With all the fuss generated around the mid-engine C8 Corvette, we thought we’d offer you a bit of a palate cleanser by taking a peek at a very cool 2003 Torch Red Z06 that popped up for sale over on Bring A Trailer.
While Chevy built thousands of Z06s from 2001-2004, we suspect few low-mile, unaltered examples of the King Of The Hill C5 remain. Our subject car has a mere 12,000 original miles on the clock, from four previous owners. It’s hard to believe that four separate shepherds of this C5 could collectively resist driving the wheels off this redhead beauty.
Although the car definitely has flaws, the low sheen of the interior, cleanliness of the door jambs, and overall condition offer clues that the meager miles are real.
The true conundrum with this Z06, is what is the best course of action for a new owner?
The C5 might as well be the ’32 Ford of Corvettes (sacrilege!) because so many have been altered, low-mile original cars are getting rarer every year. The value in this Corvette is its low-mileage state and unmolested condition. If you want to mod one, find a high-mile workhorse and skip over this survivor.
On the other hand, a C5 Z06 was meant to run free, showing off its nimble track moves and letting the deep-throat baritone of its 5.7 liter, 405hp LS6 V8 soar at full-throttle.
What would we do with this car? We would fix the scuffs and scars, refresh the paint with clay and a polish, and clean the thing inside and out. From there, we’d pop in our favorite CD and exercise the car regularly on the weekends, and let it hold court at local show and shines. Then we’d tuck it in a nice cozy garage where it could age gracefully for generations to come.
The current bid is $16,800 with five days to go. What would you do with this Z06, drive or preserve?
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