Rare Copper Metallic: 1994 Chevrolet Corvette

Raise your hand if you love cars ordered in special colors (raises hand). This time, it’s a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette that is painted a peach-like shade known as Copper Metallic. Chevy didn’t make very many C4 Corvettes in this color, with reports fluctuating of around 100 coupes and a lone ZR1. According to Corvette Blogger, Chevy found it difficult to get the tricky paint to match panel to panel and ceased production of the unusual color quickly, though it did offer a Dark Copper Metallic on earlier models. This one is an automatic coupe listed here on eBay for $13,990 with some minor misinformation in the listing.

For starters, it’s said to have a T-top roof, but it appears to have the standard, solid targa roof panel. There’s also a description for a 1999 Corvette in the listing which is equipped with a six-speed manual; this one assuredly has an automatic transmission. All that aside, the body looks to be in excellent condition, with the rare paint showing no obvious flaws. As far as any consistency issues from one panel to another, you’d have to arrange for an in-person inspection to work that out. There’s some encouraging details, however, that this car was loved by a Corvette enthusiast, with stickers and plaques from various clubs and meet-ups in Bowling Green, the birthplace of Corvettes like this. The Corvette wears factory mudflaps and polished dual exhaust tips.

This is such a good color combo. I normally don’t love light tan / wheat colored interiors, but it works well with the copper paint. The buckets look to be in good shape, with wear that’s commensurate with the mileage reading of 65,534. The automatic transmission is a downer, as finding such an unusual color paired with a manual gearbox would make this already rare car even more of a standout. Regardless, the auto ‘box was the transmission of choice for many enthusiasts considering the grand touring nature of the Corvette at the time. The ZR1 is the one to get with three pedals, but good luck finding the one-of-one that wears this paint code and has a stick. I’d still love to know where that car is, however, and whether owner knows they own the only one ever painted that way.

Overall, this seems like a turnkey example of a standard-issue Corvette that stands out due to its limited-production paint. Interestingly, the older C4s could also be ordered with a similar shade known as Dark Copper Metallic that blends in even more orange coloring into the copper finish. I can’t remember ever seeing one of those in the flesh, but the images turned up by Google make me want one even more than this 1994 model. I’ve felt for a while that this generation of the Corvette has long been under-valued by collectors, and even examples with an obscure paint code don’t seem to crack the $20K threshold. If it were me, I’d buy the rarest one I could find that wasn’t a ZR1 (for budgetary reasons) with a manual transmission and squirrel it away for a rainy day.

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  1. dirtyharry

    C4 seems to bring fans and haters. It is what it is. I have owned several and enjoyed them all. I know the writer lusts for a manual but if you were my size that footwell is very small to be swinging a clutch pedal all the time. You still have a shiftable automatic. I think the 92 up LT1 cars are a whole bunch of fun for generally beer money. The one thing that makes these liveable, is the fact there is really good aftermarket support and you can get parts. The color doesn’t flip my switch, give it to me in black.

  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    It looks like the standard Targa top as GM didn’t have T-tops on the C4’s. I have read numerous articles on that paint color, GM just didn’t get it right in the era for across the board release. Thing is regardless of the color it’s a C4, which makes the price a little overpriced IMO, more in the $6K range.
    We’ll see if it sells for that price or not.

  3. gbvette62

    There were 116 94 Corvettes painted Copper Metallic, 24 convertibles and 92 coupes. Supposedly there was also one ZR1 built, but it was believed to have been built for GM engineering, and when they were done with it, it was crushed.

    Neither the (God awful) mudflaps, or the exhaust tips, are factory. Also, when you see the color in person, it doesn’t really look “peach-like” at all (I think the lighting where the pictures were taken, is effecting the look of the color in the ad).

    It’s an interesting color, but personally I would pay a premium for it.

  4. Keith

    What I don’t understand is why are the Gen 3 & 4 Camaros and C3, C5, & C6 Corvettes bring in more money than the C4 Corvettes? In the past I have owned Camaros etc. and in my opinion the C4 Corvettes are a way better performing and handling sports car. Especially the 92 to 96 LT1 Corvettes. I own a 92 Corvette and love it. I will say that C4 Corvettes do not do well if NOT maintained but that can be expected with any car. I don’t know why the C4 get’s a bad rap, I love mine.

