Lastly, optional side mount exhaust pipes RPO N14 and side fender chrome vent trim inserts RPO TJ2 were introduced which, like the Stingray nameplate, were probably the only other notable characteristics that would help differentiate the and model years. It also featured steel-reinforced body sills, door hinge pillars and lock pillars, plus lateral steel cross-member integrating front pillars.
The coupe also featured supporting members that enclosed the passenger compartment with protective steel framing. The Corvette convertible added the additional amenity of a fold down top that stowed away beneath a double-locking, spring-loaded cover panel. The interior received a number of minor, but significant changes. First, a new, smaller steering wheel was introduced, trimmed back an inch for more under-rim thigh clearance.
Interior door handles and control knobs were redesigned to improve upon safety. A flexible dash mounted three-section map pocket was included to help make up for the lack of a proper glovebox. Interestingly, there was one optional interior item that changed for the model year. The driver and passenger seats had been designed with a headrest that had been listed as an option, albeit a mandatory option RPO A82 in While the A82 option became a standard feature on the Corvette on January 1, , General Motors records also indicate that the option could also be deleted when ordering a Corvette.
However, all records indicate that every Corvette built in included the headrest option. All Corvette interiors continued to feature a reasonably-sized luggage compartment behind the front driver and passenger seats with a concealed storage space which was ideal for storing tools, or other small valuables. Beyond those referenced above, the Corvette featured an extensive array of additional safety features specifically designed to protect both the occupants of the car as well as the car itself.
In the event that the Corvette were to be involved in a collision, engineers had equipped the new Sting Ray with an energy-absorbing steering column, seat and shoulder belt restraints, an energy absorbing instrument panel, padded sunvisors and a reduced-glare instrument panel for improved visibility during night driving. To protect the car when its occupants were absent, an anti-theft ignition system was installed featuring anti-theft steering and transmission locks, and an anti-theft ignition key warning buzzer that would sound whenever the keys were left in the ignition cylinder.
While some of these changes were directed by the aforementioned feedback that Chevrolet had received on the model, many others were the direct result of the federally mandated emissions control standards that had been introduced the previous model year. Still, even Federal regulations did not prevent Corvette engineers from enhancing the power output from the variety of engines that were made available to it.
The Chevy small-block was stroked approximately a quarter inch to 3. For the model year, the cubic engine was offered in both a and BHP Brake Horsepower versions — which were the same ratings as the Corvette small block offerings, though the new engines saw a drop in compression. The horsepower engine now operated at a compression ratio of All four versions of the cubic inch big block engine remained the same for as in previous years, with power ratings of to horsepower.
Despite the cost prohibitive nature of the L88 , the cubic inch engines as a whole were widely recognized as a worthwhile investment and accounted for more than half of all the Corvette triple, two-barrel Holley carburetors , a Muncie manual gearbox and a 3. Corvette could accelerate from zero to sixty in less than six seconds and could manage a quarter mile in under fourteen seconds. Despite these impressive performance numbers for its time , there were two new performance options for that further improved Corvettes performance.
The first was an entirely new big-block engine option which was even more powerful than anything that had come before it. This ultra-high-performance C. Because of the sticker shock to most consumers, only two Corvettes ever left the factory equipped with this option. Even though the ZL1 engine never really saw much use in the street variant of the Corvette, the story behind its evolution is nonetheless an interesting one, and certainly a significant milestone in the development of the Corvette as both a high-performance street vehicle and a race car.
Afterall, small-block Chevy-powered McLaren racers had begun their domination of the Can-Am series in When Chevrolet failed to meet the demands of developing a big-block variant for the racers, McLaren threatened to look to Ford for a comparable lightweight big block to power his Can-Am cars. Piggins stepped in, using the leverage that Ford could — and would — produce a big-block engine that would replace the Chevy small blocks.
The rest is history. Ironically, now armed with the ZL1 engine , McLaren dominated all Can-Am racers from to , winning 32 of the 37 racing events held during that time period. The second performance option that was developed was listed as an option in , though it did not become available until as a direct result of development and manufacturing problems. Zora Duntov , who had always been a proponent of extracting horsepower out of any engine, had returned to work on the small-block, and the result was a special solid-lifter version of the new, cubic inch engine.
