Imperial Palace Car Collection: 1988-89 SCCA Corvette Challenge

I love C4 Corvettes.

They’re last unrefined burp of automotive machismo to wear the Fleur-de-lis/Checkered flags. They ran every bizarre type of small block that Chevy could cram into them: Crossfire, TPI, the DOHC LT-5, and even twin-turbo models (RPO B2K) from the factory.

In it’s time, the C4 handily beat many of it’s “super car” contemporaries in performance comparisons. It was the fastest, meanest, plastic-fantastic-piece-of-shit on the road. It liked to metaphorically hold it’s competitors down like an evil bully and make them smell it’s nasty, overhead valved farts and then shove them into a trashcan. On the road, where there was no authority other than the local police department, the super cars had to take their lumps and move on. On the track however, they complained to the SCCA about the C4’s utter domination. The blue-bloods of racing were sick of being pushed around like the antagonist of some Pantera song, and by 1988 they had gotten their way.

The Corvette Challenge Series of 1988 and 1989 pitted identical production Corvettes against each other. At the time it was the only arena in which you could legally race the wedged terror under the SCCA. It was aired on Speed Vision and was rather popular for it’s time and is well known for the NASCAR-level of bumps and bruises the drivers inflicted upon each other to gain a win racing against an identical car.

When Generation: High Output’s editorial staff got a chance to visit the Imperial Palace car collection during some downtime at SEMA 2012, I got the opportunity to view these two 1988 Corvette Challenge race cars. I hope you enjoy them digitally as much as I did in person.

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