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92-94 Chevrolet Corvette: A fast summer fling or something more?

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1992-1994 Chevrolet Corvette (C4)

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I was talking to a friend about cars and he said that some older Corvettes are selling for surprisingly low prices. He talked about buying one of the cars. Is he interested in a fast summer fling or something more? Let’s find out!

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The 1992-1994 (C4) Corvette is part of the car’s fourth generation. So what does it have to offer?

This Corvette is a 2 door 2 seat sports car that measures 178.5 inches in length and 70.7 inches in width. The wheelbase is 96.2 inches and the gas tank holds 20.1 gallons.

The base engine (LT1) is a 5.7-liter (350 cubic-inch) V8 providing 300 hp and 330 ft. lb. of torque. A (ZR1-LT5) 5.7-liter V8 engine providing 375 hp and 379 ft. lb. of torque is also available.

The transmissions include a four-speed automatic or a six-speed ZF manual gearbox. The Corvette’s 0-60 mph time is in 5.0 to 5.6 seconds. The car’s top end is 140 mph or more.

On the exterior the 92-94 Corvette looks sleek and quite modern.

At the front the car’s windshield is well raked. The front fenders and hood are long and curve down at the front. The headlights are hidden under retractable covers. The famous black and red/white checkered flags are surrounded by a chrome ring and sit at the base of the hood. There are black inserts integrated into the bumper on each side of the license plate area.

From the side this Corvette presents as being sleek and smooth. Although the rear glass is part of a hatch opening, it angles down and goes as low as the front door glass. Six inches of body color metal in between the front and rear glass adds contrast. Four horizontal front fender vents add to the engine’s cooling. Front and rear horizontal reflectors are in the fenders. A center body grove runs the length of the car. Good looking large wheels fill out the car’s substantial wheel wells.

At the rear this Corvette has a hatch window that is nicely tapered with glass that folds down at the sides. The trunk like lid is compact and flat. The car’s back end (including the bumper) is flat. The taillights consist of two elongated circles on each side. A horizontal third taillight is located in the center. Dual flat exhausts at the corners complete the car’s sporty look.

On the interior this Corvette has comfortable seats that provide good side bolstering. The gauges include a sweeping tachometer on the left and a digital speedometer in the center. Smaller semi-circle oil pressure and temperature, voltage and fuel readings are provided on the right. The car’s dash is smooth and nicely integrated. The center console contains many of the car’s controls. As this Chevrolet is a two seat sports car, the front legroom is good.

The brakes are discs at all four corners measuring 12 inches at the front and back. The tires are 275 40 17 inch. Larger rubber is also available.

The suspension at the front on this Corvette includes unequal length double wishbones, a transverse mono-leaf spring, gas shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar. At the rear the setup includes trailing and lateral links, a mono-leaf spring, gas shock absorbers, and an anti roll bar.

Standard features on this Corvette include power steering, cruise control, air conditioning, intermittent wipers, power door locks, windows and mirrors, tilt steering wheel, interior hatch release, AM/FM stereo, power antenna and more.

Standard safety features include four-wheel ABS brakes, driver’s side air bag, daytime running lights, theft deterrent system and more.

The fuel rating for this Chevrolet Corvette is 17 city and 25 mpg on the highway.

On the road this sports car provides direct steering and very good braking. It offers good acceleration and the car does not run out of power on the highway. Additionally the ride is firm but reasonably comfortable. With its balanced weight distribution, this Corvette handles very well, especially on twisty back roads. Overall, it is a fast and highly stable drive!

Regarding the fourth generation (C4) Chevrolet Corvette, Hemmings.com scanned some local classified ads that included the following:

“Runs good, no reasonable offer refused.”

“…will trade for 60s or 70s Camaro or Nova…”

“Needs nothing, runs great, $5,000 or best offer.”

What is my take on this car? My friend is indeed on to something! The fourth generation Corvette cost $28,000 - $40,000 when new and they are now selling at about 15 to 20 percent of the price.

Some examples of the C4 Corvette that are really worth focusing on include the ZR-1 (engine), the Indy Pace Car convertibles and 35 and 40th Anniversary Editions. Of the C4s, my research indicates the best to buy are the 1989 – 1996 models as the cars are the most refined.

Why have I brought this American sports car to your attention? Well, when a vehicle costs $28,000 - $40,000 new and is now selling (if you shop carefully) for $5,000 - $6,000, I think you should know about it.

As with any used vehicles, it is a good idea to have a qualified mechanic who regularly works on Corvettes put the car on a lift and test drive it before you buy.

Yes, the C4 Corvette can be a summer fling but it could turn out to be much more indeed. And the bottom line: You indeed have my pure driving heart on this one!

Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money.” His automotive site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com includes an exclusive article just for you, additional car articles, information about Kyle Busch and his 510,000 mile car, and you can even submit your automotive questions and get expert answers. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.

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