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Future for the c4?

 
Old 05-09-2019, 12:26 AM
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Mason123
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Default Future for the c4?

Thereís something that keeps telling me that, arguably the worst corvette models that were made (Which I disagree with &#128514, the c4 corvette will shoot up in price.

Many of the c4ís I see, at least around here and Iím sure other places, are always messed up, beat up, etc.

as the years go on I think the c4 will rise in price drastically.




No proof, no facts, no background knowledge,

purely a gut feeling
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:13 AM
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It comes down to one very basic concept. Supply and demand. The supply of C4's is high and the demand is low. Most people looking for used corvettes fall into one of three camps. Vintage classic corvette buyers (C1, C2 or maybe early C3). Another camp wants modern power but can't quite afford a brand new Vette so they are shopping low mileage C6's or early C7's. The third camp is bang for the buck corvette buyers. People who can't afford $500+ car payments or don't have $20K+ in cash laying around but still want to drive a corvette. Well the C4 or C5 is perfect for them. Many C5's are under 15K now and C4's can be had for under 10K with low miles and some higher mileage C4's are under 5K!

Supply is high because they made TONS of Corvettes during the C4 and C5 runs. Demand is still fairly good for the C5 because people still love the LS engine platform and plenty of speed shops still sell parts for them, plenty of tuners out there to tune them and OBD2 is nice for scanning codes. C4's on the other hand have less aftermarket, less tuners, OBD1 (except for 96), opti-crap (92-96) and are generally considered by most the least appealing generation of Corvette and are often referred to as the red-headed step child.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think the C4 is the least appealing generation of Corvette. I personally think they look nicer then the C5's or the C6's. But as long as C4's continue to get a bad rap and the supply stays plentiful then the value will likely remain low. I can see the prices staying low like this for another 10 years and then maybe tick up a little. But I don't see any significant rise in value happening until a lot of these cars end up in the junk yards and thus make a major dent in the supply. That might take awhile.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:46 AM
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Absolutely right - it is about supply. Here in Europe, the supply is low and as such prices are much higher. A bad C4 is around 6000-7000. A nice one (or one that has not been through the government red tape yet and is still on US title) is around 10.000. Good ones already on an EU title are 15.000+. Heavy modifications to C4 happen far less here and most modifications result in a reduced value.
A bad C5 starts at 10.000, but a lot more C5's where imported to Europe. Many of them even with EU spec. Much more C5 in the supply.
Mileage is less influencing pricing here; except if it is under e.g. 25k.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:24 AM
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over here there are lots of C4's, and theyre by FAR the cheapest model to buy. 10-12k will get you a decent C4,.
a C3 in similar conditions will run you 15k
a C5 is 28k for 'decent' condition.

I don't see the C4's becoming increasingly valuable - there are some who really love 'em, but for the most part they just dont seem to be as desirable as other models.

been common over here for a long time for the C4 to get chopped up and turned into a super saloon (dirt track (oval)/ speedway car).

weird how some vehicles / models just dont retain appeal long term - my personal opinion is they were just very much the epitome of '80's styling, and 80's styling in pretty much everything has aged poorly.
More a reflection of the time, than the car itself IMO
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:58 AM
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The c4 will rise in value in the same way and for the same reason the c3s are rising now, they will become the obtainable classic corvette when c1s and c2s start hitting serious collector status. I do not expect this to happen near term and so would not buy a c4 as any sort of investment, its still just a car and will be for a while.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:39 AM
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Someone just needs to make the C4 a popular drift platform, then the highschool kids will wreck them all and the remaining ones will jump in price (just like 240s, E30s and 1st gen miatas around here).
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mason123 View Post
as the years go on I think the c4 will rise in price
They are and will continue to rise but not drastically their values should always be between mid 70ís-early 80ís C3ís and C5ís I donít think theyíre ever going to pass early C6ís and certainly not early C3ís I think the biggest jumpers will be the 85-89 cars mainly because of the 80ís ďnostalgiaĒ and we may even see 89ís surpass 96ís or even early C5ís right now they are very close in value to a 96 years ago this wasnít so...96 LT4íe and of course all the ZR-1ís

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Old 05-09-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tigertim20 View Post
over here
a C5 is 28k for 'decent' condition.
Wheres ďover here?Ē because Iíll drive there right now and fly back If I can get 28k for my ďdecentĒ 2002

Last edited by Y-bodluvr; 05-09-2019 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:08 AM
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The C4 will take many more years to even obtain a collector status and than only special or low production models will be the ones to collect. So go drive your C4 and enjoy it for what it is (or was) top of the line sports car from early 80's thru late 90's.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:52 AM
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Another one of these threads huh?

Your desirable cream puff cars will go up over time. How much, who know, probably not as safe or good an investment as a high dividend stock. Driver quality cars will see less of a growth. Eventually the really ratty ones will get trashed, as they "cost too much to fix for their value". People on here already think most driver c4s fit this description.

Prices have been climbing slowly. It's an inevitable process. Imagine if 996 buyers realized what a hugely better car the c4 is than the 996 in all ways. Probably wont happen but who knows.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:24 AM
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RetroGuy
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I'll be testing out the market here in southern California in two more years. My 1996 will be 25 years old then, in above average to very good shape, and have under 65,000 miles on it. If I can get a decent price, $11,500 or more, I'll consider selling it to get a 2001 or later C5. It'll all depend on the car's future condition and if I can find a motivated private buyer.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:47 AM
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Future values for C4's will not rise much, unless one possesses a unique, low production, and stock model as others have wisely stated. There are too many "Collector" cars available in almost all makes and models, not just C4's. There are exceptions, but very few. Many are garage queens that have rarely been driven with potential buyers hoping to capitalize on future price increases. Many may be sorely disappointed.

