1979 – Dave McLellan Redesigns the Corvette


by Scott Teeters as written for Vette Vues
Corvette Milestones: January 22, 1979 – Dave McLellan receives approval for a complete redesign of the Corvette

Dateline February 2016: By 1974 it was becoming painfully obvious that the Corvette was in serious need of an overhaul. Between the increased weight due to energy absorbing bumper systems, side door guard beams, and reduced horsepower thanks to increases in emission standards, the Corvette was showing its age.

Through the early to mid-‘70s, experimental Corvettes were all mid-engine layouts. The only front-engine Corvettes were the show cars.

When Dave McLellan got the green light to officially start designing the next Corvette, everything was considered. Hundreds of sketches were created and rejected in the torturous path to the final approved design. Many Corvette books have chapters devoted to the design and development of the C4. It’s fun to look at the sketches and models because you can see a little here, and a little there that eventually made it into the final design. So, we could consider January 22, 1979 as the C4 Corvette’s “conception date.”