There’s so much hype surrounding the new C7 that it’s easy to forget the “milestone” Corvettes that came before it – although in our minds, every Corvette is special.
The first generation is where it all started – classic looks, two-seater cockpit, complete with whitewall tires. The C2 introduced the Vette to concept car styling, big-block engines, and real performance. The C3 would accomplish great feats in the beginning, only to become a shadow of its former self by the late ’70s. It was also the first Corvette bodystyle to stick around longer than any car has the right to.
Then there was the C4, and right away it was a breath of fresh air after 15 model years of the third generation Corvette. New looks, an all new platform, and a whole bunch of new technology. The only thing that was leftover from the previous iteration was the Cross-Fire injected 350 V-8.
But that would change for the following year, and throughout the C4′s production run, the Vette saw continuous improvements in performance, handling, braking, luxury, styling, and technology. By the time the final iteration rolled around in 1996, it almost wasn’t even the same car.
By that point, the 385 HP ZR-1 had come and gone, and there was a 330 HP LT4 readily available for those C4 buyers wanting to get their hands on the last of the breed.
With then new and revolutionary C5 right around the corner, some of the more “traditional” Corvette buyers felt the car had reached its peak. One such person was Mid America Motorworks Chief Cheerleader Mike Yager, and he was right there to not only pick up his historical footnote from the factory, but to actually watch it get built – even lending a handing installing both passenger side struts.
It’s a Corvette tradition that has lasted to this day, offering Vette buyers the opportunity to watch their car get built by the hardworking craftsmen that build it, along with the honor of turning a wrench or two on it during the assembly process.
We were browsing through the Mid America Motorworks YouTube channel today, and found this vintage footage of the very last C4 getting built, along with an interview with the owner. The last C4 is a historical car, and one that occasionally sees the show circuit, making rounds at some of the biggest Corvette events around the country.
Its current resting place is in the My Garage automotive museum, and it’s still under the owner ship of Yager, who has been in possession of the car since it rolled off of the Bowling Green Assembly line on June 19, 1996. You can watch the build above, along with the 1996 press party at the National Corvette Museum by clicking here. Even though the video quality isn’t exactly the greatest (being copied form VHS ,and all) both clips are quite interesting and worth a watch. Check ‘em out!