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I have had several Corvettes, 57, 59, 66 and a 67, the last in the mid 80s. All but the 67 had removable hardtops and I really enjoyed sunny afternoons with the top off. I'm trying to decide on my next daily driver, semi-retired with an office 10 minutes from home. I realy like the C6 Z06 and have seen targa conversions, but am concerned that it is not really possible to strengthen the frame enough to prevent tweaking the aluminum frame under hard driving with a targa conversion. I worry that no reasonable amount of added support under the floor can make up for the stability provided by the top. Is it safe to just not push the car too hard with the top off?

The other issue is the LS7. I read about the valve problem and the less common rod problem. It sounds like the heads can be redone with, for example, longer guides, and that takes care of the valves, I think I read about $3K? Are the rods a potential issue on all years or just some years?

Are there any major differences other than trim between years?

A competing option is to find a non original 65 or 66 roadster and drop in a ZZ427. I have seen some decent NOM cars sell in the $50K range plus the engine and what ever is needed to make it all work, probably $70K when the dust settles. Probably end up spending twice the $s for a much less sophisticated car, but I'm something of a minimalist and like simple. Whatever I get, I'd like to keep it for a long time, pass it on to my kids.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Ken
 

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I don't think doing a "targa conversion" is a good idea. If you want open air you need to look at a different model. Your going to spend a lot of money and just have a cobbled up car. If you are willing to forgo the open air roof I think the Z06's are a bargain for what you get.

As for the valve issues there are a lot of different opinions on that. Some early cars were more susceptible to exhaust valve drop issues but I don't personally know anyone that lost a motor. You can have the heads redone by replacing the 2 piece exhaust valve with a Ferrea hollow stem piece, but you will also have to change valve springs, as that valve is a bit heavier than the stock unit so you don't sacrifice valve train stability. I have a tech that likes to replace the stock exhaust valve, valve guides and he personally does not like the stock rocker arm trunion. He feels like they come apart so he uses one with a "C" clip retainer vs the stock pressed in retainer. I don't think the stock rods are a problem.

You will find that the later Z06's had some mechanical upgrades bigger oil tank for the sump, transmission was changed after the ZR1 came out, larger rear axle shafts also from the ZR1, and I have read a larger radiator also from the ZR1. Those are some of the upgrades the later cars got thanks to the ZR1.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think doing a "targa conversion" is a good idea. If you want open air you need to look at a different model. Your going to spend a lot of money and just have a cobbled up car. If you are willing to forgo the open air roof I think the Z06's are a bargain for what you get.

As for the valve issues there are a lot of different opinions on that. Some early cars were more susceptible to exhaust valve drop issues but I don't personally know anyone that lost a motor. You can have the heads redone by replacing the 2 piece exhaust valve with a Ferrea hollow stem piece, but you will also have to change valve springs, as that valve is a bit heavier than the stock unit so you don't sacrifice valve train stability. I have a tech that likes to replace the stock exhaust valve, valve guides and he personally does not like the stock rocker arm trunion. He feels like they come apart so he uses one with a "C" clip retainer vs the stock pressed in retainer. I don't think the stock rods are a problem.

You will find that the later Z06's had some mechanical upgrades bigger oil tank for the sump, transmission was changed after the ZR1 came out, larger rear axle shafts also from the ZR1, and I have read a larger radiator also from the ZR1. Those are some of the upgrades the later cars got thanks to the ZR1.

Thanks. Any specific years that have the ZR1 parts?
 

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I am not an expert on that, some other members on this forum are probably better equipped to answer that question more specifically. I do know that as the Z06 approached the end of it's run in the C6 body there were minor upgrades made to the mechanics as they approached the end of the C6 run.
This info can be found on the WWW I just can't find it, and don't wish to give out false info.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have seen some low mileage 07's in the low $30's. Is there any reason to avoid an 07? I assume the 07's don't have the ZR1 parts?
 

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I have seen some low mileage 07's in the low $30's. Is there any reason to avoid an 07? I assume the 07's don't have the ZR1 parts?
Besides the valve guide issue, some 06's and 07's had roof delamination issues which were repaired under warranty. A history report of the car should reveal any issues the car made of have.
 
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