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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up LT4 Collectibility

    I think that in the next 10 years people will come to appreciate the LT4 equipped cars more and more. I mean these 1996 cars were only produced with this engine for 1 model year making them somewhat rare. It is a very stoutly built engine that i think someday in the not so distant future will be somewhat of a modern day 1970 LT1 in that it was and is somewhat of a sleeper overshadowed by some of the newer body styles. This can only enhance its collectibility down the road and personally, i like the styling of the 1996 over the c5 body style with its fatter rear end and center exhaust. It just seems to me that the c4 body style encompasses more of the older exaggerated high fender styling just smoothed out more for aerodynamics. It is a timeless style that more people will come to appreciate more as time goes on. the 96 is kind of like an older muscle car but with modern ammenities. That's just my take on a late saturday night. if you would like to comment on my ramblings please feel free i would look forward to it. Thanks

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    :G Rare - 1997 SLP Firehawk LT4: Just a handful of these beauties were built...



    Starting in 1992, New Jersey tuner SLP would begin building hopped-up Firebirds that you could order through your local Pontiac dealer. Up through 1997, SLP had stuck to tweaking the stock LT1 V-8, and the following year it would begin working on the new LS1 V-8.

    At the end of 1997 though, SLP was able to get its hands on the last few Corvette LT4 V-8 engines rolling off of GM's lines, and just 25 to 30 Firehawks slipped out the door with the quick-revving 330-hp V-8 under their hoods. Naturally, we had to test one.

    "The excellent acceleration test numbers just begin to communicate the LT4's gusto, because getting the 275/40ZR17 tires to hook up requires a delicate launch with just 1500 rpm on the tach," Jack Keebler noted.

    "But it does have a drawback: It's practically a traffic hazard. We had to factor in an extra half-hour on gas station trips for handling questions from the car-crazed.

    "If low-altitude scouting is the mission with an occasional hunk of Mustang flesh as an in-flight snack, this bird is the hot ticket."

  3. #3
    LT4 Collectibility 6 Shooter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up LT4 Encore: 1997 Camaro LT4 SS's are another rare collector...


    Once Exclusive to 96 Corvettes, the LT4 Makes a Final Curtain Call in the 97 Camaro SS
    (108 Camaro SS LT4's were produced: 100 US, 6 Canadian & 2 Prototypes)

    A Hurst short-throw shifter is again optional on "regular" Camaro SS models, and it&8217s standard on the LT4 cars.

    Since 1993, the Camaro has been the best bang-for-the-buck American-made performance car on the market. Even the base V-6 versions are decent performers in their own right. But the Z28 is the big favorite with most enthusiasts. Combined with the exceptional LT1 engine, it provides one of the best platforms going on which to build a killer modern-tech street machine.

    As the fourth generation of the Camaro enters its fifth year, a strong historical perspective already exists that includes the 275hp LT1 getting a jump in its rating to 285 hp for 1996. Also new for 1996 was the SS package that included several tricks--most notable being a cold-air-induction system, 17-inch wheels and tires, a Hurst shifter, and an optional Torsen limited-slip differential.

    While the 305hp Camaro SS built by Street Legal Performance (SLP) Engineering is likely the most potent Camaro ever built, there will now forever be a small asterisk to that statement in the form of the Camaro LT4.

    After all the rumors and speculation about the LT4 finding its way into the Camaro, the fact is now a done deal, and the lucky souls who somehow got their mitts on one of these cars have themselves nothing less than the most awesome factory-built Camaro we've seen. The engineers at Chevrolet and SLP started with a 30th-anniversary Camaro Z28 SS, swapped out the LT1 for the 330hp LT4, and--presto!--the cat was out of the bag.

    Although we extensively covered the LT4 engine in our Oct. '95 issue, a few basics on the engine easily explain its upgrades over the LT1. Much of the short-block remains similar to the LT1 except for the LT4 crank's undercut and rolled journal fillets. The crank is balanced for the LT4's slightly heavier pistons, which have reduced valve notches (3 cc's smaller) to bump the LT4's compression to 10.8:1 from the LT1's 10.5:1. The biggest changes were in the cylinder heads, where the LT4 has wider and shallower combustion chambers.

