History/News/Commentary from K. Scott Teeters

Vette Shows: The Sights of C4 Corvettes at the 2011 30th Corvettes at Carlisle Show

Dateline: 9.1.11
2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Week continues with coverage of 1984 to 1996 C5 Corvettes!

This is Michael Beal's custom 1991 ZR-1 Roadster. The LT-5 engine in the car was built by Corvete racing legend Kim Baker.

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.

And there were several interesting special edition C4s as well. There was the ‘86 Pace Car Special, the ‘88 35th Anniversary Edition, the ‘90 to ‘95 ZR-1 option (the single most expensive optional package in Corvette history!), the ‘93 40th Anniversary Edition, the ‘95 Pace Car, the ‘96 Collector Edition, and the ‘96 Grand Sport. That’s tremendous progress and consistent special editions that kept the C4s fresh and interesting.

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Corvettes so heavily dominated the SCCA Showroom Stock racing series they were kicked out! So, the Corvette Challenge “Corvettes only” race series was created. Morrison Motorsports blasted a 50-year speed record with a mildly-modified ZR-1 and Callaway build their 898-horsepower, 254.76-MPH Sledgehammer. Tuners such as Callaway, Greenwood, and Guldstrand offered their own unique package Corvettes. And inside the Corvette group, they built engineering study cars including the ZR-1 Snake Skinner, the V-16 Falconer “Conan the Corvette,” the Sting Ray III, the GTP Lotus-Corvette, and “Big Doggie” the 454 big-block-powered Corvette.

It all added up to FUN STUFF!

Unfortunately for the C4 Corvettes, the C5 Corvette arrived so well finished, and was so strong right out of the box, C4s quickly took a seat at the back of the bus. Today, nearly 15 years after the last of the C4s, an early C4 can be bought for just a few thousand dollars. ‘92 LT1-powered Corvettes are around $10,000 or less. And there are so many out there, if you cut one up and personalize it, no one will want to suspend your Corvette fan membership card.

Yes, stock, modified, and racing C4 Corvettes were in abundance at the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle Event. Enjoy the slide show. – Scott

PS – We have art prints of every year C4 Corvette from ‘84 to ‘96. You can check them out HERE.

PSS – We covered Michael Beal’s 1991 custom ZR-1 Roadster back in July ’11. You can catch the story HERE.

To check out the entire collection of 1984 to 1996 Corvettes, just click the above image.

We even have color prints of the C4 Corvette Pace Cars, Anniversary cars, and Special Editions. To review them, click the above image, then look for the "year" Corvette you're interested in.


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