I realize that among the various Corvette generations, the C4 ‘Vettes (1983-1996) aren’t really considered the most popular, but this assessment doesn’t take into account the very powerful and influential niche of gearheads who are really into reverse lamp innovations and novel seat belt systems. For this group, the C4 ‘Vette is one of the finest automobiles ever crafted by human hands, and if you can calm down I’ll tell you why.
Let’s start with the reverse lamps, and I think you’re going to be surprised and delighted, perhaps to the point of a spit-take or an involuntary quick spurt of urine, so you’ve been warned. Look at this image of the side of a C4 ‘Vette, and note the lighting:
See what’s interesting there? Look at the side marker lamp treatment. See how there’s an amber reflector up front, and a red one at rear? That’s all normal side marker lamp stuff.
But now see the clear lens next to those lamps? Up front, that’s a cornering lamp, one of the most under-appreciated lamps known to automobilia.
At the rear, that’s a cornering lamp as well, but it’s one that I think is unique in the history of cars, in that they only illuminate when the car is in reverse, along with the normal reverse lamps flanking the license plate, making the C4 the only car I know to have a rear reverse lamp setup with rear cornering lamps.
It may also be the only four-light reverse lamp setup, too.
When so many cars treat reverse lamps like a barely-remembered afterthought, it’s remarkable to see a car like the Corvette pay so much attention to reverse lighting, to the point of having a standard set of auxiliary corner reverse lamps that nobody else ever thought to employ.
I bet if you were backing up in some dark parking lot these were actually quite helpful, both …….