C4 Swan Song
First available in March 1983, 1996 was the last year for the C4 generation. The Corvette had evolved remarkably during those 14 years. It effectively dealt with tough fuel economy and emissions standards while still achieving remarkable performance goals and quality improvements.
A new Corvette engine - the LT4 - debuted for 1996. The LT1 was still available and a dividing line of sorts was established with all LT4s mated to manual transmissions and the LT1s assigned automatic transmission duties. The LT4 (RPO LT4; $1,450.00) was an update of the highly appreciated LT1 and boasted high flow aluminum heads, larger valves supported by high load springs, a more aggressive camshaft and higher compressions (10.8:1) pistons. Redline was 6,300 RPM.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette LT4Close
1996 Chevrolet Corvette - GM PhotoClose
A collector edition was also available for 1996 (RPO Z15; $1,250.00) and was especially attractive with its Sebring Silver exterior. Five spoke ZR-1 9 ½" wheels, painted silver, was a nice touch.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Front Nose EmblemClose
The Collector Edition included was special badging (front nose, above; front fender, below) and "Collector Edition" seat embroidery.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Fender EmblemClose