1980 C3 Corvette

1980 Corvette Overview

The arrival of the 1980 Chevy Corvette came on the heels of another fuel crisis that had impacted the American automotive market – and, more generally, the national economy – as a whole.  Much like the fuel crisis of the early seventies, when the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo had cutoff petroleum exports to many parts of the world, a second energy crisis had emerged after the Shah of Iran was overthrown during a revolution that had occurred in that country – and the results were nearly the same.

Just as OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) had caused dramatic increases in the cost of fuel exports, the dissent and fallout from Iran’s political upheaval had caused similar price increases.  The United States, in response to the 1973 OPEC embargo on petroleum, had enacted CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). CAFE had aimed to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold throughout the U.S.  Now, given the continued upheaval in the Middle East and the resulting increase to petroleum prices, new CAFE standards were being implemented.  This meant the Corvette would have to be put on a “diet” if it was to continue being a viable production vehicle.

Model: 1980 Corvette
Generation: C3 Corvette
Type: 2 Door Coupe
Available Colors: White, Silver, Black, Dark Blue, Dark Brown, Yellow, Dark Green, Frost Beige, Dark Claret, Red
Engine: 350ci, 190HP Engine (standard), 350ci, 230HP Engine, 305ci, 180HP Engine (California)
VIN: 1Z878AS400001 – 1Z878AS440614 (Corvette Coupe)
Transmission: 4-speed manual (standard), 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic (optional)
Original Price: $14,345.24 (Coupe)
Units Produced: 40,614
Specs: 1980 Corvette Spec List
1980 Chevy Corvette
The 1980 Chevy Corvette. (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

In response to the CAFE mandate, Chevrolet decided that the first-stage of trimming back the Corvette would mean the elimination of some 250 pounds from the current design.  Engineers considered every option to lighten the car’s structure while trying to maintain its structural integrity.

As a start, the differential housing and front-frame cross-member were switched from steel to aluminum.  Similarly, the aluminum intake manifold that had been previously used on the optional L82 engine was now included on the base L48 engine as well.

Externally, engineers trimmed weight by using lower density roof panels, and by reducing the material thickness of the hood and the outer door skins.

Exterior chrome was kept to a minimum, which meant the elimination of the crossed-flag emblems from the front fenders.  Lastly, greater use was made of plastics throughout the car on everything from interior trim components to sub-assemblies in seats, and so on.

In addition to weight reduction measures, engineers also focused on getting the Corvette to produce better overall gas mileage results.  The previously optional front and rear spoilers were reshaped and made an integral part of the bodywork.  Additionally, the front grilled was raked back slightly.  As a result of these changes, the coefficient of drag (Cd) fell from 0.503 to a more respectable 0.443.  While this number was still not optimal, it was a notable improvement nonetheless.

Additionally, urethane was applied during the molding of the body panels forward of the firewall and was also applied to the roof panels.  This application resulted in improved surface quality, which also helped in the reduction of drag.

1980 Corvette Engine
The standard L48 engine was rated at 190HP for the 1980 model year.

Mechanically, the 1980 Corvette suffered some because of increasingly stringent emissions regulations. The base L48 engine, which had been rated at 195 horsepower in 1979, lost five bhp as a result of emissions tuning – taking it back to 190HP at 4,400rpm and 280lbs/ft. of torque at 2,400rpm.  Worse was the impact that California emission standards had on the Corvette.

For the 1980 model, California consumers were forced to settle for a 305 cubic inch engine – the same used in Chevrolet’s standard passenger car models.

However, the California version of this engine came equipped with stainless-steel tubular exhaust headers, a computer command control system that mixture and ignition timing on demand, and an oxygen sensor in a closed loop system.

Given these improvements, and in spite of its lower displacement and more stringent emissions requirements, the Corvette 305ci engine still managed to produce 180 horsepower – which was just 10HP less than the standard L48.  This option – RPO LG4 – was mandated because Chevrolet could not certify that the small-block 350CI engine could meet all of California’s emission requirements.

While California consumers received a $50.00 credit as a result of this downgrade, the LG4 305ci engine was also only available with an automatic transmission, making it even less desirable to true sports-car enthusiasts.

The only engine that actually benefited from the on-going changes to the engine program in 1980 was the L82, which actually picked up an additional five horsepower, boosting its overall rating to 230 horsepower.

However, even the L82 had restrictions placed upon it, as the optional 4-speed manual transmission was no longer available to consumers when ordering a Corvette with the more robust engine (though it is believed that some early 1980 models did come equipped with this combination.)

GM engineers were never able to certify the “high-compression” (9:1) small block for California use, and its demand had already dropped off considerably across the rest of the United States by the end of 1979.  As such, 1980 would be the last year that the optional L82 engine was offered.

1980 Corvette
The 1980 Corvette featured a new, elongated hood emblem.

Outwardly, the Corvette received few design changes, save for the aforementioned front and rear spoilers, the raked back grill, and the removal of the Corvette emblems from the side fenders.  However, the Corvette emblem itself was modified some, and now featured a new, more elongated design.  Additionally, the hood featured a lower profile, and new cornering and taillights were introduced.

