What an incredible run the third generation Corvette had, spanning three decades to produce the longest-running iteration of the iconic halo car. Well over a half million examples were hatched from the St. Louis and Bowling Green factories, with a record-setting 53,807 spit out in 1979. As a matter of fact, the C3 has four of the top five all-time production years, and our own Josh Boyd did a write-up on it here. And what a bizarre evolution, as we went from big block monsters to emission-sucking horsepower duds.
Now more on that 1979. I briefly had one and the spit-out characterization is not an understatement, as the build quality epitomized a car that was churned out quickly, with drunk-like panel gap alignment and molding glue slapped on like an unsupervised toddler. That old boat analogy is appropriate here. What are the two best days of C3 ownership? Sorry, I couldn’t resist, but it’s a toss-up as to which was my happiest moment, the day I hit the make offer button on eBay, or the day I passed her on to the next enthusiast.That beautiful Frost Blue L82 was a budding money pit for the brief amount of time I owned her, and it was definitely a love-hate relationship, as exhaust fumes from the catless side pipes choked me while that glorious L82 roared toward its redline. You really have to be committed to these older Vettes, ring on the finger reciting gushy vows committed, and I was not. And don’t get me started on that eBay seller. Helpful hint, do not buy a C3 sight-unseen, no matter what their reviews or feedback may say.
But oh my, was she gorgeous! I can see the allure for you C3 loyalists, like the supermodel wife hanging off your arm. During my short ownership, I received supercar-like attention, with one fan giving me a thumbs up and a shout-out from the next parking lot over. Granted it was a Waffle House in a small north Georgia country-bumpkin town, but the attention was flattering nonetheless!
Well, enough with my rollercoaster ride of C3 ownership, here is a very young John Davis taking us back in time. If you missed the previous retro flashbacks, click here for the C4, the C5, and the C6 installments of “How Much Love…” We often have vibrant discussions on our Facebook page, I would love to hear your C3 stories and see your pictures! Douglas B.