Follow Up: Five C4s To Watch At Mecum Chicago 2018

A few weeks ago, we brought you a story highlighting five C4-era Corvettes that were being offered soon at the Mecum Chicago auction that were worth watching for a variety of reasons. Mainly, we felt that each of these cars had potential to be a great bargain for anyone wishing to get a C4 ranging from entry-level to top-of-the-line King of the Hill offerings.

While you never know who is going to be in the room when the bidding starts (or who WON’T be), we think that each of these cars proved to be a pretty good summation of the bargain that these cars have become. Let’s take a look at how it all went down during Mecum’s recent Chicago event.

Mega-Value

At first, this ’90 ZR1 was simply listed as a “90 Coupe”, but somewhere along the way, more information found its way onto the site and it was given credit for housing that high-revving LT5 engine. Even so, when you think about how much this car still has to offer, the selling price of $11,550 makes it one killer deal for someone who always pined for a C4 Z-car.

We’re not sure how many miles this car had on it, since even the updated listing doesn’t tell us, but we’d say that there’s still a LOT of fun to be had to this car’s newest owner. Definitely a good buy in our minds!

Full Of Fun ‘91

If you remember, this ’91 listed as “Believed to be 100 miles”, and while we weren’t so sure about that, we could still see the silver lining on this cloud-white coupe. Think about it, if you were to grab your favorite Corvette mail-order catalog and start pricing simply interior panels and wheels, you’d soon surpass the car’s $6,050 sale price. Sure, there’s also a buyer’s premium, but still.

The last year for that L98 engine means it’s likely got all the bugs worked out of it. Heck, even if the engine were missing, it’d make a perfect palette for an LS swap. (I know, crazy talk. Enough about that). Reality is that this car HAS its engine, and the interior, body and even the weatherstripping is in good shape. An excellent car for that first-time C4 owner or, someone who always wanted a his/her’s combo?

Serious Collector Value

This next C4 definitely takes it to the next level. With only 357 “believed” miles on the clock and its original window sticker, build sheet and sales brochure, this is a prime example of originality of a first-year ZR1 of the C4 era.

When you consider the clamoring that was going on when these cars were new, and the fact that it’s in such great shape, the no-sale price of $27,000 is understandable. Just imagine what the storage would have been if the meter were running since it was new! We have to wonder how high it needed to go before the reserve would have fallen off? When you consider that the bidding stopped at approximately the same price as the RPO cost when ordered on a new ’90 Corvette, it still has a long way to go to top the car’s original MSRP.

The fact that the other ZR1 sold for less than half of the highest bid on this no-sale car just shows how much more “originality” matters to some, and what a value the other car was for those who drive them.

Starter C4

Everyone is asking, “how do we get the younger generation involved in Corvettes?” Well, here’s an option! This first-year C4 may not have the power of a ZR1 or the torque of an LT4, but keep those throttle bodies aligned and vacuum leaks at bay, this Cross-fire equipped ’84 would make a great first Corvette and give some high-school parking lot cred to an aspiring enthusiast. Not too much power to get in trouble with, but hey, it’s a CORVETTE!  And just remember, the cost of a used LS engine keeps dropping as their experience level increases! (I know, crazy talk…)

Whether as a foundation for later mods or to have and to hold in its current configuration, at $4,400, a conscientious youth COULD afford this car by flipping burgers!

Ghost Grand Sport

We listed this ’96 Grand Sport as the last C4 to keep an eye on. Well, this one slipped away while our backs were turned. As you’ll note in the story, the link comes up with the dreaded “404 error” and searching the Mecum site doesn’t show anything. We’ve reached out to the folks at Mecum to see what may have happened with this LT4-equipped Corvette, and if we hear anything, we’ll be sure to update this info. Best we can think of, is that the current owner realized how great of a value these cars actually are and decided to keep it. We’ll see what comes up and let you know.

There were some other C4s and a bunch of other Corvettes that crossed the block during the event. Some cars are hotter than others, but the C4 era continues to be a great value for those who enjoy the 1984-1996 era Corvettes. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just find the perfect one for you at a price you just can’t refuse. Good luck!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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