Unlike other small block engines, the LT1 had more radical cam overlap. It utilized the big-block engines hefty 2. The resulting engine produced horsepower at 6, rpm and ft-lb of torque at rpm. The LT1 could only be ordered with a four-speed manual transmission. When equipped, the Corvette was capable of running a quarter mile from a standing start in approximately However, the visual identifiers were unnecessary. One had only to listen to the distinct rap-rap sound coming from the exhaust or the equally distinct tapping of the mechanical lifters.
Just as the engine lineup for the Corvette was with the noted exceptions above a carry-over from the model year, so too was the transmission lineup being offered to consumers. In fact, all the transmissions were identical to those offered in with one exception — the Turbo Hydra-Matic PRO M40 became available behind the two solid-lifter cubic inch engines. The variant in the transmissions and their respective prices comes from the setup of the transmission shift points.
In the milder engines, the M40 is set to shift up quickly. Between the improvements made to all of the small block engines, the power and performance of the extensive array of big block engines, and the appeal of the ZL1 and LT1 engines enticing consumers and critics alike to give Corvette a more serious look, there were few who had anything negative to say about the new GM powertrains being offered.
With no larger engine available, L hood emblems began to appear on cars so equipped. Unchanged was the standard rear axle ratio for the base engine, which remained at 3. As in previous years, a folding top came standard with roadsters and a body color or vinyl covered hardtop was optional at additional cost. Due to the state's strict emissions standards, this was the last year Chevrolet installed the L engine in a Corvette destined for California.
Car and Driver recorded a respectable 7. These steel floor panels weighed less than the previous fiberglass floor and reduced interior noise levels. Horsepower rose to hp kW for the base L engine; hp kW for the optional L To further reduce cabin noise levels, cowl induction was dropped in favor of the air cleaner ducted over the radiator, picking up outside air from the front of the car, thus reducing wind turbulence at the base of the windshield.
The hood was carried over, with its cowl vent grille and induction system opening becoming non-functional. The optional cast aluminum wheels were finally made available, which reduced the unsprung weight of the car by 32 pounds. A standard steel rim spare was used. The steering wheel, color-keyed to the interior, continued on through models, limited to non-tilt wheel cars only. GM's "Freedom" battery, a new sealed and maintenance-free unit, was now installed in all cars. Car and Driver recorded 6.
The magazine ordered an L 4-speed for a 4,mile 6, km road trip to Alaska. In every sense of the word, our Yukon Corvette proved to be tough and we'd have to say that even the production versions impressed us as coming closer to being real touring cars than we might ever have thought. There's a lot more sincere ring now to our stock answer to the question, Why a Corvette? The custom interior with leather seat trim was now standard, with cloth and leather a no-cost option.
A redesigned center console permitted universal Delco radio options. One consequence of this modification was that an 8-track tape player was now available as an option. Auxiliary gauges were restyled and the ammeter was replaced with a voltmeter. Chevrolet responded to the criticism of the previous year's steering wheel with an all new three-spoke leather-wrapped unit, which was well received. Chevrolet featured this new wheel prominently on the front of their new Corvette sales brochure.
The new wheel came on all cars fitted with the optional tilt-telescopic steering column which was ordered on all but a few thousand Corvettes. Cruise control was only available on cars with automatic transmissions.
The convenience group included dome light delay, headlight warning buzzer, underhood light, low fuel warning light, interior courtesy lights, and passenger side visor mirror. The black exterior paint color returned last offered in Early in production, the engine paint color was changed from Chevy orange to Corporate blue. A new fastback rear window was the most dramatic and noticeable styling change, giving the ten-year-old C3 Corvette body style a fresh lease on life.
The fixed-glass fastback benefited both aerodynamics and increased the usable luggage space behind the seats while improving rearward visibility in the bargain. A shade was installed that could be pulled forward to cover the rear compartment to protect cargo and carpet against the unrelenting sun.
