When my wife and I were shopping for a Corvette a couple of years ago I was amazed at how relatively inexpensive 1984-1996 or "C-4" Corvettes were. Especially the earlier "C-4's like this '84 that had an absurd asking price of just $4995. Incidentally, "C" is for "Corvette" and the corresponding number denotes the car's "generation".
The values of C-4's are amazing considering what strong performers the cars are compared to the "flying dildo" "C-3's" of 1968-1982 infamy. So, if C-4's are so affordable and are such great performers then why are they so cheap?
When we were shopping for our Corvette, btw we ended up with a flying dildo, red on red 1977, I found this 1984 Corvette that save for a well worn interior, was in very good condition. What's more, I was very impressed with the car's performance. Fast with great brakes, strong handling and easy to drive, this '84 was a great car especially for the asking price of around five grand. Certainly not chump change for a thirty year old used domestic but fairly little money for a Corvette. However, my older son scoffed at it. "Doesn't look like a Corvette", he told me.
On the same lot was a beat to death 1979 Corvette that my son couldn't take his eyes off of. "Dad! Now, that's a Corvette" he said. No matter how hard I tried to convince him of how superior the '84 was, he'd have none of it. "That blue (the '84) Corvette is just a car", he said over and over.
There's no arguing with a 16 year old of course but I could see his point. While that 1984 Corvette was a tremendous amount of car for the money it lacked the visceral appeal that even that beat up '79 had in droves. All of a sudden I was 16 again and looking at both of the cars I got exactly what my son was referring to. The '84 and therefore all "C-4's" just weren't cool enough; it was just another car.
The C-4's, especially the 1984-1991's, were also dogged by quality issues. They're problematic, complicated and expensive to repair. A bad car then is just a crappy old car now. If you're so inclined, get a 1992-1996 C-4. You'll pay more for one than a 1984-1991 C-4 in comparable condition but they're screwed together much better and they're holding their value.
Now, if I could just make my C-3 perform like a C-4 without ruining the way it looks, I'd have the perfect Corvette.