Open Roads, August | Lot 218
1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
$75,000 - $90,000 USD
| Ridgeland, South Carolina
28 July - 4 August 2021
- A remarkably preserved example of one of the most significant performance milestones in Corvette history
- Odometer showing only 32 miles at cataloguing time; still wearing plastic coverings from the factory
- One of fewer than 7,000 ZR1 models believed to have been produced for the 1990 through 1995 model years
- Finished in Bright Red over black leather
- Powered by 5.7-liter LT5 V-8 engine rated at 385 horsepower; ZF six-speed manual transmission; Bilstein adaptive suspension
- Features six-way, power-adjustable sport seats and Delco/Bose Gold Series stereo with CD and cassette players
- Optioned from the factory with air conditioning and dual removable roof panels
- Accompanied by original window sticker, owner’s manual in a leather case, and both roof panels
The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was parent company General Motor’s formidable response to increasing competition from Ferrari, Porsche and others in the late eighties. The company contracted Lotus Engineering to develop a new V-8 engine that would deliver crushing performance. What emerged was the LT5, an impressively complex, all-aluminum, 5.7-liter eight-cylinder with dual overhead camshafts operating 32 valves, and a unique air management system. Initial output was rated at 385 horsepower. A ZF six-speed manual was the only transmission option. Matching the LT5’s complexity was an electronically controlled Bilstein adaptive suspension system. All the technology combined to create impressive capabilities that indeed rivaled, and in some cases beat, that of competitors.
Though the mechanical upgrades were significant, changes to the bodywork were subtle, consisting initially of wider rear fenders to accommodate 11 inch-wide rear wheels, and a redesigned rear bumper fascia with squared-off taillamps. Not surprisingly, the ZR1 cost nearly double that of the base coupe; fewer than 7,000 are believed to have been produced for the 1990 through 1995 model years.
This C4 ZR-1 is remarkable in that its odometer shows an astoundingly low 32 miles as of cataloguing time. The seats, steering wheel, and transparent removable roof panel still wear their plastic protective coverings from the factory. This time capsule of a car was first delivered to Dexter Chevrolet in Detroit, according to the original window sticker affixed to the windshield. It came from the factory finished in Bright Red with a black leather interior and equipped with six-way, power-adjustable sport seats, Delco/Bose Gold Series stereo with CD and cassette players, optional electronic air conditioning, and optional dual removable roof panels.
This pristine example represents a rare opportunity for the Corvette enthusiast or general car collector to own one of the most significant performance milestones in Corvette history in like-new condition. It is accompanied by the original window sticker, owner’s manual in a leather case, and both roof panels.