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The C-4 Corvette, a Completely New Car

With the government applying pressure to make cars more economical, the introduction of emission standards, and the bad taste the oil crisis left behind, cars were about to become drastically different - the Corvette was not immune. The fourth generation ushered in an entirely new car, a drastic departure from all the generations it had left behind.  Smog control equipment, electronic engine management, uni-body construction, and an all-glass hatchback ultimately became the modern Corvette we know and love today.

The fourth-generation Corvette is the least desirable and least collectible of the series, but it's still a good performance car. The 1984 model year was sprung too stiffly for most tastes, and carried-over the "Cross-Fire" (often called "Misfire") throttle-body fuel injection from the 1982 model. 1985 and later years have the superior L98 350 V8 with Tuned-Port Injection. Convertibles were brought back in 1986 after an 11-year absence. The LED instrument panel can be troublesome and expensive to fix when it breaks, if you can find parts at all anymore. In general, most components are available, but computerized control systems mean fixing a C4 yourself isn't especially easy. The 1987 345-450 hp B2K Callaway twin turbo and the 1990-1995 405 hp ZR-1 models are the most desirable Corvettes in this era, but the various anniversary editions and the 1996 Grand Sport are also collectible.

Overall, the C-4 Corvettes gets four out of five stars for reliability, three for maintenance costs and parts/support, and two for market appeal. You can find really nice examples for sale at prices around $20,000 to $25,000. If you are looking for a project, you can probably find one for under $2,000. It's not uncommon to see these cars still being used as daily or weekend drivers. Though they may not be the most popular of the Corvettes, they still can grab our attention - especially when kept in nice condition.

Jeff Walker

About Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker is a Classic Car Insurance Specialist and financial services professional; As the son of a Drag-Racer and auto restorer, he was born with a wrench in his hand and learned the trade at an early age. His specialty is 60’s and 70’s American Muscle but his mechanical ability has afforded him the opportunity to work on all types of cars from Alfa-Romeos to Gullwings and everything in-between. Jeff is also a motorcycle fanatic and maintains his own stable of classic & collectible bikes. He is happiest when a car or motorcycle project is underway in his garage.



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