How do we feel about Corvettes that aren’t red?

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 7, 2021 | Chevrolet, Corvette, Mecum, ZR-1

Photograph by David S. Wallens

Picture a Corvette ZR-1. It’s probably red, right?

This 1991 Corvette ZR-1 in Turquoise Metallic–according to the ZR-1 registry, one of just 97 built that year in this color–fetched only $18,700 at Mecum’s recent Orlando sale. Hagerty says that a top, top example should bringing north of $41,000, with a good one worth $16,600.

Mecum billed this example as unrestored with just 37,904 miles on the odometer. It sported a few flaws but definitely looked presentable.

Did the color hurt the price, is the ZR-1 market just oversaturated, or was it something else?

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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
8/5/21 8:23 a.m.

I like Nassau Blue on early C orvettes.

 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/5/21 8:33 a.m.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/5/21 8:37 a.m.

Yeah, with 80s/90s nostalgia kicking into high gear, I'm surprised it didn't sell for more. That teal is a very 1991 color.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/5/21 8:41 a.m.

What obsolete said... even Honda offered the Civic Si in that color in 1991.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/5/21 8:46 a.m.
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) said:

What obsolete said... even Honda offered the Civic Si in that color in 1991.

They certainly did. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/5/21 9:09 a.m.

I hate red, so any color Corvette is better. But I hate C4s with a passion, so this is a no-go for me.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 9:11 a.m.

I would have paid more for Turquoise.  Wally's being the exception, I don't like red Corvettes.

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/5/21 9:14 a.m.

I like 'em in yellow

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/5/21 9:18 a.m.

I generally prefer blue or green, and really liked that teal when it came out. 

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/5/21 10:04 a.m.

I picture a C4 ZR-1 as being white.

I like corvettes to be white.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
8/5/21 10:10 a.m.

While I'm all about teal C4's, yellow has been growing on me lately, especially since my dad dragged home a 2010 3LT convertible in yellow a few years back. It's a totally audacious color, and people freak out over it wherever he goes. It's pretty hard to miss. Here it is, asking my poor Trans Am how it got to be so messed up a couple years ago.



 

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
8/5/21 10:22 a.m.

That's a real retro colour choice.  It will limit the market for it.  GM made one 2010 prototype Solstice coupe in that colour and said "Hmm - well, maybe not...."

1955

1960

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/5/21 10:24 a.m.

White is nice on a lot of generations of Corvette but maybe not C4's as, for some reason, they make me think of folks who deal with recreational substance abuse.  I feel like the C4 and red is a pretty perfect match.  Whatever that dark blue was that they use late in the C4's life looked pretty great, I think a lot of the Grand Sports were painted in it.  C8's look outstanding in white, to me at least.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
8/5/21 10:43 a.m.

Honestly, if looking for a 90's collectable car, I'd rock that in a heartbeat... Just like the turquoise pearl XJS on factory chrome wheels I saw (for sale) recently.

A recent survey I saw found that yellow is the best sport car color for resale value. Apparently too few buy it new relative to how many want it used.

slowbird
slowbird UltraDork
8/5/21 10:44 a.m.

Did someone say teal? laugh

(Or is it turquoise? Or aqua? Seafoam??? I always get them mixed up...)

Here's some of my favorites (sadly none of them are mine):

I'll even throw in some Chevys:

slowbird
slowbird UltraDork
8/5/21 10:45 a.m.

Also, it may limit the potential buyers when it comes to resale, but I would argue that certain buyers would be willing to pay just as much if not more for a car in a unique color. I'm tired of white, red, black, and silver.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 10:47 a.m.

If I was shopping right now, it would be one of these. 

2020 Corvette C8: Here's A Look At All The Available Colors | Carscoops

If You Want to Buy an Orange C8 Corvette, 2021 Is Your Last Chance

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/21 11:08 a.m.

Well, I like Corvettes that aren't red but I don't like teal and the C4 Corvette is kind of a low water mark so that one's a hard pass from me.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/21 11:29 a.m.

I love the teal, but Cyclamen gets my vote:

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
8/5/21 11:34 a.m.

