Total 1988 Corvettes Built- 22,789 – 7,407 Convertibles, 15,382 Coupes

Corvette Coupe, the grand touring edition of America’s exotic car, offers a stunning combination of advanced design, luxurious comfort and outstanding performance. To those who have driven a Corvette, it should come as no surprise that Car and Driver has named this car one of the world’s “Ten Best” for three years running. Exterior Design: The sensuous shape of the Corvette Coupe is unmistakable, from the sweeping hood line to the tradition-inspired circular tail lamps.

Features include:

  • A smooth, aerodynamic design perfected in the GM Wind Tunnel
  • A one-piece removable fiberglass roof panel gives Corvette Coupe the open-air flair of a convertible and the security of a closed car
  • Retractable halogen headlamps and halogen foglamps
  • Lustrous base-coat/clear-coat paint for a “wet-look” shine.

Interior Comfort: Presenting an environment of intimate, scientifically shaped comfort for two.

Specifics of the Corvette interior:

  • Deeply contoured standard Sport Cloth reclining bucket seats with integral head restraints (leather seat trim optional)
  • Optional adjustable sport bucket seats with integral head restraints (leather seat trim optional), both driver and passenger seats feature power adjustment for lumbar support and backrest positioning (require optional six-way power driver and passenger seat adjustment)
  • An instrument panel to please the demanding enthusiast, featuring electronic liquid-crystal instrumentation with multi-colored analog and digital display.
  • Readouts include: Speedometer, 6,000-RPM tachometer, fuel level, oil pressure, oil temperature plus conventional readouts for odometer, turn signals and high-beam headlamps.
  • Driver information system includes average MPG and cruising range in digital readouts, standard air conditioning, standard AM/FM stereo radio with Seek and Scan, cassette tape player, digital clock and four speakers, or choose the ultimate in automotive music systems
  • The optional Delco/Bose stereo that is tuned specifically to the interior acoustics of Corvette Coupe
  • power windows, power door locks and electric mirrors
  • Tilt-Telescopic steering wheel
  • intermittent windshield wipers
  • Up to 17.9 cu. ft. of cargo space, and rear underfloor storage compartments (2).

Corvette Technology: Corvette is America’s Showroom Stock Endurance racing champion. And the precise response and handling that help Corvette capture the checkered flag so consistently also make it a sensational highway performer.

The technology includes:

  • The legendary 5.7 Liter V8 with Tuned-Port Injection
  • Aluminum cylinder heads and a new higher-lift camshaft
  • For 1988 horsepower increase to 245 at 4,300 RPM, standard 4-speed manual transmission with overdrive on the top three gears, or select at no extra cost, the 4-speed automatic overdrive
  • Bosch ABS II anti-lock braking system and four-wheel disc brakes
  • Independent front and rear suspension with fiberglass transverse leaf springs and forged aluminum A-arms
  • New standard 16” x 8 ½” cast-aluminum wheels with P255/50ZR-16 tires, and new optional 17” x 9 ½” cast-aluminum wheels with P275/40ZR-17 tires (included with Z51 and Z52 Performance Handling Packages).

Corvette Convertible: To the open car cognoscente, the Corvette Convertible has always presented a singularly seductive motoring experience. The romance continues with the current-generation Corvette Convertible. The shape is ominously elegant, the performance everything you expect of Corvette. World-class technology has taken tradition and reshaped it for a new generation.

Uncommon performance: In creating the convertible version of America’s own exotic sports car, the Corvette engineering team has allowed no performance compromise. The result is more than aesthetic triumph; it is a technological tour de force.

Features include:

  • The 240-HP 5.7 Liter Corvette V8 with Tuned-Port Fuel Injection
  • A choice of 4-speed automatic or 4-speed manual overdrive transmissions
  • Fully independent suspension tuned specifically for the Convertible version
  • New standard 16” x 8 ½” cast-aluminum wheels with p255/50ZR-16 tires, and new optional 17” x 9 ½” cast-aluminum wheels with P275/40ZR-17 tires (included with Z52 Performance Handling Package).

