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Mario's Tribute to C4 Corvette 1984 to 1996

C4 Corvette 1984 - 1996

1984 The fourth generation C4 Corvette was the first complete redesign of the Corvette since 1963.

1984 One styling cue that disappeared was the Coke Bottle effect of the C3 Corvettes. Smoothing the sides gave a whopping 6½ inches more shoulder room.

1984 Last year for Cross-Fire Injection. 350ci 205hp.

1984 Much of the extra interior room went towards a larger center console. Production was 51,547.

1985 The 1985 interior was the same as 1984 except that the instrument panel display was updated for improved readability.

1985 The Cross-Fire Injection was gone. A real no-compromise fuel injection system took its place, a Bosch designed and built system.

1985 There was a significant improvement in power (was 205 hp, now 230 hp) and fuel economy. 350ci 230hp.

1985 Production was 39,729.

1986 The convertible returned in 1986. This was excellent news and fans of America's sports car were too enthused to wonder why it had been gone for ten years.

1986 The Corvette was chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500 for the 2nd time and all 1986 Corvette convertibles received pace car replica status.

1986 Aluminum heads, slightly redesigned and upping the horsepower from 230 to 235, appeared in all convertibles and the later coupes. 350ci 230hp.

1986 Introduction of ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) on all Corvettes. Like the fuel injection system, it was Bosch sourced. Production was 35,109.

1987 Corvette Suspension Upgrades. The suspension had sorted itself out and was a good ride handling compromise rather than a torture chamber.

1987 A new Sport Handling Package suspension option was less stiff than the racetrack designed Z51 selection and thus more appropriate for street use.

1987 Efforts to improve quality control and reliability continued, resulting in real benefits for the Corvette buyers. 350ci 240hp.

1987 Production was 30,632.

1988 was the 35th anniversary of Corvette production , so a coupe only 35th Special Edition Package was available.

1988 White was the theme, in observance of the 1953 Corvettes, all of which had white exteriors. Included were white wheels along with white door handles and side strip.

1988 Bosch sourced fuel injection continued its steady progress towards better fuel economy, reliability, performance and drive ability. 350ci 245hp.

1988 Special 35th Anniversary white leather interior and steering wheel, seat embroidery, a console plaque and a console mounted sequence number. Production was 22,789.

1989 As a showcase for GM technologies, Corvette offered an optional Low-Tire Pressure Warning Indicator. A dashboard mounted light warned the driver when tire pressure was low.

1989 New Six Speed Manual Transmission. It replaced the 4+3 manual plus overdrive. It was a no-cost option (the four speed automatic was standard).

1989 Improved fuel economy resulted in an EPA rating of 16 mpg city 25 mpg highway and once again the Corvette was not subjected to the gas guzzler tax. 350ci 245hp.

1989 Production was 26,412.

1990 The big news was the appearance of the ZR-1 on the option list for $27K. ZR-1 Engine LT5 Alum-block 350ci 375hp V8. Dubbed the King of the Hill.

1990 Corvette introduced driver's side airbags. This was the law of the land for all cars manufactured after September 1989.

1990 LT5 Alum-block 350ci 375hp.

1990 A whole new dashboard was part of the deal. The digital gauges were replaced with a more analog system. Production was 23,646.

1991 Front and rear style upgrade. The update included a new wraparound and integrated front turn signal - auxiliary lamp - cornering light - side marker light area.

1991 The rear view was also promoted. The change to a convex shape and more squared tail lights was premiered in the 1990 ZR-1.

1991 LT5 Alum-block 350ci 375hp.

1991 Production was 20,639.

1992 Something special happened in 1992. The One Millionth Corvette was built! Special White paint and Red leather interior.

1992 The Corvette ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation) created by Bosch was introduced. It worked by retarding the engine spark, closing the throttle and brake intervention.

1992 All LT1 engines left the factory with Mobil 1, the recommended lubricant. The synthetic 5W-30 engine oil eliminated the need for a separate oil cooler. LT1 350ci 300hp.

1992 Production was 20,479.

1993 40th year of Corvette production and the intro of a 40th Anniversary Package. It featured special Ruby Red paint, Ruby Red leather power sport seats with headrest embroidery.

1993 New in 1993 was the passive keyless entry (PKE) system which locked and unlocked the doors along with enabling the alarm system based on proximity of the key to the car.

1993 350ci 300hp.

