Considering buying a Corvette as I've always wanted one.


Asked by May 27, 2009 at 07:00 PM about the Chevrolet Corvette

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I don't want a brand new one. Which year would be best? Nothing before 2000. How is the upkeep? I would want a manual transmission and not automatic. Thanks! :)

13 Answers


How much do you want to spend? Do you want an A/T or M/T? Coupe or convertible? The C5 Vette, 1997-2004 came with the LS1 345-350 HP. In 2005, the start of the C6 era, the LS2 started putting out 400 HP. In 2008, the new LS3 was either 430 HP or 436 HP. Of course you could always opt for the Z06, which from 2002-2004, made 400 HP but starting in 2005 shot up to 505 HP but they are fixed roof cars. Drive the C5 and then drive a C6 Vette. I personally do not like the C5 Vettes because their interiors look exactly like Malibus an Impalas. I own a modified C4 that has over 450 HP and love it. Good luck.

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Depends a lot on how you would drive the car. I'm looking for a 2004 Z06 as a 'toy' car and the prices are not bad. If you want an everyday driver, buy as new as you can with as low mileage as possible. Vettes tend to be pretty reliable, at least my '95 & '96 were, but when they need work its not cheap. Expect to fork out close to $3K for a set of tires. Another thing to consider is clutch replacement with a manual, which is another $2-3K job. These maintenance price may sound high and they are compared to a Impala, but for a high performance sports car they are low. Another thing to consider is how many bells and whistles you want, Heads-Up Display is col but it another gadget that can break and be costly to maintain. If you are looking to buy a Vette as a weekender, like I am, I would look fist at price, then maintenance records and a car-fax report. I'm not so concerned with buying a high-mileage Vette since I would only put about 2-3K per year on it.

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Kent, I do not know where you live but the prices you are quoting are way high. You can buy tires off of for less than 1/3 the price you quoted. Believe me because I did pay a lot less for a set of four for my C4 last year. I just replaced my clutch and pressure plate with a syock Borg Warner and paid $580 for the clutch. Maintenance on a C4 really isn't that expensive but it does get pricier when you start to talk C5's and C6's. Check out or for your mechanical stuff in the future. You will see it is a lot less money.

1 people found this helpful.

Z06. too many regular models out there. Z06 from any year is something unique and special.

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks Bob, Kent and Chase! That is a lot to think about! I will keep all of this in mind! The one thing that Kent mentioned was that it is expensive to have a manual for this car. But, I thought that in a performance car like this, it should be a stick instead of an automatic? Does that not factor in for torque, speed and handling? I would appreciate your input. Thanks again, guys!


i havent checked out the prices so i cant be sure if it really is more. but i can tell you that the only model you can get an auto in is the base model. the Z06 does not come with an auto. 6 speed only. and for performance the Z06 is a viper killer for a fraction of the price.


A stick in a performance car is much more fun to drive. For everyday driving, a stick can be a mjor pain in stop and go traffic and it can accelerate wear on the clutch plate. I've had both sticks and automatics in my Corvettes and I enjoyed the stick much better. As far as performance, there is no differenace between a stick and auto and for the vast majority of drivers and automatic actually give greater performance than a manual. Not because of the transmission but because of driver skills. The best selection is an automatic with manual mode or a Steptroinic transmission as BMW calls it. This give you the best combination of everyday driving ease plus the fun of a manual. Unfortunately Chevey didn't offer it as an option on the Corvette until the C6 and it may have been offered in conly the past year or two.

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks a lot, Kent. Sorry to bother. But, if I need any other advice, I hope it's okay to ask! :)


Sure no problem.


It really all depends upon your budget and your need for speed. Remember that a Z06 costs a lot of money to buy and repairs are equally expensive. If you want 400 HP, which is more than adequate, a 2005 C6 with an LS2 will do fine. What is your budget? maybe from there we can assist you. With the economy where it is today, you might be able to pick up a newer Vette at a good price. Kent is right. A stick is a lot more fun than an auto. I've had both and there is no comparison.

1 people found this helpful.

All depends on how you're going to drive the car re: trans, etc. If you wanna light the tires up often, go with a stick, otherwise an auto is fine. I had an auto in my C5, but did change the gear set (rear gears) for better performance. Tires aren't anywhere near $3K - not sure of run-flat prices lately, the last set I bought were Goodyear GS-D3's. Awesome tires - not run-craps (which stink anyhow), but I did what one needs to do with a Z06 - have a can of "fix-a-flat" and a small 12V compressor in the back. Run-craps give a rather harsh ride and the D3's were like driving on pillows. expect tires to last 20-25K at best. I've had Vettes since '85 and the C5 was by far the best car I've ever had - no problems ever. If you don't want a C6 - I didn't either - get a 2004. If cost is no object, then I'd suggest a '67 with the 435HP tri-power engine :)

1 people found this helpful.

So, basically what you're saying is that is just depends on my budget as far as the model. But, a stick gives you more to do (which is does from what I remember). However, it has nothing to do with speed? Ok. So, a newer model will be less expensive as far as upkeep as oppose to an older model or classic style like a Stingray? Well, I'll have something else to do over the weekend! Do any of you ever go to car shows? And, if so, are there any that just showcase a particular model of car? I'd love to know more about that! ---I wish that I could have all of you as little people on my shoulder when I begin my search, otherwise I'll have to print all of this out and take it with me! Thanks so much for the advice and I will keep you posted! :)


I just traded in my 2010 Corvette for a lease car...It had 29550 miles but needs new shocks after driving in MA for three winters.. Boy if you buy a used Vette make sure it is in good condition because repairs are outrageous these days...

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