1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 Coupe

Introduced in 1990, the Corvette ZR-1 represented the most sophisticated, highly developed variant of the successful C4 platform. General Motors had recently acquired Group Lotus, which included their sports car business, the highly respected Lotus Engineering section, and the legendary Formula 1 team. The Corvette division dreamed of turning the all-American sports car into a world-beating supercar, and with Lotus added to the GM fold, they now had the ideal partners to make their dream a reality.

At the heart of the ZR-1 sat an entirely new V8 engine, dubbed LT5. About the only thing it had in common with the OHV L98 was its displacement – 5.7 liters or 350 cubic inches. Lotus engineers started with an aluminum alloy block and jettisoned the familiar pushrods in favor of double-overhead cams and 32 valves. It also boasted a sophisticated intake and engine management system and was rated for an impressive 375 horsepower at launch. Because of the engine’s heavy use of aluminum, GM subcontracted assembly to Mercury Marine, and completed engines were shipped to Bowling Green, KY. The rest of the Corvette chassis was suitably upgraded to handle the new “King of the Hill” V8. Unique ZR-1 features included a ZF 6-speed manual gearbox, 17-inch wheels with specially developed Goodyear Eagle tires measuring a whopping 315-mm wide in the rear, subtly widened bodywork, Bilstein “FX3” adaptive suspension evolved from the Porsche 959, Bosch ABS brakes, and more. All of that technology came with a slight weight penalty, and the ZR-1 tipped the scales about 200 pounds heavier than a standard Corvette. That said, one would hardly notice it from behind the wheel, as the ZR-1 stormed to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and went on to a top speed of 179 mph – putting it firmly in Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari Testarossa territory.

Despite minor updates along the way and a boost to 405 horsepower, the ZR-1 sold in relatively small numbers over its six-year production run. Just 6,939 were produced when production halted in 1995, and it would be several more years before another Corvette came close to topping the legendary King of the Hill.

Presented in the iconic combination of Bright Red over a black leather interior, this superb, one-owner 1990 ZR-1 has covered just 1,156 miles from new. The accompanying window sticker shows it was delivered via the Chevrolet Central Office in Warren, Michigan. Just three cost options are selected – dual removable roof panels, electronic air conditioning, and the ZR-1 Performance Package. Those three options alone nearly doubled the base price of  the standard ‘Vette.

As expected of a one-owner example with such incredibly low miles, this ZR-1 is offered very near to showroom-quality condition. The red paint is excellent all-around, as is the black exterior trim and details like the iconic 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle ZR-40 tires. Both of the original painted composite and the bronze-tinted glass removable roof panels are included in the sale. This car’s black leather interior is essentially like-new, with no visible wear on the seat bolsters or carpets and all the original switchgear intact. Only some minor scratches on the ashtray lid are noted. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearknob are excellent, their lack of wear reflecting this car’s exceptional low mileage. While the interior is familiar to most Corvette enthusiasts, touches like the controls for the adjustable suspension and the “power key” – which allowed the owner to select and set engine output – set it apart from the standard models and point to its world-class, supercar-baiting ability. The original window sticker, hardbound brochure, demo cassette, keyring, and personalized, numbered leather document case are all included. Service records also show various recalls have been addressed, and clean Carfax and Autocheck reports document the mileage.

The sale of this ZR-1 represents an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the most legendary performance cars of the early 1990s, beautifully preserved by a world-class collector since day one and offered in superb condition.

Offers welcome and trades considered



Stock number 7071

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