Monday, May 13, 2024

Corvette Does Have One 1983 C4 That Has Survived

 

1983 Corvette C4

1983 C4 Corvette

That's right, above is the only 1983 C4 Corvette that exists. Most people don't believe that there were any built for that year, but there were a few (none sold), and there is one survivor that resides at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

For the people who do know it exists, they often refer to it as a 1 of 1 Corvette. But this is not true because, altogether there were 14 prototypes built and 43 "Pilot Cars" built, which were going to be sold to the public. The surviving '83 Corvette was #4 in the bunch that rolled off the assembly line at the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette Plant. 

What Happened to the Other '83 C4? 

General Motors, Corvette executives, engineers, and designers decided that with all the quicks with the new frame, new body style, and all other things that still needed more engineering adjustments—the new generation just wasn't ready to be sold to the public. 

They also decided that the original T-tops weren't the way to go. They wanted to design a targa top for the Corvette because it would be more appropriate to keep up and compete with the design of the European sports cars.

After testing the Corvettes at the GM Milford proving grounds, all 1983 C4 Corvettes were marked for destruction. It's a common practice for automotive companies to crush cars they have no intention to sell to the public. 


GM brought in their car crusher and got to work turning the test Corvettes into hunks of metal. This is where the story gets dicey. No one really knows how this #4 1983 Corvette with the VIN # 1G1AY0783D5110023 survived, but one of the stories is that someone hid the Corvette just to keep at least one left around. 

Another story goes, that the work crew ended thier shift, and the last remaining Corvette was simply going to be put out of its misery the next day. Fortunately, for the survival of this piece of history, the compactor was picked up early and taken away, leaving the #4 1983 Corvette forgotten about.

There are more than just two stories, but we would all just be guessing as to what the true story is. But the story of how it was found is quite frank. Two years after the crushing of the '83 Corvettes, the Bowling Green Plant Manager was poking around the car lot on a different mission and found the out-of-shape, dirty run down '83 Corvette on a fluke

Not knowing exactly what the sports car was or why it was sitting there, the Corvette was pulled into the plant, and the  VIN # was cross-referenced with meticulous records, eventually revealing its true identity.  

1983 Corvette C4



Bringing The '83 Back to Life

The guys at the plant cleaned the Corvette up and gave it a red, white, and blue paint job. The Corvette stayed at the plant until 1994 when the National Corvette Museum was built, which was built right across the street from the famous Bowling Green, Kentucky Corvette Assembly Plant. 

Realizing how important the Corvette was to Corvette history, it was eventually donated to the Corvette Museum. The decision was made to repaint the Corvette back to its original white body color with the original blue interior color—and everything else was restored back to its original being according to records. 

1989 Corvette



The '83 Corvette became a showcase for the grand opening of the National Corvette Museum, especially since most people didn't even know that they ever existed. 

The 1983 Corvette leap year is said to be one of Corvette's best decisions. They would have put a vehicle on the market that had massive changes for a new generation, but still needed a lot of work to get it perfect. 

When the 1984 Corvette was introduced, it made a big splash in the market and everyone enjoyed the new look, sophisticated suspension, stiffer chassis, and the many other upgrades that came along with it.  



Thursday, May 2, 2024

2001 Corvette Z06: The First Modern Day Z06

  

2002 Corvette Z06


Unless you've been living under a rock, you know about the extremely potent 2023 Corvette Z06 that is on its way to the market sometime in late 2022. If you want to read about that, just look up any automotive website on the web and you can find out everything you know or you can go to this ride-along video/article with top engineers on the project, written by me for Muscle Cars & Trucks (C8 Corvette Z06 Engineers Share Untold Details On New Supercar: Video.


1963 Corvette Z06


1963 Corvette Z06

Since we all should know everything about the new Corvette Z06, I decided that we should take a look back at the birth of the first modern Corvette Z06. But first, let's take a short look at the birth of the very first Z06. 

