C4 Corvettes Are Affordable And Still Highly Mod-Able For Enthusiasts Of All Ages

A lot has changed since the first C4 Corvettes started rolling out the roll-up door at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. When it was introduced way back in 1983, it took the world by storm. Editors of the day touted it as the “highest excitement quotient of anything to come out of an American factory. Ever.” The fact that horsepower numbers have skyrocketed, easily triple of what the lowly C4 could muster back in the day shows how much things have improved for the enthusiast.

C4 Corvettes are still great drivers. They’re very affordable, with a broad price range, depending on your wants/needs. My ’85 started out as a firm-riding Z51. It’s been upgraded to use some of the newer technology throughout the C4 generation (suspension, LT1 engine, braking).

That doesn’t mean that the C4 Corvette has met its end-of-life cycle by any means. Both Dave Cruikshank and myself are proud owners of C4-generation Corvettes. My ’85 is best described as a Franken-vette and Dave’s ’95 is a really nice example of an original ragtop C4. Both have their issues, but both are still, just as nice of a driver as when they left the factory – perhaps, even better.

Dave’s recently went through a bit of a transformation, going from box stock to something more akin to his liking. The red-haired stepchild, as Dave likes to refer to it, was due for some maintenance and an altitude adjustment. This was a perfect opportunity to do a few upgrades in the process.

Dave’s car just got dropped a bit, thanks to a Mid America Motorworks kit. Bilstein shocks and new tires/wheels will round out the task.

Dave will be filling us all in on the gory details of the process, but we wanted to take the opportunity to bring these economical Corvettes to the forefront and ask you, the readers of CorvetteOnline.com what year C4 you own, and what you’re working on right now.

While Dave was dropping his ’95, he decided to upgrade the brakes to Baer Eradispeed status with red calipers. Bilstein shocks will help bring back that new-C4 ride.

Granted, C4s give their owners more opportunity for repairs than the latest and greatest C7s, but with right around three decades of driving on their odometers, this is to be expected. And besides, my good friend Jim always used to call each breakdown an, “SOI” (Significant Opportunity for Improvement).

Tires can make or break a car's ride characteristics and wheels influence a car's appearance greatly. Dave chose a set of CCW wheels and Nitto bands to make his C4 a better driver/looker for this summer.

So, here’s some highlights from Dave’s most recent SOI. We’ll have the details shortly of the entire process. While we strive to keep balanced coverage of all generations of Corvettes, we also wanted those C4 owners to know that this generation is firmly planted on our radar screens. Take  a moment and share with us (and our readers) your C4 and what you’ve done/will do to it.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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