I prefer "value versus price". In my opinion, the C4's represent good values. Lots of performance for the dollar. Plus I like them because they are not overly loaded with computers and electronics. The C4's are still relatively easy for a good mechanic or a hobbyist to work on.

My first Corvette was a 1966 327/350 convertible that cost me $4,200 purchased in 1977. In today's dollars that would be equivalent to $18,200. To have kept it in top shape would have required many additional thousands of dollars spent over the years. Increases in prices are due to inflation and the weakened dollars purchasing power. In my experience, making money is difficult with any car. As a good friend once told me "Aggravation or depreciation? Choose one."

The point is to enjoy your C4 Corvettes. They are solid high performance cars, reliable, with an exterior design that is timeless. As an owner of a pristine, well optioned, and stock 1996 I plan on enjoying it. I really care very little about future appreciation. Try buying any nice automobile for under $15,000 today. Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:13 AM
  #13  
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on a C4 what do you guys consider high miles ?
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mason123 View Post
No proof, no facts, no background knowledge,

purely a gut feeling
You should run with that, then! Definitely. Like our pres....go with your gut!
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BillDurant View Post
on a C4 what do you guys consider high miles ?
For added value? Needs .less than 5k miles for sure IMO and looking at prices since the late 90's on these. Anything else to an educated buyer is either a driver or a parked project. Who cares how low the miles are on a driver really. I mean we now know just by age the shocks and bushings etc all fail over the years period.

They are a mass marketed GM product built to sell at a high mark up and count on people trading them in and dumping them for the next model years or iterations.

Far from hand built and spec'd quality that Foreign cars with horse badges bring have and helps keep the value up with limited numbers.

Sorry folks, just a GM same place that made trucks, vans, and commuters that the corvette shares parts with.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BillDurant View Post
on a C4 what do you guys consider high miles ?
I think it depends on the car. Anything with over 30k miles will likely fall into a driver group, u less it's something rare like a GS, you get a few more miles then. If it's a desirable combo, you could see up to probably 36k miles as a collector car... but if it's something boring (A4, white, etc) it will go down from there.

Anything over 60k falls into high mile driver quality. These are the real value cars as theres nothing wrong with them, but they wont be garage queens with that value.

People buying clapped out C5s dont really have much effect on c4 proced, they're not looking for nice cars, they want cheap horsepower and that's about it. They want salvage crap cars.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:08 PM
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I was really into F-Bodies till I bought my C7. Now I want to get rid of my third-gen for a C4. One reason C4's or even later C3's are not going up in price as quickly is that there are so many nice ones out there. A second reason is that C4's are optioned out almost the same it basically comes down to Manual or Automatic, Convertible or Hardtop, or ZR1.

I think the way the later C3's increase in value is a good barometer of how the C4's will go up.

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Old 05-09-2019, 12:11 PM
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Yes, these value threads do come up often. Some thoughts:
1. C4s are partly a victim of their own success. The typical life of a C3 was perhaps 100,000 miles give the technology of the time. For the C4, this has improved to 200,000 miles due to fuel injection, improved coatings, computer controls, etc. This added life has increased the number of drivable C4s which as some pointed out causes the C4 to suffer on the supply and demand curve.

2. Being an older generation, but with computer controls and more sophisticated technology than the C3, they are harder to restore and with the lower value due to the supply and demand curve (with owners being typically less financially endowed), the market for restoration parts in significantly lower and the C4s with higher mileage that are out there typically show their wear because their owners don't have the resources to keep their cars up which itself creates a poor impression .

3. Over time, when the high mileage cars that are not maintained get scrapped, the remaining C4s will begin to rise in value, but that will not likely be significant (except for a few of the C4 models like the ZR-1, Callaway, GS) because there are too many alternative for buyers out there. When the C2s first started increasing in value, there were not any many generations out there and fewer non-Corvette alternatives. The C3s were low powered compared with the C2, had a reputation of poor quality, and did not have the more general view that the styling was classic, thus the C2s were viewed as being performance cars in a way the C3 was not. The C4s on the other hand have been succeeded by faster and faster cars with generally improved quality.

4. Because of the view that C4s do not have the speed potential of the newer Corvettes, many have modified their C4s in an attempt to close the perceived performance gap. But as cars get older, the people looking for a C4 with a collector mindset do not value modifications. They want stock. So all the engine mods, the body kits, non-original wheels, and the changed interiors all impede value.

5. It is hard to me to be definitive on this, but there is a view that the younger generations out there are not as automotive minded as prior generations. Coupled with a view that electric cars are the wave of the future, that computer driven cars will be legislated by the government, and that the green movement will drive people away from cars like the Corvette. Who knows? I remember when I purchased my first Corvette in 1981 ( a 64 365 HP convertible), they were saying that the V8 would be dead within a few years.

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Old 05-09-2019, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bb62 View Post
5. It is hard to me to be definitive on this, but there is a view that the younger generations out there are not as automotive minded as prior generations. Coupled with a view that electric cars are the wave of the future, that computer driven cars will be legislated by the government, and that the green movement will drive people away from cars like the Corvette. Who knows? I remember when I purchased my first Corvette in 1981 ( a 64 365 HP convertible), they were saying that the V8 would be dead within a few years.
This statement is on point. I went to a car show this weekend with a friend of mine. Some Teslas were at the show. HIs kids are more excited about seeing someones daily driver Tesla's that isn't even detailed properly than a nice clean detailed anything that isn't s supercar.

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Old 05-09-2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by darrensls1 View Post
It comes down to one very basic concept. Supply and demand. The supply of C4's is high and the demand is low. Most people looking for used corvettes fall into one of three camps.
Fourth camp: Those who fell in love with the C4's years ago and now say 'goodie GOODIE!' when seeing today's low cost.
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