Not For Sale

Also from Issue 60

  • 2010 Grand Sport Convertible
  • 1963 Grand Sport #002
  • Market Report: C5
  • How To: C6 Coil-over install
  • Hertz Corvette ZHZ
  • 1972 restomod
  • His-and-her 1957 roadsters
  • Tech: Crash testing
  • Racing: 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • 2002 C5 Z06
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No, the problem is traffic. He finds 25 miles of bumper-to-bumper congestion with a manual transmission “too big a burden.” This isn’t to say that Nastre wishes he had opted for a slushbox. “I’ll never buy an automatic,” he declares. Shifting for himself is a pleasure he’s not willing to give up; he’d just rather not be forced to do it at a snail’s pace.

There was nobody on the road this last Easter Sunday morning, and Nastre took advantage of the opportunity to stretch his Z06’s legs. With all that power on tap from the eager-to-rev V8, it didn’t take him long to blast into the triple-digit realm. Unfortunately, Nastre wasn’t really alone on that Long Island highway; a patrolman was there, too. Though he clocked the Corvette travelling at 115 mph in a 55-mph zone, the officer took pity on Nastre, seeing as how he had never received a speeding ticket before—imagine, 11 Corvettes and no tickets—and mercifully wrote him up for traveling 98 mph, knocking it down from an 11-point offense to a 4-point one.

This experience helped Nastre consider a few things. First, it prompted him to sign up for a track-day event. He’s done parade laps on racetracks before, but he’s looking forward to driving his Z06 at speed without risking his driver’s license. It’s also made him realize that given how effortlessly his Z06 accelerates, a new C6 Z06 with 505 horsepower, much less a 638-horsepower ZR1, would only get him into trouble more quickly. “I can only imagine how fast those car are,” he says.

This is not to say Nastre hasn’t been tempted by the siren song of the sixth-generation Corvette. Actually, he gave into that temptation. Though he still prefers the looks of the C5 with its retractable headlights, he found himself ordering a red C6, a Z51-equipped 6-speed coupe. Then, before he took delivery, the dealer inexplicably sold the car to someone else. It offered him a black one instead, but he declined. Though Nastre is no fan of that hue, he also realized he had been a bit hasty with the initial decision and was glad for the reprieve. “I’ve fought the temptation since then,” he adds.

Nastre’s devotion to his C5 Z06 is not based on him considering it an investment. His example may have very low mileage and be in immaculate condition, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily has a lot of value in today’s secondary market. “I know it’s never going to be a collector,” he admits. As we’ve written before, this Corvette, particularly the 2001 version with 385 horsepower, is an incredible performance bargain; they can be had for $20K or less all day long. “It’s the buy of a lifetime,” says Nastre. For the seller, however, the situation is not so rosy: “To sell one of these now is like giving it away.”

However, Nastre’s connection to this car runs deeper than market valuations. When offered an above-market $30,000 for the Z06, he turned it down. Even though he might end up buying a C6 if the right opportunity presents itself—“I’ve always got my antennae up”—he won’t sell the Z06. “I wouldn’t part with it for any reason,” says Nastre. “It’s a keeper.”

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