Chevrolet milked the automotive press and stoked Corvette fans for nearly two years with rumors and sneak-peeks of the ZR-1 Corvette! This was obviously pre-Internet, so all the stoking was done the old-fashioned way, via paper magazines. This was to be the biggest power increase since the introduction of the big-block engine in 1965 and the first time there was an optional engine since the last big-block in ‘74. But unlike the 1974 $250 optional LS4 454 engine, the LT-5-powered ZR-1 was a total-car package deal that cost a thunderous $27,016 ON TOP OF the $31,979 base Corvette! Read More
In 1991 the ZR-1 was the “Corvette to die for!” Everything was SO exotic, it’s too bad Chevrolet played it outrageously safe with the body styling that looks almost exactly like a regular Corvette. On well, ZR-1s are still beauties and the only way it could get better was to have Callaway Engineering do their thing on top of what was already Corvette’s flagship model. Read More
General Motors had a mandatory, “retirement at 65” policy, so as Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was nearing retirement in January 1975 the big question was who would be chosen to fill Zora’s big shoes. Duntov was not consulted about his replacement and McLellan would not have been his choice, but Dave was definitely the man for the job. McLellan was an Alfred P. Slone Fellow with a degree in engineering and management. The ‘70s was not a fun time and there were serious issues to be dealt with besides horsepower, racing, and mid-engine designs. There were emissions and quality control issues, as well as the implantation of a new assembly plant and an all-new Corvette to be designed and developed. Read More
David Kimble’s cut-away technical illustrations are a sight to behold. As a kid in the ’60s, I was already familiar with James A Allington’s cut-away illustrations from a series of Shell Oil print ads that ran in the late 60s featuring famous road racing cars, such as the Ford GT40, Jim Hall’s Chaparral, and others. But Kimble’s style was quite different and unique. Where as most cut-away technical illustrations show what’s under the car’s body by illustrating a section of the body that seemed to be snipped away, Kimble created a new dimension to the “cut-away” body sections. David’s illustrations looked as if most of the car’s painted body was transparent. Parts, such as tires, wheels, floorboards, dash panels, transmission cases, valve covers were either transparent or used the traditional “cut-away” technique. When you look at a Kimble technical illustration, you experience a journey of discovery. For us gearheads, Kimble’s art satisfies the the question, “What’s under there?”
We have an OUTSTANDING slide show of David Kimble’s wonderful art. Read More
When the new 1984 Corvette was shown to the automotive press in the Summer of ‘83, there was a wave of euphoria. “FINALLY!!! A New Corvette!” As there should have been. After all, the Shark had been with us since 1968 and the steel parameter frame and suspension since 1963. The chassis was designed somewhere around 1960! So you could say the car was a little over due for an update.
In retrospect the C4 was an extraordinary generation. It came with 205-horsepower, went out with the 330-horsepower LT4, and maxed out with the 405-horsepower LT5. Here are the highlights: Read More
From 1984 to 1996 the C4 Corvettes arguably made more progress in terms of performance than any other generation Corvette. The ‘84 model arrived with the 205-horsepower “Cross-Fire Injection” engine and was quickly replaced with a real “fuelie,” the 230-horsepower L98 Bosch Tuned Port Injection engine. By ‘90 the 375-horsepower LT-5 engine arrived in the new ZR-1 and was bumped up to 405-horsepower by ‘93. The L98 received incremental improvements and hit 250-horsepower by ‘91 and was replaced with the 300-horsepower LT1 in ‘92. So, we saw some impressive power gains during the rein of the C4s.
Yes, stock, modified, and racing C4 Corvettes were in abundance at the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Event. Enjoy the slide show. Read More
The introduction of the C4 Corvette in the Fall of ‘83 was a much anticipated automotive event. Times were tough through the ‘70s and no one anticipated in ‘68 that the new Mako Shark-inspired car would have a 15-model-year production run. And when you consider that the car was riding on a chassis designed in ‘60-’61 for the C2 Sting Ray, it’s all the more amazing that the late C3 cars set all-time sales records.
Just like all Corvettes from the beginning, the C4 was a car that was in constant evolution. Every year, Corvette Chief Engineer, Dave McLellan and his devoted crew of engineers and stylists made small improvements, with an occasional big leap forward. Little did we know when the C4 was first shown at the end of ‘83 that this Corvette generation would last almost as long as the C3 generation – 13 model years. Read More