Convertible Design Specifics: Significantly, this Corvette has been designed as a Convertible. To ensure the highest quality standards, the Convertible is custom-crafted on a special final assembly line within the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette Plant.

Features Include:

  • A manually operated, aerodynamically designed convertible top with headliner and acrylic rear window
  • Three convertible top colors (black, white, and saddle), and a covered will into which top completely disappears (there is no unsightly boot to mar the top-down appearance).

Certainly, there are other Convertibles, but only one so perfectly balances exotic performance with timeless elegance. The Convertible Corvette.

Performance: You’d think a car with a track record like Corvette’s might rest on its performance laurels. It hasn’t. A grand touring automobile deserves no less than a respected race-proven powerplant. The more powerful 5.7 Liter V8 with Tuned-Port Injection (TPI) is such an engine. Displacing 5.7 Liters (350 cu. in.) the Corvette engine features 90° design, overhead valves and an over-square, short stroke configuration (bore 4.00, stroke 3.48) with a compression ratio if 9.5:1.

Copper core spark plugs, low-friction roller valve lifters, ball-tip push rods, one-piece oil pan and one-piece rear crankshaft seal are included, as well as Electronic Spark Control (ESC) to tailor spark advance to the level of octane in the fuel. TPI is a model of advanced fuel management, featuring eight tuned runners that ram air into the combustion chambers.

Individual Bosch Injectors spray pulsed charges of fuel directly into the intake ports for dependable cold and hot starts and instant throttle response. An electronic control module receives input from the mass airflow sensor, then adjusts the injector’s pulse duration with computer speed accuracy. This is simply one of the most sophisticated automotive fuel-injection systems there is.

Corvette performance is further enhanced with aluminum cylinder heads and large inlet ports for improved breathing and high compression. For 1988, a new high-left camshaft helps increase horsepower to 245 at 4300RPM and torque to 340 at 3200 RPM.

This high-output V8 combines with a choice of transmission: standard automatic with 4th gear overdrive or the no-cost-option 4-speed manual. Both the automatic and the manual have oil and water heat exchangers and aluminum transmission housings. Aluminum contributes to rapid heat dissipation. Efficiency of cooling helps protect the transmission oil from degradation, that helps protect the bearings, gears and synchronizers. As with Corvette’s other features, the transmissions presume driver control. While the standard automatic shifts itself as smoothly as a dancer executes and arabesque, the driver can dictate precise commands to the manual unit. With overdrive in the top three gears, the manual gives a choice of seven gear ratios, so engine speed is optimized, whether powering through a curve, maneuvering through congested city traffic or following those long western straightaways right into the sunset. Because good manners are always appropriate in a fine sports car, Corvette combines compliant ride characteristics with quick, accurate driver response.

The technology that makes this artful balance possible includes fiberglass-composite front and rear transverse springs with computer-selected rates, a rear independent suspension with five-link connections and forged aluminum componentry. Specifications also include power rack-and-pinion steering, and aircraft inspired “uniframe” and new Goodyear Eagle ZR50 tires. Computer-aided design rewards the Corvette owner with a strong, lightweight chassis layout. The uniframe, or spare frame, is made of relatively then sections of sheet steel spot-welded together.

