As much as I hate making negative remarks about any Corvette, I feel that it's only fair to you that I do so for the 1993 Corvette. However, I must point out the positive aspects of it first.
I bought my '93 a little over a year ago. First, let me say that these Corvettes are quite affordable to purchase. On average, you will be paying $10 - $11 K for a fairly clean, well kept, 1993 Corvette. The body style of the 1993 is known in the Corvette world as the "C4." This new generation of Corvette began in 1984 and ran through 1996. If you look at pictures around the web, there are subtle changes to the body throughout the years.
The 1993 Corvette has what is known as the LT1 engine, which pumps out 300 Horsepower. The car weighs in at about 3300 lbs. Translation = One fast car. The 1993 Corvette came in two styles, a convertible version, and a coupe version. The convertible is a non-power operated top. That's right.. you actually have to get out of the car and put the top down by hand. But that's a small price to pay for such a beautiful machine. There is also the coupe version, which has a removable hard top.
I have the 1993 coupe. The first negative I have to point out, is regarding the removable hard top. When you first try to remove the top, you will likely need someone else to help you out. After you've removed the top a few times, you will be able to master removing it by yourself. The top is held in place by four high grade steel bolts. The top is a structural component of the car. If you remove the top, be prepared for the car to shake a lot more while driving it. However, it is NOT dangerous to have the top off. Let's just say that you will really feel the road beneath you when you're going topless. Your Corvette should come with a roof tool that enables you to take off the top. You don't have to store the roof in your home, as the Corvette was cleverly designed to securely hold the roof in the back of the car.
Handling / Tires:
Whether you have the top on or off, the 1993 Corvette handles like a dream. Acceleration, Cornering, Braking, all aspects deserve an A in performance. The faster you go, the more this car hugs the road beneath. This is a very stable car at high speeds. Speaking of speed, let's talk about the tires. I won't bore you with sizes or tread patterns, but be prepared to pay a hefty price for new tires, should you need them. Being that the Corvette is a performance car, you NEED to have performance tires. Be prepared to shell out $200 to $250 per tire. If you're worried about this Corvette getting a flat tire, don't be. Many people don't know this, but there is a spare tire underneath the rear of the car. (It's only a donut spare, but the carrier is capable of holding a standard Corvette size tire should you ever need one).
The Alarm System:
If you ever get a flat tire and have to leave your Corvette sitting alongside the road, you should not worry about it ever being stolen. All 1993 Corvettes come standard with an advanced alarm system. As is the case with many vehicles on the road today, if you don't have the correct key with the correct chip embedded in it, you will not be able start the car. However, this is one major downfall of the Corvette. Some of these Corvettes can leave you stranded if the chip sensor in your ignition does not properly read your key, or if an alarm system module fails. This happened to me. For a time it was only an intermittent problem, but one day my car decided to completely prevent me from starting the car. I was luckily at a Chevy dealership when my car had it's little fit. I tried for 2 hours to start it back up, but in the end, I had no choice but to pay close to $1000 to have the system fixed. This system is far too advanced for a Do-It-Yourselfer. Though I was one of the unlucky ones to have a problem with the alarm system, I have not had a problem with it since.
In direct relation to the alarm system, the 1993 Corvette was the first to introduce the Passive Keyless Entry system. The PKE couldn't be any easier to operate. You don't have to do anything; simply just walk up to your Corvette, and the car will automatically disarm the alarm and unlock your doors for you. (There's no need to push any buttons on your key fob to arm or disarm your car). To arm your car, simply walk away from the car. You can always customize your Corvette to lock/unlock just the driver's side door, both doors, or to disable the PKE completely. Even if you don't have your key fob, it is not required to arm or disarm the alarm system.
The interior and creature comforts:
The interior in the Corvette won't win any awards, but it really is quite nice. One of my favorite aspects of the interior is the mood lighting. Whenever you're driving at night, you'll be surrounded by a subtle amber/orange glow. It really is a breathtaking feature. It allows ample light if you're ever needing to look for something in the dark, however, it is never intruding or distracting. The stark contrast between the mood lighting and the interior is due in part to the black plastic that makes up most of the interior of the car. This plastic is not ugly by any means, and it does have a nice feel to it, but I believe Chevrolet could have stepped it up a notch. But I also realize that a nicer interior would have inevitably meant higher pricing for the Corvette. One of the points Chevrolet prides itself on is that the Corvette was meant to be affordable. That being said, I have no complaints about the interior. Though many Corvette owners experience annoying squeaks and rattles that are often associated with the Corvette, I have been blessed with a squeak and rattle-free interior.
