Corvette bargain: the fourth-generation sports cars are still affordable

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The Corvette convertible looks to be in very good condition

With classic car prices still quite high, a comment that I hear often enough is that there are no more entry-level collector cars, those that can be bought for less than $10,000.

Sure, there are some of the more-pedestrian varieties or that are in bad shape, but for a good sports car in decent condition, many people feel priced out of the market.

But there is at least one classic sports car that is still quite affordable, under 10k, and which offers both captivating styling and serious performance. That car is the C4 Corvette, the fourth generation of Chevrolet’s fiberglass roadster.

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The Pick of the Day is a 1989 Chevrolet Corvette convertible finished in White with a red leather interior and white convertible top, advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in West Babylon, New York.

In 1984, the C4 Corvette was the first complete redesign of the model since 1963. If featured a new chassis, body, and after 1984, a new V8 engine as well. The new C4 was still unmistakably a Corvette but with a higher-end interior, a classy body style with a dramatic clamshell hood like the Jaguar E-type, and a chassis that made the car capable of achieving more than 1.0G during skidpad tests, depending on the suspension option  chosen.

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The interior had the first ergonomically designed seats in a Corvette and a nifty digital dash that looked like it came from the Space Shuttle. It also featured a Bose stereo, making it the first Corvette offered from the factory with a truly exceptional audio system.

The C4 proved to be quite popular, and from 1984 to the end of production in 1996, GM sold more than 350,000 of them. That is one reason why they are currently such a great value.

According to the seller, this Corvette has 87,000 original miles and is equipped with an L98 engine and automatic transmission.

corvetteThe red leather interior looks in the pictures with the ad to be in great condition, and the car still has its original alloy wheels with correct tires, which have covered only about 5,000 miles, the seller says

These C4 Corvettes were among the best handling cars of the time and were also quite quick for the 1980s. The straight-line performance was a 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, a 0 to 100 mph time of 16.2 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 14.4 sec and a top speed of 142 mph. Not bad for a car with an automatic built during that era of marginal performance.

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The most surprising thing about these Corvettes is how inexpensively one can acquire a good example like this.  This car has an asking price of just $7,995, making it possibly the best classic sports car bargain on the market.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette from the C4’s final year

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

6 COMMENTS

    • Not many would agree with our comments on the design. A great looking car without crazy lines that dont belong just to be different. I had one and loved it!

    • Styling is a matter of personal opinion. As an owner of a C3 and a C4, I think the C3 looks better, but as far as driving, I’ll take the C4 any day. The C3 drives like a car engineered in 1962 that received basically zero updates to the chassis over its 20 year life. The C4 was so far ahead of almost anything else at the time that it still mostly feels like a modern car. The interior and weatherstripping are junk. There’s no arguing that. Expect to replace lots of disintegrating rubber and plastic, and like any old car, it’s going to need all the bushings in the suspension replaced, and a C4 has a lot of those.

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