Fiberglass body skins are then bonded to the uniframe. The concept involves marrying the uniframe or upper structure and the frame into a single unit (in earlier design the upper structure was perched atop frame rails on rubber body mounts; the current generation Corvette has eliminated this heavy, bulky ladder-type frame). The result is a stiff structure, contributing to Corvette’s phenomenal road-holding ability. ABS II developed for Corvette by Bosch is a computer-controlled system. This state-of-the-art technology is applied automatically should the driver call for breaking beyond normal tire/road interface capabilities. Whenever braking begins, wheel sensors automatically inform the Bosch ABS II computer of the rotational velocity of the four wheels. This control unit “watches” each wheel, noting its rate of deceleration and comparing it to a calculated reference speed. Should a wheel begin to rotate too slowly – i.e., if it attempts to lockup or develop too high a slip rate – the ABS II system momentarily releases brake pressure at that wheel. Front wheels are controlled individually; rear wheels as a single unit. When the wheel-speed sensor determines that the wheel is no longer approaching lockup, pressure is reapplied to maintain braking. When called upon to do so, Bosch ABS II can adjust brake pressure as rapidly as 15 times per second, a rate even the most skillful professional driver cannot attain. When the pedal is pressed hard enough to activate the anti-lock function (pressure hard enough to cause normal brakes to lock up), the driver can feel ABS II pulsing. The result (1) a system that prevents flat spotting of tires, while helping assure smooth stops in most types of road conditions (2) a system that prevents wheel lockup (3) a system that provides improved braking control even with one wheel on a soft-shoulder and the other on firm pavement. The application of advanced technology has advanced the sports car to a new level. And the Corvette driver is rewarded with an automobile both responsive and reassuring.

Standard Features: The features that make Corvette one of the world’s most completely equipped sports cars. The reclining high back cloth bucket seats are contoured to provide the feeling of individualized fit and comfort. Other interior features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual rear lockable storage compartments (Coupe only) and lighted visor vanity mirror. Corvette’s standard Bosch ABS II anti-lock brake system uses an electronic sensor to monitor rates of wheel rotation during braking. If a wheel approaches lockup, the control unit releases braking pressure briefly, then reapplies it when traction is regained. Also, standard 4-wheel power disc brakes. Pass key is an important Corvette anti-theft feature. The core of the sophisticated pass key ignition key system is a special module with a resister decoder and an ignition key with a pellet of specified resistance. An anti-theft horn alarm circuit and starter interrupt are also standard on every 1988 Corvette. The Delco electronically tuned AM/FM stereo music system features Seek and Scan, cassette tape player, digital clock and power antenna. Electronic Speed Control includes a convenient resume-speed feature and a speed adjustment that allows you to change your speed in precise 1-MPH intervals. Removable Roof Panel: (Coupe only) The removable one-piece roof panel combines the security of a closed car with the exhilarating effects of an open roadster. There is no T-bar. The roof is removed using a ratchet wrench designed for this application. The panel may be stored behind in the cargo area in a lockdown position. Air conditioning: This powerful air conditioning system offers improved cooling capacity for 1988. The standard wheel and tire combination feature new P255/50ZR-16 Goodyear unidirectional steel-belted radial tires mounted on a new 16” aluminum alloy wheels with functional turbine-blade design and anti-theft nuts. Corvette News, a bimonthly publication keeps owners up to date on their favorite sports car. A three-year complimentary subscription goes to every Corvette buyer. Additional Standard Features include: aluminum intake plenum, tuned crossover runner manifold, choice of automatic transmission with overdrive fourth gear or 4-speed manual with an electronic overdrive feature in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear, center high-mounted stop lamp, computer command control, Delco Freedom Pluss II battery with sealed side terminals, electric engine coolant fan, electric in-tank fuel pump, exclusive transverse front and rear springs with monoleaf glass-epoxy construction, 5.7 Liter V8 engine with TPI (Tuned-Port Fuel Injection) and aluminum cylinder heads, forged aluminum front and rear suspension arms, fully independent four-wheel suspension, high energy ignition system, hydraulic roller valve lifters and exhaust valve rotators, limited slip differential, magnesium engine valve covers, New 16” cast alloy aluminum wheels (steel compact spare), Poly-vee single-belt engine accessory drive belt, power rack-and-pinion steering, side-lift jack, stainless steel exhaust manifolds and free-flow mufflers, and sturdy uniframe body structure 100% galvanized and dip painted.

