2,938 Actual Mile Corvette Roadster L98 350 V8 4 Speed
Classic red, top down; that's when a Corvette is best for cruising. Sure, the hardcore guys take their Z51-suspended coupes to the track, but for attacking your favorite road there's nothing finer for doing it than a convertible. Wind in your hair, V8 rumble under the hood and traction all over the place, this car has it in all. Near mint with a mere 2,938 miles in its lifetime, this Corvette has that factory-fresh feel to it, 25 years later!
Purchased new at Cramer Motors in North East, PA, the ORIGINAL bill of sale and window sticker list the following options:
AG9 Six way power seat
AQ9 Graphite leather adjustable sport bucket seats
AU3 Power door locks
K34 Cruise control
UU8 Delco/Bose cassette stereo
The bill of sale also shows interior and exterior protection packages by Rusty Jones, bringing the out-the-door price to $35,508 - a not-insignificant amount for the time! We also have the original owner's manual and all of the original key code punch outs cool stuff!
Approach this car from any angle and you can't help but smile. The code 74U Dark Red Metallic paint glows like new and the black top is perfect. Kick the tires, but watch the wheels there isn't an inch of curb rash to be found! Those tires happen to be the ORIGINAL units the car left Bowling Green with! Every light works, the headlight motors run smoothly and all lenses and glass are clear without cracks or hazing. Sure, you'll spend your time inside but you know its fun to have people stare at you when you're tooling around!
The convertible was announced just in time to be chosen as pace car for that year's Indy 500, with test pilot General Chuck Yeager slated to drive. It doesn't get much more American than that! In total, Chevrolet crafted 7,315 convertibles, and labeled them all Pace Car replicas, regardless of options chosen or color selected. This was the first street legal car since the '78 Corvette to pace Indy the interim gas crunch cars couldn't keep up without prototype engines and suspensions! You'll notice no decals are applied to this car, though. There's an order on the bill of sale to make sure they never put them on!
Chevrolet stated that the C4 had been designed with a topless model in mind, so the transformation from coupe to convertible was straightforward. With an eye to preserving torsional stiffness in the absence of a fixed roof, reinforcement was applied to the frame cross-member ahead of the engine; larger K-shape braces were used to connect the under-engine member to the frame rails; and X-braces were added to tie door-hinge pillars to the rear chassis torque boxes. Cowl structure, including the steering column, its mounts, and the dashboard-mounting beam, were all strengthened, as was the front torque box. Engineered with help from American Sunroof Company, they were built alongside the coupes in Bowling Green instead of being farmed out for conversion like virtually every other open top car on the market. The result was a new drop-top Corvette that weighed only around 50 pounds more than the coupe and actually proved stiffer.
The view under the hood is more 1986 than We Are the World. Sure, the battery and oil aren't Regan-era issue items, but everything else is! Heck, check the date codes on the spark plug wires to be sure! Topped with its Tuned Port Injection system the L98 350ci engine pumps out 235hp and 335lb./ft. of torque and teams with a 4+3 Doug Nash manual transmission for quick getaways. There aren't any modifications under here, either, which can wreck a car's resale value. You'll also see the stone-stock front suspension, too. This is a low mileage investment car which has been treated with respect from day one!
There were quite a few nice changes for 1986, headlined by the introduction of ABS. While available on just about everything with wheels (including some motorcycles,) ABS was in its infancy and available on all but the most expensive luxury cars. A state-of-the-art Bosch II system was selected to manage the carryover hardware, which worked quite well unassisted. A switch from cast-iron to aluminum cylinder heads plus careful weight savings elsewhere resulted in a 125 pound loss, making it the first Corvette in 19 years to weigh less than 3,000 pounds and upping the rated output by five horsepower. The exhaust system was also revised, taking on triple catalytic converters. Also new was the Pass-Key theft deterrent system, which embedded a resistor pellet into the body of the ignition key. More than seven in 100 '85 Corvettes were stolen, while the '86 model theft rate dropped below a single percent! It was enough to prompt the Michigan AAA and other insurers to reduce their comprehensive premium rates for Corvettes by more than 20 percent! A center high-mounted stop lamp and an upshift indicator light pacified federal regulators. Fuel capacity on automatic cars dropped their fuel capacities from 20 gallons to 18 to maintain the same brisk acceleration as their manual transmission counterparts.
Sit inside and take in the condition. Sport seats became standard in '86, but the leather (finished in beautiful Graphite here) was still an option. The digital dash shines as new. The upgraded Delco-Bose cassette sound system rocks. The dash and door panels show no discoloration or deformation, confirming ideal storage conditions. The original decal box with pace car decals is in here, too, new from 1986 and never applied. An official Indy 500 emblem on the dash adds to the affair. You'll find NO marks at all in here!
It seems odd now to talk about a period of time when you couldn't get a convertible. In its day, though, this was a groundbreaking car; an open top cruiser with more rigidity than the closed version! Forget about loose and springy suspensions and annoying creaks and rattles. Drop the top, find an open road, and forget your worries! Better yet, 100% original, fully documented and with only 2,938 original miles on the clock, this Corvette's value curve will be on the uptick for the next few generations. This is a Corvette to buy and enjoy for the long haul!