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C4 price?

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Old 02-21-2018, 02:34 PM
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BowerPower
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Default C4 price?

Someone I know has a 1985 c4 corvette, and he's wanting around $3000.
The problems: it has been sitting under the part of his garage, that is open on one side, for about a year. Some of the paint is pealing off or gone. It has not ran in a year or so because it would not start one day (pretty sure it's a fuse or small connection problem. Obviously needs new tires. Problems caused by it sitting are unknown till it get worked on.
The good: under the hood (engine) is clean and nothing seems to be damaged. The interior is good (needs to be cleaned), other than the leather in the seats are cracked. Tune port injection 350 with 4+3 manual transmission. I am told the over drive did work when it was last driven.

I like that it has the l98 engine because it has a more classic design than the LT1 engine. It has a manual transmission which is what I want in a sports car. It may have the Z51 package too. I didn't get to go inside the car, because the door wood not unlock and at the time I did not have to tool to reach in and unlock it. I would like to get it to run and enjoy it while like it is, until I can afford to add more power.
I am a mechanic so I have some know how about fixing cars. I have plenty of experience with making cars run after that have been sitting, but I am really hoping to not have to remove the gas tank. I wasn't really looking for a project, but I do find projects fun.

MY QUESTION is what do you guys think something of this sort is worth. My boss (who is a mechanic for over 30 years) says I shouldn't pay over $2000, and I agree. He says I should get a lower value C5. C5s are a little out of what I want to pay. Sorry it's a bit long and lack of pictures.

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Old 02-21-2018, 03:04 PM
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4theboy
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I don't think I would find this project fun, but with that said, I wouldn't offer more than $500 for this '85 and am quite surprised your boss even said $2K for being mechanics. Price out tires, paint, interior components, etc. Now think about the unknown. It's not like it was running when it was parked, and you already know the tranny has an issue. I would run from this one. May not need a lower value C5, but plenty of nicer running L98's to start with for the money.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:20 PM
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Are you saying the owner doesn't have any keys for it? That could be a whole project by itself. Throw in tires and seat covers and you have at least a grand if you recover the seats yourself. And paint, of course, could run anywhere from a twenty foot $500 job to five figures. I'm thinking $1500 would be an upper limit. (Actually, I wouldn't touch it for any price, but I am not a mechanic with a lot of patience.)
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by markKlein View Post
Are you saying the owner doesn't have any keys for it? That could be a whole project by itself. Throw in tires and seat covers and you have at least a grand if you recover the seats yourself. And paint, of course, could run anywhere from a twenty foot $500 job to five figures. I'm thinking $1500 would be an upper limit. (Actually, I wouldn't touch it for any price, but I am not a mechanic with a lot of patience.)
Show me where I can get a corvette painted for $1500
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:51 PM
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I have learned the hard way before....look at how much "decent" shape cars are, and you will find that the difference in price between that and a project are less than the $$ needed by the project.

I bought a "cheap" 79 for $3000 and while I had an engine sitting around to replace the blown motor it had, but it also needed new seat covers, door panels, rear trailing arms rebuilt, etc. Was lucky to sell it for $5000 when I needed money.

Since then I have done much better with the two nicer ones and do not regret getting them.

But......if a person really wants a CORVETTE and that is what you have to do to get started learning, then you can always recoop $ for parts if you don't get in too deep.

I would say $1500 max.

Pretty much save up and buy a nicer one IMO.

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Old 02-21-2018, 05:34 PM
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First off, Yes he has the keys. Even though the key turned in the door, it would not unlock, and the other door the key would not turn at all. Honestly, I have never ran into that before, and what are the odds of both doors having a problem.

Why is everyone so worried about paint? Yes I know it is expensive to have done, but it is not a deal breaker to me. Personally, I try to see past something as simple as paint when it comes to a car this old. Obviously, I know it hurts the value.

I was told that, that it can perfectly fine, until one day the owner went to do drive it and the starter did nothing. He never took the time to try and fix it or have it towed to my work to have it fixed. I don't figure it would take much to fix that problem, but it may have acquired another one. All labor is free, just a matter of getting a good price on any worn out parts. I believe his price is a quick number he came up with when I asked him about the car. If it ever stops raining, I will try to find him and negotiate. The big problem is that he is not a motivated seller.

My first though was not a corvette, but for the price of a c4 you get a lot of car. It has better handling and power than a camaro, and it has fuel injection (which I love in the winter). Muscle cars from the 60s and 70s, I love, but are too expensive for my taste right now.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:51 PM
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BowerPower View Post
First off, Yes he has the keys. Even though the key turned in the door, it would not unlock, and the other door the key would not turn at all. Honestly, I have never ran into that before, and what are the odds of both doors having a problem.

