Corvette Definitions

Most commonly used Corvette terms.


This list of commonly used words has been compiled from a variety of sources and is intended to educate and inform our visitors. If you don't see a term that should be here, or if you think we got a definition wrong, please email us at:



A/C - Air Conditioning

ABS - Anti-lock Braking System. Sensors monitored wheel rotation and prevented wheel lockup during braking.

ARC - Automatic ride control

ASR - Acceleration Slip Regulation


Benchmark - Bloomington Award for gold certified and survivor combo.

Big Block - Engines that started in 1965 with 396 cubic inches and progressed to 427 cubic inches for 1966 and then to 454 cubic inches from 1970 - 1974.

Big Brake - Big Brake option available on 1957 through 1962.

Big Tank - Optional larger gas tank, available 1959 through 1967.

Bloomington - A major annual Corvette show, best known for its certification judging system based on factory originality.

Blue Flame - Six cylinder engine for 1953, 1954 and a few 1955 Corvettes.

Body Off - Extensive restoration in which a Corvette body is completely removed from its frame.

Bowling Green - Location of the Corvette assemby plant since 1981 (Kentucky).

Bolt On - Optional 1967 cast aluminum road wheel.

Broach Marks - The marks on the deck of the block including the stamp pad, created by the factory machining operation.

Build sheet - (Tank Sticker) It lists all the options the car had originally. Starting in with '67s, it is glued to the top of the gas tank. Later years also may find them stashed various places inside the car.


C1 - 1st generation Corvettes built from 1953 -1962. The solid axle or straight axle cars.

C2 - 2nd generation Corvettes built from 1963 - 1967. Mid Years and Sting Ray years.

C3 - 3rd generation Corvettes built from 1968 - 1982. Includes 1968 Shark, and 1969 - 1976 Stingray years.

C4 - 4th generation Corvettes built from 1984 - 1996. Sometimes referred to as late-model Corvettes before the introduction of the C5.

C5 - 5th generation Corvettes built from 1997 - 200.

Callaway Twin Turbo - Engine conversion by Callaway Engineering.

Carlisle - Site of several auto events including a major annual Corvette show at the Carlisle, PA fairgrounds in late August.

Casting Number - usually refers to the GM part number cast into engine blocks, but can refer to cast numbers on other components.

CFI - Cross fire injection

CID - (CI) Cubic inch displacement of engine.

Classic - 1953 through 1962 model Corvettes.

Collector Edition - Specially equipped and trimmed 1982 or 1996 models.

Convertible - Soft top Corvettes built between 1956-1975, and starting again in 1986.

Coupe - 1963-1967 fixed-top Corvettes; also T-top 1968-1982 models and removalbe-roof panel 1984 and newer models.


Date Code - Almost every mechanical part made for a Corvette has a date code either cast or stamped into it. These are used by the manufacturer to track quaility control. They are now used to determine if the part is probably correct for the Corvette it is installed on.

Duntov - Zora Arkus-Duntov 1909-1996. Legendary chief engineer, called the "father" of the Corvette.

Drum Brake - All Corvettes built before 1965 have them.


EIN - Engine identification number

EMT - Extended Mobility Tires. Eliminates the use of spare tires. Used on the C5's.


Flint - Michigan site of the firts Corvette assembly facility. Also site of GM engine plant which built most Corvette small blocks through 1996.

FOA - Factory optional accessory

Four + Three - Doug Nash four spped manual transmission with three overdrives available in Corvettes from 1984 through 1988.

Fuelie - (FI) Fuel Injection. Early cars 1957 - 1965 used Fuel Injection.


Gold Certified - Top Bloomington award for factory originality.

Gold Line - Optional gold strip tire for 1965-1966 models.

Grand Sport - Five 1963 factory-built racers; also 1996 option package.

Gymkhana - Optional 1974 through 1982 suspension package


Hardtop - Removable auxillary hardtop available for 1956- 1975 and 1989-1996 convertibles; also new fixed-roof model introduced in 1999.

HP - Horsepower




King of the Hill - Designation for 1990 ZR-1

Knock Offs - (KO) Knock Off Aluminum Wheel Option Optional wheel available during 1963 through 1966 Model years.


L36 - 390 hp version of 427, used 1966 - 1969

L46 - 350 hp version of the 327 from 1965-1968.

L48 - Base engine in Corvettes from 1972-1979.

L68 - 400 hp version of 427 in Corvettes from 1967 to 1969.

L71 - 435 hp version of 427 from 1967-1969. The L71 used three 2 bbl Holley carbs on a low rise (almost flat) manifold with a triangular shaped air cleaner.

L72 - 425 hp version of 427 in 1966.

L75 - 300 hp version of 327 in 1963 to 1965 with a hydraulic cam.

L76 - 340 hp version of 327 in 1963, 365 hp version in 1964 and 1965. These had solid lifter cams.

L78 - 425 hp version of the 396 used in 1965 Corvettes.

L79 - 350 hp version of the 327 from 1965 to 1968 with a hydraulic cam.

L82 - 350 hp motor used in the 70s up 'til '81.

L83 - The L83 is the base, and only engine, in the '82 and '84 Corvettes.

L84 - The fuel injection engine in the Sting Ray.

