Our Favourite Corvettes


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2022 09 13 CCC Blog Post – Some of our Favourite Corvettes

Corvette C2


2022 09 13 CCC Blog Post – Some of our Favourite Corvettes



Since the 1953 model year and through eight generations, the Chevrolet Corvette has been known as America’s sports car.  Over the years, it has reflected American life, from the glorious post World War II years when the Corvette idea was spawned through the ’70s Stingrays through to today’s C8, when Corvette became a mid-engined supercar without a conventional manual transmission on offer.  We would submit that starting with the C4, GM’s engineers have had the supercars of Europe in their sights, and it shows.  Corvettes became a little tighter then, with the power to challenge those from across the pond.  We love them all, here are a few that we particularly love.

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1963 Split Window Coupe – Model year 1963 saw the beginning of the second generation of Corvette – a coming of age, so to speak, for America’s sports car after what we will call a hybrid body style in 1962.  To reinforce the Stingray theme, the ray’s “spine” was included in the styling of the rear of the car, resulting in an icon of American – heck, worldwide – sports car design, the Split Window Coupe (SWC).  The design lasted only a year, beauty trumping rearward visibility.  Theories abound on what killed it but safety, in the context of visibility was in question.  In 1964, the Corvette coupe once again had a car-wide section of glass for the rear window and the Ralph Naders of the world were happy.

1963 Corvette
1983 Corvette

1983 Corvette – There was no 1983 Corvette, you say?  While true that the design, ambitious upgrades and retooling for the breakthrough C4 Corvette was concentrated enough that most consider 1983 a “year off” for Corvette, there were 43 pilot examples built as 1983 models.  Typically, manufacturers send these examples to the crusher when design is complete and production begins for the production model.  And this is what happened with 42 of the pilot 1983 cars.  However, a GM employee found one neglected in the yard of the manufacturing plant and it was eventually loaned to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY (never been?  plan a visit!), eventually being donated to the museum’s collection.  The C4 proved a commercial and performance success, all stemming back to the ’83.

1990 Corvette ZR-1 – “THE CORVETTE FROM HELL”, Car and Driver proclaimed in October 1988 for the first ZR-1 since 1971, a 1990 model.  “380 HP.  Six-speed gearbox.  We drive it.  You should.” the sub-headline read.  At 380 horsepower, the Corvette had come of age.  While paling in comparison to some modern horsepower figures, 380 HP at the time ensured that this car was a monster, enough to compete with the Europeans.  There were only subtle styling cues different from the base Corvette for the year, further adding to the ZR-1’s profile by qualifying as a sleeper.  (Porsche at a stop light?  Surprise!)  Within a couple of years, the base Corvette’s horsepower surged to 300, making the first C4 ’90 model year ZR-1 one of our favourites.

Corvette ZR-1
Corvette ZHZ


2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZHZ – OK, OK, this pick comes with some sentiment.  On a trip to California at the time, our own Founder Dave was lucky enough to get the keys to a rental for a few days and was truly impressed.  Physicists in the group (anyone?) will know that Hz is the standard abbreviation for Hertz, the unit measurement for frequency.  The meaning behind this is that the cars were specially built for Hertz Rent-a-Car, GM slyly harkening back to the ‘60s when Hertz had track-calibre Mustangs on its fleet.  Consistent with the ‘60s motif, the Corvette ZHZs wore yellow paint with black stripes, also consistent with the Hertz corporate palette.  The ZHZs could be had in Coupe or Convertible form.  California?  Founder Dave went for the ragtop.


Any Motorama Show Winner – Admittedly, more self-serving bias here.  We are currently running an online auction for a 2011 Corvette Z16 Grand Sport Convertible.  It has been heavily modified to Dyno-test at 929 rear wheel horsepower.  The Dyno test video is available on the listing, so is an image of the computer monitor showing the whopping horsepower figure, accompanied by a torque rating of 762 lb.-ft.  All of this added up to our auction Corvette winning its class in May at Motorama, a major three-day show held annually at the International Centre in Toronto.  The car has logged under 17,000 km from new and is available from the original owner.  Black on black with red under a black soft top, click here to see the auction listing.


What do you think?  Got a favourite of your own?  Let us know with a comment below.  Remember the Comment of the Week wins a CCC ball cap.*

*- to be shipped by CCC to winner, maximum one prize per user per year, Canadian residents only.

Corvette from Hell CandD cover
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ZR-1 By Adi Gassmann, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11744411