Sibling Inheritance: 1984 Chevy Corvette

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

This 1984 Corvette is equipped with the L83 V8, and a minty interior in a rare-ish color, according to the seller. He inherited the car from his deceased brother’s estate and has made a variety of improvements to render it a reliable, daily-driver friendly classic. It’s listed here on eBay with one bid to $5K and no reserve listed. 

Pictures aren’t the greatest, but what we can see does look like a nicely preserved example despite average mileage of 59,068. The seller claims it has been garaged since new, and that he continued this tradition after receiving the car following his brother’s passing. He mentions the L83 as having “230-350 b.h.p.” but I can’t find any evidence to back that up; it looks like 205 b.h.p. with 290 lb.-ft. of torque supplemented by Cross-Fire fuel injection.

The seller refers to the interior as being “smoke gray” but this official 1984 color chart  points to a more logical assumption, which is that it’s either “Gray” or “Graphite” leather. However, I’m happy to be proven wrong if you feel otherwise. The interior presents fairly well, with just some creases in the seats and light soiling of the carpet to remind you this C4 has near 60,000 miles on the clock. The automatic’s a bummer but manuals are hard to come by.

The seller has been busy under the hood and around the chassis, making a variety of basic improvements that include the following: new heavy duty shocks all around, new serpentine belt, new right-hand side valve cover gasket, fresh fluids, new spark plugs, recent alignment and new OEM rear “Y” pipe and mufflers from Eckler’s Corvette. Overall, any price under $10K looks like a deal to me for a hobby car that you won’t be afraid to use.

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    For what it is, it looks good. Some like the CrossFire, some don’t. Thing is it was used on the C3’s for a number of years and I believe Camaro’s too.
    $5K I think if acceptable in this situation, but a bit on the high side under most.




    3
    • Craig M. Bryda

      1982 was the only C 3 for the crossfire.




      1
      • Geof

        Actually the Crossfire engine came in the 1982 and 1984 Corvette. In 1983 there were no Corvettes produced for sale.




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  2. jdjonesdr

    Sounds like a pretty good deal.




    1
  3. Pa Tina

    This is as good as it gets if you are looking for an 84 Corvette. Decent mileage, good colors, fair price and good condition. A manual would be nice but then there would be 100 comments about how lousy the Doug Nash 4+3 was. A nice summer driving car.




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  4. JamestownMike

    The seats appear to be a metallic silver color. The hood pin stripes are said to match the interior color (seats). Can any Corvette guys chime in?




    1
    • Pa Tina

      No pin stripes from the factory ever.




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      • leiniedude Member

        I had read somewhere that early 70’s LT 1 hoods were hand striped in St. Lou. Anybody?




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      • Pa Tina

        The LT-1 hoods were hand -striped by Ronny Hunt at the St.Louis plant. C4’s were never striped.




        2
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Striping is not factory based on everything I’ve seen and read. Not a big deal though, could be paint or vinyl. I had the dealership do some on my Bird and they were fine.

      They look tasteful to me, not a negative.




      2
      • Joel S

        No factory stripes. Only hurt if you plan to go NCRS. Crossfire nickname was cease fire but not all that bad. Now that people know how to work on them. Nice looking car.




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  5. ccrvtt

    Excellent deal if you want an ’84. 205hp is not a lot but the engine does churn out some torque and combined with a relatively lightweight car the performance is lively. In the context of 1984 this was state of the art and forced the SCCA to create a whole new class for Showroom Stock Sports Cars since the Corvettes smoked the Porsches and BMWs of the day.

    I had a ’95 with allegedly 300hp and the difference was noticeable compared to the L98 with 250hp, but the L98 was still a stout perfomer with nearly the same torque rating. (We pushrod engine people like to think of torque as horsepower for the real world.) The Cross Fire is not an L98 but still has impressive torque.

    Sounds as if the current owner has done a lot of nice things for this car that the buyer won’t have to pay for. I agree that having a bad back makes it a chore to get in and out of a C4. But once you’re inside there’s no other feeling like it this side of an F-111.

    Someone’s going to get a great deal.




