4+3 Speed Time Capsule: 1988 Chevy Corvette

This 1988 Chevrolet Corvette has been passed between three friends as ownership changed hands, ensuring that your current seller is well-versed in the car’s history. This Corvette features the novel Doug Nash-4+3 manual transmission and claimed low mileage of just 26,000. It looks sharp on clean OEM wheels, and is said to remain in completely stock condition. Find it here on craigslist for $14,999.

The Corvette’s interior is another highlight of what looks like a very nicely preserved example. Lightly-creased leather sport seats, uncracked dash, and clean carpets all await the next owner. The Doug Nash transmission features a novel four-speed manual with push-button overdrive in the top three gears, Chevy’s solution for adding fuel-saving measures in a muscle car.

Bodywork is sound from all angles, and the seller claims the Corvette is accident and damage-free. Dark Red Metallic and black leather seats is a sharp combo, and the glass panel roof provides some nice contrast. Nicely preserved examples of this era of Corvette are still a screaming bargain, in my opinion, but this C4 really is priced at the top of the market for a non-ZR1 model.

Still, with mileage this low, known history, and no modifications – and the comparatively rare manual transmission when considering how many automatics come up for sale – I don’t think the asking price is out of line, but it may take some time to find a buyer willing to commit at this number. It looks like a turnkey example, and that’s likely worth it to some buyers.


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  1. Steve R

    I’d rather have this Corvette with a manual transmission for $14,999 instead of the 79 L-82 automatic profiled earlier today with the asking price of $21,000+. Better yet would be an late-90’s to mid-2000 LS equipped Corvette.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  2. dirtyharry

    Yesterday, a friend paid 17k for a Porsche, with no interior, engine or transaxle. Yet, people think these are not cheap enough? They are cheap, especially considering it may have been the fastest (or real close) production vehicle made in that year with brakes and handling to match.

    Like 9
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Not sure, but I may have seen this car on a forum before. It looks to be in good condition, nothing wrong that I can see but the price is very much on the high end. If someone wants a C4, this could be one to check out, but IMO the price is a few thousand high.

    Like 4
  4. Superdessucke

    Not a Corvette guy but with insane prices elsewhere in the hobby, these C4s become more tempting by the day. This one probably could be had for 12k (or less) if the seller is willing to take fair value. You can’t get a stripped down ’68 Charger rusty roller these days for that.

    Like 1
  5. cmarv

    I got a 91 automatic convertible w/hardtop , has 7000 miles ,all original down to the NOS air in the tires ,all docs , it stickered for $45K , it’s never seen rain . I would be happy to get $16k for it . C4’s are pitiful when it comes to resale value . JMHO .

    Like 6
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      No offense, but I always love the ‘Never Seen Rain” comments. Unless they have a set of these semi-slick tires I see on the new ones, they won’t shrink or melt and should handle ok as long as the driver drives it within reason.
      I admit I have seen a couple of times drivers had issues keeping the car on the road, but it was more a case of the wrong tires or not knowing how to handle the car in the current weather conditions than anything else.

      In fact last year coming home from a weekend outing, we ran into both rain and snow. With all season tires on the car, it handled it, not as good as if the road was dry but handled it none the less.

      Like 2
      • cmarv

        This car came to me in a package deal . It truly was never in the rain . I really wish I could sell it for a fair price . I have tried and unless I want to give it away I’ll be keeping it . Might be a good everyday driver . It is cheaper than any new car , gets decent fuel mileage and the top goes down . Plus I got a bunch of cassettes to listen to .

        Like 3
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        It seems to me that the “Never seen rain” boasts are not at all tied to whether the car might have the capability to handle wet pavement. Rather, they are to indicate that the vehicle being spoken of could not be more rust-free unless it were just driven out of the manufacturing facility.

        Driving a car in the rain is not of course as damaging to the undersides as winter driving is, but nonetheless it puts moisture into areas where corrosion can begin.

        Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Check some price guides. $16K would be a miracle.

  6. moosie moosie

    Nice car, price will be determined by the buyer who’s been looking for one and is frustrated by cars of a lesser quality then this one, but the seller needs to straighten out the directional wheels.

    Like 1
    • Harold

      Bet they have directional tires mounted backwards on directional wheels, tech was not paying attention.

      Like 2
  7. Frank Sumatra

    This car is a perfect example of why many C4 owners are in tough when it comes time to sell. Right now there is a 1996 Collectors Edition on another site with 36,000 miles 300 HP LT-1 engine with the ZF 6-speed and it is a much more comfortable car to drive for potential buyers of a certain age. The car is listed for $12,900 at a dealer. Quite simply, the 1996 is a better buy. A 1988 Corvette is an $8000 car (Maybe) on its best day. Not trying to offend the owner, just being realistic.

    Like 4
    • Frankio

      the 88 and 89 c4’s with the L98 motors were nicer looking and had nicer interiors than the 90-96 with the airbags and cheap plastics and the optisparks in those LT1;s are a pain in the ass – the 89 was the best if you wanted a manual shift L98 with the new 6 speed trans

  8. Comet

    I think a big reason these cars get a bad rap has a lot to do with the failure prone, and expensive to repair “star wars” dash. Also, the miserable horsepower figures don’t help.

    • JD

      I had an ’88 convertible with 63 K miles and automatic. Ended up selling it in 2007 when I got my 2007. Sold it to a friend for $10K then. It also was dark red metallic. The paint on the trunk began to fade badly even though it was always garaged and original paint. Word was that the ’88’s had a cold start injector problem which also afflicted mine. The cold start injector was no longer manufactured and there were impossible to locate. Ended up finding a used one on eBay that cured the problem. It was also about that time that the electronics on the dash started to become a bit problematical. It was always garaged but issues started creeping up despite the very genteel treatment.

      Like 1
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If you look, you could get a 2 year newer ZR-1 for this money. It might not be perfect, but a far better car with much more potential.

    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Had a chance to pick up a ZR1 last year for a decent price. Biggest issue with it is getting it serviced, could not find anyone within about 100 miles that would work on them. The LT5 is impressive but being it’s a short run engine, few shops have the skills, diagnostic tools or knowledge on how to work on them. Unsure how parts availability stands on them.
      The one I looked at was at a dealer and they eventually moved it to their bargain lot because they weren’t selling it otherwise.

      Like 1
  10. Keith Keith

    Not sure why the C4 always gets a bad rap, they are very good cars and are well engineered. GM started with a clean sheet when designing the C4 back in the early eighties and as with any other new design there were bugs. As the years progressed the C4 got much better and more refined. I own a 1992 C4 with the LT1 and ZF6 and it is very dependable and handles like it’s on rails.

    Like 8
    • Frank Sumatra

      Agree 100% and I for one am very glad they get a bad rap. It keeps the prices down. The late C4’s are amazing cars at a reasonable price. Your 92 looks great! Enjoy! I am hoping to have a 1995 LT1/ZF6 in my garage this weekend. Fingers crossed.

      Like 4
  11. Keith Keith

    You’ll love the LT1/ZF6 combo, plenty of power and fun. Good luck on getting that 1995! Personally I think the LT1 was underrated with the 300HP rating. My 92 feels like it has more HP, especially with the ZF6!

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      @Keith- I will let you know next week! It is being delivered on Monday. Xmas comes early in 2019! This will be my 2nd, and most likely last, C4. I had the black 1984 that was for sale (And sold) here in August. I enjoyed the 84, I am guessing the 95 will be a real treat. Hope so, as I am rapidly approaching age 67 and retirement. I will have the coolest car in the CVS, Social Security, and chiropractor’s parking lots!

      Like 4

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