Worth Fixing? 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Fifth-generation Chevy Corvettes were built between 1997-2004. This included the high-performance version, the Z06, which was introduced in 2001. This second-year Z06 with its LS6 engine was rated at 405 hp, so it had few peers when it came to all-out acceleration. But this one isn’t going very fast or very far in its present condition as it was involved in a frontal collision that caused the airbags to deploy. The seller must not have filed a claim with his insurance company (liability only) as he says it has a clean title even in its present state. Located in Sacramento, California, this Z06 is available here on craigslist for $8,900 OBO (thanks for the tip rex m).

The Z06’s 5.7-liter V8 engine was treated to an additional 20 horses in 2002. That was accompanied by another 15 lb.-ft of torque, bringing that number up to an even 400 at 4,800 rpm. These improvements were the result of a new cam profile that allowed the engine’s intake and exhaust valves to open a little further than before. Chevrolet would claim that the ’02 Z06 Corvette could do 0 to 60 in just 3.9 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at a speed of 114 mph. We’re wondering if all that extra power in any way contributed to the misfortune that would befall the seller’s car.

Regarding the wrecked ‘Vette, there is more to the decision to repair than just the cost of fixing the fiberglass and anything else damaged in the accident. There’s the subject of the deployed airbags. The cost for professionally replacing airbags that opened in a collision can run $6,000 or more depending on the number and their location. Then there are the related parts, like the electronic control unit (aka airbag computer or diagnostic unit), sensors, springs, the instrument panel, and the dashboard. So, this is easily a $10,000 call alone to have to make regardless of other factors.

The seller’s car already has 100,000 miles on it, so it was not a lightly used car before the big boo-boo occurred. With the hot motor and 6-speed manual transmission, these are desirable cars when not wrecked. There were plenty of them built (more than 35,000 in 2002 alone), so scarcity isn’t a problem. At what price point Is this an automobile that you would buy and fix or would you wait on one that costs more but has fewer unknowns?


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  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Yank the drivetrain and other related goodies and scrap the rest.

    Like 17
  2. CCFisher

    There were 35,000 Corvettes built for 2002, with ~8300 being the Z06 model. That’s still enough to keep prices for nice examples very reasonable. A quick search turned up several low-mileage examples for under $30,000. That makes this high-mileage wreck a very poor value.

    Like 19
  3. Gbauer

    That could become a heck of a go-kart….

    Like 4
    • Blueprint

      There was an off-road buggy based on one that sold on BaT. And street legal too!

      Like 1
  4. C5 Corvette

    I could use the wheels and tires!

    Like 2


    Like 2
  6. Arthur Brown

    This is a good kit donor. It will never be economically registered as a ‘vette again unless you buy it, source the parts from a reasonable junkyard and do the work your self and then you will have a neat driver that will be worth exactly the price of the parts.

    Like 4
  7. Larry

    The air bags alone will have your wallet screaming

    Like 1
    • Steveo

      Meh. Stuff the air bag compartments with old underwear and glue them back shut. Who’s to know?

      Like 2
  8. Mr Dave

    Pretty high price for being wrecked and needing all those parts, as well. Also, I could be mistaken, but I believe 2003 was the first year for 405 horsepower from the factory, believe 2002 has 385 horsepower. I currently own a 2003 Z06, which I actually special ordered.

    Like 4
  9. mike b

    Park it out back and ask again in 30 years.

    Like 2
  10. Frank

    It totally used up! It a parts car at best. It would cost more to fix then what its worth in the book.

    Like 1
  11. Allen L

    Paging Cleetus McFarland.

  12. Edward

    Any time the accident is serious enough to deploy the airbags, it should be a salvage, so says the insurance companies.

  13. Paul S

    Buy it for the engine and transmission. Sell all the good parts that are left.

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