The Chevrolet Corvette has always provided good bang for your buck, and that's especially true of a used Z06. A C5-generation Z06 can easily be found for under $30,000, and a C6 comes in around $40,000. We think you should take a real look at the C6.
If you think $40,000 seems like too much money for a used Corvette, consider what the C6 Z06 offers. For starters, you get the legendary LS7—a 7.0-liter all-aluminum V-8 with 505 naturally aspirated horsepower, titanium rods, a forged-steel crank, and a dry-sump lubrication system. You also get an aluminum frame instead of the standard C6 Corvette's steel frame, which helped the C6 Z06 weigh in at a spry 3130 pounds. And, the C6 Z06 had arguably the best Corvette chassis to date, capable of a 7:43 tour around the Nürburgring—a crazy-quick time 13 years ago, and still fast by 2019 standards.
The owner of the 2007 Z06 featured in this Smoking Tire video pointed out that these cars make good daily drivers, too. A little stiff, sure, but on the highway, you can get 28 mpg, which is amazing for a 505-hp sports car. The Z06 wasn't any less practical than a regular C6 Corvette, either, with a big rear trunk that can easily fit two sets of golf clubs.
And while the Corvette has made significant progress since the C6 Z06 debuted back in 2006, The Smoking Tire's Zack Klapman still thinks it holds up today. After all, the LS7 is still GM's most powerful naturally aspirated production-car engine, and that chassis is still sweet.
shows a number of C6 Z06s listed in the $40,000 to $50,000 range, though there are a number in the $30,000s, too. The owner of the 2007 in the video says you can even find high-mile examples for under $30,000 if you look hard enough.
Worthy alternatives in the same price range? The 996-generation Porsche 911 Turbo doesn't have as much power (420 hp), but it's still a quick car with a near-bulletproof engine. You could go for the also-LS7-powered Camaro Z/28, too, which is another bargain these days, though bigger and heavier than the 'Vette. Beyond those, I think you might struggle to find a car that offers similar track performance for the money.