Inwardly, a number of other changes were implemented, many of which were the result of either Federal requirements or the need to make cosmetic changes as a result of functional improvement.  To start, the speedometers of all 1980 Corvettes now showed a maximum speed of just 85 miles per hour.  Although this change had started being phased in to the Corvette in some of the late 1979 production models, it was now a Federal requirement for all 1980 models – presumably in response to the newly imposed 55 miles-per-hour mandatory speed limit that had been put in place on interstates across the country.

Also, the rear storage compartments were changed from a three-lid to a two-lid design in 1980.  The battery remained in a separate compartment behind the driver, but the center and passenger-side compartments were combined and were now accessible through just a single door.

DID YOU KNOW:  By Federal mandate, the 1980 Corvette was the first year to have a speedometer with an upper limit of only 85 MPH. Additionally, The 305 cubic inch V-8 installed in 1980 California-bound Corvettes was the first Corvette engine to be monitored by a computer.

Additionally, power windows, air conditioning and tilt/telescopic steering were made standard options, a new ribbed-pattern cloth interior was introduced,  a side-shield was added to the driver side sunvisor to reduce sun glare, and the power door lock buttons were relocated to increase operator convenience.

1980 Corvette
The previously optional front and rear spoilers were incorporated into the fender design of the 1980 Corvette.

Lastly, a new convenience group was developed that included time-delayed dome and courtesy light operation, a headlight warning buzzer that signaled when the headlights were still on after the vehicle was shut off, a low-fuel warning light, intermittent windshield wipers, and a passenger-side illuminated visor mirror.
Chevrolet sold 40,614 Corvettes in 1980, which was roughly a 20 percent decline in sales from the 1979 model year.  At the same time, the numbers were still respectable, especially given that the base price for a Corvette started the model year at $13,140.24 (not including options), and increased four times during the 1980 model year to a final base price of $14,345.24.

Press and public opinion of the 1980 Corvette remained divided.  For some, the car continued to impress with its more-than-respectable performance numbers.  The 1980 Corvette clocked 0-60mph times at between 7.1 and 7.7 seconds (when equipped with the L82.)

However, others criticized the measure that had been taken to lighten the Corvette, and the overall emphasis on fuel efficiency.

1980 Corvette Brochure
1980 Corvette Brochure Cover. (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

Additionally, fit and finish problems continued to be a common complaint.  Perhaps the greatest criticism of the Corvette as a whole was the fact that the C3 production continued on, when clearly it was time for Chevrolet to introduce a new-generation of Corvette, or perhaps abandon the program entirely.

However, given the sales numbers of the 1980 Corvette, there were few who believed that the Corvette would go anywhere – which reinforced the belief amongst enthusiasts and critics alike that a next-generation model was imminent.

Rich Ceppos, then Associate Editor of Car and Driver Magazine (19781986), had been quoted as saying: “Another year, another Corvette. Almost can’t tell the new ones without a program these days.

Oh, I know that the serious-minded engineers in charge of Corvette development have shaved off some weight, smoothed out the airflow, tweaked this, and tuned that. But it still feels like the same old car to me – which is not all bad, mind you.

In fact, there’s still something to be said for the old warhorse. For one thing, it’s still faster than all but a few of today’s new cars. Nail down the throttle and it’ll go quickly enough to stir up some corpuscles. And it still packs a distinctively American brand of bad-ass driving rumble left in the cleaner-than-clean exhaust, the shift linkage will give you tendonitis, and it jumps and darts and twitches as if possessed when you try to drive it like a sports car.

And of course the Vette still looks, well, low-down and mean. All of which is why I like the Corvette just the way it is. But it’s also why I’ll welcome its successor with open arms.”


See full 1980 Corvette Image Gallery

1980 Corvette Specifications

1980 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 1980 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri
CONSTRUCTION: Uniconstruction: fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body backboned by a steel cage outlining the the passenger compartment. Principal members – steel front and plastic rear – underbody, front and rear end assemblies, dash panel and hinge pillars are bonded, riveted, and bolted together and to each other. Hood is plastic with bonded plastic reinforcement. Car includes two removable roof panels. Doors are plastic, double paneled, reinforced with steel at hinge and lock locations. Front hinged.
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN):
1Z878AS400001 – 1Z878AS440614 (coupe)
ENGINE SUFFIX: ZAK: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ZAM: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ZBC: 350 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ZBD: 350 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORSEPOWER, UNCERTAIN USAGE
ZCA: 305 CUBIC INCH, 180 HORSEPOWER, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 14010207: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, 230 HORSEPOWER, LATE PRODUCTION
3970010: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, 230 HORSEPOWER
4715111: 305 CUBIC INCH, 180 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, CALIF. EMISSIONS
HEAD NUMBER: 462624: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190 HORSEPOWER, 230 HORSEPOWER
14014416: 305 CUBIC INCH, 180 HORSEPOWER
CARBURETOR NUMBERS: ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080204: 350 C.I., 190HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080207: 350 C.I., 190HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080228: 350 C.I., 230HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080504, 17080517: 305 C.I., 180HP, AUTO. TRANS, CALIF. EMISSIONS
DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER: 1103287: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190HP,MANUAL TRANSMISSION
1103352: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
1103353: 350 CUBIC INCH, 190HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
1103368: 305 CUBIC INCH, 180HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
1103435: 350 CUBIC INCH, 230 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ALTERNATOR NUMBER: 1101041, 1101075, 1101085, 1101088, 1103122
AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER OF: 3.07:1 RATIO
OH: 3.07:1 RATIO
PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE: SEP., 1979: 400011, OCT., 1979:404267, NOV., 1979: 408343, DEC., 1979: 411652, JAN., 1980: 416198, FEB., 1980: 420057, MAR., 1980: 424380, APR., 1980: 427800, MAY., 1980: 431152, JUNE, 1980: 434509, JULY, 1980: 438049, AUG., 1980: 440614

