The Corvette elicits very strong reactions. It’s like a Twinkie - people either love it or hate it. No is ever just “ok” with a Twinkie.

If you’re a Twinkie lover, people will either stare at you with outright disgust for ever putting one in your mouth, or they will look at your Twinkie longingly, wishing they were enjoying its sugary goodness just like yourself.

I’m probably in the minority because I don’t love or hate the Twinkie...much like the Corvette. Honestly, I really like the Corvette but it’s not something I feel a strong desire to own some day. Say what you will about the ‘Vette, one thing’s for sure. There are far worse cars out there than the Corvette and if you put all stereotypes and judgments aside, you will realize that the Corvette is actually an amazing value for the money.

Did you know that you can actually buy a higher mileage 400 hp 2005 Corvette for $20K?

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I remember back in my high school days, I used to have a teacher who owned a C4 Corvette and gave me a ride once. It was so awesome!

The memory of the C4 came flooding back when I was once again wandering around Mosing Motorcars (it’s like my second home) and found this fine machine.

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It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since this car was built in 1995 - where did all the time go!? This particular C4 is of the ZR-1 variety and has a European flair about it. The engine in it was designed by Lotus; it has a 5.8L V8 producing 375 hp which was over 100 hp more than the base C4. These days, 375 hp may seem like a paltry amount, but back then, it was a huge amount of power. Apparently this C4 can hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds!!

The interior of this C4 ZR-1 was so very red. There were tons of plastic inside but that didn’t bother me because with the older Corvettes that’s just something you have to look past.

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It’s like buying furniture at Walmart - you’re getting a great value and so I don’t think you would spend too much time dwelling over its shortcomings.

What I most enjoy about Corvettes is the low seating position where you’re comfortably situated behind the V8, peering out over the long, curvy hood. You almost feel like you’re piloting a jet - and of course given my extensive background in flying jet aircrafts, I know exactly what that feels like.

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Of course I’m joking. The only aircraft experience I’ve had has been in the middle seat shoved between two people with me staring at the seatback which is inches away from my face thanks to the person in front of me reclining all the way. And all I want to do is push the seatback up to its original position just so that I can breathe again! What a miserable experience flying has become.

There are lots of blocky buttons filling up the dash which instantly reveals the age of the car. Because this car has so few miles on it and has hardly been driven, there is very little wear and tear anywhere on the car.

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These cupholders reminded me of what you typically find in German cars in that they are basically useless. The car existed during the pre-supersize big gulp era and so all you can fit in here is a small styrofoam coffee cup which will likely tip over anyway. However, I will say that the space is perfect to place your iPhone in - it plops right down in there like a jigsaw piece in a puzzle.

I noticed the “normal” vs. the “full” engine power and ensured that I selected the “full” option. Who would ever want to drive a Corvette in “normal” mode?? As you might imagine, I wanted all 375 hp enabled for maximum enjoyment.

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Speaking of maximum enjoyment, someone must have been having a lot of fun with this C4 because as soon as I started the car up, I glanced at the dash to find out that the average gas mileage was at only 9 mpg!

For a 20 year old Corvette, this car was still a blast. The steering felt heavier than the C6, which I liked. Aside from the difference in steering, driving the C4 was much like the C5 and the C6 which wasn’t a bad thing - I wasn’t sure what to expect but quickly realized that the C4-6 experience is largely the same (of course, I’m sure the C7 is a different story).

When you drive an older Corvette, there are really only two things that you’re concerned about: acceleration and exhaust noise.

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That’s it.

Those two things will keep you entertained enough to where you’ll forget about the quality of the interior, handling and other things you might expect from more expensive European sports cars.

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With a Corvette, just floor it...all the time. Enjoy the immense torque and its ability to provide such a thrilling experience on regular roads. I mean, there’s a reason why the mileage was at 9 mpg!

So that is exactly what I did. I picked out some long, wide roads with high speed limits and floored it after each u-turn. And after doing 100 of those, the engine started smoking and the tires were reduced to shreds.

No, I would never do that!

In fact, I’m happy to report that after driving the car, I increased the average mileage of the vehicle from 9 mpg to 11 mpg!

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It’s rare to come across one of these C4 ZR-1s because not many were built. I would personally go for a C5 Z06 because it’s newer and faster, but I’m sure for folks who used to own a C4 back in the day, this car probably holds some significant sentimental value.

This car really is a “blast from the past” and is still as much fun today as it was 20 years ago!

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Torque Affair is about exploring my fascination with cars; I’m always on the lookout for things that interest me in the car world. Like Torque Affair and follow @torqueaffair!