1990 Corvette Specifications, Values, Options, Performance

1990 Corvette specifications and what you need to know about its options and values before you buy a used Corvette.

Josh Ybarra 1990 Chevrolet C4 Corvette Convertible at Corvette Chevy Expo
Josh Ybarra 1990 Chevrolet C4 Corvette Convertible at Corvette Chevy Expo

We are looking at the C4 1990 Corvette specifications and history. We’ll check out the options, numbers ordered as well as their costs. We will also see what special editions were available on the 90 Corvette Stingray. Learn about the colors available and their current values. We also have a 1990 Corvette that we are looking at that will be going up for auction at the Mecum Chicago Auction in October 2022.

Often times a Corvette will be advertised as stock or matching numbers, but it might not be the case. To start with, before you buy a used Corvette, check out the details below to see if the options, colors, and features were available in that model year. If you are buying it for an investment, you might want to consider hiring an appraiser.

So let’s look at the stats.

Corvette Black Book 1953-2023 for Sale

How many 1990s were produced?

There was a total of 23,646 produced in that model year sports car. The 90 Vettes were in the seventh year of the C4s run.

  • Total 1990 Coupes – 16,663
  • Total 1990 Convertibles – 9,749
  • Total 1990 ZR-1s – 3,049

Non-USA sales were 951 Canada, 176 Japan, and 951 Europe.

After much anticipation, the 1990 Chevrolet added the coveted high-performance ZR-1 option package ($27,016) to the Corvette. This package included special rear body panels and an all-aluminum block, designated the LT5, producing 375 hp. Drivers received an airbag and all engines received an oil change monitoring system. “King of the Hill” Corvette ZR-1 made its debut in 1990 and was GM’s highest-cost production car.

1990 Corvette Overview

1990 Corvette Engines

The 90 C4s base engine compressions ratio was increased and added five horsepower. This was also due to an air intake speed density control system and camshaft revision. Although this is not true on the coupes with 3.07:1 or 3.33:1 axle ratios which boosted from 245hp to 250hp because of their less-restrictive exhaust systems.

The base engine has 245 hp @ 4,000 rpm and the torque is 345 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm.

An oil life monitor that uses engine temperature and the engine’s revolutions to alert the driver when an oil change is needed was added.

Because 1990s sloped radiators were more efficient, the RPO V01 Heavy Duty Radiator and B4P radiator booster fan were not optional.

Mercury Marine received LT5 engines from Chevrolet service departments for certain repairs. Customers could choose between a replacement engine or returning their original engine if it was repairable.

1990 Base Corvette Features

The base Corvette came with the 350ci, 245 / 250hp engine and included the 4-speed automatic transmission. Also included was a rear body-color roof panel on the coupe or a soft top on the convertible. An AM-FM stereo was standard, and so were cloth seats in the base price. The base price on the sports coupe was $31,979, and the convertible was $37,264.

The new sports car estimated gas mileage is 15 MPG in the city and 22 on the highway, and it has a 20-gallon tank.

Brakes

ABS and yaw control were improved on 1990 Corvettes. In the driver information center, the “ABS Active” light has been removed from the driver information center.

RPO Z51 included KC4, heavy-duty suspension, and brakes but was only available with the coupe and manual transmission only.

1990 Callaway Corvette

The 1990 Callaway Corvette C4 2dr Convertible and coupe came with an 8-cyl. 350cid/390hp Twin Turbo engine. The Callaway C4 could reach 190 mph with the upgrades and travel the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds.

The RPO-B2K is known as the Callaway Twin Turbo, a Factory Optioned Twin Turbo Corvette that GM made available to the public between 1987 and 1991. Only about 500 of these RPO-B2K examples were made. In 1990 only 58 were produced for $26,895, added to the price of the original price tag.

Option ZR1 – New for the Fourth Generation Corvette

Engine Compartment of 1990 Corvette ZR1 - Sold $44,000 Mecum Indy 2022 - Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction
Engine Compartment of 1990 Corvette ZR1 – Sold $44,000 Mecum Indy 2022 – Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction.

The big news for 1990 was the ZR1. After much anticipation, the 1990 Chevrolet added the coveted high-performance ZR-1 option package ($27,016) to the Corvette. This package included special rear body panels and an all-aluminum block, designated the LT5, producing 375 hp. Drivers received an airbag, and all engines received an oil change monitoring system. “King of the Hill” Corvette ZR-1 made its debut in 1990 and was GM’s highest-cost production car.