1980 Corvette Pricing & Options

CODE: DESCRIPTION: QUANTITY: RETAIL PRICE:
 1YZ87
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
40,614
$13,140.24
 AU3 Power Door Locks 32,692 $140.00
 CC1 Removable Glass Roof Panels 19,695 $391.00
C49 Rear Window Defogger 36,589 $109.00
FE7 Gymkhana Suspension 9,907 $55.00
F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers 1,695 $35.00
K30 Cruise Control 30,821 $123.00
LG4 305ci, 180hp Engine (required in California) 3,221 $50.00
L82 350ci, 230hp Engine 5,069 $595.00
MM4 4-Speed Manual Transmission 5,726 $0.00
MX1 Automatic Transmission 34,838 $0.00
N90 Aluminum Wheels (4) 34,128 $407.00
QGB White Letter SBR Tires, P225 / 70R15 26,208 $62.00
QXH White Letter SBR Tires, P255 / 60R15 13,140 $426.16
UA1 Heavy Duty Battery 1,337 $22.00
UM2 AM-FM Radio, stereo with 8-track tape 6,138 $46.00
UN3 AM-FM Radio, stereo with cassette 15,708 $155.00
UP6 AM-FM Radio, stereo with CB 15,148 $168.00
U58 AM-FM Radio, stereo 2,434 $391.00
U75 Power Antenna 32,863 $56.00
UL5 Radio Delete 201 $126.00
U81
Dual Rear Speakers
36,650 $52.00
V54 Roof Panel Carrier
3,755
$125.00
YF5 California Emission Certification 3,221 $250.00
ZN1 Trailer Package 796 $105.00

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Exterior & Interior Colors

Exterior Colors

CODE EXTERIOR QTY WHEELS INTERIOR
10 White 7,780 Silver Black, Claret, Dark Blue, Doeskin, Oyster, Red
13 Silver 4,341 Silver Black, Claret, Dark Blue, Oyster, Red
19 Black 7,250 Silver Black, Doeskin, Oyster, Red
28 Dark Blue 4,135 Silver Black, Dark Blue, Doeskin, Oyster, Red
47 Dark Brown 2,300 Silver Black, Doeskin, Oyster
52 Yellow 2,077 Silver Black, Oyster
58 Dark Green 844 Silver Black, Doeskin, Oyster
59 Frost Beige 3,070 Silver Black, Claret, Dark Blue, Oyster, Red
76 Dark Claret 3,451 Silver Black, Claret, Doeskin, Oyster
83 Red 5,714 Silver Black, Doeskin, Oyster, Red

Interior Colors (Cloth & Leather)

INTERIOR COLOR CODES (CLOTH):  QTY. INTERIOR COLOR CODES (LEATHER):  QTY
Oyster (Cloth) 12C 1,808 Oyster (Leather) 122 7,104
Dark Blue (Cloth) 29C 1,040 Black (Leather) 192 6,776
Doeskin (Cloth) 59C 1,616 Dark Blue (Leather) 292 2,752
Claret (Cloth) 79C 1,338 Doeskin (Leather) 592 7,310
Red (Leather) 722 7,184
Claret (Leather) 792 3,636

Exterior Colors

1980 Corvette Colors

Interior Colors

1980 Corvette Colors Interior

 