Though the interior itself does not deserve any awards, the power seats sure do. Most of the 1993 Corvettes had leather seats, though some did come with cloth seats. There were two styles of seats available for the Corvette: standard, and sport seats. Both styles are very comfortable, though the sport seats came with additional air bladders that allowed you to fully customize your back support, as well customize side bolster support for your hips and legs. If you're looking at purchasing a Corvette, I would highly recommend you look for one with sport seats. I have the standard seats in my Corvette. Looking back, I really wish I would have purchased a Corvette with the sport seats.
Other interior features worth mentioning:
* Automatically adjusting volume control for your standard Bose sound system - Your sound system will automatically adjust its volume, depending on vehicle speed, to compensate for the additional road noise. There are 3 settings for this feature: off, low adjustment, and high adjustment.
*Climate Control - Auto adjusting climate control (The Automatic climate control in the Corvette was optional, but most customers ordered it). This system uses interior and exterior ambient temperatures to automatically adjust AC/Heater temps and fan intensity.
Engine performance and reliability:
The 1993 Corvette is a very reliable car, as long as you keep up with proper maintenance. If you don't properly maintain this vehicle, it will only give you problems (just as any other car would). If you buy this vehicle, don't ever, ever spray clean the engine. One wrong spray, and you will set yourself back at least $500 - $600, minimum. Clean the engine by hand whenever possible. There is a very important piece of electronics (called the Optispark) in the engine compartment. If it gets wet, you will be paying the price to replace it. Pre-1992 Corvettes don't have to worry about this electronic part, as they have a different engine. All 1992 - 1996 Corvettes have the Optispark, though the '92 through '94 are more prone to failure.
The Corvette was made to be driven hard. It's a very tough machine, as it is essentially a street-legal race car. Therefore, when you drive it, you must show it a little bit of respect. If you get too careless, you can very easily spin out. The 1993 Corvette has what is known as the ASR (or traction control). You can turn the traction control on or off with a button in the car. I would recommend that you leave this on when you first purchase the vehicle. Only when you're comfortable enough with the power of the Corvette, should you turn off the ASR.
All in all, you will not be disappointed with the 1993 Corvette. The 1993 Corvette receives very good gas mileage for such a beast of a performance vehicle. You will average 17 mpg City, and 25 mpg Highway. (you're mileage will vary, depending on how hard you drive the Corvette). Right now, I am averaging 18.4 mpg with evenly distributed city/highway driving. Other times, I can be averaging 22 or 23 mpg. As I said, it really depends on how you drive your Corvette.
Last but not least, let's talk about the cost of the 1993 Corvette. The 1993 Corvette came to us in 2 distinct flavors, the 1993 "base" version, and the "ZR1." The ZR1 was known as the "King of the Hill" If you purchase the ZR1, be prepared for a whopping 405 horsepower.
My 1993 base Corvette coupe cost approximately $13,000, and only had 45,000 miles on it. In general, the average 1993 Corvette will cost between $8000 - $12,000. If you find a Corvette that costs below $7000 or so, be cautious. Unless you're really lucky to have found a great deal, chances are there are some problems with the car. 1993 also had the special 40th Anniversary Ruby Red package. There was no difference between the non-ruby and ruby Corvettes, other than a special Ruby colored interior, paint, and special emblems. All else remained unchanged. The Rubies are not, by any means, rare for the 1993 Corvette. Of the nearly 22,000 Corvettes produced that year, there were 6749 rubies produced, more than any other color for that year (The 1993 Corvette came in 10 different colors: White, Black, Blue(2), Red(4), Green, & Yellow). Because the special Ruby package was a 1 yr only deal, the Rubies will cost a little bit more than the "normal" Corvettes. It will cost maybe $1000 to $2000 more for a special 40th Anniv. Ruby Edition corvette, not $5000-$10,000 as the other review indicated.
The ZR1, however, is a different story. It's not uncommon for the 1993 ZR1 to be VERY reasonably priced at $20,000. If you see one for that much, buy it. The average 1993 ZR1 will cost you around $25,000, mainly because many of the ZR1's have low mileage. The ZR1 Corvette was produced from 1990 - 1995. Though the ZR1 may sound enticing, if you buy one, be prepared for it to have higher maintenance costs than the base Corvette. ZR1 parts can be hard to come by should something ever go wrong with it.
As a last note, let me just say that the 1993 Corvette is an exquisite machine, comprised of the utmost refinement, beauty, power, finesse, and inescapable fun. I could go on and on about how much I love this car, but I think it'd be more fun for you if you went out and tested one for yourself. I hope this review gives you a little bit of insight into this awesome machine. Now, you only have one question to ask yourself... "What color do I want?"