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C5 to C6- Looking to find sweet spot

Old 11-19-2018, 02:53 PM
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RoninC5
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Default C5 to C6- Looking to find sweet spot

Hi Everyone-
I have had a 99 and 2002Z. I am shopping again and thinking a C6 may be the way to go for bang for the buck and of course a whole new platform. I realize 05,06 are a bit different from 07+. I have found many like the LS2 and the LS3 vs choosing one or the other. My budget is 20 to 25K tops. I would be looking for manual trans and really very little to no mods. Would you guys think there is a specific year model to search for or avoid? I knew my C5 pretty well and there were years/options which one needed to be aware of (valves for one) etc. prior to purchase. I am off doing my own homework but this forum can't be beat for real life info. Any help is appreciated! I have been off line for a while but still recognize a few of you.

Thanks !!!!
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:59 PM
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BullittEV
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the LS2 was used in the 2005-2007 models, 2008+ base c6's are where you see the bigger differences. The LS3 and upgraded suspension was done to all factory 08+'s. Just have to be careful if you go with an aftermarket exhaust, as C6 2005-2008 and all C6 Z06's use the same mandrel bend for the exhaust over the rear axle. The C6 2009-2013 are different systems due to the piping.

You can easily find a used C6 for 25K, it's going to have some miles on it though- probably 65K+ so you'll need to make sure you inspect for the maintenance issues. For a bit more $ you can find a used Z06, but just be careful with the LS7, some of them had the dreaded valve issue
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:44 PM
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I prefer the appearance of the wide-body models over the base model, so that would be '06+ Z06 or '10-'13 Grand Sport. It will be hard to find either of those models in your price range, however, so keeping that in mind I would shoot for '08+ with Z51 suspension option.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:29 PM
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Thanks guys... Yep the miles are 48K and up. What amazes me is I'm still seeing C5s in that price range with like 15K on them. Not sure what is up with that but a different crowd I guess. 08 sounds like a great option if I can swing it $ vs miles.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:55 PM
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The really clean c5s go in the same price range as you're looking at, as you've noticed. The sweet spot is different for different people. If you want a clean low mild car, the c5 ia the sweet spot. If you're ok with higher miles and the residual hits you get from that, a clean ls2 car is the sweet spot. I dont think you will get a particularly nice ls3 car in that price range, and honestly the 30hp difference is a minor issue. Spend the money on longtubes and a tune and you will make more power.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:02 PM
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You should be able to find an 08 LS3 M6 with the Z51 package in the 23-25 range this time of year. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:06 PM
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When I was looking in that same price range, I wanted a manual transmission and preferred 50k or less miles. Not many LS3 (08+) were in that range when I was looking. I ended up with a base 2006, 51k miles, Z51 package, in pretty good condition for 21k, but after tax title and license it was more like 23k.

Good luck! Be patient and find a good deal and do as much homework as you can. I wasn’t as patient as I could have been, but did take some time so wasn’t exactly a rushed purchase.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:28 PM
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I went through the Corvette search a few months ago because of the unfortunate circumstances with the flood on my 2010 Base which was my first Corvette. I realized I could get so much nicer car that I would actually enjoy for only a little more. If you can find a way to come up with $6500 more. Get a 2013 Grand Sport. Heads Up Display, Widebody, Bigger Brakes and nicer stock stereo are all really worth it. I know you can google yourself. But....here is a nice one I just found online. I know you might be thinking.....but it so far away but this one is not to far at all. However, it is well worth it to go fly to another city with a one way ticket and drive home. Going out of state you can pay for registration in next 30 days and that will give you time to come up with that extra expense. Here is the link. Be sure to check car fax and make sure no damage or accidents and car has a decent amount of service records. https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...242_isFeatured
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:41 PM
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So I see what looks like a price drop for the 05... Is 06 and 07 (and up) where to be...? Tranny different in 05 correct?
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RoninC5 View Post
So I see what looks like a price drop for the 05... Is 06 and 07 (and up) where to be...? Tranny different in 05 correct?
Trans and rear end are different, as is the steering wheel, and it has the cm antenna on the roof. Several things are one year only.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:08 PM
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Thanks Guys! Seems like options are:
1. 06,07 Z51 MS6 preferred
2. 05 Z51 Manual only.
3. 08 if $ allows

4. The mild option would be a sweet well cared for C5 at a great price. Basically a cruiser. The Z was great, but I think the 400hp of the C6 would be a good choice for performance vs value. Z51 seems to be a very real option with gains in performance (handling). There seems to be plenty out there... Supply is not an issue it seems.

Last edited by RoninC5; 11-19-2018 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:16 PM
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Atleast go test drive a 2013 Grand Sport with under 40K miles and see the difference.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:50 PM
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You could also look at a 2012 GS. It is equal to the 2013. In the 12 and 13 they bolstered the seats, they are much more comfortable. I have a 2012 GS with S/C. Very
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:57 PM
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I think the sweet spot right now is a mid mile c5z fir around 20k. They're the lightest corvettes, and due to that just as fast as a c6 (if not faster).
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RoninC5 View Post
Thanks Guys! Seems like options are:
1. 06,07 Z51 MS6 preferred
2. 05 Z51 Manual only.
3. 08 if $ allows

4. The mild option would be a sweet well cared for C5 at a great price. Basically a cruiser. The Z was great, but I think the 400hp of the C6 would be a good choice for performance vs value. Z51 seems to be a very real option with gains in performance (handling). There seems to be plenty out there... Supply is not an issue it seems.
FYI, The 05 has a little weaker rear end as another item unique to that MY, but if your not looking for huge HP, this should not be factor.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:16 PM
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I started my search looking at C5's but found all the really nice ones were going for as much as some C6's. I ended up with a 1 owner low mile "05 Z51 M6 coupe and have no regrets. I don't track the car, It is 100% stock and I have no plans to mod it. I may keep it another couple of years then move on to something newer and. I am definitely glad I got a targa top as it is out almost all summer long.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:33 PM
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Default Sweet spot

I think the sweet spot is the ls2 c6 cars. They go for almost 5gs less then low milage ls3 cars and almost 10g less then ls7 there are many nice well cared for ones available also. I also perfer the wide body but because of budget restraints i could not afford one at the time. I paid around 23k for a 2007 base with 14k miles. I was in the same delema you are in. I was between a c5z and a c6 then ls3 or ls2. I just chose the nicest one I could that fit my budget. I love the c6 it is a great cruiser and all around good car. Good luck with your search. If you can afford the extra scratch I would go for an ls3 c6 but I wouldnt look past the ls2 and save money toward mods either.
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:07 AM
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The sweet spot right about now is a 2009ish Z06.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:02 AM
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I think if you search you should be able to find a clean LS3 car.

For reference I purchased a 08 LS3 3LT 6 speed car from the original owner with 33k miles on it for 25k.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:36 AM
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I guess based on experience above, a 05-08, MS6 with Z51 if possible (depending on year and miles) would be excellent. A "Z" anything as well as a newer car would be great but I have to budget for a great weekend car that won't break the bank. Hence the Vette which I think is the best value for the $$ on the planet perhaps. The " 08 LS3 3LT 6 speed car from the original owner with 33k miles on it for 25k" would be a stretch but worthwhile. That would be tops. Anything "below" that would be well in budget and a great car too I think. I'm going to look at a few today but none are the perfect match (i.e. 05 w/ auto, high miles etc) but I can get a better feel for C5 vs C6 so can't hurt. Thanks guys! The info above is invaluable...
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