Junkyard Rescue: 1985 Chevy Corvette

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

C4 Corvettes are usually a good place to start for the novice project car owner, as parts are widely available and enthusiast support is strong. This 1985 Corvette is said to have a mere 30,000 miles on the clock and appears to reside in a salvage yard. Although it clearly has damage stemming from its environment, the overall impression is of a car that’s been neglected and not broken beyond repair. Find it here on eBay with a $2,700 Buy-It-Now and the option to submit a best offer.¬†

Few details are offered as to this Corvette’s history, but we like the silver paint which seemingly appears less frequently than red or black. The body overall seems sound, with no major crash damage evident. The surroundings point to the Corvette’s environs either being a cluttered backyard or the remains of a salvage yard, with the carcass of a Jaguar XJS sitting in front of it. The ‘Vette is mostly complete, and doesn’t seem to be the remains of someone’s parts car.

The biggest deterrent to pursuing a project like this is the smashed roof glass, which almost undoubtedly stems from salvage yard-grade care and handling. How many times have perfectly good windshields been smashed out at the local pick and pull just for the entertainment it provides? Nevertheless, the aforementioned and seemingly limitless supply of parts and cars likely means this can be easily, but perhaps not cheaply, repaired. No word on whether the stuffed animal is included.

C4 Corvette bucket seats must be made from the same weave as MBTex, as no matter the storage conditions, it always looks serviceable. Again, the silver color and corresponding buckets is a combo we don’t see too often, so for that reason alone, this Corvette could be a worthwhile save – but only if the best offer feature lets you take this home for less than $2K. With the motor in unknown condition and no word on whether it rolls, stops or steers, this one should go cheaply.

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  1. Enzo

    I feel like this is a barnfind, but the one still nobody wants.

  2. Steve R

    No way, it’s not worth it. A five minutes on the local Craigslist showed an 89 that won’t start, but was supposedly was running within the last month, it comes with a stack of service receipts for $2,700. There is also a 90, six speed with clear coat problems and fading paint, has leather interior with no rips to the seats for $3,500. These are both located in a dry part of California so they shouldn’t have rust issues.

    Mid-80’s to early-90’s Corvettes aren’t worth the money to bring back from the dead unless they are free, or close to that.

    Steve R

    • Miguel

      I was just going to say that. A running driving car with a clean title, not junkyard papers, can be had for a little more than this car.

  3. Jeffro

    I misread this…I thought someone saved a salvage yard by removing the Corvette. My bad. Where did I put my bourbon goggles at?

  4. Jay M

    Well, even junk Corvettes still sell for more than that where I live.
    If it was closer to me I would buy it in a heartbeat and build an autocross toy.

    • PoPPaPork

      Where fo you live?

  5. John S

    Two words- Vette Kart (A homage to Roadkill)

  6. Andre

    Better deals to be had. BIN should drop a zero for this heap

  7. 86 Vette Convertible

    Unfortunately it’s an overpriced parts car. No telling if the mileage listed is right or wrong so didn’t even consider that in the equation. There are other 85’s with more miles but in much better condition for less $$ listed on ebay.

    Get it for about 20% of that and have a 85 – 87 to repair and it would be worth it but probably not as a driver.

  8. glen

    Why was it parked in the first place?

  9. rmward194

    I’ll take this one for $3,950 instead. 1986, runs, drives and is a convertible.


  10. Moparman

    Anytime I see a car sitting with the interior exposed to the elements, it’s an instant NO!, as the rust/corrosion/mold/mildew on interior parts make it not worthwhile to bother with.

  11. Don H

    30,000 miles, don’t think so.

  12. Dan

    Seems like most corvettes of this vintage have the same faded plastic look that my kids power wheels had after a few years outside. What did they make the hood out of on these cars…it does not look like fiberglass.

  13. Pa Tina

    Decent driver 1984’s are available. GM made 51,000+. Lawn mower and custom made ramps not included.

  14. Stone the crows

    Even plastic rots, especially when outside exposed to incessant UV, heat and air pollution. I think if this moves at all, it will end up as a donor car or snapped up for next to nothing and moved to the acreage of a car hoarder.

  15. Dt 1

    Oh boy and here’s another vet that bites the dust

  16. ccrvtt

    I hope y’all can tolerate my getting up on my C4 Corvette soapbox just one more time. I firmly believe that the future for these cars will follow the path of our beloved TR3s, TR4s, TR6s, MGBs & countless other cars that at one time were left to rot. Now some of those former throwaway cars are being resurrected and appreciated.

    This car is indeed worth very little … now. But C4s are really fun to drive. In their day they were state of the art. They outperfomed Porsches and BMWs, were better-looking, and cost far less to own and maintain.

    The only compelling reason to own one today is that they’re cheap and you get a lot of driving enjoyment for the buck. Just compare an $8,000 C4 to an $8,000 Accord or Camry. If you can’t see the value in the Corvette you’re on the wrong website.

    • Steve R

      That may be true for the Corvettes of that era which have survived in decent or better condition. This car hasn’t, and isn’t worth the bother. It always goes back to buying the best car you can afford, with patience and effort decent cars can be found for not much more money than this one.

      Steve R

  17. Stu

    It appears as though some sort of alien (species unknown) has crashed threw the roof and taken residence inside the vehicle. I’m slowly backing away from this one.

  18. Jay M

    Well said.
    I’ve impulse bought cars before, just because the price was right.
    However, buyers remorse comes with realizing that every 50 cents saved up front costs an extra dollar in resto down the road…

    • ccrvtt

      SteveB & Jay M: I quote, “This car is worth very little…” & “The only compelling reason to own one today is that they’re cheap and you get a lot of driving enjoyment for the buck.”

      I agree with both your sentiments, but the point is that too often we look at cars based on the ideal condition and the distance between what it is now and what it ultimately could be. This car is a heap, but some young aspiring motorhead would love getting it back on the road, even if it didn’t have a $5k paint job.

      I’ve owned an Accord and a Corolla – both very competent cars. They have all the allure of driving a refrigerator. Every time I drove my C4 I “took a little vacation” in the words of Harley Earl. Each time I parked the car I would sneak a look back at it. I read somewhere that if you didn’t do that you were driving the wrong car.

      We’ve all seen beat up, rusted hulks with stuck motors (or no motor at all) being offered for literally thousands of dollars because they faintly resemble a 356 or a late ’60’s Charger. Granted, some cars will always be worth more than others. But at a time in the old car & hot rod hobby when many bewail the lack of new blood from the thumbs generation cars like this represent an opportunity.

      A dream delayed is a dream lost. “Car”-pe diem!


    Is the seller the same guy that had the Caprice listed for… what was it…$300K ?
    I love C4’s, I love my 89 convert, I will defend their value, but as was already said, this car is a parts car. It is where it belongs. Selling parts off it will get the seller what he wants in the long run. Sad to see it basically abandoned.

  20. John T

    SOLD Today (Monday, August 28) on EBay for surprisingly the full asking price $2700!


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