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Old 12-02-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
dreamcars99
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Is the C5 Z06 the best performance bargain today?

I had a long conversation yesterday with a good friend who is shopping for a sports car to buy next spring. We talked about everything, from 350Zs to S2000s to Vettes and on.

I think ultimately, we concluded that the C5 Z06 is probably the best buy on earth right now for a sports car. It could probably own the exotics of its day at a track event (996 Turbo, 360 Modena, etc), and I'd bet it would hold its own against the next generation of Europeans with good tires and a good driver. I've not owned a C5, but the C5Z on youtube, with Corsa, sounds if anything better than my C6Z with Corsa did. And its great looking.

Are we missing something?
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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I think you're spot on, especially stating that it is good against cars of its time. That has always been a huge Corvette draw...BEST bang for the buck overall. Sure, there are some compromises, but overall, you can hang with cars with much higher price tags and still drive it to work every day if you want.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamcars99 View Post
I had a long conversation yesterday with a good friend who is shopping for a sports car to buy next spring. We talked about everything, from 350Zs to S2000s to Vettes and on.

I think ultimately, we concluded that the C5 Z06 is probably the best buy on earth right now for a sports car.
Hands down, the '02-'04 Z06 is the best bang for the buck. I've owned a C5 Z06, and plan to own many more when I'm not so busy and have time to drive them.

It's a track/street warrior. And, I can't believe how cheap they can be bought for these days.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamcars99 View Post
I had a long conversation yesterday with a good friend who is shopping for a sports car to buy next spring. We talked about everything, from 350Zs to S2000s to Vettes and on.

I think ultimately, we concluded that the C5 Z06 is probably the best buy on earth right now for a sports car. It could probably own the exotics of its day at a track event (996 Turbo, 360 Modena, etc), and I'd bet it would hold its own against the next generation of Europeans with good tires and a good driver. I've not owned a C5, but the C5Z on youtube, with Corsa, sounds if anything better than my C6Z with Corsa did. And its great looking.

Are we missing something?
In the price range where C5Z is now, there is nothing that can be better. I was shopping for a toy car I can play with for about 3 years, and I was looking at same line of cars as your friend - 370z (didn't like 350), S2000, RX-8 (need to add turbo. there is no torque), C4 ZR1, Camaro SS, Mustang GT, 05-07 C6... (all used) Nothing interested me more than C5Z.
There are tons of C5Zs on the track day events and there is clear reason for that - it's best bang for the buck in terms of performance, and easy maintenance with affordable parts.

I ended up getting C6Z again but if it was not that, my only decision had to be 'which C5Z'. (I wanted 30k or less mile 02-04 Z in MY, TR, or EB. Z16 would be nice but had to pay more) There are tons of low mile C5Zs in 20-25k price range.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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C5 Z06 = good medicine.

I should have never sold my FRC!
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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Besides bang for the buck the FRC/Z06 to me is the best looking body style
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
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Hands down............
absolutely
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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In my opinion GM set the bar with the C5, especially the Z. The performance, reliability, and mpg's of the C5 put corvette on the map. Now the C6 and generations to come are simply unbelievable. I hope your buddy goes for the C5 Z, he won’t be disappointed. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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I've never been a 'new car buyer' so I had a bit of sticker shock when my wife dropped $33k on a brand new 4Runner. It's a base model, fabric seats. The top trim comes in at over $40k.

Also, I'm a Honda guy and all the forums are raving about the 2013 Accord coupe with 278 HP V6 and 6-speed transmission. I have to admit they would make a pretty awesome GT, but the top trim with leather also comes in at over $30k.

$30k can buy a hell of a low-mileage C5Z! I can't imagine dropping that much on a new car that pales in comparison to the C5Z. You can't even buy a new BMW for that price.

I do think it is the best used car bargain on the market.


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Old 12-08-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Hands down, the '02-'04 Z06 is the best bang for the buck. I've owned a C5 Z06, and plan to own many more when I'm not so busy and have time to drive them.

It's a track/street warrior. And, I can't believe how cheap they can be bought for these days.
You forgot the 2001.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #11
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I'm on board, I bought an 04 in o6 for the low 30s. It had 36K miles on it. I'm using it for road race track driving now for the most part. I've put the stuff listed below on it, has about 60K miles on it and I still haven't put what I would have spent on a new Z. I'll out run or keep up with just about any stock zo6.
Dynos about 580 RWHP.
Man, it's like having sex out there on the track.

Anybody know of a good racing brake system, I've about wore mine out on the track. Baer sure are high, but I can't find any reviews. Anybody tried the SSBC?
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJC99Hardtop View Post
C5 Z06 = good medicine.

I should have never sold my FRC!
No, you should not have.The good news is you can get back into one for around 20 gr.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob bornhoef View Post
You forgot the 2001.
That one was only 385 HP. I prefer the '02-04 with 405 HP. There are other differences, but I forget....
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
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That one was only 385 HP. I prefer the '02-04 with 405 HP. There are other differences, but I forget....
I've been reading up on them, and it appears that the C5 Z06 underwent year to year improvements akin to those in the C6 Z06. Here's a comment to validate that:

http://c5-z06-z16.vettepics.com/

"Apart from the Commemorative package for '04, the Z06 receives specific chassis tuning upgrades intended to deliver increased performance and more vehicle control--all with a smoother ride around town. Considerable attention was paid to refinement of the Sachs' shock valving in order to diminish the impact of yaw and roll, particularly in a series of tight corners. Ride/Handling Chassis Engineer Michael Neal states, "We reshaped the force-velocity curve to give more control, but not at the expense of ride. What the customer feels, particularly on a racetrack, is a more poised car. He doesn't have to wait for body roll to settle during transient maneuvers, so he can be aggressive hustling from one corner to another, particularly as they come in quicker succession." Added to the handling mix are stiffer upper control-arm bushings teamed with slightly softer rear anti-roll bar bushings to deliver flatter handling and more stability going into the corner, thus minimizing oversteer on corner exit. "If you want to fix oversteer at the back, you first need to fix it at the front of the corner," says Neal. Specifically, deterring oversteer requires generating a smoother entry, which, in the case of the '04 Z06, is noticeably easier compared with the '03 model."
etc

I don't have a solid list of year to year changes, but presumably the 04 would have "all of the changes", in addition to the extra 20 ponies.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:34 AM   #15
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Well here is what I've gathered so far, in reading up on the C5 Z

-solid motor, no oiling problems
-sounds awesome with Corsa (I love Corsa on Vettes)
-dyno a bit higher than they should for 400hp, 380 at the wheels some people report
-tirerack doesn't list sticky tires for them in the OEM size, thats a big bummer. whats the solution for this?
-interior sure looks good in red
-the stiffening tunnel brace looks like a great mod

Do the cars have any major annoying flaw?
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