Mercury Marine, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, manufactured and assembled LT5 engines and shipped them to the Bowling Green, Kentucky, facility to be included in the assembly of a 1990 Corvette ZR-1. Option ZR1 arrived after much anticipation as the 1990 C4 Corvette and has the LT5 V8 engine, and its bore is 4.4-inch spaces which are the same as the standard L98 Corvette but has a new Lotus-Chevrolet design and had four overhead cams and 32 valves. The engine weighed just under forty pounds more than the iron-block engine despite extensive aluminum use – this was despite producing 375hp, the LT5 avoided the EPA’s gas guzzler tax.

The uniquely designed RPO ZRl body included special doors, rear quarters, rock fascia, and rear upper panels. The ZR1 was widened and came with 11-inch wide Goodyear Z-rated P315 tires.

RPOs AC1, AC3, AQ9, FX3, LT5 (32-valve engine, exclusive to the ZR-1), U1F, UJ6, and a specially laminated windshield were included. RPO MN6 manual transmission was required. The ZR1 was only available in coupe body style.

With RPO ZR1, the KOS engine block heater was not available.

Check out our feature of a 1990 Corvette ZR1 that had only 43 miles on it and was displayed at the Bloomington Gold event.

1990 Indy Festival Corvettes

1990 Corvette Indy 500 Festival Car with only 16,600 miles on it.  It is one of 80 Indianapolis 500 Festival cars and one of 30 painted in Turquoise Metallic for the 1990 Indy parade. This sold at the Mecum Orlando 2022 auction in July for $16,500. Photo courtesy Mecum Auction
1990 Corvette Indy 500 Festival Car with only 16,600 miles on it. It is one of 80 Indianapolis 500 Festival cars and one of 30 painted in Turquoise Metallic for the 1990 Indy parade. This sold at the Mecum Orlando 2022 auction in July for $16,500. Photo courtesy Mecum Auction

Corvette was not the pace for the 1990 Indy 500. However, 80 Turquoise or Yellow “Indy Festival” convertibles were built and had special graphics for the event.

1990 Corvettes destined for the World Challenge Race Series

1990 Corvette R9G Race Car driven by Driven by John Heinricy, Andy Pilgrim, Don Knowles, Stu Hayner and Bob Lobenberg. Sold at Mecum Monterey Auction in 2015 for $42,000. Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction
1990 Corvette R9G Race Car was driven by John Heinricy, Andy Pilgrim, Don Knowles, Stu Hayner, and Bob Lobenberg. Sold at Mecum Monterey Auction in 2015 for $42,000. Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction

For a short period of time, dealers could order Corvettes for the World Challenge race series. When an owner ordered code R9G, this triggered departures from the normal builds, such as the heavy-duty springs with FX3.

Chevy made available sealed racing engines, but the modifications were left up to the owner. Twenty-three 1990 Corvette models were released in the R9G line.

Instrument Panel

Instrument Panel 1990 Corvette Convertible Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 - Photo courtesy Mecum Auction
Instrument Panel 1990 Corvette Convertible Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 – Photo courtesy Mecum Auction

The 1990 instrument panel contained an overhauled version of a hybrid by integrating a digital speedometer with an analog tachometer and additional gauges.

There is a supplemental inflatable restraint system with an airbag on the driver’s side, as well as a glovebox on the passenger’s side.

Stereo

There were two 200-watt stereo system options. Options UU8 Stereo System by Delco-Bose was available as was U1F Stereo System with CD, Delco-Bose.

The top stereo system unit featured a compact disc player. To stop people from stealing, the CD required an electronic security code to be input after the battery had been disconnected.

Interior

Interior 1990 Corvette Convertible Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 - Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction
Interior 1990 Corvette Convertible Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 – Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction

They hadn’t made any significant changes in seat design in 1990 compared to the previous year. However, the backs could latch in a forward position.

In 1990, sports seats were available in all models.

Are you considering buying a 1990 Corvette?

In spite of the new interior redesign, due to its wide sills and tall transmission tunnel, the 1990 Chevy Vette was still a tight fit. Here are some dimensions you might be interested in:

Headroom – 36.4 in.
Legroom – 42.6 in.
Shoulder room – 54.1 in.
Hip room – 49.3 in.