    • Poppapork

      1. Corvettes are not only a “better sports car” but the only sports car out of the cars you listed
      2. Late C3 corvettes (79-82) dont bring much more than a c4 and c5’s are getting dirt cheap nowadays- can scoop the beat ones for a couple grand

  5. PaulG

    Owned a 91 ZR-1 for a while, and I agree that all C4 Corvettes are undervalued. However things change and good ones should continue to appreciate albeit slowly.
    BTW, the author alludes to manual transmission ZR-1’s. They all were 6speed boxes…

  6. Jim in FL

    I bought an 87 convertible in December and have been daily driving it. Mine is low mileage and has the wonky 4+3 manual. I paid mid #2 money for it, but it was super low mileage (38k). And I didn’t want to fix anything. I wanted a solid driver, not a tinker car. For what I got, I can say that these are undervalued in general. Really fun to drive with the manual, and decent mileage (18-20). Plus will cruise all day on I95 at 80.

    The in/out isn’t for everybody. They are embarrassingly difficult to climb out of.

    I spent a lot of time looking for mine, and hey usually fall into three categories. I ran across a lot of super high mileage, $6000 specials with check engine lights, torn upholstery, etc. the opposite was the “wife” car, low mileage, really clean, but ALWAYS automatics. These were 8-10k cars. Lastly was the manual transmission car that someone respected and took care of. These were super rare in general.

    I think the prices on these will rise. There’s a solid following and aftermarket support. They feel more like a modern version of a c3, as opposed to the c5 and c6 which are more refined.

  7. Karl

    These were the days when Vettes were more into image and luxury than any kind of performance, it was just an evolution so to speak, these cars were ok I would go no further than that. The C6 was the first Vette in a VERY long time that made performance a priority the C6 was a 100 Percent turn around for the Corvette this was a car that felt better at 175 mph than it did at 75 mph the C6 was the car that allows the C7 and C8 to exist today it was potentially the biggest direction change in the Vette history!

    • Frank Sumatra

      Can we assume you have a C6 for sale? And you are wrong about the 300hp LT-1 in the 1994 being “image and luxury” over performance.

    • ACZ

      My C5 Z06 begs to differ with you on your performance statement.

      • Frank Sumatra

        Really? Just as my 1995 LT-1 begs to differ with my 1984 L83. It’s called “evolution”.

      • ACZ

        Frank, that was not a reply to your comment. It was meant for the previous one.

    • Leo C.

      I dissagree with the C6 comment, the C5 had way more advancements & this was the base used for the C6!!

  8. Comet

    Nice car and color combo. I’ve had two C4’s, although not as attractive. The only sore spots I encountered were malfunctioning star wars dash readouts and costly interior pieces. C4’s do seem to be undervalued at the moment.

  9. Karl

    Frank I do not have a C6 for sale but I did own a C6 Z06 till that was replaced with a C7 Z06. With that said you are absolutely correct on your ZR1 comment, that car was a very good performance built vehicle. I did not think about that when I made my comment.

    • Jim in FL

      I can say that my base 87 is by no means overpowered. 250 hp from a 5.7L? My wife’s V6 Grand Cherokee pulls 295 hp. It’s more seat of the pants fun. You’re an inch or two off the pavement in an overpowered go cart.

      The fact that they aren’t particularly valuable also makes it more fun to daily drive because you aren’t constantly sweating about potential damage. If this was a high value car, I wouldn’t be leaving it the parking lot at work with the top down or throwing soccer gear in it.

  10. Mike

    The National Corvette Museum was selling a special dealer promo this color at the Grand Opening for $20 back in 1994. My wife & I went back this year for the 25th anniversary. Great time. Back then we drove our 89′ coupe, this time we drove our 17′ C7 ,everyone who loves corvettes need to go down to Bowling Green once in there lifetime.

  11. Mike

    I’ve been searching for a copper paint color for my latest project. If I can get a pint of this to test spray and it looks like it does in the pics of this C-4, I’ve found my color! Maybe it’s because the C-4 was introduced when I was in high school but, I’ve always liked them. If I ever decide to buy a Corvette, I’d look at them first.

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