1980 Corvette Options

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Powertrain Specifications

Engine L48 L82 LG8
RPO LG8 RPO L48 RPO L82 RPO LG8
Manufacturing Location Flint, Michigan Flint, Michigan Flint, Michigan
Type V-8 OHV V-8 OHV V-8 OHV
Piston Displacement (Litres): 5.7 Litres 5.7 Litres 5.0 Litres
Cylinders 8 8 8
Compression Ratio: 8.2:1 9.0:1 8.6:1
Firing Order: 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
Idling Speed
– Manual Trans. (In Neutral): 700 RPM — RPM — RPM
– Automatic Trans (In Drive): 500 RPM — RPM 650 RPM
(PSI) @ Cranking Speed, Engine Hot: 150 PSI 150 PSI
Powerplant Mount Locations: 2 front and 1 rear, compression type. 2 front and 1 rear, compression type. 2 front and 1 rear, compression type.
Carburetor: 4-Barrel 4-Barrel 4-Barrel
Power & Torque
Net Brake Horsepower @ RPM: 190 BHP @ 4000 RPM 230 BHP @ 5200 RPM 180 BHP @ 4200 RPM
Net Torque (lb/ft) @ RPM: 280 lb/ft @ 2400 RPM 275 lb/ft @ 3600 RPM 255 lb/ft @ 2000 RPM
Cylinder Block
– Material Light weight cast iron Light weight cast iron Light weight cast iron
– Bore 3.9995 – 4.0025 3.9995 – 4.0025 3.7355-3.7385
– Bore Spacing (Centerline to Centerline:) 4.4 4.4 4.4
– Bearing Caps (Number & Material): 5, Gray Iron; 2-bolts 5, Gray Iron; 2-bolts 5, Gray Iron; 2-bolts
– Water Jackets Full length around each cylinder Full length around each cylinder Full length around each cylinder
Cylinder Head 
– Material Light weight cast iron Light weight cast iron Light weight cast iron
– Bolt Number 34 34 34
– Bolt Size .4375 diameter; 14 threads/inch .4375 diameter; 14 threads/inch .4375 diameter; 14 threads/inch
Inlet Manifold  
– Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
– Type 8 port, double deck 8 port, double deck 8 port, double deck
Exhaust Manifold
– Material Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron
– Type Rams Horn Rams Horn Stamped and tubular
– Outlet Diameter (Nominal): 2.50 2.50 2.50
Crankshaft  
– Material: Nodular Cast Iron Forged Steel Nodular Cast Iron
– End Play: .002 – .007 .002 – .007 .002 – .007
– Counter Weights: 6 6 6
– Crank Arm Length: 1.74 1.74 1.74
– Torsional Damper: Sintered Iron Sintered Iron Sintered Iron
– Timing Gear: Steel; sprocket and chain Steel; sprocket and chain Steel; sprocket and chain
– Pulley Pitch Diameter: 7.58 6.64 7.58
Main Bearings   
– Material Premium Aluminum Premium Aluminum Premium Aluminum
– Type Precision Removable Precision Removable Precision Removable
Camshaft   
– Material Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron Cast Alloy Iron
– Drive Chain Chain Chain
– Gear Nylon Teeth with Aluminum Hub Nylon Teeth with Aluminum Hub Nylon Teeth with Aluminum Hub
– Lobe Lift: .2600 (Inlet), .2733 (Exhaust) .3000 (Inlet), .3067 (Exhaust) .2484 (Inlet), .2667 (Exhaust)
– Bearings: 5; Steel Backed Babbitt 5; Steel Backed Babbitt 5; Steel Backed Babbitt
Pistons  
– Material: Cast Aluminum Forged Aluminum Cast Aluminum
– Head Type: Sump Flat, notched Sump
– Skirt Type: Closed Closed Closed
– Top Land Clearance: .0235 – .0325 .0305 – .0395 .0245 – .0335
– Skirt Clearance: .0007 – .0017 .0046 – .0056 .0008 – .0042
– Piston Pin Material: Chromium Steel Chromium Steel Chromium Steel
– Pin Mounting: Locked in rod by shrink fit Locked in rod by shrink fit Locked in rod by shrink fit
Valve Timing (Crankshaft/Deg.)   
– Inlet Valve
— Opens – BTC: 28 degrees 52 degrees 28 degrees
— Closes – ABC: 72 degrees 114 degrees 64 degrees
— Duration: 280 degrees 346 degrees 272 degrees
– Exhaust Valve
— Opens – BTC: 78 degrees 98 degrees 78 degrees
— Closes – ABC: 30 degrees 62 degrees 30 degrees
— Duration: 288 degrees 340 degrees 288 degrees

1980 Corvette Manual Transmission/Gear Ratios

Manual Transmission

Transmission Type:
4-Speed (L48)
Order Code:
RPO M18
Case Material: Aluminum
Lubricant
– Type 80W or 80W90 Gear Lubricant
– Capacity 3.4 pints
Gears
– Type: Helical
– Material: Forged Steel, Hardened
– Synchronization: All Forward Gears
– Constant Mesh Gear: All Forward Gears
– Sliding Gears: Reverse
Gear Ratios 
– 1st Gear:
2.88:1
– 2nd Gear:
1.91:1
– 3rd Gear:
1.33:1
– 4th Gear:
1.00:1
– Reverse:
2.78:1

Clutch

Clutch Stats
Type Single Dry Disk Centrifugal
Spring Pressure (lbs) 2,100 – 2,300 (for L48) / 2,450-2,750 (for L82)
Lining area (sq. in.) 101.6 (for L48) / 123.7 (for L82)

Automatic Transmission

Transmission Type:
3 Speed Automatic Transmission L48 & L82
Order Code:
MX1
Type: Automatic hydraulic torque converter with compound planetary gear system – three forward speeds and reverse.
Case Material: Aluminum
Parking Lock Type: Locking Pawl / P (Park)-R (Reverse)-N (Neutral)-D (Drive)-L2 (Low 2)-L1 (Low 1)
Selector Lever Location: Center Floor Console
Lubricant
– Type Dexron II (at time of release.  Dexron III may also be used.)
– Capacity 20 Pints (Dry) / 8 Pints (Refill)
Clutches
– Type: Four, multiple disk
– Material: Steel with bonded organic facings (Drive Plates) / Flat Steel (Driven Plates)
– Forward Clutch: 5 each – Drive and Driven Plates
– Direct Clutch: 4 each – Drive and Driven Plates
– Intermediate Clutch: 3 each – Drive and Driven Plates
– Low & Reverse Clutch: 5 each – Drive and Driven Plates
– Release Spring Radial row steel coil
Planetary Gear Set
– Reaction Carrier Assembly:
4 Steel Pinion: gears
– Output Carrier Assembly::
4 Steel Pinion: gears
– Intermediate Band:
Circular Steel with Organic Lining
Range / Gear Ratios:
– D (Drive)
2.52:1 (first gear) – 1.52:1 (second gear) – 1.00:1 (third gear)
– L2 (Low Two): 2.52:1 (first gear) – 1.52:1 (second gear)
– L1 (Low One): 2.52:1 (first gear)
– R (Reverse):
1.93:1

1980 Corvette Wheels, Suspension & Brakes

Frame & Front Suspension

All welded, full length, ladder constructed frame with five (5) cross-members.  Side rails and intermediate cross-members box section; front crossmember box girder section.  Eight (8) body mounting points.

