3,850 Miles: 1984 Corvette Z51

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Recently, the Corvette museum in Bowling Green has been in the news for opening up their sinkhole exhibit to the public. Obviously, the museum’s goal is to feature significant cars from years of Corvettes being manufactured in the U.S., and now even the ones swallowed up the the massive hole beneath the exhibit are attracting visitors far and wide. The seller of this 1984 Corvette here on eBay thinks it’s special enough to be on the museum floor, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find. 

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With only 3,850 miles on the clock, it’s no surprise this Corvette looks so good. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say it could qualify as a museum specimen. Plus, the seller notes that it comes with some rare and desirable options, from the Z51 suspension to the cloth sport seats, which the seller claims fewer than 300 Corvettes of this vintage came equipped with. The presence of a manual transmission is an added bonus, and overall, there’s nothing here that makes me doubt the mileage claim.

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The engine does look clean enough that you could eat off of it. The 5.7L V8 presents as-new, but it doesn’t really matter since this particular example will forever be relegated to short yard drives or perhaps the occasional cruise. The tires remain original but not dry-rotted and the targa roof has never been off the car, making this one pampered ‘Vette. The interior still retains the signature new car small, so owning this late-production ’84 is as close to buying one new as you can get.

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While this car has all the right stuff equipment-wise – the magazines gushed about the suspension setup at the time – would you even dare to use it? This car is so special, so perfectly preserved, that its most likely suitor is a big money investor who will purchase it to store for the long-term to see if the values tick upwards in the months and years ahead. Of course, there’s another possibility: might the museum in Kentucky want it for their collection? Or is its low mileage reading not enough of a reason to feature it?

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Comments

  1. JamestownMike

    O boy, a whopping 205 horsepower! Didn’t the “cross fire injection” for this year SUCK??

    • Nessy

      Yes, Cross Fire it had under the hood and 205 was the number but the way the 84 put the power to the wheels made it feel like it had more than 205hp. It was still one of the faster cars for 84, although my friends 81 Datsun 280ZX Turbo automatic left my 84 Vette in the dust. We also had in our group, a 83 Mitsubishi Starion Turbo and an 84 Toyota Supra and both cars stayed very close to the 84 Vette’s bumper from 0 to about 80, then the Vette pulled away from them all except that nasty Datsun Turbo. At that time, the Japs were really starting to put out some fast cars for the time. I give the credit to the new for 81 Datsun 280ZX Turbo for starting the horsepower wars once again. That Datsun Turbo was a mean car. It was the fastest automatic car built for several years in a row and it ate that 84 Vette for lunch. However, the new 85 tuned port motor was a rocket. I had an 84 and then an 85. Yes, the 85 Tuned Port 230hp car was a big upgrade in many ways. I think both hp figures were under rated. I myself liked the harsh ride of the 84, it felt like a race car. The cross fire has a meaner sound than the tuned port. The 85 also felt softer in the ride. If you had to pick an everyday driver and wanted this era Corvette, an 85 or newer is the way to go but there was something special about that first year 84. I like it. Oh, the guy said this car was built in March 84 making it a later 84, correct so some of the early bugs may be out of it. He also said production for the 84 started in March 83 which is wrong. The first 84s were built, believe it or not in December of 82. So, here we have an 84 model car with some built as early as late 82. The New York 1982 Auto show had a new 84 prototype on the floor and that was in the spring of 1982.

  2. The Walrus

    Several things about this car make me yawn.

    First, although its a redesign introduction year, there was nothing, in retrospect, particularly desirable about the ’84 Corvette. The seller states ‘One of the last ’84’s to be produced, which is a good thing’. Uh, well, for the end of a legacy model or style, toward the end of a production run is a good thing (really only the last few actually see increased value). For the end of a model year in which it is a new model that continues into the next year? Not so much. Collectors, at least those who spend large, are looking for the first or last of an entire run, not mid year continuation.

    Second, the low mileage seems impressive. However, once Corvette values started increasing (think mid 70’s when early cars were becoming ‘classic’), people started hoarding them from new. Think of all the low mileage 25th Anniversary ’78’s we’ve seen just here on Barn Finds. While other years haven’t been like 1978, there are plenty of low mileage Corvettes out there sitting in garages. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are a dozen or more comparable ’84’s out there for the taking. Making this car far less unique. IMO there’s a huge glut of early ’80’s Corvettes out there that will be hitting the market in the next few years as their elderly and sentimental first owners who bought them during their mid-life crisis start finally parting ways with them.

