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AAZCD HalfDork
8/16/19 5:30 p.m.

I am not a Chevy guy and never seriously considered a Corvette. I have lots of Porsche 986 Boxsters and a few older (1981-2000) VWs. Why would I want a 1996 Corvette?

I only ask because someone asked me if I'd be interested in trading a Porsche. No details, but some pics:

Depending on condition, value could be on par with one of my 986s. My gut tells me I should stay with what I already know and love. ...but at one point I had no Porsches and three Geo Metros, so change can be good.

ClemSparks UltimaDork
8/16/19 5:43 p.m.

That doesn't look like a particularly well-kept example (just judging by the shot of the interior).  I know NOTHING of Porsche 986 or their values...but I have a hard time believing an automatic, driver-quality C4 would be in the ball park of a Porsche of that vintage.  But what I can't imagine has no real bearing on this.  Corvette values have always baffled me.  They can be straight-up asinine.

ValourUnbound New Reader
8/16/19 5:56 p.m.

Life is too short to stick to one car. If you can experience a new-to-you car with little to no financial impact, do it.

It's auto, so that means it has the LT1 engine instead of the LT4, which is fine if you're ok with only have 100 more HP than my 84 instead of 130. Geez, what an improvement over a generation.

Engine access should be way easier than you're used to with Boxsters, I guess. Having access to the front suspension/brakes without removing anything is always kind of fun.

One thing you'll read about is the Optispark distributor. According to internet legend, it is placed such that it gets wet in the rain (from the bottom), which will kill it. Some say to have spares, some say to use OEM parts, etc, etc. Just something to be mindful of. It's not as devastating as the IMS issue that you're familiar with but it's probably more likely to happen.


Value edit: I monitor CL prices of the C4 on occasion. Late model, like this, will probably be posted at 10-12k depending on miles. After two months of sitting you'll be looking at 8-10k. I have seen some examples as low as 6k.

986s in my area start at ~6k and go up to 11k. I could easily see this being a fair trade depending on condition of the respective vehicles.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/16/19 6:01 p.m.

If you're coming from an early 2000's Chevy Cavalier, you'll probably love the Corvette. Coming from a Boxter it will probably make you sad. 

ValourUnbound New Reader
8/16/19 6:10 p.m.

Main power cutoff? Hmm. It's not hidden, so either he takes the red key with him when parking, he uses it to protect his Optispark when parking outside, or to save the battery when unused for a while. I know stage rally requires a main power cutoff, does any other racing do so as well?

Indy-Guy PowerDork
8/16/19 6:29 p.m.

I'd rock it. White is my favorite color on these. The V8 sounds and torque are sure to please and entertain you. The internet has totally blown the early Opti problem out of proportion.

Vigo MegaDork
8/16/19 6:31 p.m.

I think that C4 is worth about 5-6k but that's not a horrible trade for a plain jane Boxster, especially considering any Boxster that's ever had anything remotely suspicious or negative in its history or has ever needed to be 'fixed up' in the first place is almost immediately written off by typical Porsche shoppers anyway, so selling at the top of the Boxster range is not exactly a given.

LT1 c4s are 'modern fast' unlike most 986s and all of them are sharp handlers. To me they feel like a race car from 1984 that was made just ergonomically acceptable enough to be sold as a street car. The slow C4s have a lot less going for them in my opinion but the LT1 unlike earlier C4s is actually fast and can be non-pointlessly revved past 4800 rpm so if you're leaving it stockish they're a whole league up from the earlier cars. This is coming from someone who has driven and worked on every major variant of C4 besides the 84 Crossfire, which happens to be the only one i kinda really want for reasons of automotive masochism. I wanted a Boxster too until i got a 996 so i have some level of familiarity on that end too.

frenchyd UberDork
8/16/19 6:46 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

I’m a Jaguar racer, decades of racing them, knowledge of them. Enjoying them.   

Then I stumbled on a used up Corvette race car.  