Independent, SLA type, coil springs with center mounted shock absorbers, spherical joint steering knuckle pivots.

Front Suspension
Wheel Travel (Design):
– Total: 7.70
– Jounce: 4.76
– Rebound: 2.94
Wheel to spring, travel ratio: 1.92:1
Control Arms Reinforced steel stamping with pre-loaded steel encased rubber bushings at pivot
Shock Absorbers
– Type: Direct, double acting, hydraulic
– Piston Diameter: 1.00
Stabilizer Bar
– Type: Link
– Material: HR Steel
– Diameter: 0.875
– Bushing Material: Rubber
Front Wheel Alignment (Curb)
– Camber (degrees): P0.709 +/- 1/2
– Caster (degrees): P2.405 +/- 1/2
– Toe-in (total): 0 +/- 1.32
– Steering Axis Inclination (degrees): 7.683 @ 5° camber

Rear Axle & Rear Suspension

Fixed differential housing hypoid ring and pinion gear set, tubular articulating inner axle shafts and short solid outer shafts with integral drive flange, independently sprung rear wheels.
Full independent with frame-anchored differential.  Position of each wheel established by 3 links; tubular axle drive shafts, transverse strut rods,and torque control arms.  Vertical suspension loads taken by transverse leaf spring.  Built-in camber adjustment at strut rod inner ends.
Rear Suspension
Shock Absorbers
– Type: Direct, double-acting, hydraulic
– Piston Diameter: 1.00
Wheel Travel
– Total 6.50 inches
– Jounce 3.70 inches
– Rebound 2.80 inches
Rear Spring
– Type: Variable rate, 10-leaf
– Material: Chrome carbon steel, heat treated
– Length (between eye centers): 48.60 inches
– Width: 2.50 inches
– Design Load (lbs @ camber): [email protected]
Rear Wheel Alignment (Curb)
– Camber (degrees): N7/8 +/- 1/4
– Toe-in (total): 0 +/- 1/32

Brakes

Brake Specs
Brake Type: Disc Front and Rear; Power Assist Std.
System: 4-wheel caliper disc brake dual hydraulic system with pressure differential and warning light.
Front Brakes:
-Type: Double faced disc spaced by integrally cast radial cooling passages.
– Material: Cast Iron
– Diameter and Width: 11.75 in. x 1.25 in.
– Lining Material: Molded asbestos (NOTE: Factory specified material.)
– Method of Attachment: Riveted.
Rear Brake
-Type: Double faced disc spaced by integrally cast radial cooling passages.
– Material: Cast Iron
– Diameter and Width: 11.75 in. x 1.25 in.
– Lining Material: Molded asbestos (NOTE: Factory specified material.)
– Method of Attachment: Riveted.
Parking Brake
– Type: Drums; inboard of disc rotors on axle shafts.  Internal expanding shoes, mechanically actuated.
– Control: Lever; floor mounted between bucket seats.

Steering

Steering Specs
Steering Wheel
– Wheel Type: 4-Spoke with center horn button.
– Diameter: 14.75 in. x 14.25 in.
Steering Gear
– Type: Integral, recirculating ball nut with hydraulic pressure provided from a vane type pump.
– Ratio: 16.1:1
– Overall Ratio: 17.6:1
– Wheel Turns, Lock to Lock: 2.92
Turning Diameters
– Outside Front, Wall to Wall: 38.6
– Outside Front, Curb to Curb: 37.0
– Inside Rear, Wall to Wall: 11.4
– Inside Rear, Curb to Curb: 10.5
– Manual 3.4
– Power 2.92
Turning Diameter 37 ft. (outside front), 38.6 ft. (outside front)

Wheels & Tires

Wheels & Tires Specs
Wheels
– Type: Short spoke spider, welded steel
– Attachment to Hub: 5 hex nuts, 7/16-20 UNF 2-B, arranged on a 4.75 dia. bolt circle.
– Offset: N-0.50
– Rim Size: 15 x 8.00
– Spare: 15 x 5.00
Tires (Standard)
– Construction: Steel belted radial
– Size and Ply Rating: P225/70R15
– Sidewall (Base): Blackwall
– Sidewall (Optional): White Letter
Tires (Optional)
– Construction: Aramid fabric belted radial
– Size: P255/60R15
– Sidewall: White Letter

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Exterior Dimensions

Coupe Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions (Coupe) Interior Dimensions (Coupe)
Wheelbase: 98.0 Inches Headroom: 36.2 Inches
Overall Length: 185.2 Inches Shoulder Room: 47.5 Inches
Total Body Width: 69.0 Inches Hip Room: 49.9 Inches
Overall Height: 48.0 Inches Leg Room: 42.1 Inches
Front Track Width: 58.7 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59.5 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 4.3 Inches

