Documented 5,405 Original Mile Corvette Coupe 350 L82
When you think of investment-grade Corvettes, you probably think of the 427/435s, the split-window coupes, the early six-cylinder roadsters, right? There's no doubt those cars were once obvious investments, but not today—their prices have skyrocketed into low orbit and while there may still be some upside on top cars, the cost of admission is substantial and values have pretty much stabilized, so there won't be any more six-figure flips. Now stay with me for a moment when I tell you that the 1976-1980 Corvettes, the really nice ones, are where you should be investing your Corvette dollars today. Not only are they screaming bargains compared to their older siblings, but they have unquestionably reached the bottom of the curve and have nowhere to go but up from here. Buy the best one you can find, like this 1980 model with only 5405 original miles, enjoy it, and watch your investment remain as rock-solid and reliable as a T-bill.
This 1980 Corvette is a no-stories, low mileage survivor in every way, and presents today as a stunning lesson in Corvette technology and assembly techniques from 30 years ago. That's original paint, the original black leather interior, original glass, and the engine, while properly serviced, has never been opened. Obviously never a daily driver, it is extremely clean underneath and drives like a new car thanks to extensive servicing in 2009.
Corvettes of this vintage were known to have paint issues, and it was common for the bumpers to be a different color from the rest of the body. However, on this code 13 Silver Metallic Corvette, the paint is 100% original and it matches better than most we've seen coming through our doors. It's still shiny and clear, with none of the yellowing that happens to the urethane pieces on cars that have been stored improperly. The silver really emphasizes that classic Sting Ray shape, and for original paint, it's shockingly good. In fact, it looks so nice that our first thought was that this is one of those Corvettes that was repainted when it was new to correct the mis-matched components, but no, that's 100% original factory paint. This is a car that will show extremely well in a preservation class, and now that Bloomington is certifying survivors, you'll definitely want to get this car entered into competition.
Glass is excellent, just as you would expect from a car that has seen only 5400 miles, and it's unlikely that the wipers have ever been used on the windshield. Sometime in the past the windows were tinted, and it was a quality job that looks good with no bubbling or peeling. The dark windows are a great compliment to the silver paint, and help keep the black interior cool on a hot summer day. It also features body-colored T-tops and the rare RPO V54 T-top holders that mount to the rear deck.
In 1980, the Corvette was still the hottest car you could buy. This one carries the venerable L82 350 cubic inch V8, which features a 4-barrel carburetor and makes 230 horsepower. Nestled into a highly original engine bay, it's a lively performer with a great exhaust note and it's poised to perform on the show field thanks to a recent detail job. All the original finishes have been well-preserved, and the last service saw new plug wires, hoses, belts, and a few other small items to keep it in top mechanical condition. You know this is a clean, low-mileage car by looking at things like the flexible fabric snorkels for the intake, which hasn't fallen apart due to heat cycling, and the original heat riser tube from the exhaust manifold to the air cleaner. Corvettes came with factory A/C as standard equipment in 1980, and the system in this car is fully functional and cools the interior effectively during the hottest months. Even the hood pad remains in excellent, undamaged condition. As I said, this car could easily be a contender in a preservation class at any show you attend.
Underneath, there's just no question that this is a low-mileage original car. It's not over-detailed like a restored car, but it is extremely clean and just as the factory was making them in 1980. The floors have been undercoated, but the job was tidy, and everything works as it did when the car was new. The only notable modification is the removal of the catalytic converter, which has been replaced with a welded-in section of exhaust pipe. Brakes might still be the original rotors and pads, although the fluid and flex lines are fresh. New sway bar end links were part of this major service as well, so handling is sharp and everything remains quiet on the road. The power steering hoses were also replaced in the interest of safety, since after 30 years, they might have been showing their age. Tires are 225/60/15 Goodyear Eagle GT II on the original slotted aluminum wheels, which are in beautiful condition with no curb rash.
This car's black leather interior is a welcome change to the expected silver, which was all the rage in 1980. Nicely preserved and showing signs of careful storage and maintenance, the seating surfaces are still supple and clean, and haven't dried out due to long-term storage or exposure to sunlight. As always, the highest praise we can give a car is that it is in showroom condition, and that applies to this Corvette. The driver's seat shows a few signs that someone has been behind the wheel, but most of the creases you can see were there from new, as Chevy sought to give the Corvette a comfortable, inviting look. Carpets have been protected by floor mats from day one, and the dash has clearly not been baking in the hot sun. Options include power windows and a rare AM/FM/CB radio that remains fully functional. The gauges are all operational, the A/C blows cold, the windows go up and down, and it's everything you'd expect from a car with 5000 original miles.
There's a good package of documentation that comes with this Corvette, too. We have the original owner's manual, sales contract, maintenance schedule, warranty booklet, registration documents, and service records from the past 30 years.
No, this car won't make you rich overnight. But if history is any indicator, from now on, it will always be on the way up. The low-mile, documented, original cars are always the most valuable, and this one is rarer than most C3 Corvettes. There are hundreds of low mile '78 Pace Cars and Anniversary models, but a top-of-the-line car with all options in 1980 is going to be hard to find. With survivor status and originality being so highly prized, particularly among Corvette fans, this car will always be something special. Call us today and take a trip back through time.
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