EASIEST-OWNING CORVETTE, C3, C4 OR C5?

Hello all. I've been considering purchasing a used muscle/sports car for a daily driver this summer. I've fancied a 78-81 Camaro/Firebird or a 98-02 Firebird WS6 but I'm also dreaming of owning a Corvette. Out of these 3 gens what's the easiest to own in terms of economy, the last 80-82 C3, C4 or C5? The newer the easier needless to say however I heard the tires for a C5 are expensive from some owner before. The C4 is said to be a bag of trouble and the oldest C3 remains very questionable. Should this young man go back to his F-body dream or is it still worth considering? If yes, what's the best car?

Being 24 and thinking about leaving my parents' home, I can't afford any car over 16k while paying monthly rents and what not including food, gas, insurance etc. I've graduated from college only a year ago which makes me a freshman at work. Not too shabby off (not so well off either) so far though.

FYI neither I drive reckless nor use a fancy car for picking up chicks (I really hate this notion. Unless you're someone of substance I won't date ya. lmao) but I might have to drive in snow due to the place I'm heading to. I know it's hard to make a high performance FR car stay in control.. Now what do you think? :))

Update:

Thanks soooooooooooo much everyone!! I really appreciate all your answers!!

anotherredman: Thanks! so you think the newer ther better right? :D

doonobk: Thanks! Oh really? I never thought the 80 Vette had an ECU comp even though it's a carb model. Sounds very interesting. True that doesn't have the ABS, which is one of my concerns for going to generally snowy Canada (hope I can go to Vancourver where it rarely snows...). Now what about installing snow chains? Don't they help? Well I'm certainly looking for a Z28/TA (or Formula)/Vette because I can't think of anything but getting a V8 so it doesn't have to be in 100% mint condition. Just needs to run alright as a daily driver. :))

laslo: Thanks! but personally I never crave for so much speed as long as it has so much torque. I'm basically a torque guy. To begin with, what I'm seeking is an American GT of torque for cruising. It's a cruiser not a racer. Out of them three, what would you choose? And

Update 2:

And speaking of the C3's seating size it doesn't matter because I'm a very scrawny asian kid that could fall asleep in a go-kart. lol :D

mel: Compared to a Vette are insurance rates so cheaper on a 98-02 Trans Am? Will Hargrty be good to a young guy and isn't this car too new for their classic car criteria? What do you think? :]

Update 3:

(And thanks too mel!!)

8 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    For the Firebird 77 was basically the same as a 78 so you could include those in your search. The 77-81 F bodies were not fuel injected. Finding people that can work on a carburetor is getting difficult. Parts store rebuilds are generally junk.

    Those last couple years of Vetts were pretty wacky as far as engines and fuel systems. I think starting in 80 they all had computers even the carburetor models. 81 some had an efi option and I think 82 were all EFI but it was the 'cross fire' injection system. It had 2 throttle bodies each with a single injector on opposite corners of the intake. None of that stuff had a good reputation for performance or reliability.

    Both cars transmissions would not be overdrive which hurts your highway mileage especially on cars that already were not so good. On a good day the best you could expect maybe around 15 in the highway and city will depend on how you drive, maybe 11 if you drive nice and I bet you could get it down to about 5 if you are hard on the gas pedal all the time.

    Both cars will be terrible in the ice and snow. Even by the standards of the day they were not good in ice and snow and compared to todays cars they are even worse. Pretty much the same thing with the overall ride quality, They are going to tend to be pretty harsh. Your fairly modern econo box is going to have a much more comfortable ride. Overall fit and finish was not the best in that era assuming its all in good shape.

    Those cars are also well before ABS brakes.

    Price wise if you are looking at a base Firebird or Camaro those will be the least expensive and likely within your price range for a decent one if you can find one. The Z28's Trans Am's and Vette's are going to be harder to find in nice shape for your price range. Nice but not show quality examples of those cars are in the $20-25K range now. I think for that era the most valuable would be the 'Bandit' Trans Am's and mint originals or high end restorations can easily go for $35K and up.

    Another thing to consider with cars that old is how modified they are. You will see it a lot on the base Camaros and Firebirds because they came with terrible engines performance wise. Even the high end models were not very good performance so those often were also modified and often that work was done poorly. Besides not working well the mods can be expensive to correct and can cause problems with emissions and safety inspections if you have them where you live.

    Thats what I got to say on the older cars. Basically all you are getting is the look. The rest is not so good when compared to todays cars. Half my cars are from that era and I love em, I just want to make sure you know what you may be getting into if you are looking at something that old.

