The Truth About Cars » C6 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 05:27:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » C6 New or Used? : Why Are Old Corvettes So Cheap? Thu, 19 Jun 2014 04:32:47 +0000 1984vette
O.K. Steve
Why are old Corvettes so cheap ? .
Just Monday I saw yet another 1984 ‘Vette for sale in a used car lot for $2,500, are some years simply so bad they’re worthless?
I have never owned one and only driven a few . Mostly my buddy’s ’68 350 W/ 4 speed back in the very early 1970′s when it was a neat car.
He built it from various junked and wrecked ‘Vettes at a specialized Corvette junkyard . We rode it very hard and it was a good , fun car that took quite a beating right until he drank himself to death .
I see the 1990′s (I think) four valve versions undamaged in Pick-A-Part Junkyards all over California. They are low mileage (under 150,000), zero damage, nice paint etc. ~ how is this possible ? .
I’d think they want to sell them whole and not part them out. But no one wants them?
Steve Says:
If only it were so.
I would be more than happy to drive a late model Corvette through the winding roads of North Georgia. Unfortunately, I have found them to be among the worst types of vehicles for my travels.
They are flashy, easy to drive too fast, and cops seem to enjoy hanging around them on highway jaunts.
That 84′ Corvette you were looking at may very well be the worst Corvette of the last 30 years. The quality was downright abysmal for what was, way back then, the first year of the C4 launch. The 1984 model was built in the thick of the Roger Smith era. There were very few good GM vehicles made during that time, with the most expensive models often getting shot and neutered quality wise well before they left the factory floor.
I’m willing to bet that Corvette at the used car lot was worth more dead than alive. By the time you see these vehicles at the auctions and the car lots,  they have suffered years of neglect.
It’s sad because, at least to me, that generation of the Corvette may truly be one of the most beautiful vehicles of that time period. They were gorgeous. But I never would want to keep one, or recommend it to someone who wants a sports car worth keeping.
The flip side of the coin is that the newer C6 Corvettes tend to be pretty reliable. I mentioned this in a recent Yahoo! Autos article, and if I were in the market for a used sports car, a C6 Corvette would definitely be a  top pick.
Old sports cars that had quality issues are now, just old crappy cars. A lot of 10 year old family cars will go faster than that 1984 Corvette without the quality control issues issues that come with a Reagan era ride.  Speed is often times a given in this day and age, and with America’s aging population, sporty two door cars are just not as in demand as they were back when the C4 was first released.
There is one big plus to the used Corvette marketplace that is shared with other niche vehicles such as the Mazda MX-5 and the Jeep Wrangler. 
They are usually not daily drivers. Most of these vehicles spend their time inside a garage and are used during weekends or whenever the owner gets that longing to enjoy their ride.  Corvettes tend to be lower mileage garage queens, and the powertrains are rarely stressed.
In the used car market, there is almost always a lot of them out there. Not because they aren’t worthy of ownership. It’s just that the demographics and long-term reliability of Corvettes have changed dramatically since the days of that 1984 Corvette. Today’s Corvettes are the sports car version of a cockroach. They can outlast their owners, along with most modern day bugs of the German variety.
Oh, and as for the C4 you saw, do yourself a big favor and don’t look back. I have yet to see one from the 80′s that didn’t drive like a bucket of bolts.


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TTAC Salutes The C6 Corvette Fri, 01 Mar 2013 22:46:55 +0000

Today marked a sad occasion at TTAC; the final C6 Corvette rolled off the line at Chevy’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant.


The last C6 was a 427 Convertible with an engine built by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. The car is destined for GM’s museum in suburban Detroit, and in an ironic twist, demolition of the C6′s assembly line began mere minutes after the last C6 rolled off of it.

Despite constant haranguing regarding a perceived anti-GM bias, there is universal admiration for the C6 in these parts. The base car and the Grand Sport represent some of the best sports car bargains available and the Z06 and ZR1 are among the world’s best performance cars at any price. Reaction to the new Corvette Stingray’s styling has been mixed, but given the superb performance of the C6, it’s easy to be optimistic about the C7′s capabilities. But the C6′s styling will always remain as the definitive modern ‘Vette, evolving the best cues of the C5 into a timeless shape that was distinctly American. A Black C6 Z06 is high upon my “must own list”.


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Capsule Review: 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Tue, 01 May 2012 19:15:37 +0000

 This is a test of TTAC’s Corvette ZR1 purchased with 0% financing. Better late than never, as I’ve marinated over both new and old ZR-goodness several times in my brother’s garage. No doubt, the Viper killing, LS9-FTW motivated Corvette is a worthy successor to the original, with the power-to-weight ratio to eat 458 Italias and cream GT-Rs…at least when AWD is a handicap. But almost two years later, the “King of The Hill” lacks the limelight it deserves. Does the average sports car buyer know the differences between Grand Sport, Z06, Z06 Carbon and ZR1?