The first Z06 became available in 1963 and there were only 199 produced and sold. These Corvette Z06's sole purpose was to be sold for road course racing. They came with a 327 cu.in. (5.4-liter) engine, four-speed transmission, a beefed-up suspension, a massive brake system upgrade that included dual master cylinders, and an optional 36.5 US gal (138 l; 30 imp gal) tank.

The thing about these C2 Corvette Z06s was you didn't just go to the dealership and buy one, you had to know someone who knew what boxes to check in the order form if you wanted one of these race-ready (RPO Z06) Corvettes, and just like the 2001 Corvette Z06, you didn't get many luxuries with the car, it was truly for going fast. 


2001 Corvette Z06


2021 Corvette Z06

This Corvette was built to surprise and dominate the market. The Z06 was designed for the track and pushed the boundaries of what was really possible from a production car that could drive to the track, make better times than its competition, and drive back home with the air conditioning kicking and the radio blasting. 

Basic Spec:

  • 5.7-liter LS6 V8
  • 6-speed manual
  • 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque
  • New FE4 Suspension (four-wheel independent suspension)
  • Bose speaker system
  • Leather bucket seats
  • 17" front and 18” rear rims wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 SC tires
  • Hardtop only
  • Brake coolers
  • Curb weight: 3,118 lbs.

  • Gas Mileage: 17 City / 26 highway

Z06 Engine Corvette

Engine And Transmission

The LS6 is essentially a more powerful version of Corvette's LS1 V8. The LS6 engine upgrades start with a redesigned intake manifold with better-flowing internal passageways. Reengineered cylinder heads create more flow through the intake and exhaust valves, and the combustion chambers were redesigned to reduce valve shrouding.

All these upgrades led to a higher compression ratio which then led to a redesigned thin-walled cast-iron exhaust manifold system to provide a smoother exit for the combustion escape.

Of course, all this extra flow wouldn’t be worth much without a redesigned camshaft. So a beefier cam was installed by Corvette engineers with more valve overlap and greater valve lift. Chrome-vanadium-steel valve springs and stronger pistons cast from a more durable alloy were implicated in the engine’s design for toughness. And finally, the LS6 was engineered with windows cast into the internal crankcase walls to help air retreat from the underside of the burning hot pistons.

This new engine setup gave the New Corvette Z06 385 horsepower at 6,000 RPMs and 385 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 RPMs, and a redline RPM of 6,500. In between all the power and the rear wheels was a beefed-up clutch (with lighter pedal effort), a larger-diameter driveshaft, and a revised six-speed manual transaxle. This new M12 gearbox was introduced with shooter 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears to better utilize the new higher-revving LS6. All gears were 10-16 percent shorter except for the 4th gear which remained the same.

Corvette Suspension

2001 Corvette Z06 Suspension

More power always means more changes all around. To accommodate the power of the LS6, Corvette went with a new FE4 suspension that included revised shock calibrations, a stiffer rear transverse leaf spring setup, and stiffer anti-roll bars for the front and rear.

To add ground support, each corner of the Vette receives 1-inch wider tires, bringing them up to 9.5-inch wide in the front and 10.5-inch wide in the back. New custom light-weight 10-spoke wheels were wrapped in Goodyear F1 Eagle tires: 265/40ZR-17s in the front and 295/35ZR-18s rears. The F1 Eagle SC tires were designed with more flexible sidewalls achieved by doing away with the famous run-flat tire design. This permitted a half-degree more negative camber to keep the tread flatter during hard cornering for track use.

To prove the Corvette was built for business, engineers found places around the car where they could shave pounds off the curb weight. Helping save weight was the deletion of the run-flat tire design, mufflers were made from Titanium, and the windshield and rear glass were all lightened to help bring the Corvette’s curb weight down to 3,118 pounds, that is 38 pounds lighter than its original form. A lot of weight was saved in the Titanium mufflers alone, but the weight of the new suspension offset the weight-saving by a lot.  

2001 Cobra R

Step Aside Cobra R

The Cobra R was making some big waves at the track. Performance numbers were pretty impressive, and the Corvette Z06 was Chevrolet's answer to those performance numbers.

