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Posted by Joe P. on 5/7/2013 to About Corvettes
The Corvette has gone through a lot in over 60 years of production, but it's the 1984-1996 Corvette that this article is going to focus on. The classic C4 Corvette arrived on the market in the mid-eighties. It's the fourth generation Corvette which should be fairly obvious from the C4 designation, but it's worth mentioning.
The very earliest C4 Corvette shipped with a husky V8 engine, and each year of production has brought performance revisions and special editions. Collectors and enthusiasts seek all of these editions out. There's an excitement to discovering a Corvette and checking out the performance specifications. A collector might want to carry out restoration work, and restore this classic American automobile to its pristine best.
A Corvette owner belongs to a very exclusive club of individuals who know every inch of the cars history and bodywork. They'll be aware of every nuance between each production year and be quick to show anyone those differences. There's even a Mecca of sorts for Corvette owners. They travel to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.
Known for its iconic sleek lines, and signature electronic dashboard, the C4 Corvette mostly maintained its shape throughout its production history. The 1986 model was a convertible but was still easily recognizable as a Corvette. It wasn't until 1990, with the introduction of the ZR1, that the popular Corvette received updates in everything from the body, to the interior.
Performance was something else that received a sharp improvement. While the Corvettes of the 1980's had been provided with an L83 V8 engine producing 205 horsepower, the 1990 ZR1 was built with an L5 V8 engine. This monster of an engine was capable of 60mph in 4.6 face-burning seconds. This 375 horsepower engine made the ZR1 a sexy vehicle to drive, with its thirty-two valves speeding the C4 Corvette into the big leagues of super-car speedsters. It had a top speed of 180mph, with rebuilt steering and brakes to handle the power.
The reputation of the 1984-1996 Corvette brings attention from a large fan base of enthusiasts. They want to own a piece of history. Restorers want to boast that they have a C4 Corvette in their garage, and that they're faithfully rebuilding it. This car deserves every tribute it receives. The Corvette is an enduring part of American culture.