Corvette Glossary of Terms

For your convenience, the following is a glossary of terms commonly used in the Corvette community.
Anti-lock Braking System.  Sensors monitor wheel rotation and prevent wheel lockup during braking by modulating hydraulic pressure.

Acceleration Slip Regulation

The post section between the door glass and the windshield.

The pillar between the door glass and the rear window.

Big Block
Large displacement engines (396, 427 and 454 cubic engines), produced at the Tonawanda, NY engine plant.  Optional in Corvettes from 1965 through 1974.

Bloomington Gold
A major Corvette show and gathering held annually since 1973.  This popular annual Corvette show is known for its certification judging system based on factory originality.  Held in Bloomington, Illinois from 1973-92, then in Springfield, Illinois since 1993.

Blue Flame
The name of 235ci 6-cylinder engines between 1953 and 1955.

Bowling Green
Home of GM’s Corvette assembly plant and the National Corvette Museum.

C1 thru C6
Terms used to classify Corvette generations based on body styling.
C1: First generation of Corvette (1953-1962).
C2: Second generation of Corvette (1963-1967).
C3: Third generation of Corvette (1968-1982).
C4: Fourth generation of Corvette (1984-1996).
C5: Fifth generation of Corvette (1997-2004)
C6: Sixth generation of Corvette (2005-current)

Performance tuning company based in Old Lyme, CT.  THeir highly modified C4 models are often called “Callaway Twin Turbos”.   Available through Chevrolet dealers since 1987.

Annual Corvette show in Carlisle, PA.

Cubic inches.  To determine, multiply the volume of the space through which the piston head moves in the full length of its stroke by the number of cylinders in the engine. The result is given in cubic inches.

A Corvette with a fold-down soft top. Term “roadster” was used for the 1953-1955 Corvette.

Annual Corvette show at Cypress Gardens, FL.

Duntov Award
The highest award of the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), named for Zora Arkus-Duntov Legendary chief engineer, called “father” of the Corvette.

Factory Optional Accessory.

The fuel-injected Corvettes of 1957 through 1965.

4 + 3
Four-speed manual transmission with 3 overdrive gears available from 1984-88.

Gold Certificate
Top Bloomington award for factory originality.

Gold Line Tires
Tires with gold striped sidewalls optional in 1965 & 1966.

Independent Rear Suspension.  In the Corvette, the conventional live-axle suspension system was superseded by IRS in 1963.

Knock Offs
Optional cast aluminum wheels available from 1963-66.

The base C3 350 cubic inch engine

The optional higher output C3 350cubic inch engine (1973 – 1980).

Engine used from 1986 until the LT-1 came out.

Limited Production Option

Designation of the second-generation small block Chevrolet V8 used in 1970-72 & 1991-96

The successor to the LT-1, used only in 1996

The overhead cam 32-valve ZR-1 engine, built by Mercury Marine.

Term used for the high performance 454 offered in C3 Corvettes, and later the high performance engine used in the C5 Z06 Corvette.

M20, M21
Muncie 4-speed transmissions used in early Corvettes.

Another Muncie 4-speed, known as the “Rock Crusher”.

Mid Year
Designation for the C2 generation of the Corvette (1963-67).

Multiport Tuned Injection.  Fuel injection system used from 1992 on.

New Old Stock, dated but un-used parts.

Pace Car
Limited edition replicas of the Indy 500 pace cars offered in 1978 and 1986.

Red Line Tires
Tires with red striped sidewalls optional in 1967 & 1969.

Corvette convertibles. Term “roadster” is used esoterically for 1953-55 Vettes.

Regular Production Option

Side Pipes
Optional side mounted exhaust pipes offered from 1965-67  and in 1969.

Silver Anniversary
Limited edition two-tone silver paint option offered in 1978 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Corvette.

Small Block
Engines produced with 265, 283, 305, 327 and 350 cubic inches.

Solid Axle/Striaght Axle
Solid axle Corvette produced from 1953-62.

Split Window
Term used to describe the 1963 Corvette hard top coupes because of the split rear window.

Sting Ray
Designation and logo of the 1963-67 Corvette.

Designation and logo of the 1969-76 Corvette.


A Borg-Warner 4-speed transmission used after the Muncies.

Split removable roof panels from 1968-1982.

TH400R, TH700R4

4-speed automatic transmissions (3-speed w/one overdrive gear).

TPI (Tuned Port Injection)
Fuel injection system used from 1985-91.

Turbo 350
3-speed automatic transmission used by GM.

Turbo 400
Three speed automatic transmission built with higher tolerances than the 350 and with different gear ratios.

Vehicle Identification Number.  Used to designate options and production sequences on all cars.

The area between the seats of 1953-1962 and 1997-1999 model years of Corvette
which cascades down from the rear deck and sports the Corvette emblem.

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 it’s inception in 1953. Prior to 1953, the Y-car designation was used to denote experimental platforms and models. The most notable were the Buick Y-Car’s, which were inspired by Harley Earl.

Special 2001-04 performance Corvette featuring 385-405 horsepower and enhanced suspension and braking components.  Available only in the hardtop model.

The ZF-6 speed transmission used since 1989.

Special high-performance package optional from 1990-95 with special 32-valve overhead cam engine. Also, the LT1 Special Purpose Engine Package offered from 1970-72.

The LS6 Special Purpose Engine Package offered from 1970-72.

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