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Cheap Classic: 1984 Chevrolet Corvette With 69k Miles

Raise your hand if you like a bargain. One, two…hmm, that’s all of you! Join the club, because so do I. That brings us to this 1984 Chevrolet Corvette. It presents acceptably for a driver-grade classic, although refreshing its paint wouldn’t be difficult. It’s in excellent mechanical health, but its price could win over many potential buyers. The Corvette is listed here on Craigslist in Piqua, Ohio. It could be yours for $4,600, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L. for spotting this affordable classic.

The C3 Corvette was always going to be a hard act to follow, but Chevrolet did an admirable job when introducing the C4 for the 1984 model year. While each new generation bore little physical resemblance to its predecessor, the C4 carried over enough design cues to make it readily identifiable. This 1984 model presents acceptably in a two-tone combination of Gold and Dark Bronze. The paint holds a reasonable shine but is beginning to develop the patchiness and matte areas typical of metallic paint from this era. The new owner could enjoy the car immediately as a proud survivor, although performing a cosmetic refresh would be straightforward and inexpensive in a home workshop. However, that decision can be considered carefully because the panels and paint have no urgent needs or issues. The plastic and glass have survived well, as have the distinctive aluminum wheels. Those deserve special mention because they are there for more than good looks. Wheel design is a black art, and the efforts of some manufacturers are better than others. Chevrolet hit a home run with the wheels on this Corvette. They look purposeful but are shaped to improve cooling airflow to the four-wheel disc brakes. They represent one of those moments where form and function combine seamlessly.

The Corvette’s interior is pretty tidy, with no problems visible on the carpet, dash, pad, or most upholstered surfaces. However, there is an issue that potential buyers may find insurmountable if they wish to preserve this classic’s originality. The original owner ordered this car with sports seats wrapped in cloth. This shows typical edge wear seen on many heavily contoured seats, and the fabric has worn through in spots. Guess what? It appears that nobody makes replacement sports covers in cloth. The new owner will have no trouble finding leather for around $1,000, but they may need to smile nicely at a skilled upholsterer if they crave originality. One feature that always fascinates me is the digital dash cluster. It must have felt like something out of Return of the Jedi in 1984, and all the new owner needs is a voice in their head saying, “Use the force,” and they’ll feel right at home behind the wheel! The gauges in this car work as they should, adding to the luxurious impression provided by the air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power seats, power mirrors, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt wheel, and AM/FM radio/cassette player.

The venerable 350ci V8 made its way from the C3 to the C4 Corvette, fitted with Cross-Fire Injection as Chevrolet struggled to extract additional performance from an engine hampered by emission regulations. This small-block should produce 205hp and 290 ft/lbs of torque. The power feeds to the rear wheels via the new-for-1984 Doug Nash “4+3” manual transmission. This unit functions as a regular four-speed transmission but with an automatic overdrive operating on the top three ratios. Some owners liked these transmissions, while others didn’t. Leaving this fully operational unit intact would be feasible for those preferring originality. However, swapping in a later six-speed is possible. The seller states that this ‘Vette has a genuine 69,600 miles on the clock but doesn’t mention supporting evidence. It is a turnkey proposition that runs and drives well. Winter hasn’t arrived yet, so hitting the road for some automotive fun before the weather turns nasty is a viable option that many would consider irresistible.

I’m not going to do a hard sell on this 1984 Corvette. It is what it is, which is an original survivor. Its presentation and condition reflect that status, and the price makes it one of the most affordable cars of this type in the current market. It has been on the market for just over a day, and I suspect it will probably find a new home fairly quickly. Are you tempted to make it yours?


  1. 84. Step

    The corvette step child amongst the others.

    I say give it a break and take her home.

    My 83 is better 🥹

    Like 4
  2. Nostromo

    A real conversation starter when checking the oil while getting gas and the front clip tilts forward. This one should not last long.

    Like 3
  3. Tony Primo

    Okay, let me do the math on this. A 4+3 Corvette for $4,600 or a 4 cylinder automatic Pinto for $4,500. You’ve got my money Chevrolet. Nice find again Pat L..