    Lighter hollow-stemmed valves are bigger, too, with 2.00/1.55-inch sizes in the LT4 compared to the 1.94/1.50s in the LT1. Combine this with larger ports on the LT4 intake and a little bit more cam (LT4: 0.476/0.480-inch lift, 203/210-degree duration at 0.050-inch tappet lift, LT1: 0.447/0.449-inch lift), and the LT4's 330 hp comes up at 5,800 rpm--800 rpm higher than the LT1's 300 hp. Torque for both engines is 340 lb-ft, coming in at 4,500 rpm for the LT4 and 4,000 rpm for the LT1.

    While the LT4 is a bit more high-strung, you can use every last bit of it, because the redline is now 6,300 rpm as compared to the LT1's 5,800 rpm. In fact, fuel cutoff doesn't occur until 6,400 rpm, which by then, you'd swear there was a DOHC LT5 underhood that was zinging to the moon. Combine all the attributes of the LT4 with the competent chassis of the current F-car body style, and the result is the best all-around performing factory supercar ever to come from the joint GM/SLP manufacturing program.

    The car itself has all the standard updates of the SS package, and several options are standard with the LT4. These include a Torsen rearend, stainless exhaust manifolds, a Hurst shifter, and a Level II Bilstein suspension package that includes Bilstein shocks and progressive-rate springs. All LT4 SS cars have the 30th-anniversary package, which includes the orange stripes, white wheels, and 30th-anniversary interior appointments. The only SS LT4 options are a Level III Bilstein suspension package and BFG Comp T/A R1 tires, which are designed mainly for track use. Whether the standard Comp T/As or R1s are specified, they remain a P275/40ZR17 size all around.

    Our time in the car was painfully brief as we wheeled around the area of SLP's Detroit offices. Putting the performance of the LT4 SS in terms we can all understand, SLP coins it "Viper territory for tens of thousands less." While track testing was definitely something we wanted to do, Detroit-area weather just wouldn't allow it. But the low-13-second numbers that SLP has generated are easily believable after having had a chance to feel the LT4's urgent power delivery on the street.

    Unfortunately, there is a number that pertains to the LT4 SS that we are sad to report. It is, of course, 100--the scant number of cars that have been built and already sold. We have, however, settled on the fact that at least in today's times, we're all lucky enough to see this kind of outrageous factory performance being offered at all.

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    There's a LT4 SS Camaro that lives a few blocks away from me. The dude also owns a GS and Trailblazer SS. Anyways, I always slobber all over myself when I see that Camaro. Very rare car....the Firehawks are even rarer. The LT4 engines they used are actually more powerful than the ones in the Vettes because SLP tore the engines down and blueprinted them before they put them in the cars.

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    I sold my 1996. LT4, 31000 miles.
    had a hard time getting $13,000. took 6 months sell.
    they don't hold value.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfs View Post
    I sold my 1996. LT4, 31000 miles.
    had a hard time getting $13,000. took 6 months sell.
    they don't hold value.
    If you bought a new 1965 396 and kept it 13 years, in 1978 do you think it would have sold on the used car market for much. I have a good idea what they were going for, most were looked as just another old used Vette.

  7. #7
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    Default 96 CE LT4 vs GS

    Quote Originally Posted by intmdt8r View Post
    I think that in the next 10 years people will come to appreciate the LT4 equipped cars more and more. I mean these 1996 cars were only produced with this engine for 1 model year making them somewhat rare. It is a very stoutly built engine that i think someday in the not so distant future will be somewhat of a modern day 1970 LT1 in that it was and is somewhat of a sleeper overshadowed by some of the newer body styles. This can only enhance its collectibility down the road and personally, i like the styling of the 1996 over the c5 body style with its fatter rear end and center exhaust. It just seems to me that the c4 body style encompasses more of the older exaggerated high fender styling just smoothed out more for aerodynamics. It is a timeless style that more people will come to appreciate more as time goes on. the 96 is kind of like an older muscle car but with modern ammenities. That's just my take on a late saturday night. if you would like to comment on my ramblings please feel free i would look forward to it. Thanks
    The BEST deal out there is the 96 CE w/LT4. The Grand Sport unfairly overshadows and there is always going to be a limited appeal small group that will like the shades of shocking blue/red-orange and black wheels. Here are some facts to ponder on GS vs CE w/LT4:

    - 1000 GS units
    - 1300 CE/LT4 units

    300 units, thats the only significant difference besides some larger wheels and the paint job (much better appeal in the CE IMO). Yet, the GS commands upwards of twice the price??

