Corvette beginnings and generations (Part 2)
For the 25th Anniversary in 1978, there were 15,283 two-tone Corvettes produced. Also that year, the Indianapolis Pace Car was built with a two-tone (black and silver) paint combination and silver interior. All 1978 editions featured a special 25th Anniversary badge.
In 1980, the Corvette would receive a completely new design. A new Corvette factory opened its doors during 1981 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There were 6,759 Collector Edition cars produced in 1982. The Cross Fire Injection became standard equipment.
C4 (1984 to 1996): 35 years and a million models
In 1983, 40 Corvette 1983 models were constructed but never sold; only one is still in existence to date. The 5.7-liter L-83 with a 350-cubic-inch, 205-horsepower engine was produced for 1984. In 1985, the Tuned Port Injection replaced the Cross Fire Injection. A yellow Indy 500 replica convertible was introduced in 1986. This was the first since 1975.
A Calloway Twin Turbo 345-horsepower engine was available as an option from 1987 to 1991.
35th anniversary Corvettes
In 1988, 2,050 special edition 35th Anniversary models were sold. Everything on the vehicle was white, even the tires and the interior. The ZR-1 was introduced in 1990, and 3,049 of these were sold. The Corvette received a minor redesign with a smooth nose and larger hind section in 1991. A special Calloway Twin-Turbo Speedster was offered as well.
Corvette rolled its millionth model off production lines on July 2, 1992. To date, the Artic white with red interior model is displayed in the Corvette Museum. In 1992, the 300-horsepower LT-1 engine was introduced.
40th anniversary Corvettes
The rarest anniversary model produced was the 40th Anniversary ZR-1 model in 1993. A ruby red anniversary model was also produced for that year. The year 1995 would be the final year for the ZR-1. In 1996, the Silver Collectors Edition and the blue Grand Sport with white stripes that spanned from front to rear were released.
C5 (1997 to 2001): Corvette convertibles make another appearance
Corvette received a complete facelift, and an all-new ‘Vette was offered as a coupe only in 1997. In 1998, the Corvette convertible returned to the automotive market. A hardtop was introduced in 1999 alongside the convertible and the coupe. In 2000, a new Millennium yellow color and new wheels were available. For 2001, the Z06 high-performance, 405-horsepower Corvette zoomed off the production line and onto the showroom floor.
C6 (2005 until...): A new generation
In 2005, the new Corvette generation got off to a great start with high performance and improved comfort. It had a new aerodynamic design that provided a smooth ride at almost any speed. The 6.0L V-8 engine was used. The 2005 models were available as a coupe or convertible with great features and options to enhance the driving experience.
For 2006, the amazing Z06 was released with a 7.0L V-8 engine that could reach 505 horsepower. (see our review in issue 06:07:04, July 25, 2006.) It also had a dry sump oil system, a feature usually found on race cars. It had a hydroformed aluminum frame instead of steel, which was something Chevrolet had never done in the past. The frame along with carbon fiber front fenders made these models more lightweight than other similar cars.
The latest 2007 Corvettes are refined versions of the 2005 introduction models for the new generation. The coupes carry an LS2 6.0L small block V-8 engine with around 400 horsepower. The beautiful new and improved interior on these models set them apart from all the rest. They offer all the modern technologies without distracting from the road. On the exterior, the headlamps are exposed instead of covered when not in use. Since 1962, production Corvettes always had covers for the headlamps, so this is something new owners will have to learn to live with.
A new LS2 6.0-liter small-block V-8 is the standard engine in the 2007 Corvette C6. It is based on GM’s new Gen IV small-block family of engines.
The convertibles have a 6.0L V-8 engine with 400 horsepower. They have a six-speed manual transmission with the option of a six-speed paddle shift transmission. The power-operated soft top adds special appeal to these models.
The Z06 LS7 model is considered to be the most powerful passenger car ever made by Chevrolet. It has a 427-cubic-inch small block V-8 engine with 500 horsepower.
With Corvettes, one never knows what the future might hold. The sixth generation is still in the making. After 50 years of production, the Corvette is still going strong long after the muscle car era has ended. Even hot rodders who do not particularly like Corvettes have to respect the car and the company behind it.