by Scott Teeters, Editor of Corvette Report
Sellers disappointed when reserves not met.
Dateline 11.23.15: The 1996 Grand Sport was the sixth Special Edition Corvette and did more to bring the moniker “Grand Sport” back into the consciousness of the Corvette community than anything else. Prior to 1996, it was mostly Corvette racing fans that knew what a “Grand Sport Corvette” really was – Zora Arkus-Duntov’s lightweight Cobra killer that he envisioned being offered in every Chevrolet dealership in America. It was a noble concept, but even Chevrolet General Manager Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen couldn’t get a special exemption from GM’s management to allow the Chevrolet build and sell Corvette race cars. (I know, it’s a bummer, man!)
As the original 1963 Grand Sport racers faded into the collective memory of motorsports, the legend turned into a myth, until slowly but surely, all five Grands Sports (3 coupes and 2 roadsters) were restored to their 1963 – 1966 racing days.
The special edition 1996 Grand Sport was the vision of Corvette engineer and racer, John Heinricy. The ZR-1 exited the stage in 1995 leaving a juicy opening for something special as the C4’s swan-song. Only 1000 Grand Sports were built – 810 coupes and 180 convertibles – all Admiral Blue with a wide white stripe and black spoke ZR-1 wheels. While the performance of the C4 Grand Sports was quickly surpassed, they have a permanent place of respect and honor among Corvette fans. Plus they’re gorgeous! A standard feature at most big Corvette shows is the “Grand Sport Coral.”
A 1996 Grand Sport Coupe cost around $40,000 and the convertible went for around $48,000. So, how are these cars holding up in the market? A Grand Sport Coupe and Convertible went on the block at the Mecum Anaheim Auction on November 14, 2015. Bidding on both cars did not hit the reserve. This generally means that the sellers are asking more than the market will bear. The Coupe stalled out at $35,000 and the low volume Convertible (only 180 made) stalled at $37,500.
Well, let’s put it this way. Perhaps 20 years hasn’t been enough time for the value of these cars to earnestly take off. Hold on to your Grand Sports, C4 Grand Sport owners and fans. Your time has not yet arrived. Be patient. – Scott
Check out our large collection of 11×17, signed and numbered C2, C4 and C6 Grand Sport art prints, available from our safe, secure Amazon Store, HERE. Below is just one of our many Grand Sport Corvette art prints!