Chevrolet Corvette C4 Grand Sport

In 1983, the fourth model generation of the Chevrolet Corvette debuted. Compared to the predecessor C3, the developers of the C4 ensured a much better handling by shifting the engine back towards the bulkhead. In addition, a wider transmission tunnel gave the entire vehicle greater torsional rigidity. Under the hood, the choice was reduced to a 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine. Initially, it was still the L83 engine from the C3, and from 1985 finally a new powerplant (L98) with the same displacement and 230 instead of 205 hp. By 1992, this figure had risen to 240 hp. Then the LT1 engine replaced the L98 and raised output to 306 hp. For the final 1996 model year, Chevrolet installed the LT4 V8 engine with 330 hp in all manual Corvette C4s.

European design on the Corvette C4

Visually, the C4 departed significantly from its predecessors. The C2 and C3 featured a comparatively similar design. The C4, on the other hand, was clearly in line with the European zeitgeist of the 1980s with its edgy styling. From the shallowly hidden pop-up headlights at the front to the four round taillights below the clear tear-off edge, the car won over many sports car fans worldwide. A facelift in 1990 first provided a revised cockpit with a driver-oriented dashboard and, a few months later, modifications to the bodywork. In the rounded front bumper, the turn signals and position lights now ran around the corner, while the taillights changed from round to almost square. These changes were already anticipated in 1989 by the new top version ZR-1 with initially 385, later even 411 hp. After a total of 6,939 units, production of the ZR-1 ended in 1995. For the final model year of the C4, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette Grand Sport instead.

Revived model name

With this special sporty model, the American automaker revived a 1963 designation. At that time, Zora Arkus-Duntov developed a homologation model for sports car racing based on the Corvette C2. Actually, 125 copies were to be built, but this was prevented by GM for cost reasons. After only five C2 Grand Sport cars were built, the project ended. However, these few cars could bring in some motorsport successes. For example, a GS won at Watkins Glen in August 1963 while other examples were convincing in races at the International Bahamas Speed Week in December 1963. Two model generations later, however, Grand Sport was at best a visual reminder of motorsport. This special edition model was available exclusively in Admiral Blue with a white longitudinal stripe and two small red diamonds on the front left fender. Inside, customers could choose between all-black leather or a bicolor trim in red and black. The engine was the LT4 V8 with 330 hp.

One of 1,000 at BH Auction and Yahoo

Currently, the Japanese auction house BH Auction together with Yahoo is auctioning a very special Chevrolet Corvette C4 Grand Sport. It is actually a never-registered new car with just 98 miles on the clock. The original first owner in Portland, Oregon, ordered his Corvette with US$ 8,449 worth of optional extras at the time, including the F45 sports suspension. This information can be read from the original window sticker, which is still stuck in the side window. In the interior you can even still find some protective films from the delivery. Of course, goodies of that time, which the customers received from the dealer, are also part of the vehicle. For a example, a flashlight, a VHS video cassette and a pen lie next to the owner’s manual in the glove box. There are probably not many Corvettes in this condition available worldwide. Only 1,000 examples of the C4 Grand Sport were built, including 810 coupés and 190 convertibles.

Images: BH Auction