Estimated 600 HP: 1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

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The ZR1 was a package first offered on the C3 Corvette back in 1970, but it was initially dropped after the ’72 model and didn’t reappear until nearly two decades later when it became available again on the C4 in 1990, where it took the award as the most expensive option in a U.S. Production car for the time period.  Ticking the ZR1 box cost the buyer a little over an additional extra $27,000, which didn’t quite double the price of a base model ‘Vette but it sure came close.  The owner of this 1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 here on eBay just couldn’t leave well enough alone, and if you’re envious of an example that makes roughly a third more horsepower than when it left Bowling Green, this might be the one for you.  Boerne, Texas is the car’s current home, and so far bidding has reached $50,100.

The package had a longer shelf life the second time around, lasting through the 1995 model before it took another lengthy hiatus, with nearly 7,000 ZR1-equipped cars produced between 1990 and 1995, so while it may not be an extreme rarity these C4s aren’t exactly everyday sightings either.  When this car was new, it was originally owned by a hometown hero known as “Mattress Mack”, who was a furniture store proprietor in the Houston area and known for his generosity in coming to the aid of flood victims in his vicinity.  He personalized the car with the store’s name on the side, then added some Rockets decor when his favorite basketball team took the 1994 NBA finals championship. Unfortunately, several years later the Corvette became a flood victim itself back in 2003, and after that, the car sat for the next 17 years until the current owner began bringing it back to life.

The seller also happens to have a YouTube channel that he calls OffTheRanch, and the entire rebuild is documented through a series of posted videos, which can be viewed here.  He chose to change the exterior to a blue-based sheen with additional darker areas added to give the effect of the car having spent time on a race track, with subtle simulated road grime and tire rubber on different parts of the body.  The paint job is not perfect and is said to be about 7 on a 10 scale.

For 1990, the standard 5.7 liter ZR1 V8 was rated at 375 HP, but that wasn’t good enough for this car’s owner.  The 350 received attention from specialist Peter Polatsidis of Pete’s ZR1 Garage in Chicago, and the 350 became a 391, which the seller estimates produces 600 horsepower.  Work didn’t stop there, as the computer and several other electrical components in the engine bay were also replaced.  The ZF6 transmission also got new seals, and the differential was also treated to a refreshing.

Plenty of love was given inside as well, such as Corbeau seats being installed, along with new carpeting, a new dash, and new gauges, plus a half cage was also added behind the seats in the cargo area.  The owner has done an admirable job of taking a water-damaged car and creating a monster in terms of performance, but I’ve never knowingly owned a flood-victim vehicle, and based on my lack of experience am just not sure what may come up additionally as an H2O result in the future.  Best case scenario- nothing!  What are your thoughts?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    I’ve never had experience with a flood/salvage car, but I have heard they can offer up quite a challenge.

    This ZedR1 has some added headwinds in the personalization of the paint and interior updates…..for me, it’s just too much.

    All the best to the new owner! 👍🤓

    Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Flood cars are a good rebuild candidate if it was fresh water. Salt water almost impossible unless completely torn down and all metal parts chemical dipped. I like what they did to this car except the fake dirt. Purists need to go look for another car.

    Like 4
  3. Poncho

    OK, So I was curious what the price tag might be and that is why I clicked on this ad to begin with. Condition of any Vette is directly reflected on price. This car has more going against it than for it. A flood victim, someone tinkering inside the engine, poor paint and less than attractive interior. Clearly at $50k, someone is really just goofing around with ebaaa and wasting peoples time. This car may be at best a $10k car, if that.

    Like 7
    • Rick

      Agreed. No mention of the frame condition or what’s under the fiberglass. Fresh water or no, water has a way of sticking around under things that are steel and causing havoc. Hard pass on this one.

      Like 3
  4. Melton Mooney

    I like this car, but at $50K, you’re approaching C4 Grand Sport convertible money, which has infinitely more value potential than an owner modified ZR1.

    Like 0
  5. Dave

    Flood car with no issues after 20 years seems like a safe bet to me. The interior does look kinda strange, but the bidding stands at $47,000 with 9 hours to go, let’s see. Seems like folks don’t even know what a ZR1 is,even as a wrecked parts car it’s worth more than $10K just for the motor alone.

    Like 5
  6. Frank Sumatra

    If a buyer is interested in a track car or drag racer, what more could you ask for?

    Like 2
    • Melton Mooney

      A car whose value didn’t go to zero if you dropped a valve or kicked a rod through the block.

      Like 0
      • Frank Sumatra

        To the buyer of this car, a dropped valve or kicked rod should be just another day at the office or they damn sure bought the wrong car. This stopped being a ZR-1 a long time ago. I’m not quite sure what it is right now. Each to his/her own.

        Like 3
  7. Jarrett E Abe

    As soon as I saw the Corvette, I knew who’s it was, Matt Carriker’s. I watched his rebuild videos on Off the Ranch. He has by far my favorite vlogging channel on YouTube, he’s also got a shooting channel called Demolition Ranch. I love his stuff and I’ve heard he’s a great guy! Go check his channel!

    Like 0
  8. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $39,100.

    Like 0
    • Frank Sumatra

      There is room in the Corvette Tent for everybody! Somebody will have a blast with this firecracker. They don’t make diapers big enough for me to handle it.

      Like 0
  9. Ricky A Hudson

    The amount of horsepower doesn’t come by estimation, we all know that. Unless all the wiring was replaced, that has to be thought about. Good luck on the sale.

    Like 0
  10. Bob

    Since it was a flooded car does it have a clean title or is it considered a blocked title

    Like 0

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