Pick of the Day: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette from the C4’s final year

The Collector Edition convertible represents the most-advanced rendition of this popular generation

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The Collector Edition celebrates the last year of the 4th-generation Corvette

The Chevy Corvette has been an American icon for 67 years now, and it’s as much a part of U.S. history any other automobile.  At a time when patriotism is running high and history is celebrated, it seems fitting that a Corvette should get the spotlight. 

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition convertible advertised on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Lakeway, Texas.  While the nomenclature “Collector Edition” would imply limited production volume, in this case there were 5,000 such models produced, which meant this Corvette was never exactly rare. 

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What makes this Vette special, though, is the fact that it (along with a similarly equipped Grand Sport version) represented a salute to the last year of the popular C4 models that had been produced since 1984.  The C5 came out in 1997 with a full redesign. 

Manual transmission 1996 Corvette Collector Editions were powered by the 330-horsepower LT4 V8, which was an upgrade from the 300-horsepower LT1 found in automatic versions, such as this one.  Other specific Collector Edition features were the Sebring Silver exterior paint, 17-inch 5-spoke silver aluminum wheels, chrome emblems and perforated sport seats with Collector Edition embroidery.  As equipped, this Corvette reached a price tag in the mid-$40,000s, which was a lot of money then (and still is today).

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The Corvette has only 42,000 miles on its odometer, and it comes with service records back to the original owner.  The seller states that it “handles and drives like new.”  The mechanical and cosmetic condition have been kept up, and the tires were just replaced earlier this year. 

The seller notes that the leather interior shows some wear but otherwise the car “needs nothing but a new owner to drive and pamper her.” 

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When the C4 originally debuted in 1983 for the 1984 model year, it was among the most-advanced cars for its time, including such things as a liquid crystal display in the instrument cluster.  The model went through a series of engineering and performance enhancements over its 12-year run, and this 1996 Collector Edition represents the best of the best from that generation. 

Of the 21,000 Corvettes sold that year, this could be one of the most-well-kept and lowest-mileage examples on the road. 


The seller is asking $13,900 or best offer for this sporty piece of Americana.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sorry, but there are errors in your description of this car. First of all, it is not correct that all 96 Collector Edition Corvettes have the LT4 engine. Most actually have the LT1. This one definitely has the LT1, as is evident by the 6000 rpm tach and the automatic transmission. It it had the “optional” LT4 engine, it can only have the 6 speed manual.

  2. Why does the car shown in the photos feature an automatic transmission? Is this a case of “Pay no attention to the ‘Vette behind the curtain? LOL I’m going to give your website and the seller the benefit of the doubt and say it is not “bait and switch”.

  3. Credibility is built upon accuracy and attention to detail. The dealer listing clearly spells transmission as a-u-t-o-m-a-t-I-c. The GM engineers are always under a lot of cost pressure, but that was not the reason Chevy installed only two pedals.

  4. This is for sure an LT1 due to the fact it has the 4 speed automatic transmission and the tachometer only goes to 6k. I own a CE coupe with the LT4 engine and 6 speed and rare torch red interior. The above car with the more common black interior and LT1 is a $12000 car.

  5. To the 6 of you who called me out on the same error, it’s duly noted and pending correction. And 100% my miss. Thanks for reading, and sorry for any confusion. Part of the fun of writing these each week is learning about these cars, and I’ve just learned how much a C4 automatic transmission shift knob resembles a stick shift from certain angles.

  6. Mr. H, I think all the auto/manual LT 1/4 nitpickers missed the most glaring misstatement in an otherwise enjoyable article.
    This is a nice poseur ‘Vette. Gramps or Gramma would sport it proudly. The “best of the best” from the C4 generation is, and always was the Mercury Marine engined 6spd ZR1. Period. A supercar then, a d*** good bargain and rippin’ good car now.
    For all y’all that missed this omission while fussing about the tranny- Bazinga!
    Do you check ‘Vette history; you’ll see. Better, drive one. C4 ZR1 can stand up to alot of modern iron at 1/4 the cost… and you can get it serviced at your local Chevy dealer.

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