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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Maisto 1:18 1996 Corvette Coupe

Now to the other side of Maisto's 1:18 scale C4 Corvette casting: In 1996 the Convertible and Grand Sport joined the party with the ZR-1, and then along came the 1996 Coupe in Flame Red.

Top/Topless Red-Head!

The C4 got restyled front and rear bumpers for 1991, giving the Corvette a more rounder look.  The dashboard changes from the Gameboy ergonomic mess of the old to a simpler, cleaner, rounded look in 1991.  The color palette also got some hotter colors like yellow and this red I like to call Flame Red (though it was really Torch Red).  It looks HOT in person!!!  The biggest change is the introduction of the 5.7L LT4 V8 in 1996 for manual transmission cars.  The LT4 had changes to engine parts, including a new larger intake.  Output is 330 hp. and 340 Ib-ft. torque through a six-speed manual.  This engine also appeared on the Grand Sport models as well.  However, with a new Corvette on the horizon with new LS engine, the LT4 was short-lived to 1996 manual trans. only Corvette's and special edition Camaro and Firebird models (like SLP).  1996 also seen a collector's edition in silver and a last C4 in white with red hood stripes above front wheels and white wheels.  Maisto made both of them in 1:18 scale, joining the 1995 Pace Car convertible and 40th Anniversary coupe.

How Hot???

Yes, it's so bright the red caused the pictures to appear brighter than they should!  The special feature of the early version's of the coupe (which also includes green) is the silver 5-sp. wheels that just go really well with the red color (later versions, including green, used the turbine wheels from the ZR-1).  The fabulous coupe body is unchanged from the ZR-1 save no badges, although the plastic front bumper has a hard time blending into the bright red paint.  The base is also unchanged from the ZR-1, but under the hood the engine gets a new black cover with silver accents that, sadly, cover the engine block details.  The interior gets the first two-tone for the C4 Corvette: Tan with black.  This color combination, again, goes great with the bright red and 5-sp. wheels.  Everything else inside is the same from the ZR-1. 

Finally the biggest draw is the targa tops.  The coupe comes with two: Clear plastic and Red plastic to match the color (Green with green color).  The tops can be used with any Maisto 1:18 C4 Corvette coupe casting (trust me, I've used it on the ZR-1 many times).  The tops have four tabs that clip on the front windshield and targa bar, giving much more support for the front windshield and adding a more streamlined effect to the styling.  Even cooler is the fact that the tops can rest in the cargo area on top of the wheel wells just like the actual car, though the tops have a habit of jumping off one well if the car is moved the slightest.


The blue ZR-1 is my favorite, but when this 1996 coupe arrived, the competition got tougher.  The color is hot and the moveable targa tops are cool.  Too bad the C6 and C7 Corvette's don't have these cool removable targa tops!  When it comes to defining the coolness of the Corvette, especially the C4 generation, look no further than this fiery-red coupe!

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