Me, the guy who laughs at pushrods,  equates Corvettes with gold chains and pneumatic Blonds.  

I found there is a certain pleasure in driving Corvettes.  Big brutal, stock car racing charm.  Thunder road, drag racing with brute force.  Big fat wide tires to absorb errors in finesse.  Monster sized brakes to haul that thundering mass back into something resembling control.  A suspension durable enough to handle track abuse without wimping out or causing issues.  

Nope not a Porsche, ( or Jaguar)  but fun of its own nature.  

cdeforrest Reader
8/16/19 7:28 p.m.

Meh. Go halfway and get a 928 :)


Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
8/16/19 7:35 p.m.

I would after hitting up some vintage racing at Road America - make it a brute racer like frenchyd above said   

Party on Wayne   

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/19 7:36 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

Unless you’re into underhood murals, and updating your wardrobe, you definitely do not want a C4. While that’s a much better & faster car than the earlier C4s, it’s still a 23-year old GM product. 

OjaiM5 Reader
8/16/19 7:50 p.m.

Looks pretty clean, needs one more pedal though : )

barefootskater Dork
8/16/19 8:00 p.m.

Manual valve body and zero berkeleys given. Rock it like it’s stolen,  because at some point it probably was. Party hard and when you’re tired of it dump it like the coked out whore it is. If you can knowingly treat it like a $500 camaro you’ll have fun. The only other road available involves chains and murals and Florida. That way lies ... less fun. Do it. 

gencollon New Reader
8/16/19 8:06 p.m.

If you fancy a go, have a drive in that C4. 

I have driven both, and I'd choose Boxster 11/10 times.

slowbird Reader
8/16/19 8:10 p.m.

vette kart


maybe not with that one as a starting point, but...vette kart.

GoLucky Reader
8/16/19 8:11 p.m.



edit: great minds think alike slowbird 

Daylan C
Daylan C UberDork
8/16/19 8:15 p.m.

I have a thing for C4s but I'd either want a really nice LT4/6mt car or one I get really cheap for purposes of LS swapping. And I'm not sure I'd trade a Boxster for one.

Actually a ZR1 is a dream car for me but it's kind if a pipe dream at this point. 

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/19 9:14 p.m.

They are fast.  They corner flat.  They stop on a dime.

but they suck for getting in, getting out, and seeing out.

boxster does tai chi.   C4 does Krav Maga.

white_fly HalfDork
8/16/19 9:30 p.m.

A base C4 doesn't really seem good for anything a Boxster doesn't do better. Change can be good, but I don't think this is one of those situations.

pontiacstogo New Reader
8/16/19 9:47 p.m.

As someone else already stated - Opti problems are overblown.  Early Optis weren't vented, so condensation can build in them and cause problems.  Later versions were vented and are much less problematic.  LT1's have a character and sound all of their own - I happen to like them.  C4 styling has grown on me and they seem pretty to be a good bang for the buck.  I would hold out for a manual.

ValourUnbound New Reader
8/17/19 12:01 a.m.

For those interested, the tally is currently:

  • 8 - Yes
  • 4 - No
  • 4 - Maybe
  • 2 - Kart
nimblemotorsports Reader
8/17/19 3:12 a.m.

My opinion is the boxster will hold its value better than a C4. 

 I'd say do the trade because I have owned both, and I can say that and you can't!   

I don't think I would buy another boxster, they are very hard to work on.

Patrick MegaDork
8/17/19 7:30 a.m.

You have a metric buttload of boxsters by my estimation.  A c4 is a very brutal no berkeleys given i’m gonna corner flat and this is how 1980’s gm could make it happen experience.  I like the experience, I like v8 sounds, egress blows.  The battery switch is scary.  

wheelsmithy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/17/19 7:42 a.m.

A manual would make this much more tempting. 

Mid engine> front engine.Battery cut-off, and I'd pass.


yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/17/19 8:07 a.m.

Can I have one of your 986's? angel

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