The year is 1984. U.S. President Ronald Reagan is calling for a ban on chemical weapons, the Soviet Union plans to boycott the Olympic games and space shuttle Discovery lands after its maiden voyage. While world events unfolded, Chevrolet was rolling out something the public had never seen before: the most advanced Corvette ever.
The C4 Corvette made its debut for the 1984 model year with a modern design and ditched fiberglass for molded plastic and sheet molding compound construction. It was a radical departure from the end of the C3 Corvette’s era, which wasn’t superb towards the end, if we may say so. Keeping up with the era, the 80s brought LCD displays into the Corvette’s cockpit, which updated 16 times per second, according to the ad above. This was technology at its finest.
The Corvette-first computer activated (Doug Nash 4+3) manual transmission paired with a 5.7-liter L83 V8 engine. At its best, it made 205 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque with crossfire injection.
Indeed, many of these things were never seen before in a Corvette, but it wasn’t an automatic recipe for success. Chevrolet updated the engine to the L98 in 1985 and a regular ZF six-speed manual arrived in 1988. In fact, the C4 Corvette finally found its stride after the original LT1 V8 found a home under the hood.
Take a walk down history lane with us and press play above.