Today’s quiz: Would you rather buy a 31-year-old Corvette with less than 3,000 miles or one that’s been exercised regularly and driven, say, 40,000 miles?
That’s the dilemma facing whoever buys this red-on-red 1989 Corvette convertible up for sale on craigslist out of Salem, Oregon.
What memories this car brings back for this writer! I special-ordered a similar Corvette in the fall of ’89, only mine was a coupe. In just a little over a year of ownership, I drove that car about four times the amount that this convertible has been driven over the past 31 years.
The truth is that this C4 convertible isn’t really a historically significant Corvette. That’s why we would be tempted to go ahead and drive this car like it was intended to be. Of course, just because the car has only 2,947 miles doesn’t mean that you could just start driving it immediately. The first order of business would be replacing the tires, said to still be the original ones that left the Bowling Green factory back in 1989, as well as any number of hoses and seals that are sure to have deteriorated from lack of use over the years. It also worries us that the air conditioner has not been used or serviced in recent times, so it’s likely to have developed freon leaks at the very minimum.
Interestingly, the current owners seem to have taken our advice about enjoying the car. They’ve actually more than tripled the mileage since buying the car in 1993 with just 793 miles showing!
Even driving it 5,000 miles a year for, say, the next six years, would only increase that minuscule total to less than 33,000 miles, and we’re of the notion that someone would still be willing to pay at least $10,000 or more for this car at that time since a little TLC along the way would keep it looking much like it does today. We think the enjoyment obtained from actually using the car on the road would be well worth any future depreciation sustained by the new owner, and while these C4s don’t have big horsepower numbers compared to later generations, I do remember how the torque made them really fun to drive back in the day.
As for the car now, it’s pretty well loaded, with AC, Delco-Bose AM/FM Stereo Radio with seek and scan, Cassette, and Digital Clock, six-way power driver’s seat, red leather buckets, engine oil cooler, radiator cooling boost fan, illuminated LH visor mirror, heavy-duty radiator, performance axle ratio, 5.7 TPI V8 engine, automatic transmission with overdrive, P275/40 ZR-17 steel-belted radial tires, ABS brakes, fog lamps, full center console, power windows/seats/antenna/door locks, telescopic steering wheels, and arctic white convertible top.
We’ve always been partial to the interiors on these early C4s, and we don’t think you could find one in nicer condition than this car, unless you acquired a fully restored example with an all-new interior. This car looks to be in the same condition that it was in the day it was originally purchased.
The paint likewise seems to be very nice, though the seller notes that it hasn’t been detailed recently to prevent wear and tear on the paint.
So what would you do? Buy it and enjoy it on the road? Or park it in the garage and save it for another future caretaker?
Found on Facebook: Mashup C4 Corviper Listed for $8,000
[PICS] Swedish-Built C4 Corvette Brings Back Memories of Miami Vice and Testarossas
How Much Corvette Can You Get with Your Stimulus Check?