Corvette History

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35th Anniversary Model 1988

     As printed in For Vettes Only in June 1988.

Just 2,000 35th Anniversary Edition Corvettes, with a build sequence number on the console and special badging, were produced for sale during the 1988 model year. And this Corvette shines even brighter with state-of-the-art engineering, unparalleled performance and superb quality. Engineers specifically addressed problems discovered in the critical arena of endurance racing. Improvements include more power, better handling, and better braking. The 5.7L Tuned Port Injection (TPI) powerplant receives a camshaft change to increase horsepower from 240 in ’87 to 245 in specifically equipped models. All convertibles are rated at 240 horsepower.
The secure feel of the anti-lock braking system has been substantially enhanced by redesigning the front suspension to achieve a zero scrub radius, thus eliminating brake pull due to uneven braking torque between the front wheels.
From the high performance Goodyear tires to the delicate suspension refinements and fine-tuning this Corvette demonstrates the dedication to the reliability, convenience and performance.
The Corvette’s list of standard features is lengthy and impressive. The sophisticated Vehicle Anti-Theft System has reduced thefts by 45 percent. The “Pass Key” system utilizes a small pellet embedded in the ignition key. This pellet has a specific electrical resistance that is read by a decoder hidden deep in an inaccessible part of the vehicle. If the decoder doesn’t recognize the key inserted in the ignition it automatically disables a critical system of the car, such as the fuel pump, injectors, or starter motor. The average trial-and error- defeat time is 15 to 20 minutes, and that’s after the thief has broken into the car and triggered the on-board alarm system.
Here’s a brief look at the outward appearance of Chevrolet’s 35th Anniversary Edition Corvette. Officially the Z01 option, it sports a predominantly white exterior, including wheels, body side moldings, door handles and revised Corvette emblem. Badges signifying Corvette’s 35th Anniversary decorate the hood above the front side (gill) panels. The roof bow is black, as is the transparent top. The white theme continues inside with white leather seat trim and leather-wrapped steering wheel, console lid, door trim panel, armrests and seat belts. An embroidered 35th Anniversary bade decorates the seat. Other standard features of the 35th Anniversary Edition Corvette include six-way power sport seats, automatic air conditioning, illuminated driver’s vanity mirror, Delco/Bose radio system, sport handling package, and heated backlight and mirrors.
On the other hand, while GM is positive in it’s outlook, we understand Chevrolet has already sold all 2,000 copies of its limited-edition 35th Anniversary Corvette coupe to dealers. However, preliminary feedback indicates that the dealers aren’t having an easy time re-selling the cars to Vette enthusiasts.
A spokesman for Capitol City Corvettes, in Madison, Wis., pointed out that two local Chevy dealers already had 35th Anniversary models in their showrooms, while a third dealer was awaiting delivery momentarily. He said the sales resistance the dealers have experienced relates to body style and price.
“Chevy should have put the Anniversary package on the convertible model,” he explained. “No one wants to spend $36,000 for a coupe when they can have a convertible for the same price or less.
Both the convertible and the 35th Anniversary coupe list for prices in the same neighborhood. The convertible is actually $500 higher at dealer level, but dealers are offering discounts on that model. Anniversary cars are not being discounted. As a result, buyers are finding that they can drive either car out the door for around $36,000. The majority seems to prefer the convertible.
Jerry Heasley, a specialist on Corvette collector-car prices, feels the 35th Anniversary model will not catch on like the 1978 Silver Anniversary edition. “This time, the collectors know that if the price goes up fast, it’s going to drop just as quickly,” Heasley advised.
To date, most dealers have been offering the 35th Anniversary to buyers at standard list price. The instant inflation to above-sticker prices that occurred in the case of the ’78 Indy Pace Car and last season’s Buick GNX does not seem to be a factor in sales of the 35th Anniversary Corvette so far.
Sever Chevrolet collector-car dealers, like O.B.Smith of Lexington Kentucky, knew very few details about the 35th Anniversary model. “With the real (vintage) collectibles selling as good as they are right now, I don’t see any reason for collectors to speculate on new cars,” stated Smith. “The older Chevys and Corvettes are bringing fantastic prices, so why mess with a new one?”
Chevrolet Motor Division had no information on retail sales of 35th Anniversary Corvettes at the time this was being written. “So far, most of the cars have been kept for display on dealer showrooms,” a spokeswoman noted.


 Type  OHV V8 with cast-iron block
 Bore & Stroke  4.00 X 3.48 inch
 Displacement  350-cid, 5.7L
 HP @ rpm  245 @ 4300
 Torque @ rpm  340 lbs.-ft @ 3200
 Induction System  TPI (Tuned Port Fuel Injection)
 Transmission  Optional 4-speed manual with overdrive
 Final Drive Ratio  3.07:1
 Front Suspension  Independent forged aluminum upper and lower control arms and steering knuckle with transverse monoleaf composite spring and steel stabilizer bar with gas shocks
 Rear Suspension Independent 5-link system with forged control arms, knuckles and struts; transverse monoleaf composit spring with steel tie rods and stabilizer with gas shocks 
 Steering  Power-assisted 13:1 alloy rack-and-pinion
 Brakes  11.5-inch four-wheel discs with aluminum calipers and power-assisted four-wheel electronic anti-lock braking system
 Wheels  Left/right dedicated 17x9.5-inch aluminum alloy road wheels with specific vent design (optional Z51 and Z52 handling packages only)
 Curb Weight  3233 pounds
 Wheelbase  96.2 inches
 0 to 60 mph  5.8 seconds
 Quater-mile  14.30 @ 97.8 mph
 Top Speed  155 mph
 Skidpad  89g