Back in 1990 Corvette was still shaking off the malaise era 1980’s with its reduced horsepower and 85mph speedometers. The base L98 motor was now producing 245hp and the square video game instrument panel was replaced by a curvy, more modern unit with digital and analog gauges.
The biggest news out of Bowling Green that year, though, was the release of RPO ZR-1. For an extra $27,016 you got a high tech 4-cam LT5 350 putting out 375hp. The new engine was designed in partnership with Lotus and assembled by Mercury Marine. Externally the rear of the car was widened by 3 inches to accommodate fat rear tires and improve handling. The supercar world was officially put on notice that Corvette was back on the prowl.
Of the 23,646 Corvettes built during the 1990 model year, just 3,049 (12.9%) got the ZR-1 option. Enthusiasts clamored to get their hands on one and dealers were charging upwards of $30k above sticker price for these machines. When you factor in the base Corvette coupe price if $31,000 plus $27,000 for the ZR-1 option and then tack on a $30k dealer markup you get people paying nearly $100,000 for a new Corvette in 1990.
If you missed your chance back in the day, then look no further than this 1990 ZR-1 currently for sale in Hemmings. The Competition Yellow beast is one of just 23 (0.75%) so painted ZR-1’s that year. To top that off, the odometer shows just 161 miles since new. According to the listing, the car has spent its entire life split between 2 separate collections. The sale includes all the original documentation, keys, and 2 window stickers.
Reviewing the photos, we see what appears to basically be a brand new 1990 Corvette ZR-1. The bright yellow paint shines brightly in the sunlight and the window sticker is still affixed to the windshield. Inside we see the black leather interior showing virtually no wear. The Targa top wrench, wheel lock key, and owner’s cassette still reside in the center console. Under the hood, the LT5 is sparkling clean and ready for your use.
The asking price for this ZR-1 is $49,900. The mileage, paint color, and condition make this breed of ZR-1 very hard to shop so we’re not sure if that’s a reasonable price or not. We do know that for just under $50k, you can get your hands on one of the nicest C4 ZR-1’s out there. For more information and photos of this one, check out the ad in Hemmings.
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