Capacities

Capacities
Passenger Capacity 2 – Driver & Passenger
Curb Weight (lbs) 3,519
Interior Passenger Volume (cu. ft) 8.4
Interior Trunk Volume (cu. ft) 24 (approximately)
Fuel Capacity (gallons): 23.7
Coolant capacity without heater (qts.) 21.6 (automatic transmission)
20.7 (manual transmission)
Battery: 12 Volt, 3,500 Watts (Standard)
12 Volt, 4,000 Watts (Heavy Duty)
Generator Output: 42 Amps

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Performance Results

4-Speed Transmission
L48 L82
Performance weight (lbs.)
3801 3808
Pounds/net horsepower
19.49 16.92
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement
10.86 10.88
Net horsepower/cu.in. displacement
.557 .643
Power displacement (cu.ft./mile)
258.6 284.8
Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile)
136.1 149.6
0 – 60 mph (seconds)
Top Speed (mph)
Quarter Mile (secs @ mph)

 

3-Speed Transmission
L48 L82
Performance weight (lbs.)
3818 3825
Pounds/net horsepower
19.58 17.00
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement
10.91 10.93
Net horsepower/cu.in. displacement
.557 .643
Power displacement (cu.ft./mile)
273.2 273.2
Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile)
143.1 142.9
0 – 60 mph (seconds)
7.3
Top Speed (mph)
132
Quarter Mile (secs @ mph)
15.6 @ 91

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)

VIN Range 1Z878AS400001 – 1Z878AS440614 (Corvette Coupe)
1 (First Digit) Make/Manufacturer.  1 – Chevrolet
Z (Second Digit) Model series.  Z – Corvette
87 (Third and Fourth Digits) 87- Corvette Coupe
8 (Fifth Digit) Engine Type. 8 – Base Engine / H – LG4 / 6 – L82 Engine
A (Sixth Digit) Model Year. A – 1980
S (Seventh Digit) Vehicle Assembly Location. S – St. Louis, Missouri
4XXXXX (Eighth thru Thirteenth Digits) Plant Sequence Numbers.

The last six digits for the Corvette Coupe begin at 400001 and run thru 440614, accounting for all 40614 Corvette Coupes built in 1980. 5,020 Corvettes were sold in Canada. Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car.

1979 Corvette Vehicle Serial Number Plate
1979 Corvette Vehicle Serial Number Plate

1980 Corvette Vehicle Serial Number Plate

  • Location:
    • On the driver’s side upper left-hand door hinge pillar.
  • Example:

  • A01 – Body build date code.
    • A – Designates the Month (See Chart Below).
      • A – Oct., 1979B – Nov., 1979C – Dec., 1979D – Jan., 1980E – Feb., 1980F – Mar., 1980, G – Apr., 1980H – May, 1980 I – Jun., 1980 J – Jul, 1980 K – Aug., 1980,
    • 01 – Designates the Day of the Month.
    • 592 – Interior Trim code. 592 – Doeskin (Leather)
    • 59L – Exterior Color Code Upper. 59 – Frost Beige
    • Codes were often followed by the letter L, but some trim plates had an exterior code preceded by the number 9 with no letter L following.

1980 Corvette Engine Identification

  • Location:
    • All engines are stamped on the top front of the right-hand bank of cylinder and case.
  • Engine Identification Example:
    • F1210ZAM
    • F – Source Designation.
      • F – Flint, MI
    • 1210 – Date Code. Month and Day. 1210 – December 10.
    • ZAM – Type Designation. ZAM – 350ci 190hp, 4-speed manual transmission.

1980 Corvette Transmission Identification

  • Location:
    • 4-Speed (Muncie) – Stamped on the top right side of the case at adapter.
    • 3-Speed Automatic – Name plate tag on right-hand side of case above filler plug.
  • Transmission Identification Example:
    • ZJ R0E01
    • ZJ – Type Designation.
      • ZJ – 4-Speed Manual
      • 7JC – 3-Speed Automatic
    • R – Source Designation.
      • R – Muncie
      • Y – Toledo
    • 0 – Year. 0 – 1980
    • E01D – Production Month and Date.
      • E – Designates Month (See Chart Below.)
        • A – Jan. / B – Feb. / C – Mar. / D – Apr. / E – May / H – June / K – July / M – Aug. / P – Sept. / R – Oct. / S – Nov. / T – Dec.
      • 01 – Designates Day of the month.
      • D or N – Designates Day or Night Shift on Automatic only.

