In 1988, the Corvette was still the king of American performance,
and in roadster form it was the best example of General Motors'
engineering might. Full of technology and with performance that
could humble the best Europe had to offer, it is part of the
foundation that gave us today's amazing C7. This clean convertible
offers an awesome color combination, a bunch of upgrades, and hails
from a warm climate, so you know it's as clean as they come
You could be forgiven for thinking that all early C4 Corvettes were red, but yes, it's true, there were other colors available. Anonymously called "Silver Metallic," the finish is nonetheless a Corvette tradition as much as red might be, and with only 385 painted that color in 1988, you're not likely to see another one. It's in great condition, too, and still looks awesome almost 25 years later thanks to the Bowling Green assembly plant's well-known quality standards and excellent care since it was new. There are a few signs of use here and there, as you'd expect from a car built to be enjoyed, but it's pretty obvious that this one has always been someone's fair-weather flyer and not a daily driver (although it's certainly capable). If you like your Corvettes perfectly imperfect, this is an ideal example, especially for preservation class judging, and we have to admit that any Corvette convertible is going to attract plenty of attention.
The red leather interior is as futuristic as 1988 could make it, with digital gauges, a trip computer, and enough buttons to command the space shuttle. To be honest, the red leather interior is fairly rare, particularly in a convertible, making this a very low production ragtop that many folks have never seen before. Both seats are in excellent condition and are every bit as comfortable as they look once you master the unique step-in procedure the C4 requires. The leather is showing some age-related comfort marks, but nothing major and on a 'Vette, that kind of stuff is character, not a defect. Cold A/C, a powerful aftermarket AM/FM/CD stereo, power windows and locks, cruise control, as well as a tilt wheel were all part of the package, making the Corvette a true grand touring car. Those of you with sharp eyes will spot the Keisler shifter, which is linked to a Tremec 5-speed manual gearbox, replacing the clunky Doug Nash 4+3 setup, a very noteworthy improvement all by itself. Even the original black canvas top, which stows invisibly under the flush-fitting deck lid, is still in very good condition although the rear window is getting a little cloudy.
The L98 350 cubic inch V8 remained at 230 horsepower, which was the biggest number available in an American V8 (remember, this was 1988). Where it really excels, however, is torque production, and with the 5-speed manual transmission, this car simply carves through traffic and is an incredible point-and-shoot machine. The engine bay is quite clean, with the familiar L98 long-tube induction system, and unlike so many of its siblings, it has not been modified or abused. It's in excellent shape and history has proven that it's virtually indestructible no matter how hard you drive it, and despite all the modifications available, it appears stock. Underneath, this one is ultra clean, with evidence of its desert history apparent everywhere you look. Beautiful "A-Mold" wheels replace the originals, and it's a look that updates the car in a big way and allows the use of seriously big 275/40/17 rubber.
Get your piece of fiberglass history for less than the price of a used Hyundai. The performance is still impressive and there's nothing else quite like a Corvette roadster. Call today!
This is the 30th and final car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
This is the 25th car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
1979 El Vette has been donated to the National Corvette Museum
We’ll know how much collectors are willing to spend when the L88 duo crosses the Mecum block in Kissimmee
This is the 15th in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
This is the 14th car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
The Pick of the Day is a 1964 coupe with the 365-horsepower V8 ready to drive into the new year
This is the seventh car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction
’63 coupe and ’64 convertible created by and for GM styling leaders