Auction Pick of the Week: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette convertible LT4 six-speed
America’s sports car was in sorry shape during the disco era. The later third-generation (1968–82) Corvette, although a strong seller, was not the performer that it used to be. In 1975, the once mighty Vette was down to just 165 horsepower due to new emissions regulations.
However, in 1984, Chevrolet made big strides to resuscitate Corvette performance with the release of the fourth iteration of America’s sports car. The C4, as it is known to enthusiasts, was the first all-new Vette since 1968. With its sleek styling, modern suspension, and stiff chassis, the C4 represented a clean break from the Duntov-designed C3.
The car was a phenomenal handler—Car and Driver clocked 0.95 g on the skidpad in a period test—but early examples lacked power. However, Chevrolet remedied the lack of grunt later in the C4’s 12-year production run.
By 1996, the final year of production, Vettes equipped with the ZF six-speed manual received a hopped-up small-block dubbed LT4. The engine was good for 330 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque, making a 5.0-second sprint to 60 miles per hour possible. Compared to the 1984 model’s paltry 205 horsepower, this was a big upgrade.
The later cars with the LT4 are more desirable, with Excellent condition (#2) examples being valued at $30,200 according to the Hagerty Price Guide. That brings us to our auction pick of the week, a one-owner 1996 Corvette convertible with a desirable engine and transmission combo.
Our striking yellow-on-black feature car has only seen 14,ooo miles since new. It’s a well-appointed example, equipped with the optional Delco/Bose Gold Series sound system, six-way power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, and electronic air conditioning. Unsurprisingly, the Vette is highly original—down to the as-delivered Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires—and in excellent condition. Really the only minor flaws are faded sun visors and light creasing in the upholstery.
If you’re in the market for a top-down Corvette experience, this one is hard to beat. Just slap on some new tires, and enjoy the V-8 soundtrack and six-speed gearbox for many miles to come. The auction ends Thursday, August 31 at 3:40 p.m. EDT, so make sure to get your bids in.