Redesigned interior door panels were also new as well as an actual glove box was added in front of the passenger seat, replacing the map pockets of previous years. Available options now included power door locks, a power antenna, dual rear speakers and a CB radio. The base L engine generated hp kW ; Those destined for California or high altitude areas produced hp kW. Gone was the chrome-plated ignition shielding over the distributor, replaced with a metal-lined black plastic unit.
The single-snorkel air intake used since was changed to a dual-snorkel set-up on L equipped cars helping to boost that output to hp kW. L engines were also now fitted with an aluminum intake manifold which saved 24 pounds compared to the cast iron unit of previous years. The fuel tank capacity increased from 17 gal to 24 gal on all cars. Two special editions were offered to celebrate Corvette's 25th year. On the other hand, they continued to note its weaknesses, like a rear-end that tended to step out during sharp maneuvers and a cabin that was still cramped and uncomfortable.
Three popular features introduced on the '78 pace car replicas made it into this year's production: the new bucket seats, the front and rear spoiler package, and the glass roof panels. The new seats had better side bolster, provided easier access to the rear storage area, and the seat pair resulted in a weight reduction of about 24 pounds.
The bolt-on front and rear spoilers were offered as an option and nearly 7, cars were ordered so equipped. All T-tops were now wired into the standard anti-theft alarm system. An auxiliary electric engine cooling fan was first installed, but only on L equipped cars with air conditioning. The dual-snorkel air intake introduced on L cars the previous year was now fitted to all cars and the base engine now generated hp kW. The optional L engine increased to hp kW.
This was the final year a manual gearbox could be ordered with the L engine. This was also the last year for the M21 close-ratio 4-speed, a gearbox that, as in previous years, required the optional L engine. Production hit its peak in at 53,, a record that stands to this day. In , both front and rear bumper covers were restyled with brand new integrated aerodynamic spoilers that resulted in a significant reduction in drag and increased radiator air flow.
The hood was also restyled as well. The crossed-flag emblems disappeared from the front fenders and were revised to a more elongated style on the nose and fuel door. L emblems moved from the hood to the front fenders on cars ordered with the optional high performance engine.
This was the finale for the L Corvette emblem, now producing hp kW but it could not be mated to a 4-speed, as the manual gearbox was offered only with the L48 engine option. Air conditioning became standard, as did the tilt-telescopic steering column, power windows, exterior sport mirrors, and the convenience group. New was an optional roof panel carrier that would mount to the rear fastback deck. For the first time, due to California emission considerations, a unique engine application was installed in cars delivered to that state and was mandatory.
This motor was a cu in 5. The carburetor and ignition timing were controlled by Chevrolet's new Computer Command Control system. The smaller displacement engine was not available in any other state. For comparison, the L cu in 5. In , there was only one powerplant available, a cu in 5. The motor was certified in all states and available with manual or automatic transmissions. Chrome air cleaner lids and cast magnesium valve covers dressed up all engines.
The light weight 4 into 1 stainless steel exhaust manifolds and computer control system introduced on the cu in 5. This, the last C3 available with a manual transmission, so equipped, had a published mph in 8. This model year was the first Corvette to use a fiberglass rear leaf spring , now a Corvette trademark. The spring saved thirty-six pounds, but was limited to base suspensions with automatic transmission. When equipped with Delco's brand new optional ETR Electronically Tuned Receiver radio with a digital clock, the quartz analog instrument panel clock was replaced with an oil temperature gauge.
In mid production relocated from St. Louis to Bowling Green, Kentucky , and several two-tone paint options were offered. It utilized two throttle bodies combined with Chevrolet's computer control system. Compared to the previous Turbo-Hydramatic 3-speed, the new R4 transmission had a lower first and second gear for improved low-end acceleration, and a fourth gear overdrive that would reduce engine RPM by 30 percent at highway cruising speeds, resulting in better fuel economy.
