Chevrolet knows their clientele, and with the 1996 Corvette Collector's Edition LT4, the automaker put together a special package that would entice hard-core 'Vette fans with a unique tribute to the outgoing C4 model. The $1250 option brought unique Sebring Silver Metallic paint, 5-spoke wheels, and, of course, special badges and embroidery that left no secret about what it was. 5412 Corvette fans ultimately stepped up to the plate and took one home, making it a unique, low-production commemorative Corvette with a fantastic, timeless look. With a powerful 350 LT4 V8 engine, a quick-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox, and only 50K actual miles on the clock, this low-mileage sports coupe is a heck of a find – all for the price of a used Honda.
This particular LT4/6-speed Collector's Edition coupe shows exactly 50,233 original miles, and is one of those rare C4 Corvettes that hasn't been modified or abused. Although it technically has had two owners since new, the individual that owns it now purchased it in late-1996, and in those very careful and conscientious 27-years he averaged less than 1900 miles a year. And that exemplary care and wonderful preservation shines through everywhere you look. The lovely Sebring Silver paint job on the Collector's Edition stands out with its subtlety, especially next to the more flamboyant Grand Sport. It gives the slinky 'Vette a very sophisticated look, and by 1996, build quality was among the best in the GM stables. Always a cherished collector's item and weekend cruiser, it has been immaculately maintained from new, and since it was purchased it has always been garage kept and routinely serviced and never raced or abused. Paint is about what you got in 1996 and shows incredibly well; it's especially important for preservation classes, for which Corvette clubs are famous. Other than a few light swirl marks on the hood from car washes and some surface water/acid rain spots on the targa top, all of which could easily be remedied with a buff-and-wax, the finish is in excellent shape. You'd never guess it was almost 30 years old, and whether you want to show or go, it's going to impress at any venue. The special badging doesn't make a big fuss about being a special edition, but Corvette guys in the know can spot one of these a mile away. It looks great from any angle but doesn't advertise that it was the fastest 'Vette you could buy in 1996, which is exactly why the design has ages so gracefully.
You could get black, red, or light gray upholstery with your Collector's Edition, and in our opinion, there's nothing more handsome than black leather in a silver sports car. Seating surfaces remain in excellent shape, with the driver's seat perhaps showing only the most minor signs of use (minor 'gentle wrinkles' in the leather), and the high-end perforated leather hide, the dramatic stitching, and special 'Collector Edition' embroidery remains its strongest visual statement. All Corvettes came loaded with standard equipment, but this one also features the Preferred Equipment Group #1, which includes electronic A/C that blows cold, a six-way power driver's seat, and a Delco/Bose AM/FM/Cassette stereo system. It's all functioning as you'd expect from a car whose reliability is legendary and which has been properly maintained. The carpets and door panels look great, and because this Corvette has both removable tops, open-air cruising is only a few calisthenics away. The rear hatch area is incredibly plush and clean as well, showing no signs of age or fading: an impressive feat in a black interior with a fish bowl rear window.
The Collector's Edition received the upgraded LT4 powerplant available in the Grand Sport, and with 330 horsepower on tap, performance is explosive. Paired with the slick-shifting ZF 6-speed manual transmission (which was the only transmission available with the LT4), it remains a superlative highway cruiser and slices through rush-hour traffic like a scalpel. It's also notoriously easy to modify, so finding one that hasn't been hopped up (and by association, raced or abused) can be a challenge. Other than the ubiquitous K&N cold-air intake system (the original system is available with the sale), this one is stock everywhere you look, and GM engineers went the extra mile to make the LT4 look pretty under that big clamshell hood, with the red intake manifold setting the LT4 apart from the garden-variety LT1. The chassis is equally clean, with original components throughout, and it has always been serviced, so all the little things work like they should. Handsome 17-inch A-mold 5-spoke wheels were part of the package, and these unblemished beauties wear 275/40/17 Goodyear performance radials with plenty of grip.
Complete with original manuals, the original window sticker, car cover, and a stack of maintenance receipts, this is the Collector's Edition for the serious Corvette collector. Call today!
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