In late 1979, Chevrolet had huge plans in store for the fourth-generation of their Corvette. Former Corvette chief engineer Dave McLellan said they were applying “new technology that hadn’t been used in Chevrolet or in any automotive (application),” as they tried to “bring the car back to date in all aspects.” However this led to production delays for its planned 1983 launch, so GM gave up on going through the government certification process for the car that year and planned a 1984 launch instead.
Because of this confusion, only 43 1983 Corvettes were ever assembled. These cars were used for different engineering evaluations and crash tests and were later crushed, save for car number 23, which has was sent to the National Corvette Museum.
Until now, the 1983 Corvette was located in the Museum’s Sky Dome room with no display, however it has since been moved to the museum’s Gateway section following the sinkhole collapse early last year. The significant piece of Corvette history never had its own dedicated display before, but the Dyer Family, friends of the NCM, have now donated a grant which was used towards a new 1983 Corvette display.
The grant was given to the NCM in memory of Calvin and Frances Dyer, two dedicated Corvette enthusiasts who owned a 1986 C4 Corvette, a 1989 C4 Corvette, a 1991 Corvette ZR-1, and a 1997 C5 Corvette. The display features a truss with information and graphic panels that help tell the interesting story behind the only 1983 Corvette in existence.
“We are so appreciative of the Dyer Family Foundation’s gift to help further the Museum’s mission of celebrating, preserving and educating visitors about Corvette,” Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode said in a statement.