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Old 08-08-2018, 10:01 PM
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JRR3033
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So I bought my first Corvette last month- a 2004 Vert Magnetic Red with about 20K miles on it, almost pristine body and completely original. I didn't know much about Corvettes before I bought one, other than they're fast, good looking, and the only car I can think of that has its own museum! I'm loving mine.

So then I join this forum, and all I see is "Z06". Not even sure how to pronounce it, do you say the "0" or not? Anyway, Z06's completely dominate the FS & WTB listings, and practically every other forum discussion for C5's, C6's, and C7's. So not knowing what one really was, I did some research and learned that for my model year (2004) they were only about 10% of all models produced- which means 90% were not Z06's.

So I just don't get why this whole forum seems preoccupied with Z06's. Did I make a mistake by buying a non-Z? I really wanted a Vert and I don't think GM made a Z Vert. Will I have any resale value in a few years? I'd like to get this one paid for in short order and then maybe trade up to a low mileage C6. How does one even use the extra performance of a Z in normal driving? I don't plan to track mine, so I feel like the extra performance would be wasted anyway.

This is my first post, so thanks for reading!
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:03 PM
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Vetteman Jack
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Did you make a mistake - only you can answer that question as it comes down to a matter of personal taste. The Z06 obviously was the high performance C5 and that means a lot to some buyers. Plus it only came in a manual tranny which some feel is the only way a sports car should be (and yes, you could get the manual in both the coupe and vert). I have had three C5 coupes and do not regret passing up on a vert or Z06 - I just happen to like the styling of the coupe body better than the other two and it met my needs better. Plus in general, I got a very capable car for less money than I would have spent on a Z06 or a vert.

My advice is give your vert a chance - own it for a while and see how well it meets your needs. If you find out you probably would have liked a Z better, there are plenty of them out there or you can jump up to the C6. And yes, provided you keep the car well maintained (both mechanically and cosmetically), there will still be a value for the car.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:04 PM
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Congrats on the purchase, post a photo!
I think most important is to buy what you like. You like verts, enjoy it! I don't even like sunroofs, so the Z was a perfect fit for me, plus I like the profile of the FRC.
The Z vert didn't come out until the C6. So for a C5 vert, either enjoy the car as is (which you appear to), or mod it as needed.
I definitely enjoy the extra performance of my Z, others feel 405HP isn't enough.
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:30 AM
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I prefer the z06 just for the look, it has a unique body and looks better than the other c5 offerings to me... the added performance is nice but not a huge deal, you can mod any other c5 just as easily to match or surpass what the z06 offers
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:11 AM
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You still have a Corvette C5. Just like me and my 03 Vert. I think the C5 is a beautiful car and I plan on having it until I fade away.
No, you did not make a mistake. you wanted a convertible just like my wife and I did.
Hardly anyone, other than Corvette owners, know what a zo6 is but know it's a Corvette.
Enjoy your new ride! Congrats to you on your purchase!
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:08 AM
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No you did not make a mistake. All C5s are awesome. I have a Z06 now but my first C5 was a 1998 coupe and I liked it a lot.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:20 AM
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Z oh 6

You bought what you like, you did well.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:02 AM
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"zee oh six"

It's like that in any Corvette circle though. You go to the C6 side, it's all about Z06s and ZR1s. You go to the C4 section it's all about ZR1s and Grand Sports. You go to the C7 section and by default you're better than everyone else except if you bought the first loads of '14s then every other C7 owner has you beat. Sorry early '14 owners.

If you're planning on trying to re-coop your investment in a few years it likely won't happen. My forecast for C5 prices is they'll likely not see any sort of up-tick in the next decade. The major issue is exactly what you have supported in your purchase; buying a low mileage example. There are WAY TOO MANY low mileage C5s out there and it's not hard to find one that ticks all the boxes for what you want. You're now behind a bit of an 8 ball of sorts and have to make a decision. If you drive your car you'll rack up miles and it'll be "worth less." However if you don't drive it it won't rack up miles and still be "worth less" as again there are a sea of low mileage C5s.

Plus all the while C6 prices continue to fall.

Did you make a mistake? No. I don't think so. You wanted a Corvette and you bought what you wanted, so go enjoy it. I wanted a Corvette that wasn't a Z06, I bought it, and I enjoy it.