L88 - 430 hp version of the 427. The factory race engine from 1967-1969. With this option, the radio and heater were deleted.

L89 - An aluminum head option on the L71 435 hp engine from 1967-1969. Correctly, it is the L71-L89 engine.

L98 - Engine used from 86 until the LT-1 came out in '91.

LPO - Limited Production Option

LS1 - 350 in the C5 Corvettes. It is a new design from the old small blocks.

LS5 - 454 in 1970-1972 Corvettes, rated at 390 hp in gross hp in 1970, 365 hp in '71, and 270 hp SAE Net in '72.

LS6 - 454 only available in '71 in Corvettes as a 425 hp version with aluminum heads.

LT1 - High performance engine option for 1970, 1971 and 1972. Also redesigned base engine starting in 1992.

LT5 - High Performance engines for the 1990-1995 ZR-1. Built by Mercury Marine.


M20, M21 - Muncie 4-speeds used in early Vettes.

M22 - Another Muncie 4-speed, known as the "Rock Crusher".

Matching Numbers - VIN-derivitive stamped into engine matches VIN; also can refer to any stamped or cast codes indicating original parts.

Mid Year - 1963 through 1967 Corvettes.

MSRP - Manufacturers suggested retail price

Multiport - Technically accurate description for the feul injection of 1985 and newer models, but especially


NCCC - National Council of Corvette Clubs

NCM - National Corvette Museum. Bowling Green, KY.

NCRS - National Corvette Restorers Society

NOM - Not Original Motor

NOS - New Old Stock. Original parts used for assembly. Brand new old parts.


OEM - Original Equipment Manufacture. Parts manufactured by GM or subcontractors.


Pace Car - Limited edition replicas of Indianapolis 500 pace cars offered in 1978, 1986, 1995 and 1998.

Positraction - (Posi) Limited slip differential.

Prefix - Alpha stamping into engine identifying engine build plant.

Protect-o-plate - Metal warranty card which has the original purchaser's name on it. First included in 1965. Contains some basic information about the options of the car.



Ram Jet - The Rochester fuel injection system used on 1957 - 1965 Corvettes.

Red Line - Optional 1967 through 1969 red stripe tire.

Replacement - Part furnished by Chevrolet which fits and functions, but doesn't necessarily duplicate the original.

Roadster - Early Convertible Corvettes (1953-1955) were referred to as roadsters. Different than the traditional convertible as they had side curtains, no roll up windows.

Rock Crusher - Heavy duty 4-speed manual transmission (RPO M22) available between 1966 and 1971.

Romulus - Engine plant source for 1997-1999 and most 2000 models.

RPO - Regular Production Option. Optional equipment that were generally available to the public.


St. Catharines - Engine plant source for some 2000 model Corvettes.

St. Louis - Site of Corvette assembly factory from 1954-1981.

Selective Ride - Adjustable shock absorber system first introduced in 1990.

Shark - 1968 Corvettes were designated Shark.

SIR - Supplemental Inflatable restraunt (airbag) introduced in 1990.

Side Pipe - Side mounted exhaust. Optional equipment available on 1965 through 1967 and 1969.

Silver Anniversary - Two-tone silver 1978 paint option.

Small Block - Chevrolet V-8 engines derived from the 265 cubic inch, block design. Included 283s, 327s, 350s, and 400s.

Split Window Coupe - 1963, only Corvette Coupe with the two piece rear window.

Sting Ray - 1963 through 1967 Corvettes were designated Sting Ray.

Stingray - 1969 - 1976 Corvettes were designated Stingray.

Straight Axle - (Solid Axle) 1953 -1962 Corvettes. These are the Corvettes that predate the 4 wheel independent suspension of 1963 and later cars.

Survivor - Bloomington award for unrestored, mostly original Corvette.


Tanker - The large 36 gallon fuel tank equipped Corvettes.

T-top - Removable top panels. Two panels, one over the drive seat and the other over the passenger seat.

Tank Sticker - (Build Sheet) It lists all the options the car had originally. Starting in with '67s, it is glued to the top of the gas tank. Later years also may find them stashed various places inside the car.

Teak - Teakwood steering wheel optional in 1965 and 1966.

Tonawanda - GM plant near Buffalo, NY.

Top Flight - NCRS judging award for factory originality.

Trim Plate - A Trim Plate was attached to each Corvette that told what the interior, exterior paint, body style, and body build date was. In Sting Rays, this is located under the dash next to the VIN plate. In Sharks, this is inside the drivers door hinge area.

Tri-Power - Engine setup with three 2 bbl Holley carbs on manifold with a triangular-shaped air cleaner.

Tuned Port - 1985 through 1991 feul injection with "tuned" runners.


V - The Internet's first Corvette only classified ads site, debuted in 1995.

VIN - Vehicle Identification Number


Waterfall - The area between the seats of 1953-1962 and 1997- 2001 model years of Corvette which cascades down from the rear deck and sports the Corvette emblem.



Y-Car - The term used by General Motors to designate the automotive platform upon which the Corvette sports car is built. The Corvette has been a "Y-Car" since its inception in 1953.


ZR-1 - Optional 1990-1995 Corvette model with 32-valve, overhead cam engine; also 1970 through 1972 engine optione (ZR1).

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