To wit, the ZR1 needs more style.  The original’s coachwork necessitated a wider door, but the current makes do with fender lip extensions from the Z06. Sure, there’s the carbon fiber roof/splitter and a hood window that frames…an ugly plastic skirt around the LS9’s intercooler.  Perhaps clear hoods are better left to mid-engined exotics. Far worse, however, are the radioactive blue (from the “Blue Devil” days of this design) accents on the badges, brakes and engine cover: forget about playing “Little Red Corvette”, unless it’s played by The Clash. Color palette restrictions are in effect, but our Cyber Grey tester’s blue metallic flakes are a very effective complement.

At least the “3ZR” dress-up package helps the Corvette’s obvious interior flaws. Perhaps the world-class interiors promised to us so many years ago by Bob Lutz are just a C7 ‘Vette away? The asymmetrical Left-Right door panels stick out like JWOWW giving a lecture at the MoMA.  And the laughably fake carbon fiber center stack keeps the Porsche crowd in stitches. Sit inside and the biggest flaw comes to light: those shitty seats.

Pardon my digression, but…

While these thrones were a downer in our Z06 review, the ZR1’s astronomical asking price adds insult to injury.  After 20 minutes in the flat, unsupportive bottoms, my time in a Chevy Cobalt XFE was looking mighty desirable.  But perhaps you remember the Caravaggio name from an old Lingenfelter Z06 review.  After my brother befriended “John C” on the Corvette Forum, a deal was made – a prototype pair of Caravaggio’s finest seat foam, carbon fiber shells merged with the stock leather bits. Simply put, this is heaven in a C6 Corvette.   Combined with Caravaggio’s upgraded (i.e. real) leather shift boot, horn pad and real carbon fiber center stack, it’s a shame that Caravaggio-worthy bits aren’t standard fare like Brembo brakes.

There are rumors that Caravaggio’s finest will appear on new Corvettes much like Recaros on the CTS-V.  So consider this a sneak peek.

Speaking of Brembos, them’s some serious stoppers.  Experiencing them during the mandated break-in (pun not intended) 0-60-0 x 50 burnishing procedure displayed their physical prowess.  Pounding them proved unflappable, the perfect partner to the endless torque provided by the LS9, and hell, even the rims were clean when we finished! That said, the Brembo’s decreased unsprung weight must be the reason why the steering wheel gets light and loose when you mash the gas at cruising speeds.  (Or it could be the 604 ft lbs of torque!) The last time I felt this was in a RUF 911 Turbo. Not necessarily a bad thing, as the ZR1 steers less like a stereotypical Corvette and more like that Porker. And with that, I’ll let my brother put his ride on the track:

Sanjay writes:

Flogging the ZR1 on the bends of Spring Mountain Raceway in Pahrump and Motorsport Ranch in Angleton, TX proved that the active handling computer rarely intervenes when driven smoothly. But, with 604 ft lbs of torque, even 1/2 throttle in 3rd or 4th brings the back around promptly.  Tail-out is very controllable—more so than my 2006 Z06—but it takes a few laps to get enough heat in the Michelin run-flat PS2s. When warm, their grip is not much less than the (moderately fresh) Michelin PS Cup tires I used on Corvettes at Spring Mountain, and far more predictable in breakaway. Those CC brakes, combined with the C6′s fastidious attention to weight savings, meant lap after lap of 100% fade free, yank your Oakleys off stopping ability.

The ZR1’s steering/brake/shifter/unique twin disc clutch interface is so much smoother than any other Vette! And while you can take advantage of PTM by flooring the throttle and letting the computer manage torque in a corner, that’s a bit disconcerting. And it’s the wrong way to drive from a technique perspective. In PTM level 5, intervention is imperceptible for most of us non-Baruth types, but even members of the C6R LeMans team noticed tiny improvements in lap times with it on.

So let’s get back to the street.  No Super Car is ever plush, but put GM’s unquestionably awesome Magnaride suspension in mild suppression mode and things get civilized. There’s the de rigueur C5/C6 platform road noise from the 13″ wide rubber through that cavernous cargo bay, yet body motions are perfectly damped to leave the soul at complete ease.  You never feel punished with Magnaride and Caravaggio at your side: the Corvette is finally growing up to its price point.

Viva Detroit, via Caravaggio!

On the streets or the track, the ZR1 does what it promised: destroy just about any car for a Chevrolet price tag. After two years to simmer and enjoy, the ZR1’s engineering prowess is timeless. The fact that you can buy a bona fide 10 second quarter mile, 20+ mpg monster with factory reliability and a 5 year/100k warranty was laughable even a decade ago. Forget the not-unique styling, interior fit and finish, and radical incentivizing that muddied the waters, for this (12 year old) platform underpins one of the best super cars on the planet.


Zee Are WON (Courtesy: Tony Gonzalez Photography) 2 3 964623102_rNpo2-L 964633884_SkMmx-L 964644811_7rRTG-L 964662991_ddgFh-L 964677236_FRNe4-L IMAG0680 IMAG0682 IMAG0686 IMAG0688 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (photo: General Motors) corvette-zr1-thumb Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]> 160
New or Used: I Want Something Like My Honda, But… Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:23:37 +0000  


David writes:

Hi Sajeev and Steve,

I’d like your take on a replacement form my 2003 Honda Accord coupe. It has a 4 cylinder and a 5 speed and has been a pretty good car.  But I miss rear wheel drive.  In my younger days, I’ll be 60 next year, I had a Porsche 912, a Cortina GT, various Volvos and VWs before I ended up with pick up trucks before the current Honda.