Just go enjoy it. You only live once.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by grantv View Post
Congrats on the purchase, post a photo!
I think most important is to buy what you like. You like verts, enjoy it! I don't even like sunroofs, so the Z was a perfect fit for me, plus I like the profile of the FRC.
The Z vert didn't come out until the C6. So for a C5 vert, either enjoy the car as is (which you appear to), or mod it as needed.
I definitely enjoy the extra performance of my Z, others feel 405HP isn't enough.
corrected C7
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chris308 View Post
Z oh 6

You bought what you like, you did well.
Z ZERO 6, it's a number not letter
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:26 AM
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Enjoy your ride, they are all great cars and good looking as well !!!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ZEEZERO-6 View Post
Z ZERO 6, it's a number not letter
This is true, but no one calls it a Z Zero Six.

Last edited by TorchRedLS6; 08-09-2018 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:45 AM
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JRR3033
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Thanks, That's good information and I enjoyed your perspective.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:46 AM
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If you like having a convertible top, you did not make a mistake getting a regular C5. The performance differences were not that big and can easily be closed and surpassed by bolt-on upgrades. The biggest irreconcilable difference is in weight and stiffness, to the order of ~300 lbs and 12% stiffness in favor of the Z06. Unless you're autocrossing, those differences should not be worth the loss of a convertible top if you enjoy driving with the top down.

The C6 Z06 on the other hand had more significant improvements over the base C6. Aluminum frame for lower weight over the steel frame and LS7 7.0L engine over the LS2 6.0L, where the LS6 was mostly a cammed LS1 with heads and valves).
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:51 AM
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Assuming you wanted a convertible, which it appears you did and still do, you got a great sounding car. Nice color, low mileage, the body style you want - sounds like a winner to me.
As you point out, much of what makes the Z06 different are not features you use in normal day-to-day driving. Many of the Z06 owners like to compete with their cars either in auto cross or road race courses. For some, they may want the Z06 just because it's supposed to be "better." (Again, if you're tracking it, it is better; if you're driving it to work every day I don't see that it's a biggie).
You can easily modify your car to meet the performance standards of the Z06. Some features are a little more difficult such as the lighter glass.
Be careful, though, paying a premium for "Z06" car parts. Some items, especially the heads, are a little better than what the base Corvettes have, but with a 2004 you already have what is referred to as the Z06 intake (although I knew someone with a 2004 who bought a "Z06 intake" only to find out it was the same as what he had). Same with Z06 brake calipers. They are base C5 2004 brake calipers powder coated red. Paint yours red and save the $100-200 premium some parts re-sellers charge.
Over the years, I've learned that no matter what you have (and think you liked), you'll find someone with something a little newer, a little shinier or whatever.

Again, it sounds like you bought a very nice C5 Corvette convertible - drive it and enjoy it!

By the way, ZEEZERO-6 is correct the "0" is a number, not a letter; however, since the first Z06 option in 1963, I have never heard anyone say "Z zero six" but "Z oh six". Grammatically incorrect, but just adopted standard usage.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:53 AM
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"Z oh six" rolls off the tongue a lot easier than "Z zero six" as well.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ZEEZERO-6 View Post
Z ZERO 6
Please tell me you don't pronounce it like that. LOL



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Old 08-09-2018, 11:00 AM
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Meanwhile...


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Old 08-09-2018, 11:04 AM
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I have had a few Vettes. When I bought my first C5 it was a 2001 and convertible because I wanted one since I never owned one. My wife also wanted me to buy a convertible but before I bought that I was between buying that it Z06. After having the convertible I was not happy with it. This is just my opinion. After having the 01 I said to the wife I should have bought a Z06. Well I sold that and bought I wanted the last year model for the Z06 so bought a 04. I love this car so much better. After owning both it is a total different car. If you would have driven both cars you will know what I mean. Not knocking the convertible it all depends what you like.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:16 AM
  #20  
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My first C5 was a 98 Base MN-6 coupe LOVED the car! In 01, the ZO6 came out and I loved the body style. Purchased the 02 ZO6. LOVED IT! Still have it! :-)

As GRANTV stated, I didn't like verts and could care less about the targa tops. The Fixed Roof Coupe ( Hardtop) fit me perfect! Love the roof line style!

Saying that, the Wife always wanted a vert. SO,,,,,,,, one day we purchased an 11 Grand Sport Vert for her. I must say that I really enjoy the extra head room and sometimes driving with the top down is excellent. The roof line of a vert is very similar to a C5 ZO6! YEP!

ENJOY what you purchased.

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