No Reserve: 1996 Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition

In 1996 history repeated itself, with Chevrolet choosing to allow the C4 Corvette to bow out in a similar fashion to the C3, with a Collector Edition. As with the previous Collector Edition, Chevrolet didn’t place a cap on build totals, so this version once again accounted for more than 25% of total Corvette sales for that model year. This one is a tidy driver-quality vehicle that could make a straightforward project car. It is located in Miami, Florida, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $4,950 in what is a No Reserve auction.

If you wanted to buy a new Collector Edition in 1996, you could order it finished in Sebring Silver, or…that was it, actually. Also standard fare was the 5-spoke alloy wheels, as fitted to this car. The paint on the Corvette is in reasonable condition, but as is the case so often with silver paint of this era, it has begun to lose its original gloss. If left as it is, the paint will eventually develop a fairly matte look about it. A repaint would make an enormous difference, and given the condition of areas such as the door closes and under the hood, a simple exterior refinish would have the car presenting quite nicely. One interesting addition to this particular car is the fitment of a Greenwood Corvette body kit. It certainly provides the car with a more aggressive stance. The soft-top appears to be in quite decent condition, and there doesn’t appear to be any reason why the car couldn’t be driven and enjoyed as it currently stands.

The interior condition of the Corvette is tidy, but not spectacular. Once again, it is of good driver quality and has no immediate needs. One area that surprises me is the condition of the carpet on the ultra-wide door sills. This is one of the most prone areas of the interior when it comes to scuffing, dirt, and other damage. The carpet in this car actually looks to be quite reasonable. It will require replacement at some point, but it is acceptable at present. The leather upholstery on the seats of this version is not as over the top as in the 1982 Collector Edition, and with this car, the leather still appears to be soft and supple. It does appear that the seat foam might be deteriorating, and this is giving the seats a slightly “baggy” look in places. There are a couple of small plastic pieces that are showing damage, but all up, it actually isn’t that bad. The Corvette is fitted with air conditioning, and while it does blow cold, the owner suggests that it might require re-gassing. Other luxury items include power operation for the windows, locks, and seats, along with cruise control, dual airbags, a tilt wheel, and the optional AM/FM radio/cassette/CD player.

It’s amazing what a difference a few years can make when it comes to automotive development. The previous version of the Collector Edition (1982), had to make do with a paltry 200hp from its 350ci V8 to propel it. By 1996, things had taken a significant turn for the better. The LT1, 350ci V8 now punched out 300hp, and the impact on performance was quite profound. This Collector Edition should be capable of sprinting from 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds, while the ¼ mile could be knocked over in 14.2 seconds. This is head-and-shoulders better than things had been back in 1982, and was as good an indication as any that American manufacturers were really learning how to get on top of the emission laws which had crippled them through the 1970s and 1980s. Backing the 350 in this car is a 4-speed automatic transmission, while the car features 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes as standard. The owner says that the Corvette runs and drives really well and that both the engine and transmission feel strong.

With 5,412 cars produced, the 1996 Corvette Collector Edition was not a particularly rare car. What this one has in its favor is the fact that it is a Convertible, because Convertible production only amounted to 1,381 cars. This one isn’t perfect, but it is a tidy example that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. After all, isn’t that what owning a classic car is all about?


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  1. Steve R

    The ground effects and rear wing ruin the lines of the car.

    Steve R

    Like 18
    • Frank Sumatra

      On the bright side, it can all be removed.

      Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      The body kit looks like something you’d get at Pep Boys. Greenwood or not, I’d delete that.

      Like 5
  2. Stangalang

    To me the ground effects give it a bit of a calloway look…just no monster engine

  3. CanuckCarGuy

    The body kit looks nasty IMHO…the C4, convertible especially, has the the look of speed even at rest…a sleek, projectile-like appearance. The body kit screams gold chains and mullet…belongs on a T/A Macho, not a Vette.

    Like 10
  4. Eric

    Body kit cheapens the look of the car, but then again, it was the mid 90s so it is period correct! 4-5K not bad

    Like 1
  5. matt steele

    Well not to best looking vette…but it is a vette and it has 300hp…and somebody with limited funds will be happy with it..I’d take it but my funds are limited much more than my responsibilities. To who ever buys it ..have fun with it

    Like 5

    eBay ad mileage says 65872 but the text says “Car has 100k miles on the car, the bcm (body control module) was changed because the computer was bad. ” A little disingenuous by the poster IMHO.

    Like 3
  7. grant

    The body kit looks like Pontiac got ahold of it. Pass.

    Like 1
  8. Michael

    OH my goodness, I have never seen so many cry babies whinning about the body of a car!!! Waa Waa. Need your diapers changed, ZESH!!!. Seriously!

    Like 3
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I have to admit I’m not a big proponent of the body kits, but of those I’ve seen the Greenwood is one of the better ones. Mileage I suspect if actually over 100K as I think the mileage is stored in the computer and this one says that’s been replaced.
    Parts can be a challenge like any 20+ year old car but they are out there if you look. Being a convertible it’s nice to have some air time with the top down on those nice summer nights.
    For someone wanting a C4, this one looks like a decent value for short $$. I enjoy the heck out of mine and I’m sure whoever goes home with this one will also.

    Like 3
  10. JoeNYWF64

    Oddly, the torque is about the same as a ’78 t/a 6.6 with much lower compression & that had a very restrictive converter & single exhaust, & carburetor. This vette beats it cause of lighter weight (including no 5 mph bumpers), roller cam(less friction), & extra gear in trans(which allows a more aggressive rear end).
    Factory seats kinda look almost aftermarket IMO.
    I assume the steering wheel is in good shape under that cover.
    With this architecture going back to ’84 – can i assume build quailty was still not that great in its last year? – looking at the ebay pics, compare the 2 popup headlite cover gaps, & the front tilt up hood where it meets the bumper(especially on the driver’s side).
    Not sure if this car has obd1 or obd2.

    • Frank Sumatra

      340 lb-ft of torque for the Corvette. Build quality much better than earlier C4’s. Extra gear in the automatic? OBD2.

      Like 1
      • JoeNYWF64

        The ’78 t/a came with only a 3 speed automatic or 4 speed manual. Overdrive not available.
        The ’78 honda accord came with a 2 speed automatic!

  11. Luckystrike1

    The side effects and back spoilers takes the beauty away from the car

    Like 1
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Vehicle Title: Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed

    That fact, together with the mileage discrepancy, means that the car is already at the top of it’s price range. It’s a chancy buy.

    Like 2
  13. Andrew Franks

    It is a chancy buy. If you do it, get rid of the body kit, give it what it needs and hopefully it will be enjoyable. Call the Seller and ask what he/she wants for the car. If the Seller is on another Planet in terms of price, Pass.

  14. ChevyTruckGuy

    I love Corvettes, but this old girl is a TURD, in a ground effects wrapper. Run, don’t walk away!

    Like 1

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