10k-Mile Survivor! 1979 Corvette L-82

C3 Corvettes, specifically the 1973-1982, represent a relative bargain in the classic-car market today. Yours truly owned a ’76 and later a ’79 a few years back. Our own Jesse Mortensen put his ’79 up for sale almost exactly a year ago, but you can have this one if you buy it from this eBay listing out of Barberton, Ohio. Big thanks to Patrick S. for the tip!

Rather than re-hash the entire storied history of the Corvette, let’s look at just the 3rd generation, which spanned 1968 to 1982. In that time, the Corvette weathered many upheavals in not only the Auto industry, but America itself. From the Muscle Car to Malaise era, including major tailpipe emissions clampdown, the end of American entanglement in Southeast Asia, the infamous Oil Crisis, and Disco music, the Corvette soldiered on – offering V8 engines and a recognizable personal sport/luxury vehicle when others were downsizing everything and overseas compact cars were beginning to flood the market. Despite its relative obsolescence in that market, the 1979 Corvette saw record sales and production numbers, with approximately 53,000 made. Chevrolet ran its Corvette lines at full steam, which unfortunately led to Quality Control issues, but everybody and their cousin wanted one anyway. GM was all too happy to oblige.

This particular car appears to be a rather nice example. We can see from the pictures and read in the seller’s description that it is indeed a factory L-82 with many popular options installed. We’re told that it has only seen about 10,000 miles of travel and that only a few minor things keep it from tip-top operating condition. Other items of note are its one-family ownership and inclusion of original documentation such as the original window sticker.

All things considered, this car is really quite nice. It’s not a #1, which Hagerty would value at just over $30,000, but it does present well for an unrestored 40-year-old American car. I had a nearly identical car a few years back, but mine had the four-speed and wasn’t nearly as clean and well-kept when I got it. I like this one, for multiple reasons, and would consider purchasing it if I had the means. What do YOU think? Let me know in the comments!


  1. CanuckCarGuy

    That Hagerty value for a #1 must have the insurance premiums in mind…seems steep for a ’79 C3 value, unless the market has changed in the last week or two.

    Like 13
  2. Michael

    I had a friend that worked at the Corvette plant in Kentucky. He loved his job. Like he told me once. I put Vette’s together. What better job could a person have?

    Like 8
  3. OhU8one2

    I like this car and colors work well. I do prefer the 4spd,but looking at the condition of this Vette, I think it would be an excellent buy. But then you’d have to listen to Prince belt out “Red Corvette” over and over……..

    Like 2
  4. DRV

    I had one in this area but it had 2 white pinstripes on each side. It had the best simple anti theft system that easily disconnected the battery through the cigarette lighter.

    Like 4
  5. JohnU

    If the air conditioner just needs a shot of R12 why not do it yourself and say the Air blows cold. Have a similar Corvette for 30 years the compressor needs seals.

    Like 3
  6. art

    Love the color. The seat looks a bit more worn than the miles indicate, ditto the shiny steering wheel but over all, not bad looking.

    Like 2
  7. Chuck

    I bought my first car in 1969; a used ’57 Belair. It cost me $10 and I wrecked it. In 1972, I bought my first new car, a Vega GT. You can guess how that turned out. In ’79, I ordered a Midnight Blue L82, 4 spd with every available option. To this day, it remains the most unreliable car I’ve ever owned. Needless to say, we don’t d Chevy’s anymore.

    For some perspective, I’m on my third Jeep Grand Cherokee and the wife has a Mini Cooper S, lol.

    Like 2
  8. Comet

    “A shot of R12?” Whos got that stuff laying around?

    Like 1
    • Jack M.

      I used this stuff in my wife’s Chevy Blazer. Got me few a few summers for cheap.

      Like 2
    • Steve R

      It’s around, There are hundreds of listings for R12 on eBay, it’s also common at swapmeets. Several friends with muscle cars have enough stashed away in case they need to service their AC systems.

      Steve R

      Like 1
    • George Mattar

      R12 can be found at swap meets for $25 a can. A typical GM system holds about 2.2 pounds. 134A is garbage and never works with R12 systems properly. I did all the correct upgrades and destroyed the AC in my 73 Corvette. Beautiful 79, but automatic. No thanks.

      Like 2
  9. grant

    For some Reason, this story was Hard to Read. I can’t quite put my Finger on it, but I feel Less Smarterer now.

    Like 1
  10. Superdessucke

    Not really a fan of these but this is a sharp car, I have to say. Great colour combo. Love the cloth seats! For what it’s worth, only about 7,500 of the 53,000 Corvettes built that year had cloth seats. The vast majority had leather.

    Like 1
  11. ccrvtt

    In my limited experience with Corvette seats, just getting in and getting out of the car will wear out the bolsters next to the driver’s door in about a year. So I wouldn’t go by the condition of the seat to gauge the age or condition of the whole car, which looks to be pristine.

    This is a beauty for a disco era ‘Vette. I love the aluminum rims but would prefer the ducktail spoiler. Power output wasn’t much at the time but I’ve rarely seen a Corvette from the late ’70s that hasn’t been modified with an Edelbrock intake and carb and some nasty headers.

    The real mystery to me is how they sold 53,000 of these given they weren’t really great cars. The competition with Trans Ams was pretty fierce in the internecine wars at GM.

    This car in this condition will probably bring close to the asking price. Throw in a gold chain and a Members Only jacket and it would be gone in a Heartbeat.

    Like 1

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