Back in early 2007, I was in a position to buy my dream car-the one I'd always wanted but could never really afford. I'd always liked '69 Z/28s, but I wasn't about to pay $40,000-plus for a Camaro. So I started thinking about a new Corvette. The '08s were just starting to come out, so I drove a few and picked out some options, but lingering concerns about reliability ultimately dissuaded me from going this route. (I work on my own cars, and the thought of having to take my new Vette back to the dealer for repairs was hard to swallow.)
So I started thinking about a C4 Corvette ZR-1. I'd always liked the car, having followed its development through the early spy photos and leaked info from GM in the late '80s. I can honestly say that on the rare occasions I actually saw a ZR-1 on the street, it was magic. This was the only American car I'd ever looked at with the same awe I felt when gazing at a Ferrari or some other exotic.
With a model selected, I went on ZR1.net and put out some feelers. Within three days I got a message from someone with a white '91 ZR-1 for sale. He sent me a few photo DVDs of the car, and I liked what I saw. The only problem was that it was 2,600 miles away, and I couldn't get the time off from work to check it out.
Fortunately, I found someone with a solid reputation within the Corvette community to inspect the car for me. Everything was on the level, so I bought it and had it shipped out to my home in California. Talk about torture. After waiting a week for the car to be delivered, I got a call from the delivery-truck driver. He was parked about 70 feet from my door but couldn't drive any farther. At the time California was experiencing the worst wind storm in years, so I had to wait another day. (As a funny side note, this truck was full of new Porsches and other exotics, but mine was the only car covered.)
When I got the car it had 6,000 miles on the clock. It was basically new, but I changed a few things nonetheless. I lowered it a bit, installed a set of A-Mold Grand Sport wheels, and added '95 fender panels with the ZR-1 emblems mounted on them. I would like to reinstall a set of stock '91 wheels, but I've been unable to find a complete set.
The C4 ZR-1 has a loyal following like no other. If I ever have a question about the car, someone over at the ZR-1 site will have an answer. I'm the only one who touches it, and I plan to keep it that way.
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