  • Bonnie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I have owned both cars. The Boxster I would say is a chick magnate or definitively a conversation starter. People look at the badge on the Porsche and automatically assume its a really expensive car, little do they know you bought it for around ten grand. With that being said, most people give you the credit of owning a 40k sports car for only 10k. The Boxster is an excellent choice in So Cal. There is only one thing, you must seriously love this car because repairs can be very costly. Overall it is a great experience to drive one of these, very solid built, well balanced, and very rare to see on the road. (what makes it unique to drive) The G35 coupe is another awesome and sporty popular car. The car is also built with quality and is very solid inside and out. Overall I think the G35 is the better car and here's why. The car performance data scores are better than the Boxster. It is quite faster for a start, braking handeling are similar, but the G has better technological advances throughout the car. The boxster feels a bit old when your inside the cabin, as opposed to the G35. The G35 is most reliable than the Boxster and much cheaper to maintain. The G35 coupe has the same body style all the way to 2007 instead of 2004 like the Boxster. The G35 is like best of both worlds, its sporty and casual yet practical. The verdict. You see G35 coupes almost everyday on the road. Owning one will probably only impress people you know. If you even care to impress. Obviously you do if not you would of bought a kia or Honda. Anyway, the boxster is a lot more unique to look at. The badges on the car are special. The design and body of the car are genius, well back in 1996 when the design was created. You want to stunt? Get a boxster. You want a nice car? G35

  • 5 years ago

    The rule of thumb is any Corvette or muscle car after 1974 is gutless until the LT1/Ford Modular V8 engine come along and spearheaded a revival in performance that hit full steam when the LS1 was introduced. If costs are a concern go for an LS1 F body. Same drive train as a C5 corvette, cheaper parts. LS1 F bodies have been out running 5 gen Camaros and C5 corvettes with mods. A lot of the shortcomings can be compensated with mods if performance is a concern. As for classic car insurance, Hagerty only insures those 26 year old or older.

  • laslo
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Well the last of the C3s are cheap to buy, old tech and simple, but pretty slow and underpowered. I wouldn't buy an 82 because it has the same troublesome crossfire injection which blocks most engine modification.

    C4s are a bag of trouble unless you get into the last years, and C5s are a better car than either the 3 or 4 series.

    You might want to pay attention to the narrow seating of the later C3s--if you are a big guy you aren't going to be very comfortable.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    C4 Corvette Reliability

  • 6 years ago

    For the Firebird 77 was basically the identical as a 78 so you may possibly consist of these in your search. The 77-81 F bodies had been not gasoline injected. Finding individuals that are able to function on a carburetor is acquiring difficult. Parts shop rebuilds tend to be generally junk. Those final couple of years of Vetts had been fairly wacky as much as engines and gasoline systems. I believe beginning in 80 they all experienced computers even the carburetor models. 81 some experienced an efi choice and I believe 82 had been all EFI nevertheless it was the 'cross fire' injection system. It experienced 2 throttle bodies each with a solitary injector on reverse corners of the intake. None of that things experienced a fantastic track record for overall performance or reliability. Both cars transmissions would not be overdrive which hurts your freeway mileage especially on cars that presently had been not so good. On a fantastic working day the very best you may possibly anticipate maybe about 15 in the freeway and metropolis will depend on how you drive, maybe 11 if you generate good and I wager you may possibly get it down to about 5 if you tend to be difficult on the gasoline pedal all the time. Both cars will be horrible in the ice and snow. Even by the standards of the working day they had been not fantastic in ice and snow and compared to todays cars they tend to be even worse. Pretty a lot the identical factor with the general journey quality, They tend to be heading to have a tendency to be fairly harsh. Your fairly contemporary econo box is heading to have a a lot much more comfy ride. Overall match and end was not the very best in that time period assuming its all in fantastic shape. Those cars tend to be as well nicely prior to ABS brakes. Price sensible if you tend to be searching at a basis Firebird or Camaro these will be the minimal costly and most likely inside your cost selection for a fantastic 1 if you are able to discover one. The Z28's Trans Am's and Vette's tend to be heading to be harder to discover in good form for your cost range. Nice nevertheless not display high quality examples of these cars tend to be in the $20-25K selection now. I believe for that time period the most beneficial would be the 'Bandit' Trans Am's and mint originals or higher end restorations are able to effortlessly go for $35K and up. Another factor to think about with cars that prior is how modified they are. You will see it a great deal on the basis Camaros and Firebirds simply because they came with horrible engines overall performance wise. Even the higher end models had been not extremely fantastic overall performance so these frequently had been as well modified and frequently that function was done poorly. Besides not operating nicely the mods are able to be costly to correct and are able to trigger issues with emissions and safety inspections if you have them exactly where you live. Thats what I obtained to say on the older cars. Basically all you tend to be acquiring is the look. The relaxation is not so fantastic when compared to todays cars. Half my cars tend to be from that time period and I adore em, I just want to make certain you know what you may be acquiring into if you tend to be searching at some thing that old.

  • 7 years ago

    The newer ones in good shape get terrific gas mileage. Starting in about 86 that is. But they seem to require a lot of maintenance, why I don't really know. They mostly use common Chevy parts but still seem to break all the time. My experience with an 84 and an 86 were that I spent about as much time working on them as driving them. But they did get fantastic fuel mileage.

  • Mel
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    78 - 81 Camaros and Firebirds are dogs, The Vettes will kill you on insurance, I'd choose the 98- 02 WS6 Firebird, Try Hagarty or Grundy for insurance.

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