I've done some research and found that C4 Corvettes (that's model years 1984-1996) usually go for between $5,000 and $15,000. That doesn't include special models like the 1990-1995 ZR-1, 1996 Grand Sports, Anniversary Editions and Pace Car replicas. For a classic sports car, 5-15k is quite a bargain!
Why are they so cheap? Because the later C5 (1997-2004) & C6 (2005-2013) generations were a lot faster and the earlier C1 (1953-1962) C2 (1963-1967) & C3 (1968-1982) generations are all prized just for their styling alone. Many of them are also still strong performers by today's standards too.
The C4 often gets a lot of grief from some (supposed) Corvette lovers because it wasn't always the fastest or most powerful. Considering how low the horsepower numbers (and performance) were for the C3 models from model years 1974-1982, I'd say that ALL C4's were a significant improvement. In addition to being the car that (eventually) restored the Corvette's performance abilities, it was also the first all-new Corvette design in 16 years. There's also quite a lot of affordable performance upgrades for the C4 (and any other Corvette that will ever be manufactured) so, I can improve the performance of any C4 that I acquire.
The only question is which C4 that I want to buy. The 1992-1996 models with the 300hp LT-1 small block V8 would be really nice. One of the earlier C4's from 1984-1989 could also be cool, just because I like the styling and digital instrument cluster. However, those cars had horsepower numbers between 205 and 250hp with the L83 engine used in 1984 (a carryover from the C3 generation) and the L98 used in cars from 1985-1991. The one year only 330hp LT4 V8 was most famous for powering the Grand Sports model from 1996 but, it was also available in any other Corvette from that year.
|The digital display of the 1984-89 models, along with a wireframe for the early C4 model. |
This pic is sooooooo 80's...
So, I've narrowed my choices down to the following:
- 1985-1989 Corvette coupe or convertible (Convertibles first appeared for the C4 in 1986)
- 1992-1996 Corvette coupe or convertible w/LT-1 V8
- 1996 Corvette coupe or convertible w/LT-4 V8
Based on what I've read on the C4's Wikipedia page, I think a 1996 model (with either LT-1 or LT-4) would be the best choice. Regardless of which one I get, it will have an automatic transmission and the soft-riding F45 suspension. I'm looking for my car to be a wicked cool boulevard cruiser, not a drag racer.
Of course, this isn't going to happen any time soon. I have much more pressing priorities right now. However, it will eventually happen. I just hope it happens while I'm still young enough to enjoy a sports car.
Finally, we have here the TV commercial for the 1984 model. It is STILL the best car commercial that I have ever seen. It makes me want to buy a C4 Corvette even more than I had before.
Not exactly a wonder why this car proved so popular back in the day, huh?
- Lord Publius