1988 Corvette

Instead of waiting for my car dealer to call me about the new 1988 Corvette like he had 2 years earlier, I decided to pursue this car on my own.  I went to see it, and bought it on the spot.  Just like the 1986 car was way better than the 1984, this car was a definite step up from the 1986.

Here’s what Car and Driver said about the car:

Chevrolet has fueled the debate by continually honing, tuning, and otherwise improving the current-generation Corvette, which first appeared as a 1984 Model.  The 1985 version introduced a port fuel-injection system, which increased the engine’s power and responsiveness, and a thoroughly recalibrated suspension, which largely tamed the car’s buckboard ride. A lovely convertible edition and standard-equipment Bosch anti-lock brakes were the highlights of the 1986 Lineup.  Last year’s crop of improvements included the Z52 suspension package, which spanned the gap between the base calibration and the Z51 Competition setup and aluminum cylinder heads, which reduced weight and helped add ten horsepower to the engine’s power rating.

The 1988 Corvette continues the tradition of annual progress. This year’s news includes revised front and rear suspension geometry, bigger brakes, yet another engine upgrade, and optional seventeen-inch wheels and tires. There are a host of minor changes as well: a quieter and lighter air-conditioning compressor, an improved ventilation system, and the addition to the standard-equipment list of power locks, cruise control, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo system.

Of the running-gear changes, the most obvious are the larger wheels and tires, which are standard with the racetrack-oriented Z51 package or the similar Z52 street setup. Except for such boutique machines as the Porsche 959 and the Lamborghini LM002, the 1988 Corvette is the first car in modern times to be outfitted with seventeen-inch wheels and tires. The tires are 275/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagles—a wider, lower-profile development of the 255/50ZR-16 gatorbacks that are still fitted to the base car.


Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton
Bill Sefton, Chicago native, and passionate car collector. Currently retired, but still involved in the car collection community. Reach out, happy to connect!