Thursday, June 27, 2013

10k: C4+3: 1986 Chevrolet Corvette C4 4+3speed

The C4 Corvette was first introduced in 1984 as the future of Corvette styling.  It eschewed the traditional Vette curves for a sleek and aerodynamic look.  The inside introduced a digital LCD dash display that was going to be the future of motoring.  Ironic that the next generation Corvette, the C5, brought back curvy hips and analogue gauges, leaving the C4 as a bit of an oddity in the Corvette landscape.  Today the C4 is certainly the most affordable of Corvettes in general but don't expect the prices to stay low forever as low mile clean ones are hard to locate.  Find this 1986 Chevrolet Corvette C4 with 4+3speed manual transmission for sale in SF Bay Area, CA for $8,900 via craiglist.  Another tip from Kaibeezy.

The C4 Corvette was designed by Jerry Palmer who had penned the sleek quad-rotor Aerovette a few years prior.  The Aerovette was to be powered by a 420 horsepower melange of rotary powered mid-engine goodness, but was given the red light when the bean counters at GM took a hard look at it.  Mr Palmer proceeded to use many of the styling cues in the next generation Corvette, but front engined and small-block-chevy powered.

 This Corvette is powered by tune-port fuel injected 5.7 liter L98 V8 that puts 230 horsepower into a 4+3speed automatic.  The "Doug Nash 4+3" is a 4-speed manual with a single planetary gearset mounted behind it so that overdrive ratios can be selected in 2nd, 3rd or 4th gears.  It is very similar to the setup Volvo used for years known as the Laycock de Normanville overdrive, but allows the selection of OD in all gears but first.

Whats not to love about a C4 Corvette is that it looks in excellent condition, only has 29k miles on the odometer and is offered for a fair price?  Grow a mullet, buy a 12-pack of wife beater t-shirts and throw out your cell phone because the 80s are back.

See a better 80s time machine? email us here:


  1. The impressive photos and detailed description in the ad really pique my interest. Not. If the seller can't be bothered to put any effort into selling the car, I can't be bother to put any effort into buying it.

  2. On paper, this car has all the factors that make it somewhat collectable: Powerful V8, check, two doors, check, manual transmission, check + 3. It even ought to handle well, you can get parts easily. So why is it a $8000 car with 29K on it? I would bet a 5.0 Mustang of the same vintage and mileage would command several thousand more. Heck, just about anything with 29K on it would get close to the same money. I think we are seeing the invisible, powerful hand of the "gold-chain, waterbed" image at work here, as the author implies. Know what you would get for a Grand National of the same year with 29K? A lot. And that is just a tarted-up Regal with a turbo. The former Chachi champion, the late 70's T/A, seems to have shrugged the curse and it landed squarely on the '80s corvette. I say buy this car as an investment now. It will eventually turn from uncool to kitschy and fashionable.

  3. I agree that low mileage C4s must eventually break the curse, but we're still waiting for the last of the C3s to do it. I honestly think those values are held down by the fact that <100-mile 1978 Pace Cars and Anniversary Editions, as well as 1982 Collector's Editions are a dime a dozen. Did anyone ever drive those(especially the 78s)?

    In the meantime, these represent cheap fun. My brother has an '88 with the 4+3 and it's a torque monster. IMHO, the ZR-1 represents quite a bargain, as well, though at a higher price.

  4. I'm actually impressed that you found an early C4 for OVER $5k.

  5. I actually sort of like the C4 in an 80's nostalgic kind of way, but it's hard to forget the A-Team's Face driving that white C4 with the tacky red stripe. That doesn't help the desirability factor. I'm pretty sure the horrid plastic early C4 interiors don't help market values either.

  6. That old L98 did have a lot of grunt. I had a 91 ZR1 and my buddy had an '86 like the one here with just basic intake, exhaust, chip upgrades. His car was almost as fast as mine around town.

    The biggest problem with these cars was the build quality. Getting in one today is just shocking. The interiors are barely screwed together. Definitely feels like a thousand parts going down the road in loose formation. But the outside looks good and has a lot of go, turn, stop.

  7. Front wheels are installed on wrong side of car


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.