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Factory Options

CODE: DESCRIPTION: QUANTITY: RETAIL PRICE:
 1YZ87
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
40,614
$13,140.24
 AU3 Power Door Locks 32,692 $140.00
 CC1 Removable Glass Roof Panels 19,695 $391.00
C49 Rear Window Defogger 36,589 $109.00
FE7 Gymkhana Suspension 9,907 $55.00
F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers 1,695 $35.00
K30 Cruise Control 30,821 $123.00
LG4 305ci, 180hp Engine (required in California) 3,221 $50.00
L82 350ci, 230hp Engine 5,069 $595.00
MM4 4-Speed Manual Transmission 5,726 $0.00
MX1 Automatic Transmission 34,838 $0.00
N90 Aluminum Wheels (4) 34,128 $407.00
QGB White Letter SBR Tires, P225 / 70R15 26,208 $62.00
QXH White Letter SBR Tires, P255 / 60R15 13,140 $426.16
UA1 Heavy Duty Battery 1,337 $22.00
UM2 AM-FM Radio, stereo with 8-track tape 6,138 $46.00
UN3 AM-FM Radio, stereo with cassette 15,708 $155.00
UP6 AM-FM Radio, stereo with CB 15,148 $168.00
U58 AM-FM Radio, stereo 2,434 $391.00
U75 Power Antenna 32,863 $56.00
UL5 Radio Delete 201 $126.00
U81
Dual Rear Speakers
36,650 $52.00
V54 Roof Panel Carrier
3,755
$125.00
YF5 California Emission Certification 3,221 $250.00
ZN1 Trailer Package 796 $105.00

Base Corvette Sport Coupe (1YZ87)

  • The base price of the 1980 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe without any optional equipment.
  • A 350 cubic inch, 190 horsepower engine, 4-speed manual transmission or automatic transmission, leather/vinyl or cloth/vinyl interior trim, AM/FM Radio, power windows, air conditioning, tilt telescopic steering wheel, and T-tops were included in the base price.
  • In California, A 305 cubic inch, 180 horsepower engine (plus $50 credit), California Emission Certificate, 4-speed manual transmission or automatic transmission, leather/vinyl or cloth/vinyl interior trim, AM/FM Radio, and T-tops were included in the base price.

Power Door Locks (AU3)

  • Factory installed power door locks.

Removable Glass Roof Panels (CC1)

  • Tinted glass lift-out roof panels.

Rear Window Defogger (C49)

  • An optional rear window forced air defogger.
  • Requires UA1 Heavy Duty Battery.

Gymkhana Suspension (FE7)

  • An optional, heavier-duty suspension system for higher levels of performance.
  • The Gymkhana rear leaf springs contained 9 leafs, though the top leaf is very small. GM identifies the rear leaf springs as an 8-leaf spring.
  • Included a stiffer front sway bar and stiffer springs.
  • There were no restrictions on ordering this option – it could be ordered with any engine/transmission combination.

Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers (F51)

  • Not available with Trailer Package ZN1.
  • Not available with Gymkhana Suspension FE7.

Cruise Control (K30)

  • Cruise control allowed the car to maintain a set speed without the driver depressing the accelerator pedal.
  • The cruise control option was only available with MX1 automatic transmission.

305ci, 180hp Engine (LG4)

  • Engine option required in California, small block V-8 engine.
  • Includes California Emission Certificate.
  • Only available in California.

350ci, 230hp Engine (L82)

  • Optional higher-output, small block V-8 engine.
  • Not available in states Florida, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Not available in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Des Plaines, Illinois; Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Not available in the county of Cook, Illinois.

4-Speed Manual Transmission (MM4)

  • 4-speed manual transmission.
  • MM4 was a no-cost option.
  • Requires L48 Engine.
  • Not available with YF5 California Emission Certification.

Automatic Transmission (MX1)

  • An optional, three-speed automatic transmission.
  • The Automatic Transmission consisted of a 3-element hydraulic torque converter and compound planetary gear set. It was equipped with the following gear ratios: 1st Gear – 2.52:1, 2nd Gear – 1.52:1, and 3rd Gear – 1.00:1.
  • MX1 was a no-cost option.

Aluminum Wheels (4) (N90)

  • Included four aluminum wheels and a conventional steel spare.

White Letter Steel Belted Radial Tires, P225/70R15 (QGB)

  • Optional size tires with special raised white lettering.

White Letter Steel Belted Radial Tires, P255/60R15 (QXH)

  • Standard size tires with special raised white lettering.

Heavy Duty Battery (UA1)

  • Optional, heavier-duty battery with increased cranking amps/capability.

AM-FM Radio, Stereo with 8-Track Tape (UM2)

  • The standard/stock radio equipped with an 8-Track Tape Player.
  • The radio received broadcast in FM 2-channel stereo, FM monaural, and AM monaural.
  • Includes 8-track tape deck.

AM-FM Radio, Stereo with Cassette (UN3)

  • The standard/stock radio equipped with a Cassette Tape Player.
  • The radio received broadcast in FM 2-channel stereo, FM monaural, and AM monaural.
  • Includes Cassette Tape player.

AM-FM Radio, Stereo with CB (UP6)

  • The standard/stock dealer installed radio equipped with a CB.
  • The radio received broadcast in FM 2-channel stereo, FM monaural, and AM monaural.
  • Full 40-channel Citizens Band radio.
  • CB mike is stowed on the center console.

AM-FM Radio, Stereo (U58)

  • A standard/stock dealer installed Corvette radio.
  • The radio received broadcast in FM 2-channel stereo, FM monaural, and AM monaural.

Power Antenna (U75)

  • A rear deck antenna that retracts and extends when the radio or ignition is powered off and on respectively. The power antenna extends 31 inches.
  • Not available with UP6.

Radio Delete (UL5)

  • Radio deletion.

