Torch Red
Torch Red
5.7 Liter V8
6 Speed Manual
  • All aluminum LT5 V8 which produces 405 horsepower and 385 lb./ft. or torque
  • ZF 6-speed manual transmission that's been fitted with a skip shift eliminator
  • Lotus-tuned FX3 suspension that's complete with driver adjustable ride control
  • Lotus-tuned power steering
  • Lotus-tuned power four wheel disc brakes
  • 17x9.5 front and 17x11 rear alloy wheels
  • Original Torch Red exterior paint
  • Red leather interior
  • 1 of 448 ZR-1s produced for the 1994 model year
  • 1 of 19 red on red ZR-1s produced for the 1994 model year

By now everyone's heard of the vaunted C4 ZR-1, and the details of its creation are the stuff of legend. Although the car basically doubled the price of a standard Corvette, it delivered world class driving dynamics for a fraction of what its overrated Ferrari and Lamborghini competitors cost. It showed the automakers that there was definitely a market for ultimate performance cars and, more importantly, showed the world that Detroit was definitely capable of competing with Europe's best performance brands. Today, we fondly reference cars like this pristine '94 ZR-1 as the platform that broke the ice for killer American superstars like Chevrolet's own C6 ZR1 and SRT's Viper GTS. And, as expected, this fanatically kept, all-original survivor is as crisp as the day it rolled off Bowling Green's assembly line. If you've been searching for an awesome late-model Vette that's fun, reliable, documented and equipped with top-notch pedigree, you've found your next car!

We'll dispense with the history lesson there and jump right in to describing every aspect of this 11,350 mile time capsule. According to notes included with this awesome curve carver not only is it one of only nineteen 1994 ZR-1s produced with a red on red color combination, it's also one of three vehicles used to write the NCRS judging guides for 1994-95 ZR-1s. The car's bright Torch Red paint, which is topped by a durable clearcoat shell, perfectly accentuates its lightweight body. That body's composite panels display precise fit and excellent finish under ancillary hardware that functions well and seals great. And by the looks of this Corvette's slick finish, I'm fairly certain it has never seen daily driver duty. In fact, it's very unlikely the car's glossy, wet-look hue has ever felt anything more aggressive than a soft detailing cloth. And when that level of ownership is combined with Chevrolet's top notch build quality, it creates one seriously capable sports car that'll show with the finest classics and absolutely blister the road!

Walking around this coupe, it's easy to appreciate how gently late-model C4 Corvettes have aged. Nearly two decades after they debuted, this car's sharp lines still represent the Corvette brand incredibly well. At the front the bright red body, a clean combination of halogen running lamps and amber turn signals frame a stamped Corvette tag panel that's free of chips or damage of any kind. Above that tag panel a long hood, which mimics the cowl induction units found on classic Chevrolets, features a fresh black C4 Corvette emblem that's complete with a pristine mix of black checkers, silver checkers and a red Chevy bowtie. At the sides of that emblem, the car's profile carries the same coke bottle shape of older Corvettes, except whittled down by years of gained aerodynamic knowledge. Embedded in that knowledge, a ring of body color trim perfectly complements clear cornering lamps, traditional Corvette gills, sinister “ZR-1” emblems, satin black door handles and body-matched mirrors. Inside those mirrors, original glass rides under a small center high mount stop lamp and either a tinted targa top or a painted targa roof – the only option available for the 1994 ZR-1. And at the back of the bright red body, four trademark Corvette tail lights frame a broad “CORVETTE” script, vertical reverse lamps and original square exhaust tips.

The aluminum LT5 V8 found under the hood of this showroom fresh Corvette is a modern work of automotive art. Originally intended to be a simple set of 16-valve cylinder heads atop a basic Chevrolet small block, the Lotus engineers assigned to the project quickly realized there was no cost-effective way to build such a motley beast. Instead, they designed a world class V8 which shared basic dimensions with Chevrolet's storied small block, but exactly zero interchangeable components. The result is a 32-valve, four cam powerhouse that features a trick dual-path induction system, 405 horsepower and 385 lb./ft. of torque, all without any help from fuel supplements or any kind of forced induction. The aesthetically pleasing piece was assembled by Mercury Marine, whose specialization in aluminum casting won them the contract; and when fitted under the Corvette's clamshell hood, it became an ultra-performance world record holder. There's no mistaking the big engine's unique intake manifold and sculpted cam covers, which are emblazoned with the Corvette logo, for something any less than fantastic. And, more beautifully finished than any engine since the 1930s, the LT5 in this ZR-1 is preserved in 100% showroom fresh condition. Don't worry; it has been operated enough to stay healthy, and the fluids have been changed regularly. But other than that, everything remains factory issue and in original condition. If preservation class judging is your thing, this car will probably deliver the trophies. From the bottom of its spotless hood to the top of its clean oil pan, everything is in like new condition and free of any sort of wear and tear.

Behind that hot LT5 a proven ZF 6-speed manual, which has been fitted with a much appreciated skip shift eliminator, distributes power to a factory Corvette rear end. That combination works great in conjunction with the motor's ability to shut down half its intake runners, making this 'Vette plenty quick off the line and a joy to cruise on the highway. All ZR-1s have a Lotus-tuned FX3 double A-arm front and independent rear suspension which features electronic traction control and driver adjustable active ride control. Four wheel Lotus-tuned power disc brakes combine with Lotus-tuned power steering to keep all that power productive and pointed straight. Factory dual exhaust runs from original equipment manifolds into two rear mounted mufflers just before GM's familiar square exhaust tips. And the car's torque meets the pavement through a killer set of 17 inch alloy wheels which wear super wide 285/40 front and 315/35 rear Nitto NT555 Extreme Performance radials. The bottom of this Corvette is just as clean as its engine compartment and exterior panels, showing minimal wear and absolutely no signs of weathering. The car's bright suspension bits contrast nicely to its clean floorpan. And its straight and solid chassis barely looks like its seen ANY time on the street.

This handsome C4 is one of the few ZR-1s optioned with a red leather interior which, given the car's status and exclusivity, seems both fitting and appropriate in an era where black, gray and beige became way too commonplace. The red seating surfaces show virtually no wear, and the power adjustable buckets make you feel like you're in a padded and comfortable racing seat. On those seats headrests you'll find an embroidered Corvette logo; and at the sides of those seats, you'll find matching red seatbelts. The car's door panels are divided into two sections, with their outer portions matching the red seats and their inner portions matching a like-new black dash. Inside that dash, a combination digital and analog gauge cluster is fully functional and would be perfectly at home in a car half this Corvette's age. Below those gauges, a black console centers a black shifter for the car's ZF 6-speed above stain-free red carpet. Luxury equipment is evident throughout and includes automatic climate control, power door locks, power windows, power adjustable heated exterior mirrors and a Delco/Bose AM/FM sound system. And under the car's rear hatch, you'll find enough storage space to stow a lift-off roof or about $150 worth of groceries.

The sale of this reference grade ZR-1 includes the original window sticker, the original owner's manual, original dealership paperwork, the aforementioned targa tops, a set of color-keyed floor mats and the car's original, still usable tires.

Over the Corvette's 60 year history Chevrolet has produced a plethora of special edition cars, but many of them were trendy stripe and decal kits that bordered on cheesy. This 1994, LT5 equipped ZR-1 is subtle, classy, and doesn't need to be plastered with stickers or huge badges to make its point. Whether this awesome C4 is your first Corvette, or just the newest addition to your fleet, it's the kind of high quality collector car that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

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