With the 1980’s in full swing, General Motors was enjoying its spot in the limelight with new-found performance in the form of its TPI V8’s for 1985, and its still very fresh new Corvette from the previous year. For the first time in a very long time, everyone around the world had Corvette fever again, and it was a good time to be a Corvette fan. Already looking to make improvements to Corvette over its previous year, Chevrolet replaced the anemic Cross-Fire Injection 350 for a more powerful, more efficient, and more reliable Tuned-Port Injection 5.7. This motor proved to be so popular that the F-body cars finally received them for the 1987 model year after two years of being limited to a 5-liter version.
As a result of the boost in power, Chevrolet felt confident that Corvette could take on all of its European competition and it proved it by putting it head to head with its rivals from England, Germany and Italy. Representing England is the Lotus Espirit Turbo, Italy showed up with a Ferrari 308GTSi and a Lamborghini Countach, and finally, Germany was represented by a Porsche 928S and a 944. The Corvette trounced all of them in maximum lateral acceleration, in the slalom, and according to the advertisement, beat them around a road course. The road course in question looks to be California’s Laguna Seca, judging by its infamous descending corkscrew corner. A very challenging road course and quite an accomplishment at that.
Below is the actual TV commercial that aired in American living rooms across the country in 1985. Strangely, the Lambo from the poster above is MIA from the TV spot. Could it be that Lamborghini didn’t want their baby embarrassed on American television or was Chevrolet telling a little white lie? Who cares? With the world now head-over-heels over today’s ZR1, it’s nice to see our baby, the Corvette, proudly representing America back in the era of big hair and Ronald Reagan.