General Motors did not offer a 1983 Corvette as, according to GM reports at the time, the all-new 1984 model involved a complete revamping of the car’s assembly line.

Why no 1983 Corvette?


Q: I am new to the car collecting hobby and wonder why there was no 1983 Corvette. Bobby L., Illinois.


A: Bobby, General Motors did not offer a 1983 Corvette as, according to GM reports at the time, the all-new 1984 model involved a complete revamping of the car’s assembly line. Although this GM statement is true, enthusiasts were deprived a new “30th anniversary” Corvette due to government-mandated stricter emissions and a corresponding delay in production. Thus, the 1984 appeared early on in 1983 — with no 1983 available.


Although it is rare to miss one year in a car’s assembly life, GM decided it was the proper thing to do at the time. This new model, although nowhere near what today’s Corvette is, was a big step forward, as more emphasis was put into the Corvette’s first uniframe body along with weight saving and better handling enhancements. 


Today, after years of development, the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette offers the No. 1 return on investment for a performance sports car on a long list of competitors that includes Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini. That’s my opinion, of course, but you’ll find most car enthusiasts won’t disagree.


Nitrogen in tires


Q: Greg, what are the reasons for nitrogen use in automobile tires? Gerry Meunier, Taunton, Mass.


A: Gerry, according to the Get Nitrogen Institute (www.getnitrogen.com), when it comes to tire inflation, nitrogen has many advantages over oxygen. With nitrogen tire inflation, improvements can be noted in a vehicle's handling, fuel efficiency and tire life through better tire pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler running tire temperatures.


However, Consumer Reports magazine, (I have been a loyal subscriber for 30 years), did a study on nitrogen use in tires and came to this conclusion: “Overall, consumers can use nitrogen and might enjoy the slight improvement in air retention provided, but it's not a substitute for regular inflation checks.”


As for me, I’ve never used nitrogen in any of my collector cars, daily drivers or race car tires, but I will not deny some benefits. I guess it comes down to the same situation comparing regular grade non-synthetic based motor oil to synthetic motor oil. In this instance, I do use synthetic oil in all my cars and recommend doing so to readers. However, if you don’t use a more expensive synthetic and your car calls for a normal grade oil, you’ll probably never know the difference.


As for nitrogen’s cost, expect anywhere from $12 to $40 for all four tires to be inflated with pure nitrogen. As for me, I’d pocket the nitrogen money and use it for gas. Thanks for the question.


Greg Zyla writes weekly for GateHouse Media and welcomes reader questions at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA, or at greg@gregzyla.com on anything to do with auto nostalgia, car collecting or other auto related issues.