When Dave McLellan replaced Zora Arkus-Duntov as the chief engineer of the Corvette, he had some legendary shoes to fill. Assuming control in 1975, McLellan lead the brand through some of the darkest days of not only the Corvette but American performance in general. By 1990, change was on the horizon and at the forefront of that change was the Corvette ZR-1. With a revolutionary Lotus-designed powerplant, cutting-edge technology and a refined look, the ZR-1 was destined to be viewed as a milestone in Corvette history.
This great example of the 1990 ZR-1 shows just over 52,000 original miles and comes with over $11,000.00 of receipts from Tony’s Corvette Shop of Gaithersburg, Maryland for repair work that was completed during 2019 to ensure you have one of the most reliable and awesome looking ZR1’s on the road. If you're in the market for a great example of one of the most desirable C4 Corvettes in a very desirable color, your car has arrived.
Black is one of the quintessential Corvette colors offered, and with one repaint in 2021 the finish on this one ready to show. Coming in at just over $60,000, this was the most expensive car in the GM stable in 1990. The good news? That money brought better than average paint and build quality, thanks to the specialized assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky. If anything, this car is a great example of the ZR-1, thanks to all the maintenance that has been completed by the previous owners. Also, if you like your Corvettes factory original, shy of the added Flowmaster exhaust, they don't get more authentic than this.
The ZR-1 is easy to identify with its high-mounted stoplight atop the rear hatch and slightly squared-off taillights, although the LT1 Corvettes quickly adopted these, making the ZR-1 even more anonymous. The hatch is perfect, with the embedded defroster strips undamaged and this example has had the ZR-1 windshield originally coated with a special UV-filtering coating known for delaminating replaced to ensure you’ve got maximum vision for the road.
The pearl under this Corvette's clamshell hood is the 5.7L LT5 V8. Originally intended to be a set of 16-valve cylinder heads atop a basic small block, Lotus engineers assigned to the project quickly realized that there was no way to cost-effectively build such a beast. Instead, they designed an all-aluminum V8 which shared only basic dimensions with the standard small block. With 32 valves, four cams and a trick dual-path induction system, the LT5 belted out 375 horsepower in 1990. The engine was built by Mercury Marine, whose specialization in aluminum casting won them the contract. When this engine was introduced to the Corvette chassis, it sent waves throughout the automotive community. Visually, there's no mistaking the unique intake manifold and sculpted cam covers emblazoned with the Corvette logo. More attractively finished than any engine since the 1930s, the LT5 in this ZR-1 is preserved in fresh condition.
The chassis is equally well preserved, including the ZF 6-speed manual transmission. Out back, the ZR-1 uses 3.42 gears with a limited slip on a slightly beefed-up version of the stock Corvette 5-link suspension. By 1990, the Corvette had matured into more than just a street-legal racer with a flinty ride, and the ZR-1's FX3 adjustable suspension made it more than capable of comfortable long-distance cruising. The wheels on the ZR-1 were similar to the standard Corvette, but were special 17×9.5 up front and a massive 17×11.
If you were a technophile living in the 1990's, the Black leather interior of this ZR-1 was a dream realized. With an advanced digital and analog dashboard, deeply bolstered highly adjustable bucket seats and every electronic accessory GM could dream up, the ZR-1 delivers on its promise of high technology. The cockpit embraces the driver, angling all the controls to their favor, including the HVAC and entertainment systems. At the base of the console, you'll find what GM called the valet key which shut down half of the LT5's fuel injectors and intake runners, effectively limiting its performance. A clever, if gimmicky, idea that works as advertised. Forget to switch it to “FULL” and you'll find that roughly 150 horses have suddenly gone missing from your ZR-1's corral. The interior of this car is very well preserved, with minimal wear on the seats, carpets, or any other soft parts. The trunk is also in great condition, and neatly stows one of the two removable tops when not in use.
While every subsequent generation of Corvette has shared the same set of goals, this one marks the first whole-hearted attempt at transforming the best American sports car into the world's best sports car. Don't miss your chance to bring home a fantastic example of one the of the most significant C4 Corvettes assembled.
Contact Tris at 574-276-1326 or [email protected] today to learn more about this fine ZR-1. For additional photo’s please visit PMClassicCars.Com!