39k Mile Supercar: 1991 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

Not too long ago, I was singing the praises of the Corvette ZR1 as a very underappreciated supercar that can be bought for reasonable money compared to cars offering similar performance. Nothing has changed my opinion since that time, and here’s another one I wish I could be a contender for: a very clean 1991 ZR-1 selling at no reserve, with bidding at just over $21K at the moment. That’s still cheap for what you’re getting, especially considering what you have to out-of-pocket now just to get into a low-spec 964 chassis Porsche 911. The red-on-red example listed here on eBay has just 39K miles and is said to drive exactly like a ZR-1 should.

The ZR-1 to me, at least, is a perfect case of Chevrolet giving the people exactly what they wanted, taking the mundane C4 and serving it up with the performance and technology that Corvette fans were sick of seeing in the competition’s models from Europe. Every now and again, a manufacturer throws caution, logic, and budget out the window and simply builds the car it wants to build. I see the first generation Dodge Viper as a similar moment in time when Dodge finally said, “Screw it. Here’s your concept car, straight from the trade show, with no attempt made to make it civilized. Enjoy.” And you know what? Customers loved it. Sure, it’s crude as well and you’ll burn your legs every time getting in or out. But it’s brash, and wants to hurt you. I’ll pay good money for that experience.

By comparison, the ZR-1 is a Swiss Army knife and the Viper is something akin to that bat that Nagan swung around in The Walking Dead. The ZR-1 was still a very nice car, inside and out, with deeply bolstered and powered sport seats, Bose stereo, glass panel roof, full power, A/C, adaptive suspension, and build quality slightly better than a Dodge Stratus. I don’t know how much of that applies to the first-generation Viper, but considering both cars are in the same price bracket at the moment, I’d take the ZR-1 every day of the week. This one shows very little in the way of wear and tear, even with 39K miles on the clock.

The seller notes everything works as it should on this ZR-1, and that the tires were recently replaced with the correct Goodyear Eagles for the high-performance model. He goes so far as to rank it a nine out of ten, with the solitary demerit for some minor touched-up spots and light bolster wear on the driver’s seat. I personally wouldn’t give those a minute’s worth of concern, as the car presents exceedingly well for the reported mileage, and with a no reserve listing, some of the risk is immediately stripped away. This is still a performance car bargain at anything less than $40,000, in my opinion, and I hope to have the chance to own one someday (right after I buy that Elan I just wrote about.)

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Tom Nemec Member

    To the author,……..what?

    It’s a 91 Corvette and the version with the most power at the time.

    Everyone has an opinion. I will take the Viper and I am a GM guy!

    3
    • bry593

      The ZR1 engine is a jewel. The problem is that it is more rare than a jewel and major repairs could eclipse the car purchase price. But yeah, who doesn’t like an overhead cam sbc?

      As for the viper of the same vintage, it is not really a driver car like the vette. A vette can be driven daily, comfortably. The viper didn’t even have windows in the doors!

      5
  2. Dave

    Hey, don’t knock the Stratus. With my ’95, you could see daylight from under the driver’s door *only* on rough backroads, it would pop out of 2nd gear *only* on left turns, and it waited all the way to 120k miles before the BCM spontaneously combustes and all accessories went bats#!& crazy. Give it a little credit.

    4
  3. Matt Sheppard

    I can’t say I remember the Corvette as being referred to as a “supercar”? Probably depends on the circle you travel in? I’m sure if you own one, it feels like that, regardless of year?
    The most current definition of supercar that I recall is anything capable of doing 200+ mph “out of the box”? However, today it seems to be an ever morphing term, as technology jumps leaps & bounds almost daily anymore. So, what is a hypercar today? Doesn’t matter it’s all mute, since tomorrow it will be different. I’m OK w/ that.
    For this car I like the term….”Factory Street Machine”! Semi referenced from the 442 seen earlier on BF.
    Maybe w/ that an OOOH, YEAH (in a Macho Man (Randy Savage) sort of tone), as well? I’m OK w/that too! 😁
    We’re all so “different”, yet @ the same time all so similar. Be well everyone. 👍

    1
  4. SquirrelyGig

    I can’t say I remember the Corvette as being referred to as a “supercar”? Probably depends on the circle you travel in? I’m sure if you own one, it feels like that, regardless of year?
    The most current definition of supercar that I recall is anything capable of doing 200+ mph “out of the box”? However, today it seems to be an ever morphing term, as technology jumps leaps & bounds almost daily anymore. So, what is a hypercar today? Doesn’t matter it’s all mute, since tomorrow it will be different. I’m OK w/ that.
    For this car I like the term….”Factory Street Machine”! Semi referenced from the 442 seen earlier on BF.
    Maybe w/ that an OOOH, YEAH (in a Macho Man (Randy Savage) sort of tone), as well? I’m OK w/that too! 😁
    We’re all so “different”, yet @ the same time all so similar. Be well everyone. 👍

    3
    • Frank Sumatra

      Read some of the magazine articles from 1989-1990. ZR-1 was outperfoming cars that cost 2X their price.

      9
  5. SquirrelyGig

    I can’t say I remember the Corvette as being referred to as a “supercar”? Probably depends on the circle you travel in? I’m sure if you own one, it feels like that, regardless of year?
    The most current definition of supercar that I recall is anything capable of doing 200+ mph “out of the box”? However, today it seems to be an ever morphing term, as technology jumps leaps & bounds daily anymore. So, what is a hypercar today? Doesn’t matter it’s all mute, since tomorrow it will be different. I’m OK w/ that.
    For this car I like the term….”Factory Street Machine”! Semi referenced from the 442 seen earlier on BF.
    Maybe w/ that an OOOH, YEAH (in a Macho Man (Randy Savage) sort of tone), as well? I’m OK w/that too! 😁
    We’re all so “different”, yet @ the same time all so similar. Be well everyone. 👍

    • Frank Sumatra

      “Squirrely Gig” seems like a pretty apt choice. We get it.

      2
  6. mike1955

    I own a 90 ZR1 with about 30k miles. Cost me way less than $20k! Most under rated performance car out there for the bucks? Love the tilt front!

    5
    • Frank Sumatra

      Price is way out of line. Until you get to the 405 HP 93-95 there is absolutely no reason to spend over $20 for a ZR-1 .

      5
  7. Araknid78

    Item location:
    Springtown, Texas,

  8. Dave Mazz

    What am I missing here?? Why is the “I can’t say I remember the Corvette as being referred to as a “supercar”?” posted *three* times? I believe the first post was more than adequate.

  9. steve

    IF your car rolled out of the factory with an 11″ wide wheel, you have a supercar.

    2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.