This Ultimate 1990 Corvette ZR-1 Only Has 43 Miles On It

This 1990 Corvette ZR-1 has only 43 miles on it and will be in The Gold Collection at the Bloomington Gold event on June 10th and 11th at the Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois. Today we take a look at its history and the history of the C4 ZR-1 Corvette.

1990 Corvette Coupe ZR1 with only 43 Miles
Mark Donnally’s 1990 Corvette Coupe ZR1 with only 43 Miles

It’s one thing to be able to afford an amazing new car like the classic C4 1990 ZR-1 Corvette coupe, but it’s another thing altogether to insist that your local dealership does not prepare it for sale. Purchased at Future Chevrolet in Woodbridge, NJ, Mr. Gurski left strict instructions for the dealership not to apply the standard new car dealer prep to his 1990 ZR-1 Corvette coupe before he picked it up. The front spoiler was removed, and the Corvette was loaded on a rollback for the short ride to the Gurski home.

Mr. Gurski’s ZR-1s Early Life

Throughout the next 27 years, the car would be driven around the block three times per year, but only on days with perfect weather. Now with 42 miles on it, Mr. Gurski put the car up for sale on eBay.

The New Owner

Anne and Mark Donnally of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, were in the market for a ZR-1. One of their friends, Steve Bramati, found out that an extremely low mile ZR1 in their favorite color was for sale on eBay. They purchased the car in 2017. All original documents, factory, and dealership documents, were retained. Mark had this to say: It’s like I’m stepping back in time, it’s the ZR-1 that transports me back to 1990 and brings back so many good memories.

The ZR1 Corvette History

1990 Corvette ZR1 Prototype EX 5884
1990 Corvette ZR-1 Prototype EX 5884

Since the late 1980s, rumors and speculation had been ongoing in the automotive press with talk of an all-powerful, King of the Hill Corvette model that would deliver extraordinary performance. All rumors that it existed eventually turned out to be true when the ZR1 finally debuted at the 1989 Geneva Auto Show.

1990 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors
1990 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors

There were 23,646 Corvette cars made in 1990. The base price for the coupe was $31,979. (The ZR-1 Special Performance Package was only available on the coupe.) They’ve sold 3,032 ZR-1 options at an additional cost of $27,016, making the starting cost of a ZR1 $58,995. This was by far the most expensive option in an American production car at the time.

Lotus designed the C4 1990 ZR-1 Corvette that held the title of King of the Hill at the time. Its V8 LT5 engine with dual-overhead cams and four valves per cylinder made for a one-of-a-kind Corvette with 380 hp in its day. Interestingly, the Chevy engine wasn’t made by Chevy itself but by MerCruiser under Mercury Marine. This powerful sports car will reach 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and accelerate from a dead stop to 100 mph in just 10.4 seconds. Car and Driver magazine dubbed this new machine the “Corvette From Hell.”

Car and Driver magazine dubbed the new Corvette ZR1 the “Corvette From Hell.”
Car and Driver magazine dubbed the new Corvette ZR-1 the “Corvette From Hell.”
1990 Chevrolet Corvette @GM
1990 Chevrolet Corvette @GM

Not only was the ZR-1 new and powerful, but it was also complete, featuring wide bodywork to accommodate bigger rear tires and unique rear fascia with distinctive taillights.

The ZR-1’s 6-speed manual transmission, as well as other extras such as leather seats, AM/FM stereo sound system with CD player and Delco Bose speakers, Low Tire Pressure Warning System, and specially laminated solar windshield, come as standard equipment.

The suspension found on the ZR-1 is both advanced and unique: it includes a performance-enhancing Electronic Selective Ride and Handling Package and a unique version of the Z51 Performance Handling Package featuring special soft springs and sway bars.

1990 Chevy Corvette ZR1Engine

The 90 ZR1 Corvette engine is powered by a 32-valve, 5.7-liter, port-fuel-injected V-8 engine with an aluminum block and aluminum heads.

Horsepower: 380 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque: 370 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

The 1990 C4 Corvette ZR-1 averages 17 miles per gallon when fueled up, has a fuel tank capacity of 20 gallons, and runs on regular unleaded gasoline. According to the EPA Mileage estimates, this car would get 15 miles per gallon in the city or 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

Here is a photo of Mark Donnally’s 1990 ZR-1 Corvette Engine:

Mark’s Corvette will be one of the featured cars in this year’s Bloomington Gold Corvette show.

1990 Corvette ZR1 Engine
1990 Corvette ZR-1 Engine

Mark’s 1990 Corvette ZR-1 Interior

Improvements were made inside the 1990 Corvette too. The updated version of the dashboard now features a digital speedometer combined with an analog tachometer, fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge, battery gauge, and so forth.

1990 Corvette ZR1 Interior
Having never been dealer-prepped, this as-new ZR-1 has been invited to the Bloomington Gold 50th Anniversary Gold Collection.
1990 ZR1 Interior
1990 ZR-1 Interior

1990 Corvette Interior Color Choices

Only certain interior colors could be combined with certain exterior color choices. These are the interiors that were available depending on your exterior choice.

19CBlack Cloth
193Black Leather
223Blue Leather
60CSaddle Cloth
603Saddle Leather
733Red Leather
903Gray Leather

Below are the Exterior Color Choices for the 1990 Corvette C4

25Steel Blue Metallic813
42Turquoise Metallic589
53Competition Yellow278
68Dark Red Metallic2,353
80Quasar Blue Metallic474
81Bright Red6,956
91Polo Green Metallic1,674
96Charcoal Metallic878

Special Invitation

After five years of ownership, Mark’s ZR-1 still only has 43 miles on it. Having never been dealer-prepped, this as-new ZR1 has been invited to the Bloomington Gold 50th Anniversary Gold Collection.

Bloomington Gold will be celebrating its 50th show this year and held on June 10th and 11th. The show dubbed “Back To Bloomington!” will be held at Bone Student Center at Bloomington-Normal’s Illinois State University and has a complete weekend of full events planned.

For information, visit their website or call 309-888-4477.

What does a ZR-1 cost today (2023)?

If you’re on the hunt for a classic ZR-1, you can expect to pay a wide range of prices depending on condition and year of manufacture.

  • Prices for a 1990 ZR-1 range from a bargain of $12,500 to $58,000.
  • A 1991 to 1994 ZR-1 can range from an economical $13,000 to $50,500.
  • The 1995 ZR-1 model of the Corvette ranges in price from an economical $16,000 up to an impressive $63,000.

If you are in the market for a ZR-1, why not take a peek at the Vette Vues classifieds? You might just find a ZR-1 up for sale by an owner.

Here are some other articles you might enjoy on the C4 Corvette:

Dave McLellan, succeeding Zora Arkus-Duntov, was the Chief Engineer behind the transformative C4 Corvette, shaping its evolution from 1984 to 1996. Explore McLellan’s visionary engineering journey and the evolution of this iconic sports car.

Want to learn more about the C4 Corvette? Check out our C4 Corvette Overview; we look at the history of the model years 1984-1996. This was the fourth-generation Corvette.

When you are ready to buy a Corvette C4, check out our Corvette’s for Sale Classified ads to find one near you.

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