"I called my local Chevrolet dealer and got them to check the availability of the LT5 motors. They found out that GM was selling 75 of the LT5s at $15,000 a copy, and I ordered one," explained Bill. "Well the engine came in, and I asked them to check to see if there were any more left. About six months later I got word there were a couple left, and I ordered another. You know, I checked back in late 2002 and there were none left; these things are priceless now."
Bill continued, "Not long after I got the last motor, I was talking to Aaron Scott, the LT5 specialist from Cummingsville, Georgia. I asked him if he knew where I could get a new six-speed ZF gearbox. Well, to my surprise, he said 'I'm looking at one.' Apparently a gentleman from Jacksonville, Florida, had sent it to Aaron to sell. So I called him up and I bought it from him for $5,500. It was a set of spares for both cars."
Now on the lookout for his next ZR-1, Bill wanted a yellow one, but finding one was proving more difficult than the first two. It seems that yellow is the most popular color of the ZR-1s, so not many are on the market. Skeeter Blanton of Valdosta, Georgia, the "godfather" of the ZR-1s, was enlisted in the search.
"I don't remember exactly how I first got introduced to Skeeter, but he knew a doctor who lived in the Sarasota, Florida, area who had a yellow '95. Well, he didn't want to sell," said Bill. "As it turned out, Skeeter had seen the car close up, and it was a beautiful car, perfect in every aspect, with both tops (hard and glass). But it didn't have a catalytic converter; it had been replaced with a bolt-in 3-inch stainless steel pipe. After a couple of weeks, the doctor and I agreed on a fair price ($47,000); then my son and I went down to pick it up.
"After we got the car back home, I thought to myself, I really want this car complete (with the catalytic converters), so I called Chevrolet about getting two converters for the car," Bill continued. "They wanted $800 each for them; but let's face it-if I waited, the price would probably go up or I might not be able to find any, so I ordered two."
Once again, in mid-2002, Bill "felt the need" for something a little different. To complete his "four-of-a-kind" collection of ZR-1s, he was looking for a red-on-red '95.
"When I started looking for the red-on-red '95, the first two I saw got away from me (one in Tennessee and one in Florida), so I called Skeeter; and, go figure, he knew somebody with one," said Bill.
"The car that Skeeter found was just what I was looking for. It had minor porting and polishing of the intake runners and the plenum chamber, along with a heat shield installed between the plenum and injector ports," explained Bill. "It also had a Corsa after-cat exhaust system in place of the stock system.
"It took two or three weeks for the owner and I to agree on the price of $39,000. The car had 19,126 miles on it when I got it, but it also had the original window sticker. This thing sold for nearly $100,000 new; now, granted, $20,000 of that was a so-called 'dealer acquisition fee.' You know, one dealer doesn't like the color, and they had to get it from another dealer; but I can't believe a car costing $100,000!"