On the downside, the new transmission was not considered a strong unit and proved problematic. This was the last year for 8-track tape availability and new "cross-fire injection" emblems appeared on front fenders. Nose and fuel door crossed-flags emblems changed to a more squared design.
In Chevrolet knew this would be the last year of an entire generation of Corvettes and so commemorated the occasion by offering a Collector Edition with separate serial number sequencing, silver-beige paint, unique wheels patterned after the model's bolt-on alloys, and an operable rear hatch window.
Gordon, Jr. For the model year the ZL1 option was offered featuring an all-aluminum cu in 7. According to Motor Trend in a late road test, the Corvette ZL1 was the fastest production car ever produced up to that time. For decades, automotive experts believed only two were built yellow and white coupes , however Car and Driver in December , revealed a third red ZL1.
It was purchased by a Gulf Oil engineer who still owns and occasionally races it. It included the solid-lifter small-block engine, heavy-duty four-speed transmission, power brakes, aluminum radiator, and a revised suspension with special springs, shocks, stabilizer bar, and spindle-strut shafts. Since it was competition equipment, the ZR1 could not be ordered with power windows, power steering, air conditioning, a rear-window defogger, wheel covers, or a radio.
Only 53 ZR1's were built 25 in , including 8 convertibles, 8 in , and 20 in It included the special equipment in the ZR1 package, but for the LS-6 engine. Per GM policy, Corvette engines were detuned to run on low-lead fuel, except for the LS-6 V8, which was rated at bhp kW on premium fuel. The Corvette C3 was chosen as the pace car for the Indianapolis But it was decided that each of Chevrolet's dealers should have one for showroom display.
Its main distinction was black over silver metallic with a bright red pinstripe in between with a spoiler added to each end to alter appearance more dramatically. The final touch was the Indy decal set included uninstalled with each limited-edition car. The Corvette America was a rare version of the C3 distinguished by its four doors. Various sources stated that either General Motors built it or that it was custom built by California Coach Motors. The Collector Edition was the first Corvette with a hatchback rear window, foreshadowing the C4 Corvette.
A special color scheme was used inside and out and Collector Edition badges were featured. The special, exclusive aluminum wheels were designed to look like the optional bolt-on wheels of the model. The Collector Edition had unlimited availability and 6, were produced out of a total production of 25, The C3 fourteen-year run shows an extreme contrast.
In there were six engines, two small-block V8s and four big-block V8s. By there was only one small block V8 engine available. In '68 there were five transmissions, including four manual choices. By '82 there was one, a four-speed automatic. Although refined, emission standards and fuel economy concerns had changed America's only sports car.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the third generation Chevrolet Corvette C3. For general Corvette information, see Chevrolet Corvette. Motor vehicle. United States: St. Corvette C3 Buyer's Guide ISBN Retrieved Retrieved July 10, Retrieved June 16, The New York Times. Antoine, Arthur January Motor Trend.
Corvette Online. Archived from the original on The Drive. Chevrolet Corvette timeline, —present. Categories : Chevrolet Corvette Cars introduced in Roadsters Convertibles s cars s cars. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Commons category link is on Wikidata Articles with Curlie links. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version.
Wikimedia Commons. The Chevrolet Division of General Motors. August —October . FR layout. Chevrolet Corvette C2. Chevrolet Corvette C4 in Only" LG4 V8. New body and T-top removable roof panels, new interior, engines carried over, three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic replaces two-speed Powerglide as automatic transmission option.
Significant horsepower drops due to reduced compression ratios to meet GM corporate edict requiring all engines to run low-octane unleaded gasoline; horsepower ratings based on both "gross" and "net" figures with the former based on engine hooked to dynometer while "net" ratings based on horsepower as installed in vehicle with accessories and emission controls installed.
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In , small block engine displacement increased from cu in ( L) to cu in ( L), though output remained the same. All other. There are 56 Chevrolet Corvettes for sale today on premiumfreevector.online More listings are added daily. Email alerts available. As you've learned to expect, Corvette goes, stops and handles like nothing else. The basic engine for the was a very healthy CID hp V8 (which.