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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder January 27-31, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Scottsdale, Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Introduced for 1968, the third-generation or C3 Corvette was heavily inspired by the rakish Larry Shinoda-designed Mako Shark II concept car of 1965, which was styled under the direction of GM styling Chief Bill Mitchell and debuted to acclaim at the Paris Auto Show. While the new Corvette was a dramatic stylistic departure from the previous generation, the basic chassis and underpinnings were essentially carried over for ‘68, along with the basic Corvette powertrain choices. The instrumentation and interior layout were completely revised, and the three-speed GM Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission replaced the venerable Powerglide. The hottest Chevy performance engines occupied the Corvette’s engine bay, including various 427s, including the limited-production L-88, and eventually the LS6 454 in 1971. Small-block performance culminated with the solid-lifter LT-1 available from 1970 through 1972.
Progressive de-tuning to meet increasingly strict emissions regulations sapped performance, but the Corvette remained one of, if not the, fastest car in America. While virtually every other American high-performance car had already been legislated out of existence by the mid-1970s, Chevrolet’s Corvette soldiered on and continued as the almost-universal object of desire for driving enthusiasts. The Corvette’s “Mako Shark” design, which dated back to the mid-1960s, adapted quite readily to the changing times, particularly with its revised frontal styling of 1973 that incorporated a government-mandated five-mph bumper, yet retained the Corvette’s traditionally clean lines.
Many detail changes, particularly to the interior and instrumentation, continued to refine and enhance the Corvette as a serious driver’s car. Sure, horsepower was down and big-block power was dropped after 1975, but the Corvette still offered a pair of powerful small-block V8 engines, in standard L48 and upgraded high-performance L82 tune, along with performance-oriented rear axle ratios. With their strong torque output and relatively light weight, Corvettes of this era still provided strong performance and thrilling driving dynamics. Equipped with the L82, the Corvette was the fastest production car in North America for 1979, rivaled only by small numbers (1,817) of the Pontiac 400 (T/A 6.6) Trans Am that year. The next year, the Corvette reigned supreme and ushered in the 1980s with revised frontal styling.
This matching numbers, two-owner 1979 Corvette is equipped with the top-specification L82 350 engine. Only an approximate 51,000 miles have been traveled. Comprehensive options include air conditioning, power windows, T-roof panels, and the high-performance Gymkhana suspension option. Striking throughout, highly equipped, and featuring strong L82 power, this 1980 Corvette is a highly original example with just one repaint and drives excellent with all items in proper working order. As such, it is simply a great example of the final ‘C3’ Corvette generation.