Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Even though the horsepower wars have escalated and even the base Corvettes are packing 500 horsepower these days, there's something special about this 1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1. Those three little figures on a small badge mean so much to Corvette fans, and no matter how much horsepower the latest LS-series engines make, they'll never howl like the mighty LT5. Only 140 Torch Red ZR-1s were produced in 1995 (out of 448 total cars), which also happened to be the final year run of this special edition car. To find an example in this impeccably preserved condition, with only 2,097 actual miles, is nearly impossible, making this one of the strongest specialty Corvettes on the market today.
Yeah, I'll admit it, we love the ZR-1 (note the hyphen). They seem to have bottomed-out on the value curve and are seeing some quickly ascending appreciation now that they're suitably vintage for collectors. The plain-Jane looks that made them hard to explain to the neighbors when they were new also make them the ultimate sleeper today, although in Torch Red, you're getting attention whether you like it or not. This one carries a miniscule 2,097 original miles on the clock and that insane preservation shows everywhere you look. The chin is not scuffed, the rockers haven't been blasted by the fat tires, and it's extremely clean everywhere you look. Yes, I'm sure that if we whipped out the microscope we could find a thing or two the car acquired after driving it 2k miles, but we haven't seen anything of note and frankly wouldn't change a thing. For a car that was treated as something special by its enthusiastic owners, this one has led a very sheltered life and it shows. It wears the ultra-clean final iteration C4 nose, simple fender gills, and, of course, the high-mounted CHMSL that was the only reliable way to identify a ZR-1 from a distance.
The Torch Red leather interior is exactly right for the Torch Red exterior 'Vette. Yeah, it's not exactly subtle, but it's a Corvette after all, and attention-grabbing is a virtue in the ZR-1's case. The good news is that it's in spectacular condition, with seats that have hardly been used and carpets that look practically brand new. Master the somewhat peculiar C4 entry procedure and you'll settle into some of the most comfortable buckets to ever come out of Bowling Green. The combination digital/analog instrument panel works as well for the LT5 as it does for the LT1, although you'll note that the redline is a bit higher thanks to the deep-breathing 32-valve V8. Everything was standard and everything works in this low-mile hammer, including the infamous valet key that kills horsepower. The 6-speed manual transmission is the only way to go in a fast little red 'Vette, and even with that power stick beckoning the driver to hammer down on it with reckless abandon, the owner managed to leave nary a trace of treating this Corvette with nothing but white-glove respect. You also get two tops with this ZR-1: the limo-tinted glass version and the color-matched Torch Red top as well.
Chevy's LT5 was designed by Lotus and built by the aluminum experts at Mercury Marine, and there's simply no denying that it was a winner with a factory rating of 405 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. Despite the apparent complexity, these are bulletproof engines that don't mind full-throttle blasts to redline, and thanks to the dual-stage intake and 4-valve heads, it never seems to run out of breath. That robustness was proved several times over when the ZR-1 set seven international and world records on the test track, and a reported 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds (although many others claim it to be 4.7s) and a top speed of 188MPH. It's also happy to lug around town without complaining, with friendly gearing that are more than capable of every-day driving. But when you crack that throttle and run it through the gears, the shriek of all that metal flying around is simply bone-chilling. The 6-speed ZF gearbox appreciates a firm hand, and the sporty suspension does a fine job of channeling the power effectively. The undercarriage is spotless and unmodified, right down to the factory exhaust, so if you're looking for investment-grade, this is as good as it gets. Clean 5-spoke wheels look fantastic and wear correct 275/40/17 front and 315/35/17 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 performance radials with plenty of grip.
If you don't get the ZR-1, we won't try to explain it to you. But if you know how cool these cars are, then you know this insanely low-mileage example is an incredible opportunity to own the best. Offered with a reproduction build sheet and window sticker, title documentation, a binder full of miscellaneous original docs, and boasting a 2014 Top Flight win from the NCRS with a score of 99.6%, this is the one to own. Call today!
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