Dual Rear Speakers (U81)

  • Dual rear auxiliary speakers.
  • Requires UM2, UN3, UP6, or U58.

Roof Panel Carrier (V54)

  • A carrier mounted to the rear deck for external transport of the removable roof panels.California Emission Certification (YF5)
  • Manual transmission was not available when choosing YF5.
  • L48 and L82 engines were not available when choosing YF5.

Trailer Package (ZN1)

  • Factory installed trailer package.
  • The trailer package included the FE7 Gymkhana Suspension and a heavy-duty radiator.
  • The hitch could support approximately 100 pounds of tongue weight.
  • Requires L48 or LG4 Engine and MX1 Automatic Transmission.

Notes:

  • For the 1980 Corvette, the LG4 Engine (required for California Emissions Certification YF5) credited $50 to the buyer with a total base price of $13,090.24.
  • Crossed flag emblems for 1980 were new for the Corvette using a new more elongated design.
  • New front and rear spoilers integrated with the bumpers allowed an improvement in drag coefficient.
  • Only the MX1 automatic transmission was available with the L82 engine.
  • The 1980 Corvette had a speedometer showing a maximum of 85 mph due to a new federal requirement.
  • Aluminum intake manifold became standard for 1980.

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Recalls

Recall 03E032000

Make: CHEVROLET
Model: CORVETTE
Model Year: 1980
Manufacturer: CARDONE INDUSTRIES, INC.
Mfr’s Report Date: MAY 07, 2003
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03E032000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: SERVICE BRAKES, AIR:DISC:CALIPER
Potential Number of Units Affected: 15899

Summary:

REMANUFACTURED REAR BRAKE CALIPERS, PART NOS. 18-7019, 18-7020, 16-7019, AND 16-7020, MANUFACTURED FROM FEBRUARY 1, 2002, TO APRIL, 25, 2003., AND FOR USE ON 1965 THRU 1982 CHEVROLET CORVETTES. THE SUBJECT BRAKE CALIPERS WERE MANUFACTURED USING IMPROPERLY MANUFACTURED PISTON SEALS. THESE SEALS ARE INTENDED TO PREVENT FLUID LEAKAGE BETWEEN THE CALIPER HOUSING AND THE PISTONS. THESE BRAKE CALIPERS ARE FOR USE ONLY ON 1965 THRU 1982 CHEVROLET CORVETTE VEHICLES. THIS RECALL DOES NOT INVOLVE GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION OR ANY OF ITS PRODUCTS.

Consequence:

UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, THE VEHICLE OPERATOR MAY NOT BE ABLE TO STOP THE CAR, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.

Remedy:

CARDONE WILL NOTIFY ITS CUSTOMERS AND ALL UNSOLD INVENTORY WILL BE REPURCHASED AND WILL PROVIDE A FULL REFUND TO CUSTOMERS. OWNER NOTIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MAY 2003. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT CARDONE AT 215-912-3000.

Notes:

ALSO, CUSTOMERS CAN CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION¿S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

Recall 07E088000

Make: CHEVROLET
Model: CORVETTE
Model Year: 1980
Manufacturer: HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC.
Mfr’s Report Date: OCT 19, 2007
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 07E088000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: EQUIPMENT
Potential Number of Units Affected: 121,680

Summary:

CERTAIN HONEYWELL FRAM RACING BRAND HP4 AND HP8 OIL FILTERS THAT WERE MANUFACTURED FROM MAY 25, 2006, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 14, 2007, AND SOLD FOR USE AS REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT FOR VEHICLES LIST ABOVE. THE AFFECTED FILTERS ARE MARKED WITH A DATE CODE A61451 THROUGH A72571 SEQUENTIALLY. THE DATE CODE AND PART NUMBER APPEAR ON THE FILTER HOUSING. FRAM RACING HP4 AND HP8 OIL FILTERS NOT BEARING A DATE CODE IN THIS RANGE ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS RECALL. THE GASKET OF THE OIL FILTER BECOMES MORE PLIABLE UNDER HIGH TEMPERATURES AND PRESSURES.

Consequence:

THIS CONDITION MAY CAUSE INADEQUATE SEALING AND LOSS OF ENGINE OIL, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A FIRE.

Remedy:

HONEYWELL WILL REPLACE THE AFFECTED OIL FILTERS FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN DURING NOVEMBER 2007. OWNERS CAN CONTACT FRAM CUSTOMER SERVICE TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-890-2075.

Notes:

CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.


1980 Corvette Service Bulletins

Coming Soon


1980 Corvette Common Issues

Coming Soon

1980 Corvette

1980 Corvette Maintenance Schedule

Maintenance Schedule

Coming Soon

1980 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

1980 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

Download this 1980 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure for a quick look at the features of the car.

Download 1980 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure

See Also

C3 1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973 1974 1975
1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7

 


Source Material:

  1. The Pocket Book of the Corvette: The Definitive Guide to the All American Sports Car – Copyright 2003, Barnes & Noble
  2. CORVETTE: Sports Car Superstar – Copyright 2005, PIL – Publications International, Ltd.
  3. Corvette Black Book – Copyright 2009, Michael Bruce Associates, Inc.
  4. The Complete Book of Corvette – Every Model Since 1963 – Copyright 2006, MBI Publishing

 

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