It's very common to find low miles Corvettes. I bought my 91 in 1998 with 48K, I then bought my 92 ZR-1 in 2001 with 14490 miles in the 3 years I've owned it I put on 9000 miles so now it has 23490 and is 12 years old. I have seen ZR-1's for sale with 600 miles. Finding a 10 to 15 year old Corvette with less than 50k miles is not any kind of special trick.
How do American 16 year olds insure cars like this?
In the UK most insurers will quote four figures to insure a 17 year old in a Micra.
When I was 16, insurance was very expensive. I was quoted 4 figures to insure a '96 Dodge Caravan. Now at 20, my fiance and I own a '92 Firebird and an '86 Corvette. This is about $900 every 6 months. Keep a decent record and you'll be OK!
It's quite possible to find these with low mileage and well cared-for. In fact, it's the only way to buy them really. Especially if you can get a good price (which you should -- unfortunately these do depreciate just like other cars, well most of them do at least). As for the insurance, at the reviewer's age, it's probably high, but not impossible. It's not as though the car's a 2006 Vette for example. That would be REALLY high. The age of this car (low mileage notwithstanding) offsets some of it, with the overall value being lower, etc. Also it depends on the insurance company and the sort of coverage one has as well. Not everyone opts for primo coverage at a top-name insurance company, especially with an older car. Bare minimum to get you legally on the road, is obviously cheapest, but much more risky in the event of accidents, etc..
I tried to get insurance on one of these (well, two). They were asking for 6 grand (in pounds), still, it's cheaper than my dad's Alfa.
(17 year old learner).
The trick to insuring your teen driver in a C4 Corvette:
You need to have a clean driving record for the last 5 years at least.
You need to ask for the highest deductible (in my case I asked for $2500).
You need to ask for the lowest coverage allowable in your state.
I did all of these things, and we insure a 1999 Cougar and a 1985 Corvette, with 2 teen drivers (19 and 17).
Our 6 month premium is $1200.
I do have to say though, that we are good safe drivers and we do FULL STOPS at stop signs, and we follow ALL traffic rules. We don't BS with driving rules.
Now all we have to worry about is the other guy.
It's not to hard to find low mileage Vettes. My wife has an 1985 that she got this year (2012). It has, are you ready, less than 28000 km, not miles, on it
If you can, save for a used C5 under 20k. They are the way to go. I have owned many Vettes.
The real secret on Corvettes is to wait until you are over 50 and the kids are out of the house or in college, if you can't afford a new one, then your insurance is great. Why buy a C4 and pay 2 grand insurance a year? The cars 74 to 96 have poor resale as well.
I had a rare 74 convertible last year, no cats, 4 speed and made money on it, 3400 made out of 37000 that year It's very hard selling them when you can save a bit more and have a C5. Some will pay a lot for a 79-82 if a rare 4 speed is in one. They are uncomfortable and tight inside however in those years. The C3 chrome bumper cars in nice shape are appreciating.
Next pick I recommend is a 98 second year C5. They were re-engineered ground up with a clean slate. Buy one of these and newer, and you will have the best ones made. Easy entry, more room and very fast. And the LS1 is far better than the LT1, which could even appear in some 97s if not careful and it's a C5. Wait for a 98 up.
How do I know this? I owned ones like in the review. Stay away from Crossfires. If you can antique them, your insurance is better with companies like Haggerty whom I use. If you are 16, start with 90s Mustang Fox bodies up to a 95 302. Best bang per buck for high school kids. My older son did that, and graduated up to a Viper when he turned 30 with a high paying job and single.