    Like 14
  4. Keith

    Yes it will be mine if still available

    Like 7
  5. Maggy

    My buddy had a early 80’s Camaro with cross fire injection and all it had was driveability problems.Tuned port injection is so much better. Why do you think Chevrolet only used it for I believe 2 years 83 and 84. These cars are going cheap I’d spend a few more $ and look for a later model one imo.

    Like 2
    • Rocco B.

      The money that you are saving on this car will easily pay for an aluminum intake manifold and a four barrel carburetor.

      Like 5
    • Bick Banter

      Yes, the Ceasefire Fuel Injection system should probably be replaced if you want any additional power. You could go with a 4-bbl, or a more modern EFI system. Personally, I’d do the latter.

      Like 6
  6. ccrvtt

    Kudos to the seller who actually took the time to CLEAN the car before they took pictures. And then they took a LOT of pictures.

    C4s, like all Corvettes, got better with each subsequent model year. 1984 was a fairly revolutionary design, inside and out, and it took a while for it to become more refined. And powerful. I loved my ’95 and its 300hp was noticeably quicker than the 1989 I drove.

    But that’s not taking anything away from this car. The seller has kept it up and it sounds like a turn key deal at a very reasonable price. Corvettes are a value proposition and you couldn’t get much more bang for the buck than this one.

    Like 10
  7. Bick Banter

    At this price could be a fun project for someone, so long as you’re not expecting a mid-cap value stock fund type of return. As to the digital dash, the Corvette dash was interesting but those were all the rage by 1984. If anything, they were getting overplayed. The Camaro got one this year as well (that weird starship thing in the Berlinetta). The Cavalier got one shortly thereafter (I believe in ’85).

    Like 4
    • 67Firebird_Cvt 67Firebird_Cvt Member

      I had an early Z24 with digital dash. I think I went thru 3 dashes before I sold it.

      Like 2
  8. Jerry Johnson

    I believe the 84′ Corvette is the worst year made. The digital dash is very unreliable. They would go out often and cost a fortune to replace. I had a friend who had one new and after many mechanical issues, a replacement dash after two years, got rid of it. You may buy it at a good price, but it will cost you to keep it.

    Like 2
  9. Truck Officer

    Can it corner. Yup.
    Ride like a 1960 Cornbinder one ton pickup? Yup.

    Like 5
  10. Frank Sumatra

    “I’m not going to do a hard sell on this 1984 Corvette.”

    Good news as your job is to write about them, not sell them.

    Also good news here for entry-level buyers. This is a fair price, but you may want to leave a few bucks in your pocket just in case. At this point in the life of an 1984 Corvette, there is no point in fretting over stuff like the dashboard, CrossFire, 4+3 or Z-51 suspension. Buy it right, drive it for the rest of the season based on where you live and think about your battle plan over the winter. A reference point- I sold my 1985 black over graphite leather, Z-51, 4+3 on this very site about four years ago for $4700.00. The paint was in better shape, but mine was pretty much in the same condition. They are still fun to drive due to the torque produced by the L-83. Good luck Keith!

    Like 8
  11. PRA4SNW

    I’ve gotta say that I think this is the first Corvette of any year that I’ve seen cloth seats from the factory.

    I didn’t even know it was possible. I wonder which years they offered it. Not surprised that replacements are unobtanium – thanks for mentioning that, Adam.

    Like 5
    • ruxvette

      My ’89 convertible had cloth seats and I loved them…no hot leather with the top down. Cloth seats were actually standard through 1993.
      $4600? If it was closer I’d be a player.

      Like 3
    • jwzg

      The ONLY 1983 Corvette is in the Corvette museum in Bowling Green is white with a blue-cloth interior.

      Like 5
      • jwzg

        Only one I know of…

        Like 1
  12. MichiganDoug

    They used to make a simple wiring harness adapter

    to defeat the +3. Made them much better drivers.

    Like 3
    • Jim in FL

      Doug, are you saying it disabled the overdrive? Or did the adapter do something else? You can always use the button to leave the overdrive disengaged when you’re tooling around town. On the highway i can pull 20 mpg at 80 all day with the overdrive engaged. I wouldn’t want it gone altogether.