Teal is a color everyone likes on their neighbor's car but never wants for their own.

I always prefer 'boring' classic colors - silver, red, black, metallic blue, and gray.

Ironically, classic colors seem to be more rare on the used market even though they were originally produced in greater numbers. With 300ZXs, for example, you see a lot of white ones and hardly any red or silver, even though more of the latter were produced.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/5/21 11:36 a.m.
APEowner said:

Well, I like Corvettes that aren't red but I don't like teal and the C4 Corvette is kind of a low water mark so that one's a hard pass from me.

C4's are a low water mark?  Versus, say, most years of the C3?  I am no Corvette superfan but at least the C4 brought the brand to noticeable improvements in handling, stopping, and over time acceleration.  I doubt build quality was any worse than the C3 and was probably better, again improving over time.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 11:39 a.m.

In reply to APEowner :

I agree that in modern terms the C4 is lacking in performance but it was a game changer in 84.

Edit Pres589 beat me.

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/5/21 11:42 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

The orange looks good but if I got one I'd get Rapid Blue

glyn ellis
glyn ellis New Reader
8/5/21 11:46 a.m.

Yellow all the way!

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/5/21 11:50 a.m.

In reply to Stampie :

C4's still seem like a great canvas to work from as well.  Same with 3rd gen f-body's.  They were weak from the factory but there's so much aftermarket stuff available and so much work has been done by others to be copied and learned from.  

350z247
350z247 Reader
8/5/21 11:56 a.m.

As many previous comments have already said, Corvettes should be yellow. They look good in other colors, but they look best in nice warm yellow. 

 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/21 12:03 p.m.

Saw a C7 last weekend in Lime Rock Green. Was quite striking. 
 


 

Wasn't this one though. Unfortunately the one I saw had chrome wheels. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/5/21 12:04 p.m.

In reply to Karacticus :

That is very striking. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/5/21 12:12 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

ANYTHING BUT BLACK

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/5/21 12:15 p.m.

I owned a black 91 ZR-1 for a few years.  It was a great engine surrouded by a C4 Covette.  Someday I miss it, but other times I just enjoy being able to drive a performance car and enjoy hearing myself think in it.  The ZR-1 was so incredibly loud.  My 96 Z28 has a similar feel to that old ZR-1 but is more enjoyable largely due to the fact it was 20% of the cost of the ZR-1.  Insurance is also signifcantly cheaper, etc. since both are/were on an agreed value policy. 

I love non-standard colors and think all fun cars should be some sort of color.  It's really sad to me how all the new "cool" cars come in a variety of SUV and minivan paint colors. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/5/21 12:16 p.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

The orange looks good but if I got one I'd get Rapid Blue

Abso-berking-lutely.

 

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
8/5/21 1:41 p.m.

Sorry red corvette with black or tan interior is just kind of the best choice all around. 

 

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 3:04 p.m.
Duke said:
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

The orange looks good but if I got one I'd get Rapid Blue

Abso-berking-lutely.

 

I like the blue but for some reason that color makes me thing Subaru, not Corvette.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/5/21 3:09 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

Sorry red corvette with black or tan interior is just kind of the best choice all around. 

 

Technically, that one appears to be Marlboro Maroon.  smiley

I'm a fan of Goodwood Green.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
8/5/21 3:13 p.m.

Roman red actually. Which is exactly the same as Marlboro which is the same as riverside red. Couple different reds al around the same hue just different suppliers of the paint. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/21 3:52 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:
APEowner said:

Well, I like Corvettes that aren't red but I don't like teal and the C4 Corvette is kind of a low water mark so that one's a hard pass from me.

C4's are a low water mark?  Versus, say, most years of the C3?  I am no Corvette superfan but at least the C4 brought the brand to noticeable improvements in handling, stopping, and over time acceleration.  I doubt build quality was any worse than the C3 and was probably better, again improving over time.

Stampie said:

In reply to APEowner :

I agree that in modern terms the C4 is lacking in performance but it was a game changer in 84.

Edit Pres589 beat me.

