Considering a 1988 or 1989 Corvette

What do I need to know about these cars?

(meaning, are there models more preferable? any major issues? weak areas?) Prices for these are from mid5K to 8K with 90K miles or so. Thanks

You’ll get some good info here, but you may also want to try a 'Vette specific forum. There’s a huge "Vette community out there.

1988 was a 35th anniversary year and some cars had the package. The 89 got a new 6 speed ZF transmission if it’s a stick shift. The wheels were changed for 1989 on the standard model. Other than that there’s not much else. If you like these cars though I strongly recommend moving to a 1992 model which is twice the car in many ways.

Keep in mind I am in no way a Vette fan. I think Vettes from 55-67 and the current body are attractive. For the years you are asking about, my advice (26 years in auto industry) is to forget them and buy something else. I am a little tongue in cheek but Vettes are not known for quality.

I am new to this forum but I am a Corvette owner. When I was 29 years old I purchased my 1985 Corvette in 1988 and I am STILL DRIVING IT!. It is nearing 350,000 miles on the same engine. Yes, I commute from Brick, NJ to Summit, NJ (1 hour each way), everyday. I have been through some rough times with this car and through some costly repairs. The comment by meaneyedcatz (above) is a bit misleading. Quality, in general is missing from most American made cars including the Vette, but the thrill and feel of driving a Corvette is absolutely unlike any other regular vehicle. I will say, if you are going to buy a Corvette, but the newest one possible for your money because they have a way of getting “dated” by their bodystyle and that will nag at you after awhile. And search until you absolutely can’t search anymore.

If I had the money I would buy an L88. If I forget ear protection, my ears might be bleeding after a couple of hundred miles on fun roads, but I would still be smiling.

Please keep in mind my comments are only opinions and in this instance my opinions are not based on ownership. They are based on hands on repairs and pouring over books and studying all things automotive. If you get a Vette, by all means, enjoy it and I hope it provides many years of enjoyment.
No ill will was intended to any Vette owners.

I would seriously consider getting a 92-96 model with the LT1 engine. It’s much more potent that the L98.

I’ve never owned a 'Vette, but friends who have have basically described it as a love affair with a beautiful but spoiled lady.

Personally I think the early '70s vintage were the prime styling years. I know, I’m usually a quality and reliability buff and this doesn’t fit, and mechanically they left a lot to be desired, but they sure were sexy.