Not Even $23,000 Can Buy the Nicest 1997 Chevy Tahoe Z71 Left
It’s got it all—two doors, a small-block V8, and ultra-low miles. Just don’t expect it to come cheap.
If you find yourself priced out of the classic 4x4 market, you aren't alone. Trucks and SUVs that were once commonplace have now skyrocketed into the unobtanium range, at least for most Average Joes. Luckily, that's why there are rigs like the first-generation Chevrolet Tahoe, right? Well, after seeing this 41,000-mile Z71 fail to meet reserve with a high bid of $23,100, maybe not anymore.
It's obvious that not every example is as clean as this one, so no need to be worried just yet. On top of its ultra-low mileage count, the 1997 Tahoe sports factory-quality paint and those killer grey leather seats. The seller mentions that the body has absolutely zero rust and no dings to speak of, backing up the claim that it's likely one of the nicest Tahoes left from this era.
Even the carpets are stain-free. Two doors give a good excuse for the kiddos to ride in something else, apparently. That's also part of what makes this SUV so rad; two doors, four-wheel-drive, and traditional body-on-frame construction. It's got most of the old-school appeal in a newer package that's still reliable.
The throttle-body-injected, 350-cubic-inch V8 is spick and span as you can see from the listing, sending 210 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque to just the rear or all four wheels. A locking differential is a special feature that's included in the Z71 package, and an improved suspension means it does have off-road chops—even if it's never left the pavement.
It’s hard to guess what the seller’s magic number might’ve been for the reserve, though it’s clear that the rest of the market isn’t quite there yet. Amazingly, a pristine ‘99 Tahoe did fetch $24,500 in a Bring a Trailer auction two years ago, partially because it had just over 3,000 miles on the odometer.
It’s only a matter of time, though, until demand for clean first-gen Tahoes goes skyward. We’ve seen it happen with the K5 Blazer and, for some people, this era of Chevy is just as nostalgic. The ‘92-‘96 Ford Bronco, for reference, saw a 14-percent jump in value last year according to Hagerty, proving Millennials are buying into the off-readers of their youth.
That said, don't hold your breath waiting for a $300,000 Ringbrothers Tahoe.
Got a tip? Send us a note: firstname.lastname@example.org
h/t: Barn Finds