From a performance and handling standpoint the Corvette has generally improved with every generation and the later C3s were pretty well neutered so from a performance standpoint the C4 was an improvement over the C3.  I have the same issue with the C4 that I have with everything else GM was building at the time.  Half assed engineering and abysmal build quality.  The suspension was pretty revolutionary for the time with the big tires and alloy control arms but the chassis wasn't very rigid and the interior was cheaply made. I also never liked the looks of the C4 but that's totally subjective.  I was a GM tech in the '80s and I spent a bunch of my time fixing rattles and squeaks, replacing broken and falling off interior trim and trying to keep rainwater out.  These were brand new, flagship cars.  They may have gotten better by the end of the C4 run but by that time I'd moved on to other things.  Now people work on stuff I designed and wonder what the heck the engineer was thinking.

Despite their shortcomings I think the C4s are at a great point right now in the depreciation curve and are a bargin from a price/performance standpoint.

 

 

BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter)
BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/5/21 3:55 p.m.

I always liked admiral blue

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/5/21 4:01 p.m.

Yellow looks good on a Corvette.  But when you get all the way back to a C2 it needs to be a pale yellow, not bright in your face yellow.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
8/5/21 4:01 p.m.

I saw a C8 in the darker metallic red today. It was pretty but I still like blue best on a Corvette.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/5/21 4:05 p.m.

 

These usually came in red 

ColoradoBob
ColoradoBob New Reader
8/5/21 4:58 p.m.

I like the traditional Corvette Racing team color, yellow.  Both my previous C5 and current C6 are yellow

johndej
johndej Dork
8/5/21 5:12 p.m.

Like the teal but my neighbor has a very nice polo green C4 that catches my eye on every time it's out of the garage. Pic of similar cars

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/5/21 5:18 p.m.

My dad had a "Members Only" style jacket that color that he wore forever so my entire family grew to hate that color.  

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/5/21 7:08 p.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

Red is growing on me 

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/5/21 8:17 p.m.

My 75 is multiple shades of black! Lol 

But I'm partial to blues.

Despite the book, All Corvettes are Red, the first thirty were white.

 

 

 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
8/5/21 8:30 p.m.

Man that is cheap for a ZR1. You put a good set of 200TWs on there or some Purple Crack and this car will hurt feelings.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
8/5/21 8:33 p.m.
Appleseed said:

Big 'ol Teal Cor-vette

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 8:36 p.m.

In reply to vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) :

First 300.

Iusedtobefast
Iusedtobefast Reader
8/5/21 8:36 p.m.

I'm going with white as my 91 Vette is white with red interior. It was what my dad wanted and he gave me the car. I actually don't mind the white but the red interior kinda drags me down. When my kids were little I told them it was the Mach 5....

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
8/5/21 8:41 p.m.
pres589 (djronnebaum) said:

In reply to Stampie :

C4's still seem like a great canvas to work from as well.  Same with 3rd gen f-body's.  They were weak from the factory but there's so much aftermarket stuff available and so much work has been done by others to be copied and learned from.  

There is a lot of aftermarket stuff but a lot of it doesn't really help. And that's where the copying and learning steps in. With the 3rd Gens a lot of times you want to to real hotrodding as in swapping between different 3rd and 4th Gen stock parts. Sure there's about 30 different subframe connectors available but there are two iterations that are best (and can be used together -- Alston+UMI). They turn people into hipsters since a lot of the best stuff is cheap from junkyards or from smaller batch brands. It's like you see somebody pull up and the car is all Edelbrock and Hotchkis you're like "OK, we can start with this and no the stuff isn't junk but a few things are going to have to change..."

gumby
gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/21 8:44 p.m.

 

slowbird said:

Did someone say teal? laugh

(Or is it turquoise? Or aqua? Seafoam??? I always get them mixed up...)

yupididit said:

You people are gonna be the death of me, but I would die so happy in some metallic teal colored car!

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
8/5/21 8:59 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Oh, I think the smart move for handling would be to copy whatever they did with the ZR-1 and/or Grand Sports.  I was thinking aftermarket more for the driveline.  Ha, and a swap to real analog gauges.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/5/21 9:10 p.m.