The Cobra R and the Z06 were pretty close in performance numbers at the time (numbers for Z06 below). The Cobra R turned numbers out of its 5.4-liter that looked a little like this: 385 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque (the same as the Z06), 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 13.2 (Ford tested) and 12.9 (Motor Trend tested) with a top speed of 170 mph, and stops from 60-0 in 127 feet.

Although the numbers were somewhat close, the Corvette beat out the Cobra R in other places. The Cobra R lacked air conditioning, an audio system, rear seats, sound dampening, and cruise control. The Corvette also lacked a back seat, but that's because it was never meant to have one, it wasn't a compromise. Also, because of the limited number of Cobra Rs that were built, the sticker price showed $55,5ish, but you couldn't buy one for under $75,000. The Corvette Z06 stuck pretty close to its price tag of just under $50,000 without a lot of limited edition inflation.

2001 Corvette Z06

Let's Go Over Some 2001 Corvette Z06 Numbers 

The 2001 Corvette Z06's proof of superiority is in the numbers. A 0-60-mph time is recorded at 4.3 seconds, and a 70-mph to 0 stop takes only 152 feet. In a quarter-mile sprint, the Corvette can cover it in 12.7 seconds at 113 mph. Hitting 150 mph will only take you 28 seconds total, while a top speed of 170 mph is easily manageable. Although the top speed does suffer a little bit as the C5 Vettes will hit 175 mph, that's because of the Z06's closer transmission clutch gear ratios. 

Hitting corners is another place where the Corvette Z06 shows no mercy to its competitors. Pulling .98 Gs in and out of corners is just what this sports car does, and that actually beats out all other sports cars out of there including the Viper GTS and the Ferrari 360 Modena, which are above the Corvette Z06s price bracket by a lot. 


Racing Z06 Corvette

Z06 Performance Built

Making sure everything was performance-built was what this Corvette was all about, even both the dual mesh grilles in the front and the rear brake coolers in front of the rear wheel wells are completely functional. 

The 2001 Corvette Z06 is just like the new Z06s, although classified as a sports car, they perform like a supercar compared to its competition.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Rare Chevrolet 454 SS Half-Ton Pick-Up From The Early '90s

   1990 Chevy SS


With only 17,000 produced between 1990-93, these Chevy 454 SS trucks are some of the rarest Chevrolet C1500s of the 90s. In fact, purchasing one of these badasses was the only way you could get a 454 cu.-in. big-block stock in a half-ton truck. 

There is nothing really too special about these trucks. Let's face it, in this day and age, a higher trim-modeled crossover could take it off the line and beat down the quarter-mile. But it is outfitted for a 454, meaning a healthier one could be built and dropped in with no problem. 

Also, it's a truck, and you can always do some cool stuff to a truck. A Cowl Induction hood, lowering springs, rims, etc. — with the right imagination, you can turn a 454 SS truck into a show stopper without hurting its original value. 




Power and Specifications

  •  230 - 255 horsepower
  • 385 - 405 lb.-ft. of torque
  • HD 4-speed automatic transmission
  • 3:71.1 - 4:10 rear-end ratio 
  • 10 mpg city
  • 500 lbs. max payload
  • Dual exhaust
  • Bilstein Shocks
  • 7.7 seconds 0-60 mph 
  • 15.9 seconds 87 mph - 1/4 mile
  • Colors: Black / Summit White / Victory

Chevrolet 454 SS



The Chevy 454 SS trucks had some serious competition in the early 90s — the GMC Cyclone, Typhoon, and the Ford Lighting. But for Chevy, this was their way of showing everyone that people still craved a big-block even if it wasn't the fastest truck on the market. 

You might come across one of these sweet Chevys for sale with a nice price tag on it. They are not very sought-after by vehicle collectors right now, so if you find one in good shape, it might not be a bad investment. They have the potential to be nice little street cruisers with a lot of old-school power. And for you old-school gearheads, that might be a class you'd fit right into.