Hard to believe the Corvette was ever in danger of falling out of favor with car lovers. But, in the early 1980’s, that is almost what happened.
The C4 Corvette is the fourth generation of the model. It was the first major overhaul of the car since 1963. The Corvette has lost some of its appeal and sales were lagging. In 1982, it became obvious that GM had to step up its game to regain a foothold in the sports car market.
There was no Corvette produced for the year 1983. The revisions to the Corvette model were so extensive it took longer than anticipated to begin production. The Bowling Green plant had to be updated to accommodate the new production line. The 1984 was offered for an 18-month period due to the delays.
The look for the 1984 was like nothing seen before in a sports car. The car was lowered more than 8 inches. It had been by moving the engine back and completely rerouting the exhaust system. The hood was redesigned and the new clamshell style allowed easier access under the hood. The lines of the car were ultra-sleek and the interior boasted a fully digital dashboard readout. There was more interior room as well.
Everything was new. New suspension set up, new oversized brakes, and a revamped 350 V8 with cross-fire fuel injection. Even the tires were different. Huge, in fact. The ’84 sported 255/50/16 Gatorbacks. The car definitely made a statement. Initially, the car was only available with a 4-speed manual transmission with automatic overdrive. This was done to keep the Corvette within the new standards for fuel economy.
1984 brought the second highest production year numbers for the Corvette. Put the Vette back on the map as a real contender.
A test drive by Car and Driver magazine in late 1983 was a huge success.
"It is hands-down the fastest American automobile, capable of 140-mph top speeds, 0-to-60 times under seven seconds, and 15.2-second quarter-mile forays at 90 mph. In fact, these figures qualify the Corvette as one of the half-dozen fastest production automobiles in the entire world!"
The 1984 had its naysayers but no one could deny its impact on the GM line. After becoming a lame duck over the past few years, the 1984 C4 was beating Porsches off the showroom floor. The Vette was back and so far it’s still going strong – 63 years later.