Exterior: Automatic power antenna, body-color front and rear soft facia with integral front air dam, concealed wipers with integral washers in wiper arms, corrosion-resistant fiberglass body panels, designed-in body-side molding, dual electric remote-controlled sport mirrors, dual quartz-halogen fog lamps in grille opening, energy absorbing bumper systems, frameless rear hatch glass with three remote releases (Coupe only), front and rear cornering lamps, front fender louvers, full-tilting clamshell-type hood, power operated quartz-halogen retractable headlamps, and tinted and flush-mounted glass.
Interior: Acoustical insulation package, air conditioning, center console with shifter, coin tray, cigarette lighter and ashtray; plus controls for power window, radio, air conditioning controls, day/night rearview mirror with integral map lamps, deep-twist floor carpeting and stowage area carpet, driver information system which provides average MPG and cruising range in digital readouts, electronic speed control, AM/FM Electronically Tuned Receiver (ETR) stereo radio with Seek and Scan, digital clock and four speakers, headlamps-on reminder high-intensity interior lamps, illuminated RH visor vanity mirror, intermittent windshield wipers, leather wrapped steering wheel, luggage compartment concealment roller shade (Coupe only), manual inside hood release, power door locks, power windows, two rear underfloor storage compartments (Coupe only), side window defogger, soft-padded and carpeted door panels, Tilt-Telescopic steering wheel, twin under hood lamps, ultracontemporary instrument panel featuring electronic liquid crystal instrumentation with multicolored analog and digital display, readouts include: speedometer, 6000RPM tachometer, fuel level, oil pressure, oil temperature, voltmeter, Conventional readouts for odometer, turn signals and high-beam headlamps, and under dash courtesy lamps.

Exterior Colors: Black, Medium Blue Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Charcoal Metallic, Gray Metallic, Bright Red, Dark Red Metallic, Silver Metallic, White, Yellow

Interior Colors
Standard Cloth Seat Black, Saddle
Optional Leather Seat Blue, Black, Gray, Red, Saddle
Optional Leather Sport Seat Blue, Black, Gray, Red, Saddle


5.7 Liter (350 cu. in.) V8 with Tuned-Port Fuel Injection
Block Cast Iron Alloy
Pistons Impacted Cast Aluminum
Camshaft Steel
Valve Lifters Roller-Type
Bore 4.00”
Stroke 3.48”
Horsepower 245 net @ 4300 RPM
Torque 340 lb.-ft. @ 3200 RPM
Recommended Fuel Unleaded Premium
Fuel Anti-Knock Index :93
Oil Filter System Full flow
Crankcase Capacity (qt.) 4 (less filter)
Air Cleaner Type Replaceable, paper element, outside-air pickup for cool, dense cylinder charge
Fuel Pump Electric (in tank)
Fuel Tank Capacity 20 gallons


Standard 4-spped automatic with overdrive and high-stall torque converter
1st 3.06:1
2nd 1.63:1
3rd 1.00:1
4th 0.70:1
No-cost-option 4-speed manual with computer-controlled over-drive in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears


Axle Ratios
Coupe 2.59:1
Convertible 2.73:1
Optional 3.07:1
Std. 3.07:1


Suspension – General
Shock Absorbers
Type Base-direct, double-acting hydraulic with pliacell expansion bas; deflected disc. (std. on Convertible)
Optional -gas pressurized
Make Base-Delco
Suspension – Front
Description Independent, forged aluminum upper and lower control arms and steering knuckle, transverse monoleaf spring and steel stabilizer, spindle offset
Type and Material Monoleaf, filament-wound glass-epoxy composite
Suspension – Rear
Description Independent 5-link design with toe and camber adjustment, forged aluminum control arms, knuckles and struts, transverse monoleaf spring steel tie-rods and stabilizer, tubular U-jointed drive shafts
Type and Material Monoleaf, filament-wound glass-epoxy composite


Description Aluminum caliper with nodular iron reaction bracket; pad reaction through bracket, self -adjusting
Type Front: Disc with sliding-head caliper, low drag
Rear: disc with sliding head caliper, low drag
Special Valving Proportioning – integral with master cylinder
Power Brakes Standard
Anti-Lock Braking System Electronic 4-Wheel, 3-Channel (standard)
Effective area 174.0 (27.0) front; 117.9 (18.3) rear
Gross Lining area 174.0 (27.0) front; 117.9 (18.3) rear
Swept area 622 (96.4) front; 565 (87.5) rear
Rotors, Outer Diameter 11.5”