    The car is nice enough to be worth a premium, but not more than 25-30%. My guess is the seller’s looking for 200-300%.

    • The Walrus

      Actually just noticed it’s got a Florida Temp tag on it… looks like someone is a flipper …probably an ‘estate find’.

    • Gordon

      My guess is you have never owned a 84 z51

  3. erikj

    I never liked that year/style. As a sever car guy that hand every muscle car from the 60-80s. I always wanted a vette,but they where out of my price range. One day I moved into a house and noticed a 84 vet that just sat in the front yard. after a few weeks I ment twila of lived next door and the first thing out of my mouth was why does the vette sit in the yard and never moves. She said she got devoriced and got it and hated it.She asked if I wanted it and I said I wish but I could never afford it.This was in 1990 so it was still nice and they did command a bit. She said $3000 and I could make payments,but she said to take it now and make sure I liked it. Well what a deal, I took it home cleaned and detaled it ,put real love into it-I Finlay got a vette.After1 week I gave it back!!! The thing bored the hell out of me. For ever hated that style,still do and again I love muscale cars, so for me to say that,amazing. Since than I have driven a 57, what a blast,a 68 427 tripower, fastest thing ever dbl.blast,78 t-top even a automatic ,fun loved it, and know I have a 68 350,4spd 4:11posi its work in progress but a decent driver,and I own it. So all that said the 84 to this day don’t even care to sit in one. That’s my vette story

  4. Donnie

    don’t you want to smell 1984 again

  5. Rick

    “Historic and collectible”… no. Just another ’84. Mileage not withstanding, everything rubber on the car would need replaced. $10K tops.

    • Nessy

      That’s a myth about everything rubber needing to be replaced just because of age. If it’s a brand new car and has been stored in a building with full climate control, the rubber parts are still new. Trust me, I should know. I put away several brand new cars from the 70s and 80’s in dry storage and the rubber items are just as new now as they were when the cars were new.

      • Rick

        But this isn’t a brand new car. It has miles. And most certainly wasn’t in climate controlled storage. Very few people have the wherewithal to properly store a vehicle for the long term. Even then, I wouldn’t be driving on 30 year old tires and brake hoses. But that’s just me… as the saying goes ‘ya roll the dice and take yer chances’….

      • JamestownMike

        Rubber breaks down over TIME, period! The shelf life for rubber tires are 10 years, they become a safety liability after that. Put your hand inside a 10 year old rubber glove and see what happens……..same deal!

  6. Joe

    Pampered to the point of not wanting to photograph it out in the daylight? Details are lost under dim lighting. Can you eat off the engine? We can assume so if milage is true, but I would want to take a real good look at it outside in the sun before I took my fork out.

  7. victor sanchez sr

    Not a bad looking car but, the exhaust tips are not correct they should be turned down. I have a 1985 Z/51 and my sister and brother in law had a 1984, we had a good race one afternoon and he got so angry that I left him so far behind that he sold the car, his car was red like this one with a four speed mine is an automatic with 31,144 miles on it and looks as good as this one. I know not everyone likes the 4th gens but there is a following and we are proud of them.

  8. Texas Tea

    Such a boring car. However, if you want one this would be as clean as they come.

    GM absolutely sucked in this time period as did the other two, “Big Three”. I was there before and after and saw the whole show. I’m not a fan.

  9. Rancho Bella

    corvettes…………don’t get me started

  10. Luke Fitzgerald

    I like the exhaust on the magic carpet – or is it praying?

  11. Wabbit

    I Had an 84 vette just like this, and a 300 ZX, and a dodge conquest all at the same time. the Conquest was a 4 cylinder but it seemed like it had more power and would have out run the other two. Of course I never raced them, LOL little hard to drive them all at the same time. Sure wish I had them all back. Eventually I bought another conquest for my daughter that was 1 year different, but it was either a crysler or plymouth, why they changed the brand from one to the other I never knew but they were really all Crysler products. I flipped a lot of cars back then Many of which I Hardly owned more than a day before selling them.

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