Update, if anyone still cares.
The house deal is very iffy and may or may not work out no matter what I end up doing with cars. The big decision I would have to make if I can get past the iffy stuff, is do I want to spend every spare hour for the next two years or more fixing it up. In years past you could just finance the whole thing and you could not go wrong. But those days are over for perhaps a very long time. Thank you Wall Street. So the house part of the equation is out of scope.
Back to the car quandary. I have the financial logistics worked out so the Z51 would be about the same payment as the 1LE. But of course this would mean dumping a good chunk of cash into the deal. I wish I could sell some of the GM stock I owned before the crash, but that's another story. And so I wonder, what do I really want from getting a Stingray? Well owning (arguably) the best sports car on the planet is one thing and I am sure it would be great fun to drive. But the cost of long term ownership (and modding) will be much higher with the Corvette. Will the extra fun be worth all that? How much extra would that be?
The 1LE is already fun and a good chunk of it is paid for. My main thing is it feels a little slow, even though it can do a 12.3 ET. I know the Stingray is faster and that is part of the charm. Both are superlative on a race track, but of course a Z51 will run and hide from just about any 1LE. however I can't see myself at 10/10ths with either car on a race track.
So what is the 1LE missing? Power. How would I fix that? With a centrifugal supercharger. It acts more like a turbo so it is harder to break things. It is lighter than other supercharger types and does not aggravate heat soak. If I do this my goal would be mild, say 525-550 RWHP. With this safe power level low 11s should be attainable. Then later after I pay it off and I still want to get the Stingray, I can put my 1LE back to stock and sell/trade it and sell the bolt-ons. I know I would lose my warranty, but Camaros are so reliable, the drive train warranty is rarely needed.
At that point Stingray fever will have died down and there will be quite a few Z51 trade ins going for the next hottest thing, the new Z06. So there will be discounting on Z51s and there will be used ones floating around.
So the Birthday decision is down to this:
- 1LE + SC = Big fun + $$ for later
- 1LE + $$ + Z51 - 1LE = Slightly bigger fun maybe - $$ for later
#1 in the lead at the moment. To be continued.