1993 Production was 21,590.

1994 Changes included a revised interior, which accommodated a passenger side airbag. The bad news was that it replaced the glove-box that everyone had grown to appreciate.

1994 Pockets were added to the door panels to make up for the lost storage area. Optional Goodyear run-flat tires were introduced.

1994 The National Corvette Museum opens in Bowling Green, Kentucky on September 2, 1994. 350ci 300hp.

1994 The steering wheel was redesigned as a two spoke. The seats were redesigned with less of a side bolster. Entry and egress was easier. Production was 23,330.

1995 Changes were few for 1995, mostly because a new generation Corvette was in the works and most of the development resources were oriented towards that effort.

1995 The front fender gills were updated with a more speedy emphasis. This would be the last year for the ZR-1.

1995 The Corvette was chosen to pace the Indy 500 for the third time in 1995. 5.7L 350ci 405hp.

1995 Production was 20,742.

1996 Was the last year for the C4. The Corvette had evolved remarkably during those 14 years.

1996 The C4 Corvette effectively dealt with tough fuel economy and emissions standards while still achieving remarkable performance goals and quality improvements.

1996 A new Corvette engine the LT4 debuted for 1996. It boasted high flow aluminum heads, larger valves with high load springs and a more aggressive camshaft. LT4 350ci 330hp.

1996 Production was 21,536.

1996 American Torque's very own Rob's Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000

1996 Rob's Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000

1996 Rob's Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000

1996 Rob's Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000

1996 Rob's C4 Corvette Grand Sport. All came with LT4 engines producing 330 horses and 340 lbs of torque.

1996 Rob's Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000

Video and audio clips

A brief history of the C4 Corvette, 1984-96

1984 Corvette Commercial

1990 ZR-1 & Callaway Twin Turbo C4 Corvette

1992 1 Millionth Corvette

1993 Corvette 40th Anniversary

1996 Corvette Grand Sport

National Corvette Museum KY


More Cars of the 1980s
More Chevy Coverage

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ghpcnm on Jan 30, 2022 said:

Although it has its underappreciated by many, I love the styling of the C5. Other than the lack of interior leg room, it's a great car...IMO

[Reply to this comment]

ghpcnm on Jan 30, 2022 said:

@Mario: How much did you charge Rob for those compliments? :) BTW: Sorry about my typo. The eyes and the brain just ain't what they used to be.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 31, 2022 said:

Well you know Rob doesn't like to part with the green stuff but we did come up with an equitable amount! He's still one of the good guys! Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 30, 2022 said:

The C4 Corvette was a long model generation from 1984 to 1996.

Because it lost the Coke Bottle design the Corvette gained 6 1/2 inches in shoulder room which customers enjoyed.

The convertible returned in 1986. And there were two C4 Indy Pace Cars, one in 1986 and one in 1995.

There was a special 35th Anniversary Corvette in 1988 and a special 40th Anniversary Corvette in 1993.

A ZR-1 option in 1990 and an LT5 engine with 375 HP that grew to 405 HP.

But the biggest triumph for the C4 was the One Millionth Corvette built in 1992!

I believe the C4 was a great run for the Corvette.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Jan 30, 2022 said:

Our very own American Torque Rob's 1996 C4 Corvette Z16 Grand Sport 1 of 1000 built is memorialized.

Thank you Rob for your pictures and all your contributions to our American Torque website! Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

ghpcnm on Jan 30, 2022 said:

My first trip to the Corvette Plant in Bowling Green was back in 1985. I fell in love with the C4 on that trip and it's still one of my favorites today.

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Mario on Jan 31, 2022 said:

What a catastrophe with the sink hole! Luckily the 1 Millionth Vette was restored, but many others were not as of yet. I would consider moving the Museum to another location!

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Mario on Jan 31, 2022 said:

Five of the eight sinkhole Corvettes were deemed damaged beyond restoration, but they remain on display in the museum in their heavily damaged states.

The three that would be restored were a white 1992 C4 convertible (which was the one-millionth Corvette built), a blue 2009 C6 ZR1, and a Tuxedo Black 1962 C1 which was donated in 2011.

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Feb 1, 2022 said:

Thank you for using my GS as part of your tribute. Another excellent thread by the master......

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Feb 2, 2022 said:

Thanks Rob, your Corvette certainly deserves to be a part of my tribute to the C4! Cheers!

[Reply to this comment]

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