11,470 Original Miles: 1985 Chevy Corvette

The C4 Corvette hovers between maligned and revered, depending on which year we’re talking about. No matter your personal opinion on its performance or lack thereof, finding a minty fresh C4 of any model year is a treat. This 1985 example has a mere 11,470 miles on the clock, and comes in a color other than red, white, and black, making it even more intriguing. Find it here on craigslist with a listed price of $11,300. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Roger for the find. 

The Corvette has been treated as a collector’s item by its owners since Day 1. The first caretaker put a mere 6,700 miles on the car in his five years of ownership, keeping it in heated storage during that period. The mileage ticked up to just over 9K with the second owner, and now has risen to just over 11,000 with the third and current owner. It looks great in blue, I might add.

That’s one thing that drives me nuts about this generation ‘Vette: It seems like 90% of them were ordered in red or white. Seeing a C4 wearing spotless blue paint with a matching Medium Blue interior just makes me love this car even more, even if this combination isn’t particularly sexy. The digital cluster still functions perfectly and it’s equipped with the Bose stereo.

The seller notes that the car has been carefully maintained and gone over by a Corvette specialist, with all trouble spots examined and verified as being non-issues. No issues with the steering, cruise control, wheel bearings, or U-joints are noted, and the car benefits from a new battery, tires, and oil change. If a low-mileage Corvette is on your list, at least pick a good color.


  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Very nice, but no thanks. Not sure if it is on my end, but I see a lot of rigs that come through that I do not see in the early access. Anyone else see that? I really liked the instant access and hoped it would return. It was always easier to keep up with the new posts. Not so much fun anymore. Whats going on Jeff?

    Like 6
    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Hey guys, we are working on getting more posts in early access for you! We just got a little behind over the weekend, but we are working on hardest to keep the fun going!
      Thanks for your support!

      Like 4
  2. M.Balmer Member

    I’ve experienced the same issue and was curious about that also.

    Like 3

    First year for the Tuned Port Injection. Nice car. Well worth 11k, but the seller will probably get about half of that.
    I happen to like C4’s, a bunch of folks that have never been in one, will trash them. Not sure why, but they do. 240 hp in the 80’s was pretty impressive, 30 mpg on the highway, also impressive, and fantastic handling, and stopping.
    Yes, you kinda fall in and crawl out, of a C4, I think it’s worth it.

    Like 10
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Not so sure on the 30 mpg reference. Other than when there was some issues, I’ve never gotten 30 mpg out of mine nor any of my friends have either.
      Low 20’s – yes, 30 – no.

      Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        22 mpg is the best I have ever seen on my readouts.

      • BRAKTRCR

        My 89 ragtop automatic gets 30 on a long trip, sometimes 31. Around town yes 15, or 12, if I’m having lots of fun.
        Not figured by the computer, but by miles traveled, and gallons used.

        Like 1
      • RP

        My C5 drop top gets pretty good mileage on the long runs, between 32 and 37. Just bouncing around town she gets 26-30.

  4. CapNemo

    One of the reasons I paused my membership. I hope it gets fixed. I really like this car in this color!

    Like 3
  5. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    Parked when boring.

    Like 4
    • MrBZ

      As opposed to the thrilling German offerings of the day.

      Like 13
  6. Brandon

    11k isnt bad at all. I just paid 10k for an ’85 with 35k. Special order Z51 car with weird options, the right color (bright red), original tires, and it was a 2X NCRS Top Flight winner.

    Like 6
  7. dirtyharry

    C4 is still the bargain hot rod. As I recall, the 85 was the fastest car in AMERICA at 150 mph. The best thing is, it has TPI instead of cross-fire, the spring rates were reduced by 25%, wheel caster was changed from 3.8 to 6, improving on center feel. I like the 86 better, just because you get aluminum heads (125lbs is a lot of weight to save), anti-lock brakes, integrated security system (pass-key). I have one thing to say: This car will run up the ass of almost any foreign car costing 10X as much. Hoorah for AMERICA!

    Like 16
  8. Superdessucke

    So a rusty and tired ’73 ‘Cuda 340 is worth way more than an 11k mile C4 Corvette, LOL! Imagine if you’d gone to trade in said ’73 ‘Cuda back in 1985 on this. They’d have probably given you 500 bucks in trade off your shiny new ‘Vette’s $26,000 sticker ($62,000 in adjusted dollars), and made up for it by selling you a Rusty Jones undercoating and fabric protection package, haha!

    Like 6
    • Superdessucke

      If I traded any kind of ’60s or even up to late-70s muscle car in on this, I’d have to undergo hypnosis to eliminate that from my memory, lest I harm myself. It’s really amazing to me how poorly these aged, and how cars from just 15 years before this maintain high desirability.

      Like 2
      • T Mel

        Superdessucke; Nearly everyone said the exact same about the C3 not that many years ago. We’ll see how badly they have aged once their time comes, or if it doesn’t, but they are not there quite yet. Most of the C3s didn’t “maintain” squat, you could buy a whole bunch of decent ones for $4k a pop not that long ago- but no more. Not doggin my ’72, just sayin it’s the nature of collector car values. The ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’ will change on these C4s as well.


