Monty Hall of Hazard, Kentucky, has a problem. This humble shop technician for a local Caterpillar dealer is constantly teased about his famous TV doppelganger, Monty Hall from the notorious game show, Let's Make a Deal! Handling the common mistake with good humor, Monty found himself at the receiving end of a prized package when he stumbled across this '96 super-rare color-combo C4 for a price he couldn't pass up.
Spending time with his girlfriend and local pals racing around the go-cart track and working on his '79 Stingray, Monty first caught a glimpse of what would be the next year's model Corvette while visiting the Corvette Museum in 1995. He walked away thinking he'd never own one, but this lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum came from true-blue Corvette roots, since his father owned a Monaco Orange '69 427 Stingray in his youth. A short time later, Monty discovered this '96 Silver Edition Corvette in a dealer lot that was brought in at the end of a lease. With only 41,720 miles on the odometer, Monty traded in his '79 for the '96.
The '96 LT4 is only one of 6,359 Corvettes built with the specific 330-horse, 350 small-block, though Monty argues the car easily puts out 350 horses, not the 20 ponies less the factory claimed. The engine was bored 4.00 inches and thrusts a 3.48 stroke. The roller rockers were a factory addition that year, along with hollow intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves. The large injectors also were a factory upgrade for the '96 LT4 over the stock Corvettes, as it was the last year before the C5 took over.
Monty has kept the LT4 as close to original as possible. The interior still sports the refined leather trim and sport seats with Torch Red highlights. The original Bose Gold Series CD/cassette radio still thumps out the tunes through the stock speakers. Monty has also preserved the original wheel and tire combination, as it still rolls on the five-spoke ZR-1 rims and Firestone Firehawk rubber. Weighing a featherweight 3,298 pounds, the car came ready for high speeds and tight cornering from the factory line-a trait that Monty, no doubt, has used to its full potential. When all is said and done, Monty's '96 Corvette is a shining example of late-model history-making and engineering. So much so that he was recently asked to display his outstanding LT4 at the 10th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum by Tom Peters, the designer of the latest C6 Corvette. With such accolades and awards, Monty wonders how a simple twist of fate in his favor put him where he is today.