Everything You Want to Know About the 1988 Corvette, All in One Place.
The arrival of the 1988 model year brought with it the 35th anniversary of the Chevy Corvette. For General Motors as a whole, and especially for the teams of people responsible for the design and development of “America’s Sports Car”, this anniversary was significant not only because of the milestone it represented, but because the thirtieth anniversary of Corvette had passed with barely a whisper.
After all, the Corvette had turned thirty years old in 1983, and, because of engineering decisions that were made to support increasingly high emissions standards, Chevrolet had opted not to build an ’83 Corvette at all. The result was that Corvette had gone a decade without any type of anniversary special edition model to celebrate its ongoing successes.
So, for its 35th anniversary year, the Corvette was treated to a number of important engine and chassis upgrades. With Tony Rudd, Lotus’s former technical director, leading a team of design engineers in an engine development program to advance the L98’s overall performance, the 1988 Corvette would serve as a platform upon which his design advances could be utilized.
For 1988, the L98 received another five horsepower bump in power thanks to the addition of freer-breathing cylinder heads and a re-profiled camshaft.
Additionally, Chevrolet introduced a new, less restrictive muffler package for the 1988 model. Believed by many to be another possible cause for the horsepower bump, these new mufflers were introduced only on Corvette coupes that were fitted with the optional 3.07:1 performance axle.