1983 Corvette, the Corvette that does not exist...
The planned 1983 Corvette brought forward some of the most far reaching design changes in Corvette's history. Many changes include high-technology that had not been proven for automobile applictions, such as:
- Computer controlled LED crystal instrument display
- High strength/low alloy galvanized steel for the one piece uniframe
- Basecoat/clearcoat paint application
- One piece sheet molded (SMC) body panels which eliminated all bond seams
- The use of urethane adhesive for stronger and more flexible body construction
- Magnesium/aluminum metals for lightweight, corrosion free chassis and suspension.
Although the technology was available, it had to be developed into the manufacturing process with the quality, reliability and durability proven before production of saleable vehicles could begin. The initial plan called for introduction of the newly designed 1983 Corvette in october of 1982. There were 43 pre-production models built and 33 were assigned to Corvette Engineering and GM proving Ground activities to certify every aspect of this redesigned Corvette. The remaining 1983 Corvettes were kept in Bowling Green for development purposes.
As a result of the Corvette Organization insisting that every new design item and piece of new technology be defect free and of highest possible quality, a decision was made to withhold production until January 1983 and to serialize them as 1984 models. The Corvette was named "Car of the year" by MotorTrend Magazine in 1984.
Of the 43 1983's produced, this is the only one in existence today.