Note: I'm reworking all the photographs here - and if you have pictures of your car that you'd like me to include here, let me know what you have and we'll see what we can do. I am the final arbiter of what goes here. That's the only rule.
Identification of C4 Corvettes by Years
These identifying features are unique to the year specified. Not easily visible or not "across the board" changes are specifically omitted.
Note: For information on the various wheel options on the C4, see the Spotter's Guide in the C4 Wheel & Tire section!
The only acknowledged '83 resides at the NCM.
Complete body and chassis (backbone/part unibody) change.
One piece removable "targa" top.
Vertical rear panel with large round taillights.
Rear window hatch.
6 link IRS.
Fiberglass transverse springs both front and rear.
Extensive use of aluminum suspension components.
16" aluminum wheels.
Digital LED dashboard.
"Cross Fire Injection" adorns the wrap around body rub strip.
Exhaust tips turn downward.
L83 350 CID Crossfire engine developed 205 HP & 290 ft-lbs of torque
Production: 51,457 coupes
Coupe came standard with L83, four speed OD automatic transmission, and cloth seats
Manual transmission available later - the 4+3, which was a four speed manual with an electrically controlled OD unit for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
Code 72 - Bright Red was the most popular color (12,942)
[Red 1984 Corvette]
L83 - Crossfire Engine
1984 - 1989 "Atari" dash (typical for all years)
Main Dash - 1987 w/aftermarket radio, breadbox, and cup holders
The underside of the 1984 hood was different from all other C4 hoods due to the Crossfire engine ...
The rub strip now says "Tuned Port Injection".
Exhaust tips are straight back.
Digital instrument cluster was revised with better graphics, less color, and larger digits.
L98 350 CID Tuned Port Injection engine developed 230 HP & 330 ft-lbs of torque
39,729 coupes were produced
Code 81 - Bright Red was the most popular color (10,424)
L98 - Tuned Port Injection Engine
Center High-Mounted (3rd.) Stop Lamp added.
Indy 500 Pace Car replica.
Convertible available (first Vert since '75).
Wheel centers are unpainted (natural finish).
ABS and VATS (first year).
[1986 Indy Pace Car]
Wheel centers, lug nut covers, and center caps are grey.
Change in wheel design (six-slots) includes locking covers.
Fifty six, street legal Corvette Challenge cars built.
Interior refinements include dyed carpeting, carpeted door sills, relocated parking brake.
35th Special Edition Pkg. (coupes) includes a white exterior/interor; black painted roof bow; painted white wheels; and console mounted commemorative plaque and special emblems.
[1988 Corvette 35th pkg. exterior]
[1988 Corvette 35th pkg. interior]
Removable hardtop (Verts) returns with heated rear window.
6 speed ZF transmission (first year).
Selective Ride and Handling system option (first year).
Low Tire Pressure Warning System (first year).
Simiplified folding top mechanism for convertibles.
ZF-6 6-speed transmission
Six-sloted wheel locking covers discontinued.
New dashboard wraps into center console.
Instrumentation mixes analog and digital.
P/S "Breadbox" replaced by sloping dash with glovebox.
23 World Challenge race prepared Corvettes were built.
ZR-1 has widened rear fenders, capped by a new rear fascia with squared-off taillights and convex (vs concave) rear fascia with ZR-1 badge. In-dash valet key sets"full-power" mode.
Bumpers are rounded from the sharp edges they had.
Front facia incorporates wraparound foglights.
Side louvers changed to narrow horizontal insets.
Four taillights are now rectangular in a convex rear facia (ZR-1 style).
Third brake light incorporated in rear facia (exc. ZR-1).
Mufflers were redesigned (larger sized).
New "Sawblades" wheel design (cast surfaced).
Acceleration Slip Regulation (first year).
The ZR-1's emblems are added above the side gill panels.
Instrument buttons changed to all black.
Gauge graphics refined for better visibility.
Digital speedometer relocated above the fuel gauge.
P/S door incorporates delay to cut accessory power.
Goodyear GSC tires (asymmetrical and directional) replace Gatorbacks.
The new LT1 engine replaces the venerable L98. The LT1 is a Gen II small block, and features reverse cooling, 300 HP, and 330 ft-lbs torque.
The exhaust outlets on the LT1 featured a pair of large rectangles, replacing the L98 two pipes/side.
The LT1 also features the infamous 'Optispark', which demonstrates how important it is for various engineering groups to talk to each other during the development process!
[ZR-1 emblems above gill panels]
Sawblade wheels get machined surfacing.
40th Anniversary package includes special Ruby Red Metallic paint, ruby red interior, special emblems, wheel center caps and power driver seat.
Passive Keyless Entry system (first year).
[40th Anniversary package]
Passenger airbag was added (first year).
New redesigned two spoke steering wheel.
P/S air bag and knee bolster.
New seat and door trim.
Express-down driver's side power window.
New white instrument graphics turn tangerine at night.
Tire jack relocated to a P/s rear compartment.
Cloth seats no longer an option.
Convertible rear windows now glass instead of plastic.
A/C systems were revised to use R-134A refrigerant.
Recommended tire pressures decreased from 35 to 30psi (except ZR-1s).
Twenty-five Brickyard 400 Corvettes were built as Support Vehicles for the inaugural NASCAR Brickyard 400.
Twelve black and thirteen red cars were supplied.
1994 Brickyard 400 Support Car
[New redesigned two spoke steering wheel.]
Indy Pace Car Edition in purple trim.
New french-stich seams for the seats.
Automatic transmission fluid temperature readout.
New side louver design with leading edge raised around a single opening, and ridges on the indented surface.
[1995 Indy Pace Car Edition]
Selective Real Time Damping available (firstyear).
New tachometer (LT4 only) with 8k rpm and 5700rpm redline.
Grand Sport in Admiral Blue with Arctic White center stripe; red hash marks on left front fender; ZR-1 black wheels; red/black interior; blackened rotors and calipers; chrome front/rear emblems; wheel flares; body-coloured door handles; and Grand Sport embroidery on seats).
[1996 Corvette with Grand Sport option]
Collector Edition with special emblems, five-spoke wheels and Sebring Silver paint; blackened rotors and calipers; red, black or gray interior with Collector Edition embroidery on seats; body-colored door handles.