Jul
14
1978

1978 Chevrolet Corvette

The third generation of “America’s Sports Car,” known casually as C3, was rolled out for the 1968 model year. Here we track the year-by-year changes to the C3 ’Vette, and pass along a few fun facts along the way.

Corvette Fun Facts: C1 (1953-1961)

Corvette Fun Facts C4 (1984-1996)

 

1968

1968 Corvette

1968 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 300

Maximum Available Horsepower: 435 hp

Model-Year Sales: 28,556

Corvette was all new for 1968, and little thicker around the middle. At 3065 pounds, the new convertible was a full 300 pounds heavier than the original ’53, but only 50 pounds up on the ‘67.

 

1969

1969 Corvette

1969 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 300

Maximum Available Horsepower: 435

Model-Year Sales: 38,762

Ill-fated 80’s sports car maker John Delorean became Chevrolet general manager in 1969. Among his first acts was killing a mid-engine four-wheel-drive development program that could have become the fourth-generation Corvette.

 

1970

1970 Corvette

1970 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 300

Maximum Available Horsepower: 390 hp

Model-Year Sales: 17,316

Responding to customer complaints of excessive stone chipping, Chevy subtly redesigned the 1970 Corvette’s rear fenders for better debris avoidance. Fewer than 2000 buyers ordered their cars without the optional FM radio.

 

1971

1971 Corvette

1971 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 270

Maximum Available Horsepower: 425

Model-Year Sales: 21,801

New for 1971, the Chevrolet Vega was similar in size to the ’Vette but boasted room for 5 and cost a whopping $3500 less. Of course horsepower was down by as much as 275, and no one ever dreamt of going to prom in one.

 

1972

1972 Corvette

1972 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 200

Maximum Available Horsepower: 270

Model-Year Sales: 27,004

New for 1972, option code YF5 meant your car was clean enough to meet California’s emissions requirements. Required on all California-delivered ’Vettes, YF5 added $15.80 to the sticker price.

 

1973

1973 Corvette

1973 Corvette%2 width=”500″ height=”330″ /> 1980 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 190

Maximum Available Horsepower: 230

Model-Year Sales: 40,514

1980 was bad year to be a California Corvette buyer. Emissions restrictions meant limiting Sunshine State ’Vettes to a 180-horsepower 305-CID V8, an engine also available in the lowly Impala.

 

1981

1981 Corvette

1981 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 190

Maximum Available Horsepower: 190

Model-Year Sales: 40,608

Fewer than 6000 1981 Corvettes were built with the four-speed manual transmission, the last year a self-shifter would be offered in this generation. The manual gearbox was a no-cost option for ’81.

 

1982

1982 Corvette

1982 Corvette

Base Horsepower: 200

Maximum Available Horsepower: 200

Model-Year Sales: 25,407

The 1982 Collector’s Edition was noteworthy for two reasons. First, it featured the Corvette’s first-ever hatchback. Second, it was the first Corvette with a base price over $20,000.

Photo Feature: 1961 Chevrolet Corvette

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