    9
    • Doug

      So have you been in an F-111? I have, as an engine mechanic. Burned up a lot of jet fuel, but never left the ramp.




      5
      • Fiete T.

        My dad was a commander at RAF Lakenheath…




        1
      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

        @ Fiete T. — I lived on the approach path in Brandon in 73-75. F4s were louder than the 111s in my memory 🙂




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      • ccrvtt

        I’m 6’3″, not particularly coordinated (just ask my high school basketball coaches), afraid of heights (I don’t even like being as tall as I am), so fighter pilot was never really on the short list of career choices for me. I have tremendous respect and admiration for military jet jockeys of any nationality but I’m of course partial to Americans.

        Every so often Louisville, Kentucky, sponsors an air show in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby Festival. One year the Blue Angels came. Another year the Air Force Thunderbirds came. One of the peak experiences of my life was when I was out in my driveway washing my car and in the distance I heard a faint roar. As the sound intensified I looked up into the clear blue southern Indiana sky and saw all 6 Thunderbirds roaring overhead at what seemed like less than 1,000 feet. My God that’s an impressive sight!

        So, no, I’ve never been in a fighter cockpit. The reference to the F-111 is lifted from another Louisville native, Hunter Thompson. He claimed a Vincent Black Shadow was the only bike he knew that could keep up with an F-111 on takeoff.

        Driving that ’95 C4 with the lexan targa top at night with city lights shining down and the guages on the dash lit up is as close as I’ll ever come to that experience.

        You asked.




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      • Howard

        My mom assembled F111’s at General Dynamics in Waco, Texas. She helped put on the right wing assemblies from 68 to 69. Awesome plane.




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  6. irocrobb

    Looks like a good deal to me. Find it neat that a 1985 Iroc in the same shape would likely pull twice what they want for this Corvette yet the Iroc was almost half the price new.




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  7. Alan (Michigan)

    From my recollection, the 1984 model was criticized for an overly stiff ride. It was of course a significant departure from the C3. Who knows? This actually may eventually be collectible as the first year of a model change.




    2
    • Pa Tina

      50% of the buyers went for the Z-51 suspension option after reading the rave reviews from the automotive press. About 99% of them regretted that decision. In 1985 GM basically cut the spring rates in half and still had a great handling car.




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  8. Matt G

    I never realized but 1984 had the 2nd highest production numbers of any year Corvette, second only to 1979.




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    • Pa Tina

      I owned them both. (Still have the 84). I could understand the high number of 84’s as that was obviously a radical change from the C3. Never understood what got the 79 sales so high. Mine was an L-82, 4-speed, FE-7 suspension, no air with crank windows and leather seats. I don’t think too many 79’s were ordered like that. it was a fun car to drive until the ambient temperature went above 70F.




      3
    • gbvette62

      There were so many 84’s built, because they had an extra long production run. Chevrolet started production in March 83, and ended it in July 84, for a run of 17 months.

      GM decided that the 84 had to pull 1G on a skid pad, which it succeeded in doing, but at the cost of the ride quality. 84’s with the base suspension, will rattle your fillings loose, and ones with the optional Z51 suspension, are just about unbearable, on anything but the smoothest highway. It probably wasn’t until 87-88, that the Corvette’s engineering team started to figure out how to balance a high level of cornering power, with a decent ride.

      The Cross-Fire isn’t a bad system, but they’re hard to find parts for, or anyone who can work on them. The 84-89 digital dashes were an ongoing problem, also. Like most first year models, the 84 has a number of one year only parts, that can be more expensive and harder to find.

      Like this car, most 84’s were automatics, because the 4+3 didn’t become available until January 84. There were less that 1000 84’s made with the medium gray standard seat interior, that this car has, but it doesn’t add any value to the car.

      This is a pretty nice example, of what is probably the least desirable Corvette ever made. For someone wanting a C4 Corvette, I’d recommend spending more to buy a 91-96, and get a car with a far better ride, and better seats, dash, trans and more horsepower.




      6
      • Pa Tina

        Always plenty of room on BF for opinions; Here is another one- My 84 has the Z-51 and 4+3 transmission and I love it. I don’t want a Corvette to ride like a 1950’s Marshmallow. Also have had zero issues with Crossfire and digital dash.




