The Revolution of the Original ZR1
The Corvette series of high performance sports cars has an innately interesting history stretching back to the muscle car era of the 1950s reaching all the way through the present. However, one particular style of Corvette made ripples in the auto market that are still being being talked about by automobile enthusiasts today. There is an interesting and rich history around the release of the Corvette ZR1 series, which was immensely popular throughout all of the 1990s. Throughout the 1980s, government regulation on the auto industry resulted in many cars, even sports cars, offering less horsepower for both safety and environmental concerns. Sales for sports cars in general were down as people were wanting to buy American but many American automobile manufacturers were focusing upon the minivan craze of the late 80’s. Rumors abounded about the new series of Corvettes and at the 1989 Geneva Auto Show the Corvette ZR1 was proudly introduced which was so impressive and praised that it was lovingly referred to as “King of the Hill”.
In 1990 the Corvette ZR1 officially went on sale and despite a twenty-seven thousand dollar increase in the price tag, the ZR1 was a huge selling car. With the all new LT5 engine that boasted an impressive three-hundred and seventy-five horsepower but was very quiet and still while idling. The popular C4 Corvette visual style was highly attractive and innovations to the vehicle’s suspension and the addition of traction control made it a best selling vehicle. Because of the many accolades for the Corvette ZR1 it was considered by many to be one of the highest quality vehicles available in the world at the time, quite a feat for an American made sports car competing against foreign car manufacturer super giants. It is quite easy to identify an unaltered original ZR1 nowadays because of the square tail lights, which became standard for Corvettes throughout most of the decade of the 90’s. Corvette enthusiasts and people who purchase Corvette accessories now consider the original ZR1 to be a very collectable car because it represents a revitalization and revolution for sports cars. The ZR1 was so popular that Chevy re-released the vehicle in a limited run in 2009.
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