Iconic C4 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe Up for Auction at Mecum Indy

1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, in stunning Bright Red, crossing the block at Mecum Indy Auction on May 18. Photo Credit Mecum
1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, in stunning Bright Red, crossing the block at Mecum Indy Auction on May 18. Photo Credit Mecum

UPDATE: 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe Sold for $62,700

As the Mecum Indy Auction continues (May 10-18, 2024), Corvette enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the exciting lineup of classic and modern Corvettes set to cross the auction block on Saturday, May 18. One of the standout entries is the remarkable 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, a true gem from the C4 generation that ran from 1984 to 1996.

Chevrolet manufactured 23,646 Corvettes in 1990, including 16,663 coupes and 9,749 convertibles. They sold 3,032 with the ZR-1 option, which added $27,016 to the base price, resulting in a starting cost of $58,995 for the ZR-1.

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A Collector’s Dream: The 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe

Step inside the 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, featuring a pristine Saddle leather interior with just 56 miles on the odometer. Photo Credit Mecum
Step inside the 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, featuring a pristine Saddle leather interior with just 56 miles on the odometer. Photo Credit Mecum

What sets this 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe apart is its exceptionally low mileage. With an odometer reading of only 56 miles, this pristine vehicle is a rare find for any collector. The car’s VIN/Serial number is 1G1YZ23J5L5801709, and it comes with an estimated value ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. Notably, this ZR1 will be sold at no reserve, making it a tantalizing opportunity for bidders.

The ZR1 Legacy

Under the hood of the 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, lies the legendary 5.7L LT5 V-8 engine, designed by Lotus and built by Mercury Marine, ready to deliver 375 horsepower. Photo Credit Mecum
Under the hood of the 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176 lies the legendary 5.7L LT5 V-8 engine, designed by Lotus and built by Mercury Marine, ready to deliver 375 horsepower. Photo Credit Mecum

The ZR1 package has a storied history dating back to 1970 when Chevrolet first introduced this high-performance option on the third-generation Corvette. Initially paired with the LT1 engine, the ZR1 package featured solid lifters, a heavy-duty 4-speed transmission, power brakes, an aluminum radiator, and a high-performance suspension system. Over the first three years, a total of 53 ZR1-equipped Corvettes were produced, with 25 in 1970, eight in 1971, and 20 in 1972. The ZR1 designation quickly became synonymous with Corvette exclusivity and high performance.

The Birth of the Modern ZR1

The modern ZR1 was unveiled at the 1989 Geneva Auto Show, capturing the attention of the automotive world. Corvette Chief Engineer Dave McLellan proudly stated, “The ZR1 makes the statement that we can do things today that no one even dreamed could be done ten or twenty years ago.” The ZR1’s engineering team proved that American sports cars could compete with the best from Europe, challenging the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The 1990 Corvette ZR-1, also known as the "King of the Hill" or "Corvette From Hell," was a high-tech muscle car that helped reestablish the Corvette as a world-class performance car. The ZR-1 was originally scheduled for release in mid-1989 but was delayed until 1990 due to design and engineering refinements. Chevrolet produced 3,032 1990 ZR-1 Corvettes.

Engineering Excellence

This 1990 ZR1 Coupe represents the first year of production for the legendary LT5 engine, developed by Lotus Engineering and built by Mercury Marine. The 5.7L, quad-cam, 32-valve, LT5 V-8 engine delivers an impressive 375 horsepower. Finished in striking Bright Red paint over a Saddle leather interior, this ZR1 is one of only 3,032 produced in 1990, making it a highly coveted model.

Distinctive Features

The ZR1’s unique bodywork is distinguished by its wider stance, convex rear fascia, and rectangular tail lamps. This model features a 6-speed manual transmission, electronic selective ride and handling, power brakes, power steering, and a removable roof panel. The car is also equipped with modern conveniences such as air conditioning, power windows and locks, power-adjustable bucket seats, an AM/FM/cassette stereo, tinted glass, and alloy wheels.

Highlights

  • The odometer reads 56 miles
  • 1 of 3,032 Corvette ZR1s produced for 1990
  • Unique convex rear fascia and rectangular tail lamps
  • 5.7L/375 HP aluminum block quad cam 32-valve V-8 engine
  • Mercury Marine built and Lotus designed the engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Electronic selective ride and handling
  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Original purchase receipt

Don’t Miss Out

The 1990 Corvette ZR1 Coupe, Lot S176, will undoubtedly be a highlight of the Mecum Indy Auction on May 18. With its low mileage, exceptional condition, and storied history, this ZR1 is a must-have for any serious Corvette collector. Be sure to tune in and place your bids for a chance to own a piece of Corvette history.

Stay tuned as we continue to highlight more remarkable Corvettes from the Mecum Indy 2024 auction.

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