THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1996 Chevrolet Corvette coupe owned by Brian Craig
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The 1984-1996 Corvettes, known as the “C4” models, represented a complete update for America’s sports car in terms of their chassis and design. But by 1996, as aficionados began to look forward to the new C5, Chevy decided to spice up sales a bit by offering the 330-horsepower LT4 V-8 engine, a 10-percent bump over the standard LT1 powerplant. You could get the extra horsepower only in six-speed manual-transmission versions, such as Craig’s, or in two limited special editions – the Grand Sport and the Collector Edition -- that could cost well over $40,000 with options. Reviewers praised the LT4’s 5.2-second acceleration to 60 miles per hour as a welcome change from some of the tepid 1980s models that were hampered by federal emission controls. Beyond the new engine, sales brochures highlighted the coupe’s four-wheel disc brakes, traction control, special Goodyear tires and a five-link independent rear suspension.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He bought it from a private owner.
“The vehicle is in excellent condition,” Craig says, “and pretty close to being as it came from the factory.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Be patient,” he advises, “and find the car that you always dreamed of.”
“I’ve seen similar vehicles sell for $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the condition,” says Craig. Hagerty, the classic car insurer, values a base coupe with the LT4 engine at $28,400 in perfect condition, with the Collector Edition option adding another $6,000. Today, the C4s are considered among the most affordable vintage Corvettes by collectors, since they haven’t yet reached their full upside potential. The automotive site jalopnik.com last year deemed them “dirt cheap.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
“The car,” he adds, “is fun to drive, nice to look at and runs perfectly.”