      I’ve put about 40k miles on my 87 convertible over 3.5 years. My advice to anyone buying a 4+3 car is to immediately change the fluid and filter in the overdrive unit and plan on doing it once a year. Sometimes the kits are out of stock so have one on hand. That seems to be the key to longevity. If it ever comes down to needing a rebuild, you’re better off swapping in a 6 speed from a later c4.

      Like 1
  13. Keith S

    I retired from GM Corvette plant. The 83 & 84 we thought were so weak & such a nightmare for the owners/dealers. The Corvette plant actually assigned some repairmen to fly to different dealerships to show them how to fix items on them. They were hard to get in & even harder to get out of. Probably our worse two years of the Corvette production.

    Like 3
    • PRA4SNW

      Keith S: Curious on how many ’83 Corvettes you built.

      Like 5
      • Frank Sumatra

        “According to Dave McLellan, a total of 61 serial numbered ’83 Corvettes were built. Of these, 18 were “prototypes” and the other 43 were “pilot-line” cars. The 43 pilot-line cars that were built were of course never released for public purchase, and never made it into the hands of any owners.”

        Source is Motor Trend

        Like 3
      • PRA4SNW

        Frank, Have any survived? Typically a couple prototypes/pilots slip through the cracks and end up in private hands.

        Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        PRA4SNW- Always a great question with GM and their treatment of early cars. Some folks still search for 1953 Corvettes 001 and 002 as they were said to be destroyed after testing but no images or records were found. As noted elsewhere in this thread, the only surviving ‘1983″ is in the museum at Bowling Green. Maybe yes, maybe no. The truth is out there.

        Like 2
      • PRA4SNW

        Thanks Frank. I will have to go search for an image of the one at the Museum. It will be interesting to see how much they changed when they came out with the ’84.

        Like 0
      • PRA4SNW

        The 1983 looks just like the 1984 – not many tweaks if any were made.

        I grabbed this from one of the articles:
        “The biggest reason why no model-year 1983 Corvettes were sold has to do with the state of California, which changed its emissions requirements before C4 production began. GM decided to skip 1983 altogether. The first new C4 Corvettes were all early 1984 models.”

        One thing I saw was an analog instrument cluster they were testing just in case the new style cluster wasn’t ready yet. They wanted the new look to go with the new styling but were afraid it would not test and be ready in time. The analog package looked good to me, but the engineers thought it was “boring” looking.

        Like 1
  14. TomD

    Good candidate for an LS and trans swap. The ’84s are the least desirable of the C4s so restoring it to original condition is not going to be worth the effort.

    Like 2
  15. PGOCON

    There’s nothing wrong with spending $4600 on a piece of history. Certainly not the best C3 to own but it’s a part of automobile collectables. The Corvette is probably the only car that no matter what year you have, you have a true collectable.

    Like 2
    • Ruxvette

      Probably not the best C3 to own cuz it’s a C4.

      Like 0
      • Patrick O'Connor

        I realized that after I posted it and couldn’t correct it. But the post stands true still no matter what Corvette era you own.

        Like 0
  16. 86_Vette_Convertible

    This is a car that someone could buy, drive a couple of years and eventually sell it for what they bought it for. I know it’s a CrossFire engine, but that was used for a few years on Camaros for one so it’s not an unknown. I’ve not owned one but I’ve read a lot of negatives on them. Don’t like the the Crossfire then get a Holly Sniper and be done with it.

    Like 2
    • jwzg

      The biggest issues with the Cross Fire setup were a) the throttle shafts tended to wear along b) the gasket surfaces were too thin and c) fuel pressure. There is really not that much else different from the Cross Fire setup to a single TBI on a standard manifold. With careful assembly and maintenance, these units are as reliable as any other fuel injection at the time. You have to admit though that the cease-fire injection trope is still funny to this day.

      Like 0
  17. JoeNYWF64

    Are the digital gages ez to see in the bright sun?
    I would think cloth seats in a vette ’84 & newer are quite rare – good choice tho – they seem more durable than leather & are cooler in summer & warmer in winter.
    I’m guessing a/c was std on all ’84 & newer vettes – never seen 1 w/o a/c.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      I think the standard a/c started in 1980.

      Like 0

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