1990 Corvette Convertible for Sale Lot F161

Black 1990 Corvette Convertible for Sale - Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 - Photo courtesy Mecum Auction
Black 1990 Corvette Convertible for Sale – Lot F161 Mecum Auction Chicago 2022 – Photo courtesy Mecum Auction

Mecum will be holding its Chicago auction on October 13-15, 2022. There will be a 1990 Corvette convertible for sale at the auction. The Mecum’s site shows that the odometer reads 8,075 miles, and the Corvette is said to be highly original in an unmodified condition. It originally sat in the dealership showroom for ten years until it was sold new in November of 2000. LOT F161 is Black with a matching Black leather interior and has a rare removable hardtop, one of 2,371 produced in 1990. The original window sticker has an MSRP of $44,920.00.

Base Corvette Values

So what are the 1990 Chevrolet Corvettes valued at? (Note these prices do not include the extra options) – Date of info 9-20-2022 – Source Hagerty Insurance Website

Base Coupe

  • #1 Concours $27,000
  • #2 Excellent Condition $16,600
  • #3 Good Condition $7,800
  • #4 Fair Condition $4,800

Bast Convertible

  • #1 Concours $29,900
  • #2 Excellent Condition $19,800
  • #3 Good Condition $9,800
  • #4 Fair Condition $5,300

We also have some recent auction results from the Mecum Indy 2022 auction of 1990 Corvettes that Sold!

1990 Corvette ZR1 Polo Green - Sold $44,000 Mecum Indy 2022 - Photo Courtesy Mecum Auctions
1990 Corvette ZR1 Polo Green – Sold $44,000 Mecum Indy 2022 – Photo Courtesy Mecum Auctions
5/13/2022J1471990Corvette Convertible$14,300
5/17/2022G971990Corvette Convertible$8,800
5/19/2022T69.11990Corvette Convertible$14,300
5/15/2022L31990Corvette Coupe$5,500
5/14/2022K761990Corvette ZR1$25,300
5/19/2022T2491990Corvette ZR1$48,400
5/21/2022S33.11990Corvette ZR1$44,000

1990 Corvette Options

RPO#DESCRIPTIONQUANTITY$ RETAIL
1YY07Base Corvette Sport Coupe16,01631,979
1YY67Base Corvette Convertible7,63037,264
AR9Base Seats – Leather11,649425
AQ9Sport Seats – Leather11,4571,050
AC3Power Driver Seat23,109270
AC1Power Passenger Seat20,419270
B2KCallaway Twin-Turbo5826,895
CC2Auxillary Hardtop (convertible)2,3711,995
C2LDual Removable Roof Panels (coupe)6,422915
24SRemovable Roof Panel, blue tint (coupe)7,852615
64SRemovable Roof Panel, bronze tint (coupe)4,340615
C68Air Conditioning, Electronic Control22,497180
FX3Selective Ride and Handling, Electronic7,5761,695
G92Performance Axle Ratio9,36222
K05Engine Block Heater1,58520
KC4Engine Oil Cooler16,220110
MN66-Speed Manual Transmission8,1000
NN5California Emission Requirements4,035100
UJ6Low Tire Pressure Warning Indicator8,432325
UU8Stereo System, Delco-Bose6,401823
U1FStereo System with Compact Disc, Delco-Bose15,7161,219
V56Luggage Rack (convertible)1,284140
Z51Performance Handling Package (coupe)5,446460
ZR1Special Performance Package3,04927,016

1990 Corvette Exterior Color Choices

CODEEXTERIORQUANTITY
10White4,872
25Steel Blue Metallic813
41Black4,759
42Turquoise Metallic589
53Competition Yellow278
68Dark Red Metallic2,353
80Quasar Blue Metallic474
81Bright Red6,956
91Polo Green Metallic1,674
96Charcoal Metallic878

1990 Corvette Interior Color Choices

CODECOLOR
19CBlack Cloth
193Black Leather
223Blue Leather
60CSaddle Cloth
603Saddle Leather
733Red Leather
903Gray Leather

1990 Corvette Specifications: 1990 Vehicle Numbers

lGlYY2380L5100001 thru lGlYY2380L5120597

lGlYZ23J6L5800001 thru lGlYZ23J6L5803032 (ZRl)

  • For convertibles, the sixth digit is a 3.
  • The ninth digit is a security code and varies.

Want to learn more about the C4 Corvette? Check out our C4 Corvette Overview, we look at the history of the model years 1984-1996. This was the fourth-generation Corvette.

Are you looking for more to read? Check out our Recent Blog Posts.

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