1991 Corvette ZR-1, Lot 183
Chassis number: 1G1YZ23J0M5801196
Power was suddenly back in fashion when the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 was launched in 1990, with 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and a top speed near 175 mph. Its 4-cam LT5 engine was built by Mercury Marine engineers—to a Lotus design. The car cost $62,675 when new—$25,000 more than the basic Corvette.
This 1991 Corvette ZR-1 in the Lewis collection has traveled a mere 7,500 miles from new and shows no wear to speak of—other than lightly on the red leather driver’s seat. The red paint doesn’t have any stone chips. According to the average 15,000 miles that modern motorists travel each year, it is fundamentally new, although the tires have died of old age and will need to be replaced.
The engine is the 375 horsepower, 350-ci, 32-valve, 4-cam V8, backed with a 6-speed manual transmission, power rack-and pinion steering, and disc brakes all around. The ZR-1 has bigger brakes and wider tires than mainstream Corvettes, plus the power band of a Ferrari, with a red line of 7,400 rpm. This 1991 Model ZR-1 has both tops, the red solid roof and the black glass moon roof. ZR-1 prices have been soft in recent years, but nothing offers more performance for the money.
1993 Corvette ZR-1, Lot 187
Chassis number: 1G1YZ23J1P5800028
This 1993 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 is the second of three belonging to the Lewis collection. It was bought from Kompact Kar Korner in Lynnwood, WA, in 2006 and is one of 448 built in 1995.
The paint on this 15,975-mile car is near-perfect, with no scrapes or chips. The gray leather interior shows well and is in nice shape, commensurate with its mileage.
1993 also marked the second generation of the ZR-1 and some significant changes were made. The 32-valve, 4-cam V8 engine was boosted from 375 horsepower to 405 horsepower, thanks to modifications to the cylinder heads and valvetrain. Other changes included 4-bolt main bearings, platinum spark plugs and a Mobil 1 synthetic oil requirement.
The ZR-1 is a 175 mph supercar, which can go head to head with more expensive machinery, but it will actually start first time the next morning. Prices remain at bargain levels, but that can’t continue forever, and the pool of low-mileage cars is shrinking.
1995 Corvette ZR-1, Lot 188
Chassis number: 1G1YZ22J6S5800181
The third Corvette ZR-1 from the Lewis collection is the newest and in the most conservative color. Again, with only 7,500 miles, it is effectively a new car.
The white paint shows no marks or scrapes, the black leather interior is unmarked and the moon roof is tinted black (a new, white moon roof is included as well).
This was the 181st Corvette ZR-1 built in Bowling Green, KY, in 1995; the last one made was number 448 and it was built on April 28, then driven straight across the road to the Corvette Museum. To the very end, the ZR-1 was an exotic option to the base Corvette, whose performance was gradually narrowing the gap. In 1995, a base Corvette cost $36,785, while a ZR-1 was $68,043.
Once again: In a few years time the prices that Corvette ZR-1s are selling for today are going to seem like a bargain.