Tires and Wheels
Size (load range, ply) P255/50ZR-16 B/W
Type High-speed steel-belted radial Eagle ZR50 unidirectional (Goodyear)
Inflation Pressure (cold) for Max. Vehicle Load 35 front and rear (PSI)
Type and Material Left-right aluminum alloy road wheels with specific vent design
Rom (size and flange type) 16 x 8.5 front and 16 x 8.5 rear
Type (bolt or stud) Stud
Number and Size 5 hex nuts, 1 anti-theft
Spare T155/80D-16, 16 x 4 steel wheel
Position Horizontal under fuel tank
Optional Z51 and Z52 Handling Packages
Size (load range, ply) P275/40ZR-17 B/W
Type High-speed steel-belted radial Eagle ZR40 unidirectional (Goodyear)
Type and Material Left-right aluminum alloy road wheels with specific vent design
Rim (size and flange type) 17 x 9.5 front and 17 x 9.5 rear
Spare Tire and Wheel T155/70D-17 (aluminum 17 x 4 wheel with Power Seat Options RPO AC1 and AC3)


Power Standard
Adjustable Steering Wheel Standard Black-leather-wrapped two-spoke steering wheel; Tilt-Telescopic
Turning Diameter 40.4 ft.
Steering Type Alloy rack-and-pinion
Overall Ratio 15.6:1 base; 13.0:1 Z51 and Z52 Handling Packages


Electrical – Supply System
Make Delco
Model 75-630
Voltage 12 Volts
Amps at 0°F Cold Crank 630 cold-cranking amps (CCA)
Minutes, Reserve Capacity 90
Location Engine Compartment directly behind left wheel opening
Type and Rating 105 amps
Starting System
Starter Motor Current Drain at 0°F 350 amps
Ignition System
Type High Energy Ignition
Coil Integral and Distributor
Spark Plug Make AC
Spark Plug Model FR5LS
Spark Plug Gap 0.89mm (0.035 in.)


Structure Integral perimeter-frame birdcage forms unitized body structure
Anti-Corrosion Treatment All-encompassing corrosion protection including extensive use of aluminum; galvanization; use of specially treated fasteners, austenitic stainless steel or specially coated brackets, clamps, clips and braces, use of aluminized steel
Miscellaneous Information
Type of Finish High-solids acrylic enamel with final clear coat
Hinge Location Front
Hatch Type Hinged Clamshell hood
Hatchback Lid Dual gas struts electric release (each door and console glove box)
All-welded steel-body-frame construction, 100% galvanized


Dimensions and Weights
Width 71.0”
Front Tread 59.6”
Rear Tread 60.4”
Wheelbase 96.2”
Overall Length 176.5”
Height Coupe 46.7”
Height Convertible 46.4”
Minimum Ground Clearance 4.7”
Head Room Coupe 36.4”
Head Room Convertible 36.5”
Leg Room 42.6”
Shoulder Room 54.1”
Hip Room 49.3”
Cargo Volume Coupe 7.9 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume Convertible 6.6 cu. ft.
Curb Weight 4-speed Manual Coupe 3,233 lbs.
Curb Weight 4-speed Manual Convertible 3,294 lbs.
Automatic Coupe 3,237 lbs.
Automatic Convertible 3,298 lbs.

Optional Equipment: In keeping with tradition, the 1988 Corvette may be tailored to your exact tastes and requirements. First, choose Coupe or Convertible. Then select the optional equipment you desire.

It’s as simple as that.

Leather Sport Seats: The sport seat features leather seating surfaces and power adjustments of upper side bolsters, lumbar support and back-angle adjustment.

Electronic Air Conditioning: This electronic control system features easy-to-use, color-coded push buttons and a digital temperature adjuster. One set, the temperature is automatically maintained. An optional display registers outside air temperature.

