Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
  • 7.0-liter LS7 V8 engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • Hurricane cold-air intake
  • Dry-sump lubrication
  • Kooks Headers
  • CORSA Performance exhaust
  • Power-steering fluid cooler
  • Gearbox oil cooler
  • Differential oil cooler
  • PFAVT adjustable coil-over dampers
  • Front 6-piston brake calipers
  • Rear 4-piston brake calipers
  • Radially vented and cross-drilled brake rotors
  • Head-up display
  • 9,294 miles

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Years Produced:2006–13
Number Produced:7,731 (2008)
Original List Price:$71,000
SCM Valuation:$40,500
Tune Up Cost:$250
Chassis Number Location:Plate at base of windshield
Engine Number Location:Right front cylinder-head deck
Club Info:National Corvette Restorers Society
Alternatives:1969 Corvette 427/390 L36 coupe; 1995 Corvette ZR-1 coupe; 2011 Corvette Grand Sport coupe
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 668, sold for $33,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 17, 2018.

If you’ve never heard the Ram Jam song “Black Betty,” grab a cold one, sit back and listen to it on YouTube while staring at a picture of this built C6 Z06 — and imagine what you’d do to the gas pedal at the next local track day. And also, savor the knowledge that the $33,000 it cost to buy this car was less than other people pay for a new Toyota Avalon. Score!

The sixth-generation Corvette debuted for 2005, with the 7-liter Z06 following up for 2006. Its 505-hp rating was audacious at the time, and even a decade later it’s impressive, given that cars like the Challenger SRT Demon require a supercharger to surpass that output. Also in the Z06’s favor, the hydroformed aluminum chassis kept the curb weight down to 3,132 pounds — a passion of Corvette engineers — allowing the high-output Z06 to take on European supercars costing far more.

On a test drive with the Corvette engineers at the time, one told me, “You cannot hurt this motor.” What he meant was that the engineering, componentry and assembly standards for the Corvette engines were so high and so thoroughly vetted during prototyping and certification that nothing the average driver could dish out could bring the motor to its knees. Although almost certainly there would be the occasional exception to this, the confidence that the engineers had in their products — especially the beloved Z06 — sticks with me today.

Professionally built

Whoever modded this Z06 knew what they were doing, and they spent a considerable amount getting it done. They replaced the intake and complete exhaust system with high-quality aftermarket pieces, uncorking the engine somewhat and creating — along with significantly more noise — a potential bump in the Z06 motor’s output.

It might have helped the auction result if a dyno sheet was provided to prove the point, but I saw no evidence of this. Fortunately, the powertrain adds all seem to be bolt-on pieces, meaning that the car can hypothetically be returned to stock someday if the new owner so chooses. But that may be costly to do, as no mention was made of take-off parts being included in the sale. And anyway, if you wanted a stock Z06, why buy this one?

In the chassis department, the matte-gray forged wheels add a custom look, but whether they’re meaningfully stiffer or lighter than the base Corvette’s narrower cast wheels — an advantage that would be felt on winding roads or a road course — is debatable. But they do look good. As well, the adjustable coil-overs are a standard add for track work, but getting the setup right requires considerable study and experimentation — requiring the owner-operator to become a student of car setup.

Low miles, perfect buy

After more than a decade since rolling off the Bowling Green assembly line, this wicked beauty had covered less than 9,300 miles at its sale in Arizona. Breaking it down, that’s just 845 miles per year, 70 miles per month, or 2.3 miles per day. Heck, if you’re any kind of athlete, you’ll go farther than that under your own power in that time.

Bottom line here, any sub-10,000-mile supercar is a great find, and in this case the low mileage is evidence that this built Z06 was someone’s special toy rather than a daily driver.

That said, time is eventually just as erosive as is heavy use to certain parts and components such as rubber seals, tires, hoses and fluids. And so, sooner or later, all will need to be refreshed and/or replaced on this car to keep it in tip-top, safe driving form. But this falls under the umbrella of normal care and feeding, and would not and should not have been a deterrent to buying a Corvette that’s spent the overwhelming majority of its life parked.

Appearances count

Speaking of being parked, appearances — together with logic and common sense — suggest this particular Z06 was kept indoors. The black paint looks good and the black interior does too. And a telltale sign of good care, the front air dam below the splitter appears undamaged, as do the wheel-rim edges. Good deal.

The interior features include GM’s handy head-up display, and the nice red stitching accents on the upholstery. Any black-on-black Corvette deserves special attention, and this one was crafted to near perfection.

Store it or throttle it?

If this C6 Z06 had 92,940 or 192,940 miles on the clock, there’d be no doubt that it’s a daily driver and that the new owner should continue apace. But the low miles on this car bring up a question: Is vigorous use or mothballs the right path forward?

I vote for the lead-foot approach for three reasons:

1. There are plenty of Z06s around; Chevrolet built 7,731 of them for model year 2008 alone, and plenty more since, so they are hardly scarce.

2. This car was engineered, assembled and later modified to be driven hard, so why deny yourself the pleasure of doing so? Life’s for living.

3. The previous owner already tried the tactic of pouring lots of money into this car and then barely used it, only to be rewarded with it selling for a fraction of the original investment. The new owner is not likely to derive any great benefit from continuing this strategy.

Were this my buy, I’d join SCCA in a heartbeat, take care of any servicing needs, throw a change of clothes and a torque wrench for tightening the wheel lug nuts in the back, and head for the next solo event or track day — listening to “Black Betty” on the Bose audio system all the way. Well bought.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

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