    My brother bought an ’87 bright red Z-51 coupe with 4+3 stick from Klick-Lewis Chevrolet in Palmyra, PA “at $49 over factory invoice” back in early 1987.
    I drove it a bunch of times before he sold it in 1991.
    Ride and handling were a cross between an F-16 and a dump truck.

    Like 2
  10. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Don’t know much about Corvettes, never had one but I do like blue. Considering the mileage and condition, the ask seems fair to me and there are a lot of boring used cars out there for the same money. It’s a sports car that is well-optioned, handles and stops well but is a little short on HP. Can’t have everything but it would be fast enough for most.

    11 G’s may not be a good price for those in the know but to the average guy looking for something flashy, this would do nicely.

    Like 4

      FordGuy1972, IMHO it depends what your intended purpose is. If looking for something to cruise in, these don’t work so well because they are stiff riding and you sit pretty far down in them; you can’t lay your arm on the window sill for example. The cockpit seems small compared to the size of the car. I remember my brother’s ’87 as pretty quick, though that is relative. If looking for a sports car to enjoy on back roads, I’d sooner pick up an early Miata as they are more fun to fling around. Just my $0.02. :-)

      Like 1
  11. Frank Sumatra

    Nice car. Absolute top end on the price. Buy it at $11K and you will see zero upside and you will own it for a long, long time. The only way to have a chance with a C4 is to buy a 95 or 96. They are the high end of C4 refinement. You are taking a serious gamble with any early C4

    Like 3
  12. ccrvtt

    Having actually owned a ’95 for 8 years I know a little about them. Nothing is more irritating than to have someone spout off a negative opinion with no real experience with the car in question. However, most of the above comments are absolutely true. They are NOT collectible (now) and they are definitely NOT an investment. Very few cars featured here are investments. I bought mine with 10k miles for $15,000 and sold it for $11,700. The buyer got a good deal. I got a good deal, too, because I enjoyed the heck out of it.

    Let’s not take the C4 out of context. For the decade+ from 1984 – 1996 Corvette set the performance standard. In SCCA racing they so dominated the Porsches and BMWs of the day they had to create a whole new class for them. The styling was subdued compared to the flamboyant C3 but time will be kind to its subtle shapes and curves.

    The only choice is which rear end you like better.

    Like 5
    • Superdessucke

      If one can’t tell, I’m not a fan of these. I base that primarily on styling as I’ve honestly never driven one. Just something about it looks so ’80s and cheesy, I don’t know. I don’t feel that way about other ’80s cars, even the 3rd Gen F-bodies. The market obviously agrees given the prices. The only car that looks more 1980s to me is a Delorean. And even that’s a close battle.

      I think the car’s looks greatly improved with the 1991 updates, I’ll give you that. The interior and dashboard designs never appealed to me, even the later one with all the orange everywhere.

      If I was going to buy one, I’d definitely hold out for a 1992-96 LT1, or even a 1996 LT4 6-speed if I could get one.

      Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        You need to drive one and then comment.

        Like 4
      • ccrvtt

        Super – You generally have cogent and reasonable opinions expressed here. Frank Sumatra is right – you should try one. On looks alone I thought my solid black coupe was a work of art. I also liked my ’98 Mustang’s lines and the 1969 Cutlass coupe I once had. On the other hand, the 1997 Corolla was bland beyond belief. An excellent car, but did not excite in the least.

        The point is that styling is a matter of taste and there’s nothing more individual than taste. In fact, I’m sure there are virtues to cars such as the Aztek and Juke.

        That is if you can get past the retching and puking from just looking at them…

        Like 2
      • T Mel

        Super; As someone originally from WI, I take offense to your (common) use of the word “cheesy” to mean stupid or lame. Cheese is a good thing people! And anything cheese-like should be a good thing too. :)

        Like 3
      • Superdessucke

        @ccvrt – Thanks, I fully admit my opinions are based on the car’s appearance, and possibly unfair. Though I do have to say that I’ve owned six F-bodies in my life and have fond memories of them all except one – the 1991 Z28 I bought a few years ago. I felt it was too unsophisticated. Lots of squeaks, rattles and cowl shake. And the motor idled poorly IMO.

        I attributed that to years of driving European and Japanese performance cars after my last F-body before it. I sold it after just 8 months.

        I do like a V-8 rumble though. Maybe a C4 would feel better while providing that. Certainly a good time to buy one!

        Like 1

    ccrvtt, I’d agree on the styling. I always thought the C4 was very handsome, not as flashy as some past Vettes. I especially liked the big clam shell hood, making access a breeze compared to many other modern cars. My favorite was probably the ’90 ZR-1, combining the later rear styling with the earlier C4 front.

    I know many criticized the instrument cluster, but I actually liked it. The amount of info was impressive. Using all those buttons to go through all of it was actually helpful to pass the time on long trips.

    It certainly had an impressive racing career. I just felt it wasn’t nearly as much fun as smaller, lighter, more nimble cars. It was a serious piece, frankly too much so for me. An impressive machine that even as a teenager I found more tiring to drive than it was fun. I respected it, but never loved it or desired it. Nor did I ever miss it once my brother sold it.

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