1996 Chevrolet Corvette LT4 - SOLD
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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It’s rare, fast, comfortable, and with only 26,340 original miles, remains in almost new condition throughout.

In the collector car world, the most valuable editions of a mass-produced cars tend to be the very first and the very last. In the case of the C4 Corvette, GM was very aware of this fact and sent the beloved C4 off with a rather big bang: the LT4. With 10% more power and only available with a 6-speed manual, a vast majority of them ended up in the other special edition Corvettes available that year, the Grand Sport and the Collectors’ Edition. But if you want rare and unusual, the savvy collector is interested in the cars that Chevrolet wasn’t promoting, cars like this 1996 Corvette coupe, which features the mighty LT4 and a 6-speed manual gearbox, plus almost every option available that year. It’s rare, fast, comfortable, and with only 26,340 original miles, remains in almost new condition throughout. In fact, it’s so stock and original that it’s still sitting on its original Goodyear GS-C rubber!

With just two adult owners, this beautiful LT4 Corvette is a great reminder that the last of the C4s were pretty darned good cars. Fast, smooth, comfortable, and relatively efficient, they’re an excellent choice if you can have just one car that needs to do it all. Almost everyone agrees that the final C4s are the best-looking of the group, with a leaner, meaner look that comes from a revised front fascia, the cool “gills” behind the front wheels, and the convex rear cap that was inspired by the mighty ZR-1, which had died the previous year. Our cameras struggle to properly capture the Bright Aqua color on this particular Corvette, mostly showing it as bright blue, but the handsome paint looks especially good in the sun. The combination is very uncommon, with only 357 being built in this color (only Dark Purple is rarer), but it’s hard to understand why, because the car looks fantastic. It’s aggressive but sophisticated, the ideal look for the last of the C4s, and it cleverly hides the awesome performance that hides within. Of course, this car has never seen winter weather and fiberglass doesn’t rust anyway, but the paint remains in fantastic condition overall, with just a light scuff on the nose where, ironically, it was fitted with a removable “bra.” We removed that and it cleaned up beautifully and shines as well as the day it was new. 20-year-old cars don’t get much better than this.

The light gray leather interior remains in excellent condition and it’s the ideal choice with the Bright Aqua paint. The supportive Corvette seats were some of the best in the industry in 1996 and they adjust in enough different directions that anybody should be able to get comfortable behind the wheel. There’s also a fat leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and a stubby shifter for the 6-speed manual, which was only available with the LT4 engine in 1996. The combination of analog and digital gauges actually works rather well to convey the important information at a glance, and is comprehensive enough to include an oil temperature gauge, as well as the usual coolant temp, oil pressure, and voltage dials. The trip computer will give you instant information on everything from fuel economy to how far you can go until you’re out of gas, and the Bose AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo system sounds great, even today. The automatic climate control system is powerful and effective, and other standard features include cruise control, power windows and locks with remote entry, and dual power seats. Overhead there’s a clear blue roof panel, which stows neatly in the rear hatch area. You’ll note there’s a mount for a fire extinguisher, which has probably been there since the car was almost new, as the extinguisher that was in place dated from 1995 and was removed because it was no longer safe to use.

About 25% of 1996 Corvette production was equipped with the LT4 engine, 6359 cars in total. But when you take into account that 1000 of those were Grand Sports and 2009 of them were Collectors’ Editions, the scarcity of this cool coupe comes into greater focus. But this ‘Vette is about more than just production numbers, it’s about horsepower. For its last hurrah, the C4 got the most powerful small block ever, a 330 horsepower fuel-injected powerplant that is smooth and docile enough for your mother to drive, but at the same time it snarls to redline in every gear and pulls with way more gusto than the numbers would indicate. As a derivative of the bulletproof LT1, it remains incredibly reliable and there’s a massive aftermarket to support it if you need even more power. Fortunately, this one remains 100% stock, including the air filter and mufflers, a side-effect of having two adult owners. It starts instantly and idles smoothly with just a hum from the exhaust tips, almost too calm to be such a furiously fast car. The LT4 is easy to spot with its red intake manifold and “Grand Sport’ badge on the throttle body, but those are both easy to fake, so always be sure to check the RPO codes for the all-important LT4. The rest is similar to the other Corvettes, with a tightly packaged accessory drive, the interesting ASR system on the driver’s side (which slackens the throttle cable when wheel spin is detected), and the big air cleaner up front. It’s all quite stock save for the chrome caps on the oil filler and power steering reservoir, which do dress things up a bit. It’s clean, well-maintained, and fully operational, ready to enjoy.

The chassis is likewise totally original and untouched, showing no signs of ever having been in inclement weather. A few signs of use here and there, but it’s obvious this has always been a fair-weather toy. The car is completely stock, with things like the exhaust, shock absorbers, and perhaps even the brake rotors being 1996-issue. The ZF 6-speed manual transmission shifts cleanly and is burly enough to take just about any abuse the LT4 can dish out, and with a towering overdrive 6th gear, it just loafs along at insane speeds (how does 1800 RPM at 80 MPH sound to you?). The 3.45 gears out back were a great choice, giving it plenty punch off the line, and this car is equipped with the desirable J55 Performance Brake package for a little extra stopping power. The car is currently sitting on its original 17x9 and 17x10 aluminum wheels and 255/40/17 front and 285/40/17 rear Goodyear GS-C tires, but for more recent driving, it has been running on a second set of OEM wheels with color-matched inserts and fresh Firestone radials in the original sizes. The best of both worlds!

The C4 is collectable, but only some of them. The end-of-the-line 1996 models are arguably the most desirable and those with the top-performing LT4 engine are more appealing still. Add in the rare color, the low mileage, and the beautiful preservation, and you have a high-quality, low-mileage C4 that’s ready to enjoy as it appreciates. Call today!

Vehicle: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette LT4
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 114007
Mileage: 26,431
VIN: 1G1YY225XT5103328
Engine: 350 cubic inch LT4 V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.45
Wheelbase: 96.2 inches
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum
Tires: Front: 255/45/17, Rear: 285/40/17 Goodyear GS-C radial
Exterior Color: Bright Aqua Metallic
Interior Color: Light Gray leather
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