        4
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Yes there have been dash issues on some but it’s not a dire case. Most issues seem to go back to GM using too hot a bulbs in them in the first place. Places like Batee.com can repair and/or overhaul the instrument clusters, which I had done to mine the other year. In my case it was a ground and connector that where heat damaged over the years. New connectors, changing to xenon bulbs and it’s fun to watch it in action as it performs like new.
        Don’t let potential instrument cluster scare you off a car when there are people like Bryan at Batee that can bring it to like new condition.




        3
      • Pa Tina

        @86_Vette. Thanks for the information (Just in case)




        2
  9. R Soul

    Nice looking 84. I wouldn’t pay more than the $5300.00 that is bid on it now though.




    0
    • Pa Tina

      And you would be correct in doing so.




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  10. Miguel

    Antique Vehicle plates on an ’84 makes me feel very old.




    9
    • Pa Tina

      Mine has New York Antique Vehicle plates and I AM OLD!




      3
    • Oscarphone

      A person could do a lot worse for 5 grand. Corvettes aren’t my bailiwick but there is a lot of reliable cruising left in this old girl and a high dollar detail on the paint would make it very presentable. I’d sure be replacing that cross-fire with anything. And I mean anything.




      1
  11. BOP Guy Member

    For the possible low price, you’d get a lot of car. That being said….In high school, my best friend’s parents bought an 84 when they first came out here. We were sophomores, so of course we couldn’t wait to drive it! His parents said NO!, but that didn’t stop us from taking it out when they were gone (they also had a MB 450SEL 6.9 that they drove when traveling; they were rich, we weren’t). Anyway, that thing burned rubber like crazy and was a blast to do donuts in! But the ride was harsh (teeth rattling big time!), and the interior plastered with cheap GM plastics from the Cavalier parts-bin. Within the first year, it started having problems. It was in & out of the shop often, including the digital dashboard and fuel injector issues. After a year, the leather seats were coming apart at the seams, plastic parts in and around the car rattled like crazy, and it needed new tires early (okay, the tires might have been some of our doing!).

    So that, unfortunately, was my first drive/ride in any Corvette, and left a really bad taste in my mouth about GM’s build quality, especially for their top dog sports cars. Of course as the years have passed, I found it to be more of an 80’s thing. The 90’s Corvettes were a big step up, and have continued to really come a long way! And having driven a couple 60’s and an early 70’s Vette, I can see it was an isolated period of time, and GM as a whole in the 80’s.

    I think this is a very clean example of the first year of that generation, and for a low price would be well worth it. Seems like the engine would be fairly easy to work on (apart from the FI), and would be a ton of fun. Get out and do some donuts, for old times sake!!




    2
  12. Scott

    Long run for the ’84 because if you recall there essentially is no ’83 Corvette they went straight from the 82 to the new 84 design




    2
  13. poseur

    I graduated high-school in 1984 & had two of these in the garage, first a two-tone silver (like our ’78 silver anniversary) followed by a red-on-red several months later. Dad got a killer discount as a GM exec & sold them both for more than he paid soon after.

    I don’t recall any problems with either one other than going through tires. Two friends of the family got the early release white over red models, meant as tribute to the original polo white over red ’53’s. They both had significant issues, one said the passenger side window sucked into the cabin at around 120mph.

    Growing up in the 70’s & 80’s, i can’t overstate how big of a deal these cars were. The C3 lasted 15 years & was mostly a carryover of the C2; the chassis was a 20+ year old design by ’82.

    The ’84 C4 might as well have been designed by aliens. The giant tires (Gatorbacks!), brakes & aluminum suspension components revealed when the front end tilted forward was stunning. The interior was like nothing we’d ever seen with the loudest factory stereo (no distortion at max volume!) & video game dashboard that displayed how much fuel was left down to the last mile.

    Performance off the line was stout, although after second gear it tailed off pretty fast. Still, brainless low 15 quarters were quicker than anything else.
    Top speed was over 140mph (i regularly saw 144), one of the fastest handful of cars available at any price. Brakes were unbelievable. Handling was mind-blowing as long as the road was smooth.

