1980 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
By 1980, the C3 Corvette was aging. While the “Mako Shark” body had been updated with soft energy absorbing bumpers and other details that softened the car’s look, it had still been on the market since the 1968 model year. The chassis was even older, having been introduced for the 1963 Sting Ray. The chassis had been largely unchanged from the C2 and suspension remained fully-independent, with coil springs and A arms up front and transverse fiberglass leaf spring in the rear.
The performance edge of the earlier C3 Corvettes was missing, and the base 49-state version of the engine was a 350cid Small Block rated at a modest 190bhp, which may have been a gain from the low-point of 165bhp in 1976, but was down from the 300bhp that was standard from 1968-1970. A more powerful 220bhp L82 option was available, and people in all states could specify the 180bhp 305cid Small Block that was mandatory in California.
This particular 1980 Corvette was originally titled to General Motors and assigned to a company executive who drove it for more than a year. The next owner piled on the miles over 30 plus years. Early on in his ownership, he installed an L82 spec camshaft, which boosted power, and also repainted the car in an attractive non-factory dark blue. Although he put tens of thousands of miles on the car, it was carefully maintained. Along the way, belts, hoses, tune-up parts and tires were the only changes required. When Hagerty acquired it, there wasn’t much to do, although the paint was freshened.
With prices affordable and parts plentiful, Corvettes like this 1980 offer solid performance and are within reach of the enthusiast of many younger or first-time collector car owners.