Saturday, December 31, 2011

Livermore Street Sighting - 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

It's time to have a look at another car spotted near a car show, this time a modern classic: a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. I don't normally photograph C4 generation Corvettes in depth, but the Grand Sport special edition stands out from the rest. By 1996 the C4 body shell was getting very long in the tooth despite all the facelifting done over twelve years of production. Chevy chose to wind down the final model year of the C4 with this blue bullet, of which only 1000 copies were built. It came with the optional 330 hp LT4 V8 and a six-speed manual transmission.

Visually, the Grand Sport is not everyone's cup of tea, with a bold white "skunk" stripe, black rims and a pair of red fender accent stripes that Dodge has recently seen fit to copy. The whole package was inspired by the original Grand Sport race cars of the early 1960s. Love it or hate it, I suppose one makes a statement by driving it. It's a far cry from the 2010-2011 Corvette Grand Sport, which incorporates some of the body modifications of the Z06 without all of the Z06's performance upgrades (granted, it does make 430 hp which should be enough for most people). The new one has similar (optional) fender stripes and special dark-colored wheels, but to be honest the new car does nothing for me. I drove one several months ago and it didn't stir my soul the way I imagined a Corvette would. If only GM's Main Street In Motion high-performance course had been longer, maybe I would have enjoyed the car more...
If you're looking for a sporty C4 Corvette, a '96 Grand Sport might fit the bill. If speed and subtlety are what you want, though, look for a 1990-95 ZR1. It looks just like a regular 'Vette, but makes over 400 hp and will top 180 mph.

1 comment:

  1. NICE! Absolutely my favorite C4 this side of a ZR1. Great find!