The Chevrolet C4 Corvette was poised to be a major milestone in Corvette history. It was to be all new from the ground up and encompass the latest cutting edge technologies to make the car a world beater in a changing globe.
But, like all automotive manufacturers, safety and fuel economy regulations took hold of development procedures. Designers and engineers were challenged equally to create appealing products while satisfying newfound regulations. And through development of the C4 Corvette, it became apparent the vehicle would not be ready for its launch in late 1982.
So, the Corvette development team made the hard decision to forfeit the entire 1983 model year to focus on fixing problems and shortcomings found in initial test cars. This also meant the Corvette would not celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Each 1983 C4 Corvette assembled at the Bowling Green factory would be crushed and disposed of locally, with upper management bringing in a crusher on site. However, when the time came to crush each 1983 Corvette, a pair of cowboy boots saved one car’s life.
Ralph Montileone, Quality manager at the Bowling Green plant in 1983, was responsible for ensuring each car was destroyed and disposed of. However, the day the crusher arrived, it began to storm. Montileone recalls looking down at his feet to see his brand new cowboy boots. With mud and puddles awash outside, he decided dirtying his new kicks was not an option; he would move the final 1983 Corvette to the crusher the next day.
But, the crusher departed without Montileone’s knowledge. When he returned the next day, the only 1983 Corvette sat there with no way to dispose of it. So, he pulled it around to the back of the assembly plant and it sat. And it would continue to sit for years.
It wasn’t until Paul Schnoes, who was transferred to the Bowling Green assembly as manager in 1984, inquired about the peculiar Corvette. He simply asked what a Corvette was doing covered in the back of the factory, and when he received the answer, he realized it was truly something special.
The 1983 C4 Corvette would finally go on display for visitors of the plant after the Bowling Green assembly requested official ownership of it from General Motors. Now, it resides at its permanent home at the National Corvette Museum all thanks to a spiffy new pair of boots.
(Courtesy of Hagerty Insurance)
Porsche 928 vs. C4 Corvette
The 928 has often been referred to as a German Corvette. Its front-engine, water-cooled V-8 design probably lent itself to superficial comparisons but in fact, the basic architecture is where similarities end. The German penchant for complication brought things like a rear transaxle/torque tube and belt-driven overhead cams. All of this caused maintenance headaches that the Corvette eschewed with a bullet proof, pushrod small-block Chevy V-8 and a tried-and-tested independent rear suspension with a transverse leaf spring. C4. Porsche 928s have started appreciating while C4s are still bargain-priced used cars that offer unbeatable bang for the buck. At the end of the day, it’s a choice between sophistication and a bit of avant-garde design, versus reliability and the somewhat dodgy build-quality of a C4 Corvette.
(Courtesy of Hagerty Insurance)
Know your Corvette
A 72-year old Texas man and his dog died of heat exhaustion when they became trapped in his 2007 Corvette. A loose battery cable prevented him from opening the door and he was unaware of the manual release lever. Watch this video and know your Corvette. It could save your life.
The construction of Route 66, completed in 1938, created many new business opportunities including "motor hotels". Designed for motorists, the name was soon shortened to "motels". For a time, the intersection of Route 66 and Route 71 in Carthage, Missouri saw a stream of cross-country traffic and became known as the "Crossroads of America". In 1939 The Boots Court Motel opened for business at the crossroads and had notable guests such as Gene Autry, Mickey Mantle and Clark Gable. Today the motel has five rooms open to the public. While there are no televisions, each room has a radio tuned to 1940s music.
Help stop crime...drive a stick!
Watch this amazing story about a couple of Corvette theives who didn't plan ahead.