The Chevy Corvette ZR-1 debuted for the 1990 model year as possibly the worst kept secret in all of car-dom. Equipped with the all-new all-aluminum 32-valve double overhead cam LT5 V8 that made 375 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque, the ZR-1 was a performance marvel. It could rocket from a dead stop to sixty miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds, or quicker than a Ferrari Testarossa, blazing through the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds, besting the Lamborghini Diablo. In fact, the ZR-1 set world speed records for 100 miles, 500 miles, 1,000 miles, 5,000 miles, 12 hours endurance, and 24 hours endurance, all at speeds in excess of 173 miles per hour.
There was more to the ZR-1 than just the engine, although that was mighty impressive. The LT5 V8 was developed by Lotus. The aluminum casting was intricate, so GM farmed out engine production to Mercruiser Marine of Stillwater, Oklahoma. Moving power to the rear wheels was an all-new six-speed manual transmission from ZF. Those rear wheels measured eleven inches wide, and they had to be in order to accommodate the steamroller 315/35R17 Goodyear meats. The rear fenders were wider from the doors back to house the oversized tires.
Other standard equipment in the Chevy Corvette ZR-1 package included driver and passenger leather power sport seats, power locks and windows, FX3 Selective Ride and Handling developed by Lotus, a low tire pressure warning system, and a 200-watt Delco Bose AM/FM/CD system. The ZR-1 package was far from cheap, as the option price of $27,016 nearly doubled the price of the Corvette coupe. Many dealers felt the need to cash in on the exclusive new Corvette, and tacked on “market adjustments” that pushed the price over $100,000.
Our feature 1991 Chevy Corvette ZR-1 is an exceedingly low-mileage example, having covered just 16,925 miles from new. It is also rare, as only 2,044 ZR-1s were produced for the 1991 model year. It is finished in Corvette Bright Red with a red leather interior. As all ZR-1s were, this one is fully loaded with power seats, power windows, locks, and mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, FX3 Selective Ride and Handling, the Delco-Bose AM/FM/CD stereo, and both body-color and acrylic roof panels. The original Goodyear tires have been replaced with modern Nitto rubber.
This beautiful and rare Chevy Corvette will be up for grabs at the Mecum Auctions Monterey event taking place August 18th through the 20th.