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Sat's Test Drive: '89 (L98) & '94 (LT1)

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Old 06-16-2015, 02:48 PM   #1
sahhas
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Default Sat's Test Drive: '89 (L98) & '94 (LT1)

Saturday we had a lazy day, and convinced the family for an outing of food, test driving and seeing my parents. This place 1/2 hour north of me had a '94 on their website I wanted to test drive. When I got to the place they had THREE C4s on the lot!!!! (the 2 C3s where inside-I didn't bother w/ them, both for sale in the $15K range). So seeing that they had TWO '89s I figured it was BONUS DAY! I decided to test drive the '89 white convertible, since my wife is a fan of convertibles (I am not!). This '89 had 140K miles, had new tires and brakes (tires looked cool), it had a spoiler and greenwood package, which my wife thought looked cool (I'm not a fan of them-but it did make it look like a race car). I was really most interesting in driving it b/c of the L98 engine-I've never driven an L98 car. So my 11 year old son and I went on a test drive. It started a bit rough, the salesman said it hadn't been driven much, but the roar of the V8 was unmistakable. the test drive was most fun. took it on one stretch of highway and got up past 55mph, it accelerated nicely. My son kept telling me: "as your corvette adviser, I recommend you buy this". it was funny. I guess w/ all the debates about HP and the L98 I was expecting to hate this car, but guess what? I didn't. It was fun to drive. Was plenty speedy on the roads. I will say that I could tell it needed to be driven, it was rough sounding. The one thing I will say about the interior of the '89 it seemed roomy w/ the straight dash (vs. the molded feel of the later C4s). The car also had racing seats in it, so they looked cool, but I didn't find these as comfortable as others I've sat in. Now the one thing I will say (and I noticed this only after looking at some pics my 11 yr old took) the top of the seat cushion was about level with the uncomfortable side bar that everyone complains about...it made getting in and out much easier (I'm 6-4). the other thing I noticed (didn't like) was the convertible's inner liner sagged a bit and my head hit it. it felt a bit annoying. I wasn't a fan of the digital dash (hard to see), and this car had the engine fan on a separate switch that had to be turned on once the engine started. The one thing I sort of noticed about the feel of the straight dash, the sound of L98 engine and how this car felt...honestly, it felt very similar to the few C3s I've driven. It had a rough (BUT FUN) feel to it!!! The brakes were AMAZING (but were new too!). And the other thing I noticed looking over the hood out front, the C4s I think do a good job of mimicking the feel/look of the C3 hood (which I love of course), but obviously have some upgraded features and feel.
then I drove the '94:
now the seat in this one was a bit worn, so it did sit lower, and was tougher to get into vs the '89. but it wasn't too hard for me. I will say that I like the cockpit feel of it. I think the redesign of the interior is a bonus-it just makes the '89 feel like an older car. I love the glass top of the C4s...the diffused light that comes in is makes the car seem bigger to me (I have a touch of claustrophobia as I've gotten older!). I do love the rumble of the V8 sound, and when I took off from a stop, boy the LT1 I thought felt like a rocket. went from 0-40mph way faster than any car I've driven. my son at this pt stated again: "as your corvette adviser, I recommend you get this one!" I know some people still look down on a 300hp engine, but honestly it felt like enough (and the 240hp of the L98 felt like enough too, but I give a slight edge to the LT1). honestly in the end, it was just a fun car to drive. The other thing I noticed was that even though it's a 21 yr old car, it really felt like a modern car, although I will say it felt like a "more fun to drive" modern car. I think the whole time I drove it (and the '89) I had a huge smile on my face.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:16 PM   #2
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Well what did you drive home In?
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #3
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well, i wanted to test drive the '94, b/c i have my eye on this one '94 that has a little less miles and is a bit cheaper. but it is farther away from me.
i've test driven a '93, a '96 (well 2 of those), and an '85.

i can say that the '93 i drove last year was immaculately taken care of, when i drove that, it seemed like a new car honestly. it drove great, and was the first time i had driven a '93....i was just blown away by it honestly.
i can say that the condition does matter based on how owners take care of the car. and the '93 seemed like new.

the '89 that i drove, while it was a bit rough, was still a very fun car to drive. i'm not sure what all the hub-bub is about the L98 engine. i mean if people are wanting a race car, fine, buy a race car. but a sports car that was made for street driving with a 240hp engine is fine for the streets.
yes, my 11 year old was not very happy that we didn't go home with the '94 on Saturday....still looking and waiting....i should post some pics...
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Old 06-16-2015, 09:13 PM   #4
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Stock hp doesn't matter anyway with an SBC.

Sure the LT1 has 60 more out of the box.
But let's be honest, if you're worried about keeping up with the joneses, you have to throw out ALL of the same parts anyway LT-1 or L98. (Heads, Cam, Exhaust manifolds, the rest of the exhaust, put in forged internals and run forced induction..in which case it's not going to matter really which intake you have)

Get the one that speaks to you more.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MavsAK View Post
Stock hp doesn't matter anyway with an SBC.

Sure the LT1 has 60 more out of the box.
But let's be honest, if you're worried about keeping up with the joneses, you have to throw out ALL of the same parts anyway LT-1 or L98. (Heads, Cam, Exhaust manifolds, the rest of the exhaust, put in forged internals and run forced induction..in which case it's not going to matter really which intake you have)

Get the one that speaks to you more.
Agreed.

It doesn't take much at all to turn either motor, l98 or lt1, into a real fire breather that will sweep most of anything on the streets.
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