    I also would sneak it out when parents were gone & never lost a race. They hooked up so strong that any contest was over before second gear while older Vettes & muscle cars with more power smoked & spun their skinny tires. As soon as the curves came we were long gone.




    6
  14. Karl

    you folks all know that there were a couple years right in THIS time frame where the Trans Am smoked the vette in just about every performance parameter there was, 205 hp? what did they do use the same engine as the Chevette? I just could not do it, driving this car and getting smoked by every high schooler in a honda would get really old really fast!




    0
    • Pa Tina

      Another option would be to just enjoy the car and stay away from the local high school.




      2
  15. Pa Tina

    Winning bid $7800. Well sold and probably well bought if the plan is to drive it and enjoy it. No chance of flipping it at that purchase price.




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  16. Keith

    Hello all, I was the one who purchased this corvette. Initially my plan was to not exceed 7k with my bidding but got caught up with the bidding process. With that said I still think I got a great car. I talked to the gentleman who owns the car and he is a bit of an eccentric. An older wealthy gentleman who over the years owned several corvettes, this one being his late brothers car. He said that this car has been well taken care of and maintained properly. I currently own a 1992 corvette (was featured on this website) so I know these cars fairly well. I personally think the cross fire injection is a rare cool setup that adds value to this car. The reason why (in my opinion) the cross fire injection got a bad rap is because it was over shadowed by the multi-port TPI introduced in 1985. The TPI looked better, had more HP, and was a more modern setup. However the cross fire injection did work well if properly maintained. I think this 1984 cross fire equipped corvettes will go up in value as a rare setup and the first year C4 corvettes. At $7,800.00 I don’t think I did too bad. Most of the pictures did not present well due to the lighting but if you look at the tail shot of this car you can tell that the paint is in excellent condition and also the interior presents well. I think this car has not been abused and is in original unmolested condition. The owner is in his sixties so I don’t have to worry that some kid had this car. I should be receiving this car this weekend so I’ll keep you all posted. P.S. Thank you Barn Finds for featuring this corvette on your website which led to my purchase on eBay.




    3
    • Pa Tina

      Congratulations. I’m “That Guy” with the 1984 Z51/4+3/Crossfire who believes the cars do not deserve the poor reputation they carry. Have fun and enjoy the ride! It has finally stopped snowing/raining/sleeting around the Finger Lakes region of New York and I am hoping to be driving mine this weekend. Two “thumbs up”




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  17. Keith

    Here’s a pic of my 1992 corvette with a six speed manual transmission.




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  18. Keith

    Just found out that I will be receiving this corvette Thursday, 26 April 2018. As soon as I get it I will post additional pictures of this car in better lighting if you all are interested? Lastly I’m not sure if this corvette is equipped with the Z51 package but I’ll know soon…….




    4
    • Pa Tina

      I know there is one 1984 Z-51 owner interested in seeing the pictures. Don’t forget to look into NCRS if you are not already a member. What kind of options on your 1992?




      1
  19. Keith

    Well I received the corvette yesterday and it is cleaner than my 1992 vette with only 15k miles! Also the previous owner kept every maintenance record and receipt since 1984. He also sent a polaroid of his brother picking up this corvette from the dealer back in 1984! The car runs perfect and everything seems to work, the only thing I’ve noticed with this car is the dash pod graphics are a bit faded and hard to read. Also the coolant needs to be flushed but other than that this corvette is clean. Well worth the $7,800.00 I paid for it. My 1992 corvette is loaded with options and is a six speed manual LT1.




    2
    • Pa Tina

      Congratulations! Good call. Have fun.




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    • BMW4RunninTundra Member

      I know this is late but by now you should have had time to wash it up and post some pics?? We are waiting. By the way your 92 looks immaculate from the one pic!! I am not a fan of that body style but have to admit that they are growing on me…….




      1
  20. Keith

    Here’s a couple of pictures of the corvette with a set of 1990 OEM wheels and new tires. Do you all like?




    0
    • Keith

      Another angle…..




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  21. Keith

    Also my 1992 Corvette with new ZR1 wheels installed.




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  22. Keith

    Another angle……




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