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Every year, sports cars rise and fall in value. However, once in a while, a bona fide performance bargain defies rising value enough to make it into the hands of die-hard enthusiasts. Unfortunately, one of the best performance bargains on the market, the C5 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, is rising in value and might escape fans sooner rather than later.

The C5 Corvette Z06 might be out-of-reach for bargain-hunting fans in the next few years

A C5 Corvette Z06 shows off its rear-end styling.
C5 Z06 | General Motors

If you’ve been reassuring yourself that a fire-breathing C5-generation Corvette Z06 will wait for your budget to catch up, you might want to move quicker. The range-topping fifth-generation Corvette model shows a trend of rising values.

Unfortunately for fans who want a collectible C5 Corvette Z06 in show-worthy condition, the cars are currently flirting with the $50,000 mark. Part of the Z06’s appeal isn’t its classic status or styling. No, the C5 Z06 is fast. But it’s not “fast for a 20-year-old car,” or “fast for its price range.” It’s fast, full stop. 

As of 2002, the Z06 produced an impressive 405 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque from its 5.7L LS6 V8. While that doesn’t sound like much in the age of 500-horsepower Ford Mustangs and 400-horsepower Nissan Zs, it’s enough to catapult the C5 model to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds.

The culprit is lightness; a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 tips the scales at just over 3,100 lbs. It’s not just light for a Corvette; it’s light for a performance car. Even without a near-precognitive dual-clutch gearbox, the C5 Z06 will dispatch a quarter mile in 12.4 seconds.

The C5 Z06 made Hagerty’s Bull Market List for 2023 and will likely appreciate  

The fifth-gen Chevrolet Corvette Z06 made Hagerty’s Bull Market List for 2023. The list compiles models across vehicle types with the potential to continue rising in value. The Z06 has some star-studded list mates, too. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Lamborghini Murciélago, and Audi R8 made the Bull Market List, each one showing rising values and collector potential.

Fortunately for the track-bound Corvette fans of the world, a higher-mileage or lesser-condition Z06 is still a possibility. According to Hagerty, a condition four model (the lowest category) has depreciated an average of 17% from the start of 2022. 

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