1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4

Here’s one that even General Motors couldn’t screw up. Couldn’t afford to, really. It’s not that the Corvette is such a big money-maker, although it more than earns its keep: it’s that nothing is more American than a Corvette. How could Chevrolet claim to be ‘The Heartbeat of America’ if it screwed up the Corvette? Thankfully, it didn’t. The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4 was produced from 1984 to 1996, and was remarkably good starting in 1985, after a year of relatively mild growing pains, notably in the rock-hard, bone-jarring suspension, courtesy of Lotus, as well as with the engine. Visually speaking, the C4 was a huge hit, and with good reason: it replaced an iconic car, yes, but one that was still closely associated with the failed decade of the 70s. The C4 was a entirely new car, with clean lines, and was wider, stockier and handle better than its predecessor could ever have hoped for.

1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4
1984 Chevrolet Corvette C4

The L83 engine offered in 1984 was OK, but not stellar by any standards. It was replaced, in 1985, with the standard L98 engine, which offered significantly more power (230 horsepower total), and fuel economy both. It was paired to available hybrid manual with automatic overdrive transmission, which was designed to help the car pass ever more stringent emissions standards. The C4 was capable of reaching a top speed of 149 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Almost as fast as a Grand National.

The C4 is perhaps better known for being the first Corvette to offer the fabled ZR-1 option, first offered in 1988. Beautiful, fast and capable of holding its head high on the racetrack, the Corvette C4 was everything an American sports car should be.

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