The Corvette as a car does not get the respect it deserves. The people on the Corvette team at General Motors have been building class-leading sports cars since they first put a V8 engine in the Corvette way back in 1955, finally giving the car proper power. The car became an instant contender on race tracks around the world, as has every generation that followed. It was much the same for the street cars. In their day they tended to be some of the faster and better handling sports cars of their eras. European sports cars have seemed to deride the Corvette and its owners since the beginning, which added to people considering the Corvette to not be thought of as a “real” sports cars when compared to the cars of Europe.
This is sad as the last few generations of top spec Corvettes, from the C5 Z06 to this AutoHunter Spotlight, this 2009 Corvette ZR1, are truly punching in the same league as the best sports cars from Europe.
Doubt me on this? Well in a Car and Driver road test of the 2009 ZR1 Corvette the test results were a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds, a 1/4 mile time of 11.3 seconds, and a top speed of 203 mph. That same magazine, when testing the 2009 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, recorded a 0-60 of 3.3 seconds, a 1/4 mile time of 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 205 mph. So, the Ferrari beats the Corvette by 1/10 of a second to 60 and for the 1/4 mile and has a top speed that is 2 mph faster. Here is the interesting part. The 2009 ZR1 when new had a base price of $105,000, and the Ferrari 599 had a base price of $302,000. Combine that with the service costs for each and I honestly don’t know why a person seeking a ultra high performance sports car to actually drive would even consider the 599. I guess those extra 1/10 of a second and 2 extra mph cost almost $200,000. Also don’t even consider saying the styling of the 599 is so much better than the C6 ZR1. I mean just look at this car. The styling is awesome and definitely in the same league as its Italian competitor.
The 2009 ZR1 here is said to be a car that has been driven 16,082 miles since new and was initially delivered to Connell Chevrolet in Costa Mesa, California. When new it had a retail price of $119,135. It is powered by an LS9 6.2-liter supercharged and intercooled V8 mated to a six-speed manual transaxle and a limited-slip differential. Options include the 3ZR Premium Equipment Group’s heated power seats, Bose audio, and navigation system; a heads-up display; dual-zone automatic climate control; and Magnetic Ride Control. It is painted in its original in Cyber Gray Metallic paint over an Ebony leather interior.
The ZR1 was not your average Corvette as it features from the factory a lightweight carbon fiber hood and roof, carbon fiber fenders, and carbon fiber floor panels. Additional features include a carbon fiber front splitter, HID headlamps, daytime running lamps, fog lights, a clear window in the hood, vented front fenders, a lip spoiler, and quad exhaust outlets. It runs on original ZR1-specific chromed aluminum wheels measure 19 inches in diameter up front and 20 inches in the rear and are wrapped in new 285/30 front and 335/25 rear Michelin tires that were installed in May 2023.
The interior is furnished with the 3ZR Premium Equipment Group and heated and power-adjustable Ebony leather bucket seats, matched to the door panels, dash, center console, and carpeting. Features include a power telescoping steering column, a seven-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD audio system with navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power door locks, power windows, a head-up display, a power hatch pull-down, pedal covers, and a driver information center. Instrumentation includes a 220-mph speedometer, a 7,500-rpm tachometer, and auxiliary gauges for the fuel level, coolant temperature, boost pressure, and oil pressure.
Mechanically this car is as immaculate as the exterior and interior. Under the hood is the original and unmodified LS9 supercharged and intercooled 6.2-liter V8 that uses dry-sump lubrication and rated at 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque from new. The seller adds that an oil change was performed in May.
So here is what I am thinking. If you can get over the fact that no it is not a Ferrari but just as good and in an easier to use and much less costly to maintain package (think your local Chevy dealer), this 2009 Corvette ZR1 makes much more sense and offers the same amount of fun as anything from Italy or Germany. Sure, you might not get the respect that the Ferrari guys do, but be happy knowing that you have a world class car that is the equal of his very expensive to buy (and even more expensive to maintain) Ferrari. I also bet you spend more time driving and enjoying it than the Ferrari owner ever will.
The auction for this 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 ends Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. (PDT)