Senior Guru
215 Posts
Member since:
2014/4/4 2:24



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Gary

I think you will find each generation of Corvette has it's own positive and negative aspects to it. Vettes are different just like the people that drive them.

Many call the C4's more of a drivers car vs. a C5 or C6. There are things that the newer ones have over the older and vice-versa.

The C4 may be a bit harder for some to get in and out of vs. a C5 or C6. The C4 has a separate engine/transmission/differential setup while a C5 and above uses a transaxel. C4's have the L98 and Lt1/4 engines while C5 and up have LS engines. I happen to like the L98 with the distributor vs the Optispark on the LT1/4, LS are newer COP style ignition system. Older C4's have ODB1 port while newer have ODBII. The newer cars have more computerization to them, which can be both good and bad. Early manual C4's had a 4+3 transmission while later ones had a ZF with the DM flywheel. Both have their good and bad points about them.

Personally I think a C4 can be the best bang-for-the-buck. 4 years ago I picked up my 86 with under 80K miles and a Tremec 5 speed in it.

I made my choice and I'm happy with it. It's not my perfect Vette yet, but I'm slowly modding it to become just that.

Do your research, test and check what you can and hopefully you'll find your perfect for you Vette.
Posted on: 1/14 14:09
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