C4 Edition: Cost of C4 Corvette Ownership

Hello everybody, welcome back to C&S Corvettes in Sarasota, Florida. This is your Corvette buddy Lyle, here to finish up what I started last week, talking about the costs of Corvette ownership. In the middle of my video last week, I mentioned that we'll get back to discussing C4s, but I failed to do so. It's actually a good thing because C4s are quite special when it comes to cost of ownership. So, I'm glad I have the opportunity to make a dedicated video about them.

But before we get started, I'd like to remind you that if you find value in these videos, if you enjoy them, or if I even make you laugh a little, please remember to like, subscribe, and tell your Corvette friends about it. This way, we can continue to grow the channel and bring you more interesting and helpful content.

Now, let's talk about C4 Corvettes. Last week, I provided an overall view of the average cost of Corvette ownership, dividing it into antique cars (82 and older) and modern cars (97 and newer). However, I unintentionally omitted C4s, which is what I want to discuss today.

C4 Corvettes have an enticingly low entry price, with models from the mid-80s often available for around $2,500 to $3,500. It's tempting to think, "Well, I have that money, and I've always wanted a Corvette, so why not?" However, the problem arises if you only have enough money to purchase the car itself. Owning a C4 Corvette can turn into a giant vat of misery if you aren't financially prepared to deal with it.

These cars are almost 40 years old, so there are many facets that can make them a nightmare if you're not ready. So, let's go over a few things to consider:

  1. Wheels: The 84 to 87/88 models had 16-inch wheels, which were considered big at the time but are now challenging to find tires for. Upgrading to 17-inch or 18-inch wheels is an option, but you need to be mindful of the offset and ensure they fit properly without rubbing.

  2. Weatherstripping: The weatherstrip, which consists of black soft rubber seals around the windshield, convertible top, etc., is essential for keeping water out of your car. Replacing them can cost several hundred dollars, not to mention the labor involved in the process.

  3. Interior: Keeping the original interior in great condition can be expensive. Leather seats alone can cost around $1,200, and other components like carpets and dash rebuilds can add up quickly. Many people opt to modify their C4s, removing expensive Corvette-specific parts, which can be a more cost-effective approach.

  4. Electronics: C4s have electronic systems that were developed 40 years ago. While fixable, finding the necessary parts can be challenging due to their antiquated nature.

  5. Repairs and Maintenance: If you're buying a $3,500 Corvette, be prepared to invest at least that amount, if not more, in making the car safe, reliable, and mechanically sound. Cooling systems, fluid maintenance, and addressing leaks can all add to the costs.

One of the biggest challenges with C4s today is finding knowledgeable and willing professionals to work on them. Many Corvette shops are busy and may be hesitant to take on C4 jobs due to the unpredictable nature of electrical issues and the potential lack of funds for repairs.

In summary, buying a cheap Corvette means you need to have additional funds set aside for the necessary maintenance and repairs. If you plan accordingly, you can still enjoy your C4 and avoid disappointment.

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