Pick of the Day: 1996 Corvette Collector Edition with low mileage, bargain price

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Fourth-generation Corvettes, known as C4s and produced from 1984-96, generally reside in the bargain basement of performance sports cars, even though their styling has held up over time and they perform quite well. 

There are scads of Corvette C4 coupes and convertibles available at any given time – the ClassicCars.com Marketplace has more than 330 of them for sale as of this writing – and perfectly drivable examples can be found in the mid-to-low teens and even 4-figure prices.

Most C4s reside in the $10,0o0 to $25,000 range, which is not much for such a good sports car. Even very special examples, such as low-mileage ZR-1s, can be had for modest prices, rarely approaching the $50,000 range. 

The Pick of the Day is something of a special model, a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition convertible, one of just 469 produced with the optional 330-horsepower LT4 V8 and 6-speed manual transmission.

1996 Corvette Special Edition with low mileage engine

The Collector Edition models, produced to mark the end of the C4 generation (there was also a 1983 Collector Edition marking the end of the Corvette C3), are easily identifiable in their exclusive coat of Sebring Silver paint, silver five-spoke wheels, upgraded interior, and “Collector Edition” badging.

This all-original Corvette still looks like new, and for good reason; it’s been driven just 15,907 miles, according to the Manheim, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com.

“100% original except for Corsa 304 stainless-steel cat-back exhaust and short-throw shifter (with factory shift knob),” the dealer says in the ad. “Original paint, top, interior, engine compartment and undercarriage – all in excellent condition. Silver paint is near flawless with just a few stone nicks on the front bumper. Wheels are perfect – still wearing its born-with Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires.”

So, essentially a nearly new 25-year-old Corvette that the dealer says drives great and is ready to go, aside from that ancient rubber, which would need replacement before taking the car on the road. 

The dealer has a load of supporting documents and such, the ad says.

“Documentation includes: certificate of origin, original window sticker, original purchase documents, owner’s manual, warranty booklets, commemorative portfolio/sales brochure, GM Promotional VCR tape, and all maintenance records from day 1.”

With its “ultra-low mileage and superb condition,” as the dealer states, this apparently exceptional C4 Corvette is priced at just $29,900.

Why have C4 Corvettes failed to soar in value? The one major knock I’ve heard, and experienced, is how hard they are to climb out of, the very low seat bottom about level with the extra-wide lower door sill, making a clean exit something of a gymnastic feat. Not terrible for occasional use, but try living with that as a daily driver.

Otherwise, these are sharp-driving and reliable sports cars, which have yet to catch on with collectors. 

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day