TIL that I could have had a ZR1, and now I have all the sads.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/6/21 7:46 a.m.
Toyman01 + Sized and said:
Duke said:
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

The orange looks good but if I got one I'd get Rapid Blue

Abso-berking-lutely.

 

I like the blue but for some reason that color makes me thing Subaru, not Corvette.

There is one of these locally I see quite a bit and it is one of the few colors I can say looks better in pictures. In person it looses it's pop and has a much more pastel appearance. 
 

I completely agree re it being a color associated with Subaru. That was my first thought as well. Baby blue on that car really does not work for me.  My mom had a 79 Mercury wagon in the Ford version of that blue. Mom always called it "powder puff blue".  Definitely not my first choice for a C8. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/6/21 8:53 a.m.
gumby said:

You people are gonna be the death of me, but I would die so happy in some metallic teal colored car!

You have to make yourself happy with your car choices, no one else.  

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/6/21 8:54 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

I'm really not getting the Subaru reference to this Corvette color.  I keep seeing it as a Ford Grabber Blue knockoff same as VWs new cornflower color.  


 

I really love this color too.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/6/21 8:57 a.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to dean1484 :

I'm really not getting the Subaru reference to this Corvette color.  I keep seeing it as a Ford Grabber Blue knockoff same as VWs new cornflower color. 

I really love this color too.

If anything, I'd associate it with Volvo, not Subaru.  Word Rally Blue is a totally different (not to mention metallic) color.

 

Turbo_Rev
Turbo_Rev New Reader
8/6/21 12:52 p.m.

Orks will say the red ones are faster. enlightened

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/6/21 1:22 p.m.
Duke said:
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to dean1484 :

I'm really not getting the Subaru reference to this Corvette color.  I keep seeing it as a Ford Grabber Blue knockoff same as VWs new cornflower color. 

I really love this color too.

If anything, I'd associate it with Volvo, not Subaru.  Word Rally Blue is a totally different (not to mention metallic) color.

 

My admin drives one of these. 

2016 Subaru Crosstrek: Just Another Day At The Office - The Car Guide

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/6/21 1:54 p.m.

A thought.

I liked this teal color because ZR1s were in a lot of first generation PC racing games, and that color is one of the colors available in CGA, so it was always available or possibly the only color option.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
8/6/21 2:10 p.m.
BA5 said:

I picture a C4 ZR-1 as being white.

I like corvettes to be white.

I used to have a white C4... with a teal interior. Rather odd color choice, but it's nice to see an interior outside of today's pallette of black, tan, and gray.

But my favorite color for Corvettes is the blue used on Grand Sports. It's kind of the right amount of aggressive on a color - not too over the top, not too quiet as to blend in, and timeless instead of being a period piece color.

Corvette Grand Sport.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/6/21 2:20 p.m.

I had a 94 that was red body, red roof panel, red carpet, red seats. It was really red and I liked that color combo a lot. The ZR1 in teal seems very appropriate though. My father has a C4 that is some kind of dark red like a burgundy. I don't see it very often and it looks cool because it isn't very common.

dkm455
dkm455 New Reader
8/6/21 7:42 p.m.

There's plenty of performance potential in the C4. I'm working one over currently - should be a hoot when it's done.

350z247
350z247 Reader
8/6/21 9:17 p.m.

In reply to dkm455 :

Doesn't look like much is left of the C4 ha

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS Dork
8/9/21 8:59 p.m.

bright yellow

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/9/21 9:32 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

If only those didn't have a red interior.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/9/21 9:51 p.m.

Did somebody mention Teal?

preach (fs)
preach (fs) HalfDork
8/10/21 8:28 a.m.

From a car show last Sat in Chattanooga:

Amazing color and car!

This pic does not quite show how nice this light blue is. Mazda had a very similar blue for The Answer a few years ago. This car was stunning in person.

Besides being a C8, you'd have to give me a white car.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/10/21 11:18 a.m.
350z247 said:

In reply to dkm455 :

Doesn't look like much is left of the C4 ha

Or the DOHC engine wink

 

Supposedly, the LS1 happened when Chevy engineers were grumbling that they could make LT5 power levels, cheaper and smaller, with a good pushrod engine, and they were actually allowed to do this.

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