2,947 Original Miles: 1989 Chevy Corvette

This 1989 Chevrolet Corvette convertible has led a sheltered existence since new. The seller notes that the current family owners purchased it in 1993 with the odometer showing 793 miles; today, it has just 2,947. This example will certainly give you bragging rights about owning one of the lowest mileage specimens around, especially with the distinctive color combination of red over red leather with an Arctic White top. What always blows my mind is that even with time-capsule grade mileage, these are still relatively affordable classics. Find it here on craigslist for $15,900 and thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. 

There’s really not much else to say about the condition, other than it looks absolutely perfect. I’ve always loved the red interiors on Corvettes of this era because GM just loaded it up with red surfaces everywhere you looked. The carpeting, seats, console, and door panel all wear the same gorgeous shade of cardinal red (or cherry, depending on your perspective) and it looks to be in outstanding condition. The seller notes the Corvette left the factory a well-equipped example, with a power driver’s seat and a Delco-Bose Music System. I assumed that would be standard equipment, but apparently it was optional via the Preferred Equipment Group #1 package.

The engine bay is as mint as you’d expect, and the 5.7L V8 is paired to an automatic transmission. The seller doesn’t detail any sort of maintenance history, and actually highlights the lack of updates as important to preserving its collectibility – from the tires to the lack of detailing. Now, I get the whole as-found condition thing is a big deal with low-mileage cars, but given the seller indicates the air conditioning “…has not been used or serviced in recent times” and the paint has not been detailed “…to prevent wear and tear”, it seems like a distinct possibility that this Corvette hasn’t seen any regular exercise in recent years.

The seller indicates they are elderly and do not answer text messages. Put it together with the original tires that definitely should be replaced before the Corvette is driven any measurable distance and it seems likely the car has been used purely as a static display piece and not as a weekend driver. This is what’s so vexing about time capsule cars: you can’t drive them, for fear of adding too many miles or having a fender-bender that necessitates a repaint, but if you don’t drive them, systems deteriorate (like the A/C.) In effect, a car that isn’t used still has as much in the way of annual maintenance as does a car that gets regular use. Would you buy this one or a more used example?

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Comments

  1. doone

    Somethings not right, first the tires raised my suspicion. But when I saw the service stickers on the door one reads 16k+ and the other reads 18k+ miles the deal went south. Every picture tells a stor,y story.

    Like 1
    • doone

      I withdraw the mileage objection, its the dealer code not the mileage, my bad.

      Like 3
  2. Pat

    Seller goes into detail about the window sticker, claiming it’s included with pictures?

  3. Mike

    Unless you need a C4 to add to a collection that is not driven this is way over priced. For that kind of money you can pick up a C5 or C6 which is so much better in so many ways.

    Like 1
  4. Ray M Flenniken

    Call me stupid, but I’d drive the wheels off it. Just like it was 1989. Screw lowering what my estate can sell it for.

    Like 8
  5. 370zpp

    Overpriced? Not by me. If you happen to like the C4 series (actually I don’t, personally) for the miles, condition and features, it presents well and seems like a very fair price.

    Like 3
  6. ROBERT

    WELL FOR A 89 IT IS IN REAL NICE SHAPE AT LEAST FROM THE PICTURE, but the average price for a 89 c4 with over 100k now days are going for around 5k to 6k from what iv seen . draw back on these carsis the instrument panel they like to work when they want to iv noticedand the other thing is what actual suspension did this one come with is it standard or the upgrade suspension is how i see to grade the estimated resale cost. Plus what iv seen in the past is actual production date they on the later models actually came out with the different style rimssome with the sawblades and some with the newer style.

    • Frankio

      This 89 convertible is most likely loaded with the Z52 sport handling package – the 17″ rims are correct and mounted in the correct direction – It’s worth a bit over ten grand due to the fact it’s a very low mileage convertible and is in pristine visual condition – it will need new tires and a good going over as far as the fluids, serpentine belt, filters etc … the headlight motors have plastic gears that dry rotted and may need replacement – expect to put a grand or so into it to get it drivable – but for around ten grand you get a great handling car that has improved dual piston disc brakes that outperformed everything in it’s day – zero to sixty in 5.7 seconds is better than the porsches and Ferrari’s of the day. Top speed of 150 if you’re crazy enough, 340 pounds of v8 torque will put you back in your seat. Looks great, no ugly airbags or cheap plastic – This is a very nice car for the money –

  7. Superdessucke

    I mean it seems nice but you might as well get one with 50,000 miles on it for about half the money. And not have to worry (as much) about storage related issues.

    Bottom line it’s not a highly desirable car and the low miles will bring a minimal premium due to that. So I suspect the price is going to have to come down quite a bit to move it.

    Like 1
    • Frankio

      You’re right, I paid 8 grand for a nice 18k mile `88 coupe last year – I think 10 grand is about right for it considering everything. If you look hard and are patient, you can find a decent one for 5-6 grand. 15 grand is nice C5 and possibly 100k mile C6 territory.

  8. moosie moosie Member

    I think this car has been here before because I remember the drivers seat bottom looking like it has seen more than 2947 miles worth of use and people commenting on that, but it is still a nice Corvette in a good color combination, maybe a tad high on the price but its value is in the eyes and mind of the seller, they just have to find a like minded buyer.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      Old boy could have just sat in it idling many times.

    • Frankio

      The leather seat bottoms were known to dry crack regardless of miles driven. especially when not driven much they tend to get brittle after 32 years and the high frame rails made the outside bolsters take a beating too. The 88 and 89 are some of the best C4’s so this one should attract a buyer for just north of ten thousand.

  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    The ad is a riot! The make a big deal out of the standard “accessories”, like air conditioning – LOL!

    Not to mention, they say it has NO MILES in the headline.

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