I like the Honda, I just wish it was a bit lighter and rear wheel drive.  What are my options these days for a RWD car that doesn’t break the bank, gets decent fuel mileage and is dependable?    I’ve been thinking a used Miata or S2000, but would prefer a coupe.  I’m not really into BMW’s for various reasons.  What do you two think?

As a replacement for the Honda I’d spend $15,000 to $25,000.

Steve Answers:

Cheap to own? Well there goes all the Benzes, Bimmers and Audis I could have recommended to you. A lightly used Corvette with low mileage from the mid-2000′s is also a prime option here. However given that you want ‘lighter’, you may also want ‘smaller’.
I would drive the Vette and see if that’s for you. Have you driven the Vette yet? Okay. If that’s not your speed then consider the following idea.
‘All wheel drive = Rear wheel drive in the USA’

In North America rear wheel drive only sells if it has a truck or European bent.  However when you consider all-wheel-drive into the equation the entire world becomes your oyster. Except you happen to want… two doors?

The Infniti G35 is an obvious choice. I would also consider a 2009 Ford Mustang GT or perhaps a slightly older special model like this one. Drive these three cars if you must have the coupe and see which one is ‘just right’.

Sajeev Answers:

David, its pretty tough to beat a Mazda Miata for your price range and requirements.  If it doesn’t come with the hard top, buy one separately.  Maybe you’ll be smitten by the added Honda interior refinement (in my opinion) of the S2000, and that higher power, high revving motor is certainly a sweetheart. Maybe the added punch of a Solstice/Sky with the turbo mill and a little extra bulk?

Funny thing is, I went to both the Pontiac and Saturn websites just to see if they still existed.  And they do! When you select the Sky, there’s a frame on the webpage that suggests you should also look at a (C5?) Corvette. And maybe you should: stupid amazing highway fuel economy with a stick, insane power and performance that simply can’t be matched by smaller roadsters.  Not that I expect you to divert from a Miata, but maybe the Internet knows better.

Need help with a car buying conundrum? Email your particulars to , and let TTAC’s collective wisdom make the decision easier… or possibly much, much harder.

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“There’s One Industry That’s Maybe In Worse Shape Than The Auto Industry And That’s The Automotive Publication Industry” Mon, 10 May 2010 15:34:21 +0000

Chief Engineer for GM’s Corvette program Tadge Juechter probably didn’t blow any minds by pointing out that car magazines have reached the point where lying (or at least printing disingenuous information) in order to goose interest in their upcoming issues has become standard procedure. He sure did get a chuckle out of the assembled Corvette nuts though. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath for a V6 (or mid-engine, or hybrid) Corvette… no matter what Automobile Magazine might tell you.

UPDATE: Automobile Magazine fires back after the jump.

Automobile has added the following editor’s note to its piece on the C7 Corvette: recently posted a video of Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter lambasting Automobile Magazine for our story on the next-generation Corvette. Juechter implies that our article was sensationalist and misattributed information to him. Automobile Magazine stands by its story.

It is clear that, in his appearance before the Corvette faithful in Bowling Green on May 1st, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter regretted speaking as freely as he did to our reporter, industry veteran and Corvette owner Don Sherman. Mr. Juechter can spin his comments all he wishes, but a careful reading of our story, which is reprinted here, reveals that 75% of the story consists of verbatim quotes from Mr. Juechter himself. At the end of our piece, Don Sherman prognosticates about the future Corvette; it is crystal clear to the reader that at this point in the story, it’s Don Sherman making educated guesses, not Tadge Juechter speaking. At no point did Don quote Mr. Juechter as definitively stating that a V-6 is in the works for C7, but he did indeed predict that a V-6 is a POSSIBILITY, based partly on Mr. Juechter’s comments that most certainly implied that this is the case. Don also makes it clear that, in his opinion, a V-8 is a certainty for the next Vette, but speculates that it might not be standard equipment.

It is a bit rich that, at this juncture, Mr. Juechter stands in front of a Corvette crowd and says about Automobile Magazine, and about print automotive enthusiast magazines in general: “Don’t believe any of what you read. Most of it will be wrong. They may guess on some things luckily, but most of the time it will be wrong. It can [even] be attributed to me and be totally wrong.” Well, when 75% of the article is verbatim quote from you, Mr. Juechter, is the article 75% wrong?

Mr. Juechter wishes to dismiss the entire category of automotive enthusiast print magazines out of hand. This is a strange approach, given that Automobile Magazine and its competitors play a major role in promoting Corvette enthusiasm, even now when, as Mr. Juechter readily admits, the next-generation Corvette is still years away.

Joe DeMatio
Deputy Editor

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