Z51 Performance Handling Package: One of the reasons for Corvette’s winning record in SCCA sanctioned showroom-stock racing is the track-tested capability of the Z51 Performance Handling Package, Z51 equipment includes: 17” x 9 ½” cast aluminum wheels with P275/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle Tires, heavy-duty front and rear springs and stabilizer bars, Delco/Bilstein gas-charged shock absorbers, heavy duty brakes, radiator boost cooling fan, first ratio steering gear (13:1), 3.07:1 rear axle ratio, 8 ½ inch ring gear, engine oil cooler, and power steering cooler.

The Z51 Performance Handling Package is available on Corvette Coupe with manual transmission only. Recommended for specialized use, as you may consider that ride too harsh for everyday use.

Z52 Sport Handling Package: For the serious enthusiast, this package includes: 17” x 9 ½” cast-aluminum wheels with P275/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle Tires. Delco/Bilstein gas-charged shock absorbers, first ratio steering gear (13:1), engine oil cooler, heavy-duty radiator, radiator boost cooling fan, and reinforced front body structure. The Z52 Sport Handling Package is available on both Coupe and Convertible models.

Additional Optional Equipment: Axle – performance ratio (automatic transmission only), defogger system included rear window defogger and heated outside rearview mirrors (Coupe only), engine oil cooler, heated outside rearview mirrors (Convertible only), driver’s side mirror (illuminated visor vanity), radiator cooling boost fan, heavy-duty radiator, roof panel (Coupe only) – Blue Tint Transparent Lift-Off, Bronze Tint Transparent Lift-Off, Dual Removable (transparent and fiberglass), seat equipment – leather trimmed reclining bucket seat with integral head restraint, power six-way driver’s side seat, and power six-way passenger side seat (requires power driver’s seat).

Delco/Bose For Music Tuned to your Corvette: The Delco/Bose stereo, available as a factory option on both 1988 Corvette Coupe and Convertible models, offers sound so real that it’s been rated by experts as one of the best stereo systems available in a production automobile. Delco/Bose performance rivals the most expensive home stereos, because it is tailored exactly to the acoustics of Corvette. The Delco/Bose Music System is composed on receiver and four bass reflex amplifier/speaker enclosures, engineered specifically for window placement, angle and density of glass, seating position and cockpit configuration. Even the textural composition of the upholstery and carpeting was considered. Each speaker has its own built-in equalizer network.

Other features of the system include AM/FM Stereo reception with automatic adjustment. Circuits that adjust reception, assuring maximum sensitivity to weak stations without danger of overload on strong signals. Electronic tuning with Seek and Scan features. Seek button that changes stations electronically. Scan button that automatically samples all clear radio signals for five seconds each. Digital VF (Vacuum Fluorescent) readouts of time or radio frequency Dynamic Noise Reduction (DNR) and Dolby Sound Noise Reduction to reduce high-frequency “hiss” on AM, FM and cassette tape. Integral tape player with auto reverse and music search features. Also included: 100 watts of power, four separate speaker enclosures, separate treble and bass controls, computer-balance, and wraparound sound.

Safety Features and Occupant Protection: Manual lap/shoulder safety belts for driver and right front passenger, driver side includes visual and audible warning system, energy-absorbing steering column, energy-absorbing instrument panel, laminated safety windshield glass, safety interlocking door latches, side-guard door beam, passenger-guard inside door lock handles, safety armrests, head restraints, driver and right front passenger (adjustable).

Accident Avoidance: Side marker lights and reflectors, parking lamps that illuminate with headlamps, four-way hazard warning flasher, backup lights, center high-mounted stop lamp, directional signal control with lane-change feature, windshield defroster, washer and pulse-type wipers, inside rearview mirror, outside left and right rearview mirrors, brake system with dual master cylinder and warning light, starter safety switch, low-glare finish on inside windshield moldings, wiper arms and blades, metallic steering surfaces, illuminated heater and defroster controls, illuminated wiper controls on driver’s door, and tires with built-in tread wear indicators.

Theft Deterrence: Audible reminder for ignition key removal, theft-deterrent steering column lock, visible vehicle identification number, pass key vehicle anti-theft system, audio alarm system with starter-interrupt feature, locking roof panel with theft deterrent mount (Coupe only), and theft-deterrent wheel lugs.