Stick Shift: 1984 Chevrolet C4 Corvette 48K – Sold?

by | Dec 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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January 13, 2024, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

American car enthusiasts, when they were in their late teens or early twenties, likely remember the launch of a significant car during that time in their lives.  For me, it was the launch of the 1984 Corvette when I was just a nineteen-year-old college student.  I grew up watching Chevrolet update the C3 Corvette over a sixteen-year production run, so the launch of the 1984 C4 was indeed a big deal. The C4’s designers did a masterful job making a modern-day car that was still immediately recognizable as a Corvette.  The race-inspired front-opening clamshell hood exposes the car’s V8 and the front suspension is still cool, at least for me, to look at.

Unlike Corvettes preceding it, you climb into and sit in a C4 Corvette; earlier versions feel more like you’re sitting on top of the car.  In 1984, the Corvette’s digital dashboard was downright exotic.  To this day, I remember being enchanted and inspecting every nook and cranny of the 1984 Corvettes on display at the local county fair in August of 1983. At the time, the low $20s sticker prices may as well have been a million dollars for this nineteen-year-old college student.  The C4 Corvette inspired me to work hard through college as I aspired to own one someday.

Yet, despite all of its technological advances and the fact it’s simply a better car than the C3 it replaced, the early C4 (1984-1986) Corvettes remain the entry-level ‘Vette.  Finding a low-mileage survivor for under ten thousand dollars is still quite common. Why is that? The digital dashboard did not age well stylist-wise, as purists didn’t like the video game-like information presentation.  The fact you sit in between the frame rails in a C4 requires occupants to first climb into the car before the highly bolstered seats hug you into place.

Another factor is the bad reputation GM’s Cross-Fire fuel injection system received.  Nick-named “Cease-Fire” by many Chevy enthusiasts, the system received a bad rap in the early 1980s.  At the time, both professional and shade tree mechanics alike understood carburetors.  Computer-controlled fuel injection was an exotic technology at the time.  By today’s standards, the CrossFire injection system is nothing more than a system of about a dozen sensors requiring the right sequence of mechanical adjustments. Finally, the Doug Nash supplied “4+3” manual transmission frustrated drivers. However, there are retrofit kits that prevent the overdrive from automatically kicking.  I challenge anyone considering buying a vintage Corvette to drive a C3 first. Then go and drive a C4.  The C4 Corvette is a better car than the C3 it replaced. With prices of early 1980s C3 Corvettes regularly hovering above $15K, the C4 Corvette might be a bit more bland styling-wise, but chances are good you’ll enjoy driving the car more.

Most of all, though, is basic supply and demand. With 51,547 coupes sold during what turned out to be an eighteen-month production year (there was no 1983 Corvette; the ’84 came out in the Spring of ’83), the 1984 C4 was the second most sold Corvette in GM history.

This Silver over Charcoal Leather 1984 Chevrolet Corvette For Sale, last spotted on Craigslist near Annapolis, Maryland, in December 2023, is a 48K mile, survivor-quality example featuring the rare “4+3” manual transmission. Of the 51,547 coupes made in 1984, only 6,443 (12%) came equipped with a manual transmission.  The pictures present what appears to be a well-cared for example in a color combination that has aged nicely. With the seller asking only six large, the chances are very good you can enjoy this car for several years and then be able to sell it for at least what you paid for it.

Last offered for $6,200, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the low end of this guide’s six-month results for all 1984 Chevrolet Corvettes.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is one hundred dollars less than this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $6,300 before adding a five percent premium for the four-speed manual transmission.

The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette marked a significant milestone in the history of America’s iconic sports car. As the first year of the C4 generation, this Corvette brought about a radical departure from its predecessors, incorporating cutting-edge technology and design elements that set it apart in the automotive landscape of the time.

Underpinning the 1984 Corvette was a completely new platform featuring a unitized, all-independent suspension. This departure from the traditional body-on-frame construction of earlier models resulted in a more rigid and lightweight structure, enhancing both the car’s handling capabilities and overall performance. The chassis was designed with aerodynamics in mind, with a sleek and futuristic exterior that contributed to improved fuel efficiency and stability at higher speeds.

One of the most significant advancements in the 1984 Corvette was the introduction of the crossfire fuel injection system. This was a twin throttle-body setup that aimed to improve fuel delivery and combustion efficiency. The system utilized two throttle bodies mounted on top of the intake manifold, each feeding fuel to its respective bank of cylinders. This technology was considered innovative for its time, offering improved throttle response and fuel atomization compared to traditional carbureted systems.

Powering the 1984 Corvette was the venerable 5.7-liter (350 cubic inches) L83 V8 engine. This powerplant was capable of producing 205 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, providing the car with respectable acceleration and a top speed in the neighborhood of 140 mph. The engine was mated to a newly introduced 4+3 manual transmission, a unique feature that incorporated a four-speed manual gearbox with automatic overdrive in the top three gears. This configuration allowed for spirited driving while maintaining fuel efficiency during highway cruising.

In terms of design, the 1984 Corvette featured a striking and aerodynamic body that reflected the design trends of the 1980s. The sleek, low-profile exterior was characterized by pop-up headlights, a feature that had become synonymous with the Corvette brand. The car’s long hood and short rear deck accentuated its sporty proportions, and the wraparound glass hatch at the rear added a touch of modernity to the overall aesthetic. The innovative design was visually appealing and contributed to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency, reducing drag and enhancing stability.

Inside the cockpit, the 1984 Corvette showcased a driver-centric layout with a digital instrument cluster ahead of its time. The digital display included a speedometer, tachometer, and various other gauges, providing the driver with essential information in a futuristic and high-tech manner. The ergonomically designed interior featured comfortable bucket seats and the driver-oriented center console housed the controls for the air conditioning, audio system, and other convenience features.

The 1984 Corvette was equipped with advanced technology for its era, including a fully independent suspension system that significantly improved ride and handling. Four-wheel disc brakes provided reliable stopping power, and the combination of power steering and a tight turning radius made the car maneuverable and responsive. These features contributed to the Corvette’s reputation as a well-balanced sports car suitable for both spirited driving and long-distance cruising.

The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette represented a bold leap into the future for America’s sports car. With its advanced engineering, innovative features, and striking design, the C4 generation Corvette laid the foundation for the following modern iterations. The 1984 model, in particular, stands out as a symbol of technological progress and a testament to Chevrolet’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive performance and design.

The MotorWeek Retro Review features this Corvette-focused special episode when the C4 launched for the 1984 model year:

 

This 48K Silver 1984 Chevrolet Corvette 4-Speed for sale represents one of the most economical ways of getting into ‘Vette ownership.  For those so inclined, this could be a fun winter project to get the car highly detailed over the winter in time for the 2024 car show season.  That also gives buyers time to retrofit this C4’s non-working air conditioning system.

If you are serious about buying this C4 Corvtte survivor, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Chevrolet sports car featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling my 84 Corvette. I bought it with 30k miles, and it has been remarkably reliable since I’ve owned it—newer pads, rotors, shocks, and a retro sound stereo system w/aux. I still have the original Bose head unit that works fine, too. The headliner was recently replaced.

 

Everything works except the A/C (it has the old-style system and hasn’t been switched over). Otherwise, it’s turn-key and ready to go.

Call or text me for more info or to schedule a visit. Thanks!

Show or go: What would you do with this silver 1984 Chevrolet Corvette for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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