    Please don't misunderstand, I am not putting down the GS at all, its a great collectible car. No question that both of these cars have great potential in the long haul, but if you had a choice between the two and all things equal (and even if you had questionable aesthetic taste ) you would be nutz not to choose the CE LT4.

    As for the 70 LT1 - thats my dream some day. A good friend of my dad had two LT1s - 70/71 - which he kept garaged until he died 2 years ago.


    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Default LT4 Value

    Quote Originally Posted by larryfs View Post
    I sold my 1996. LT4, 31000 miles.
    had a hard time getting $13,000. took 6 months sell.
    they don't hold value.
    You would be amazed at the lack of knowledge about these great engines, even among some Corvette "experts"? Its a matter of time, one year engines are always in demand - as a rarity and, even better with LT4, design excellence. Pack that in with Corvette (see 396 example) and you have a winner. It might not be this year, or even 2-5 yrs before they take off, but they will.

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    Flag Sorry - LT4 GS's Rule!


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    Quote Originally Posted by ameribrit View Post
    You would be amazed at the lack of knowledge about these great engines, even among some Corvette "experts"? Its a matter of time, one year engines are always in demand - as a rarity and, even better with LT4, design excellence. Pack that in with Corvette (see 396 example) and you have a winner. It might not be this year, or even 2-5 yrs before they take off, but they will.

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    I chose the CE/LT4, vert over the GS. I just don't care for that blue color, and would have wanted a vert. Funny thing, the guy I bought the CE from was going to buy a GS coupe with my money, because he wanted to take along his dog, with the wife and the coupe would satisfy that. Personally I think GM came out with that combo to take attention away from the new GTS Viper.
    I just had to have that LT4 red engine!

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    It is hard to tell these days what will hold value. The market isn't very strong for collector cars because of the down economy.

    Whatever a car sells for these days is its value. Higher price cars will linger on the market longer. Low price cars will get scooped up pretty quick.




    I'd refer to an industry trade reference for understanding pre-sale values. Anything else is really just speculative at best. Hope that helps.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

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    Thumbs up GS vs CE LT4

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby Fan View Post
    I chose the CE/LT4, vert over the GS. I just don't care for that blue color, and would have wanted a vert. Funny thing, the guy I bought the CE from was going to buy a GS coupe with my money, because he wanted to take along his dog, with the wife and the coupe would satisfy that. Personally I think GM came out with that combo to take attention away from the new GTS Viper.
    I just had to have that LT4 red engine!
    Nothing wrong with the GS at all - but from an investment standpoint (not looking at aesthetics, which you either love or not, unlike CE) I see no advantage at all - either the GS is priced too high or the CE LT4 is way low. So, I would stick with the CE LT4. It will catch up to GS values because of similar low production numbers. I like the CE coupe actually, I have another convertible (Tr4) when I need top down driving, albeit a little slower.

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    I owned a 96 Lt4 for a while. Nice engine. The previous owner drove it hard and it had a bad Crankshaft clunk.
    I sold it to a guy up in canada he flew down and bought it drove it home, 1700 miles No probs. he loved it. Sold it for 6200.
    If you have a chance to purchase a lt4 i would say jump on it.
    Also look at the Zr1 as they are bargains now.
    As far as performance against a lt4, I wouldn't ever under estimate the lt5. I have owned them both.
    With the lt5 a simple Header-flywheel-tune and you have another 50Hp. Cost me about 1100 end cost to do. Engine is a waste without headers. Engine will outlast chassis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lt496 View Post
    I owned a 96 Lt4 for a while. Nice engine. The previous owner drove it hard and it had a bad Crankshaft clunk.
    I sold it to a guy up in canada he flew down and bought it drove it home, 1700 miles No probs. he loved it. Sold it for 6200.
    If you have a chance to purchase a lt4 i would say jump on it.
    Also look at the Zr1 as they are bargains now.
    Before I purchased the CE/LT4 I was in the market for a ZR1. The ZR1 engine is fantastic and all, but the car really does not outperform the LT4 coupe and the LT4 engine may be more forgiving down the road, as it was not put together by GM (Mercury Marine). I have heard the engine is pretty much trouble free and built very well. Anyhow, I decided that the LT4 was a better deal and would have lower long term carrying costs, while being just as exclusive. The ZR1 does have a cooler interior and has the panache, but I didn't want to fight for parts on the engine down the road. Either one is really a good deal now.

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