Why is everyone so worried about paint? Yes I know it is expensive to have done, but it is not a deal breaker to me. Personally, I try to see past something as simple as paint when it comes to a car this old. Obviously, I know it hurts the value.

I was told that, that it can perfectly fine, until one day the owner went to do drive it and the starter did nothing. He never took the time to try and fix it or have it towed to my work to have it fixed. I don't figure it would take much to fix that problem, but it may have acquired another one. All labor is free, just a matter of getting a good price on any worn out parts. I believe his price is a quick number he came up with when I asked him about the car. If it ever stops raining, I will try to find him and negotiate. The big problem is that he is not a motivated seller.

My first though was not a corvette, but for the price of a c4 you get a lot of car. It has better handling and power than a camaro, and it has fuel injection (which I love in the winter). Muscle cars from the 60s and 70s, I love, but are too expensive for my taste right now.

I did not take from the responses that anyone is worried about the paint but rather they are trying to get you to realize that $2-3K is too much for the car you are describing. The reason why is you are talking about buying a car that does not run, has bad paint, bad leather, doors do not open etc. etc.


We are just trying to help you make a educated decision since you are asking. Just does not make sense to pay up to $2K for this car when there are running examples in much better shape for not much more. It is much better to save up and buy a better example in the long run. You are right that the C4 represents a great bang for the buck in today's market but buying a good example is your best move.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ON 8TH View Post
OH MY GOODNESS, that looks like hell to work on! Would anyone even recommend that? Those makes the one I was looking at, look like a a diamond! IMO.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BowerPower View Post
OH MY GOODNESS, that looks like hell to work on! Would anyone even recommend that? Those makes the one I was looking at, look like a a diamond! IMO.
I'm a Visionary
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ON 8TH View Post
I'm a Visionary
You have to be to want to take on that project. I sure would hate to see two corvettes die. I'm not sure which one is the donor car and which runs, but they are two different interiors and exteriors.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:14 PM
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Why not get in through the hatch?
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ls777z View Post
Why not get in through the hatch?
I thought about that, but I have no idea if it has a key hole or something to open it from the outside. If there is, it would be interesting to know.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:43 AM
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Bought a running driving 93 for 3k. You are getting screwed at 2k for that basket case.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:56 AM
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I agree with everyone else here. Run!!!

There was a pretty decent late model black 6 speed C4 for sale here last summer that if i remember correctly was around 5 grand. I' not sure if it sold or not but let that be your guiding light.. without seeing it you will end up with (if you are lucky) 8 grand in a car that is worth 4.

plenty of decent running cars in the 4-6k price range. Just be patient.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ChumpVette View Post
Bought a running driving 93 for 3k. You are getting screwed at 2k for that basket case.


I got a '96 auto coupe for $3800, 154K interior is in great shape, only needed opti replaced. You don't even know what the mileage is? No way I would pay more than $1k for it.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BowerPower View Post
I thought about that, but I have no idea if it has a key hole or something to open it from the outside. If there is, it would be interesting to know.
No access to the hatch from the out side.
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ON 8TH View Post
Looks like one to crap on and one to cover it up with
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BowerPower View Post
First off, Yes he has the keys. Even though the key turned in the door, it would not unlock, and the other door the key would not turn at all. Honestly, I have never ran into that before, and what are the odds of both doors having a problem.

Why is everyone so worried about paint?
Yes I know it is expensive to have done, but it is not a deal breaker to me. Personally, I try to see past something as simple as paint when it comes to a car this old. Obviously, I know it hurts the value.

I was told that, that it can perfectly fine, until one day the owner went to do drive it and the starter did nothing. He never took the time to try and fix it or have it towed to my work to have it fixed. I don't figure it would take much to fix that problem, but it may have acquired another one. All labor is free, just a matter of getting a good price on any worn out parts. I believe his price is a quick number he came up with when I asked him about the car. If it ever stops raining, I will try to find him and negotiate. The big problem is that he is not a motivated seller.

My first though was not a corvette, but for the price of a c4 you get a lot of car. It has better handling and power than a camaro, and it has fuel injection (which I love in the winter). Muscle cars from the 60s and 70s, I love, but are too expensive for my taste right now.
Because even without doing a thing else, the cost of the paint job will put you in a hole as far as car value
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Cruisinfanatic View Post
Show me where I can get a corvette painted for $1500
I was referring to the limit I would pay for the car. But you can get a car painted for $500 if you don't care about the quality. And you can sure spend more than $10,000 if you go all out.

https://www.google.com/search?q=maac...hrome&ie=UTF-8

Last edited by markKlein; 02-22-2018 at 08:50 AM.
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