Showing posts with label 1983 Corvette. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1983 Corvette. Show all posts

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.