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The One in a Million 1992 Chevrolet Corvette

From the Archives

Drew Hardin May 14, 2015
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Because so many of our archive stories are about Corvettes from the 1950s and 1960s, 1992 seems like it was just yesterday. But it’s been nearly a quarter-century since the one-millionth Corvette rolled off the Bowling Green assembly line back in July 1992. And it’s been about a year and a half since that very same car fell down the infamous sinkhole that opened up under the National Corvette Museum.

The white convertible with red interior—spec’d specifically to duplicate the color scheme of the very first Corvettes—is equipped with a 350ci LT1 small-block V-8, a new-for-1992 engine named after the high-compression, solid-lifter LT-1 found in Vettes of the early 1970s. In 1992 it replaced the L98 V-8 and, with a 300hp rating, produced 50 more hp than the outgoing engine.

The 1992 Corvettes also received a new Bosch-developed traction control system called Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR) and new asymmetric Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires, replacing the Gatorbacks. The combo of the new tires and traction control led Chevrolet to dub the 1992 model a “car for all seasons.”

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The milestone car was donated to the Corvette museum, where it led a peaceful life until the ground underneath it gave way in February 2014. Eight cars tumbled down the hole, including this one, a 40th Anniversary model, the 1.5-millionth Corvette (from 2009), and the “Blue Devil” 2009 ZR1. The millionth Vette suffered relatively little damage compared to some of the others, though a December 2014 story in the Detroit News described the car as “covered in dirt and bits of gravel. Cement or dirt is visible inside a broken taillight, on the rear of the car, on the hood and the interior floor. There are scratches and paint is chipped in places, the rear suspension is heavily damaged, the front fender is mangled and the windshield is completely smashed.”

Of the eight cars that fell, the millionth Vette is one of just three that Chevrolet opted to restore. The Blue Devil was refurbished first; work continues on this car and a black 1962 Vette that sustained minimal damage after landing tail-first in the hole.

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When the one-millionth Corvette was built, just two men had served as Chief Engineers during the car’s 39 years of production: Zora Arkus-Duntov and Dave McLellan. Both were on hand for the milestone celebration at Bowling Green in July 1992.

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