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1,433 Miles Since New! 1980 Chevrolet Corvette L-82

1,433 miles on a 39-year-old car!  I’m always shocked whenever cars like this pop up for sale and I immediately wonder how did such circumstances come to be?  Did the original owner purchase the car with the intent to preserve it as a classic and thus, drive it sparingly over the years?  Or was the car somehow forgotten until now and left in storage due to mysterious and perhaps, unfortunate circumstances?  Available here on eBay at the BIN price of $33,500, the seller of this L-82 mentions it’s been “climate control kept since day 1” and “has been run a few miles each year to keep everything nice” which answers my question regarding the ‘Vette’s unusual state of preservation.  The car is located in Dover, Delaware but it’s unclear whether the seller is the car’s original owner.

The seller tempts us by pointing out that if you were to buy this car it would be “just like buying a brand new 1980 Corvette.”  To enhance that new car buying experience he’s even hung the original sticker in the passenger side window.  Judging by the car’s immaculate appearance it would be difficult to debate the seller on that point and this might be as close as one can get to stepping back to 1980 without the use of a DeLorean time machine.  I can’t see a single flaw in the dark claret metallic paint.  There’s not a chip, crack, or any sign of crazing in the fiberglass.  Heck, I would expect to at least see a little carnauba wax residue stuck around the cracks of the flip-up headlight covers!  Not the case here!  This car is truly flawless.  Dark claret metallic might not be my favorite C3 color, but it’s in my top three.  What shade do you prefer on your wishlist ‘Vette?

Interior photos are somewhat dark and cramped, but from what can be seen its condition looks equally pristine.  The black leather bucket seats still look puffy and new without a rip, gouge, or stain.  The same goes for the fabric covering the door panels and the steering wheel.   The instrument cluster and console are immaculate and the dash cover glistens.  Everything is in perfect, factory original condition.  The seller mentions the car is “highly optioned” and provides a photo of the window sticker showing an itemized list of those features.  Among other things, the list includes power door locks, removable glass roof panels, aluminum wheels, AM/FM stereo with 8 track player, dual rear speakers, and a 5.7 liter 350 V8 L-82 engine  that the seller claims is “rare.”

By 1980 Chevy had tweaked the L82’s cam and valve sizes as well as the compression ratio resulting in the engine producing 230 horsepower.  Photos of the engine bay reveal things are remarkably clean under the hood and are consistent with what one would expect from a car that is in practically brand new condition.  No dirt, grime, or oil residue can be found and all of the rubber hoses and belts are perfect, showing no signs of dry rot.  The seller mentions he recently changed the oil but left the original filter in place.  That’s odd and perhaps even a bit negligent, but maybe he believes it may somehow increase the car’s appeal?  Who knows but one thing is for certain, this is a very unique opportunity to buy a “new” old ‘Vette.  $33,500 is a lot to shell out for a 1980 C3 but will you ever again find one with less than 1,500 miles?


  1. Avatar photo NotSure

    I was a teenager when this car was built and have developed a faulty memory in the intervening years. But I am shocked that in this model year you could still get an 8-track player from the factory. I thought that they had died out 3-5 years earlier.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Ralph

      8 track players hung on as options until around 1982-1983, the big Delco 2000 series radios had a rare 8-track version for 1982.

      Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Arthell64

    I love this body style. The price is about 10k to high but this is a beautiful car. Too bad you couldn’t get the L82 with a 4 speed in 1980.

    Like 8
  3. Avatar photo Bakyrdhero

    This is one of the nicest ones I’ve seen. I still think the C3’s have the nicest lines of all the Corvette generations..

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo PatrickM

      Nicest = 1963, IMHO

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Bear

    One Question….
    “WHY do people buy nice cars & then just PARK them??” :-O

    (I would love to hear the full story behind this one….)

    Like 15
    • Avatar photo UK Paul 🇬🇧

      I have heard lots of cases where people buy the car then die within days/weeks and the family can’t bear to part with them.
      Sometimes people have just too much money and too many houses. (They don’t get around to drive them as they are not at that home much)

      I think this is a good buy personally..

      Like 5
    • Avatar photo Superdessucke

      When I see things like this, I’m torn. I’m glad it exists but it’s kind of sad that no one drove and enjoyed it. It really doesn’t stand out in today’s automotive landscape. A new Accord or Camry with the top engine would smoke it.

      I doubt this is one of those family-member-died things. They probably would not have gone through all the trouble of climate controlled storage plus starting it once a year were that the case. Also, if the person died when the car was that new, it is unlikely that there would have been such an attachment to it.

      My guess is a collector bought this new and then just stored it as part of his collection.

      Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Mike D

    My dad had a 79. There was the option of a cassette player or an 8-track and he went for the 8-track. In 1979 I thought that was very old school.

    Like 8
  6. Avatar photo Joe Huff

    NotSure, 8 Tracks were still available in the early 1980’s cars. It was just about that time the cassettes started to replace them, but cassettes were “High tech” at that time. I was 30 at that point, so I’m showing my age.

    Actually 8 Tracks weren’t as bad as most people remember as long as you bought a decent player and used good quality tapes. Most people bought a $39.95 player and cheap tapes, so the player usually ate the tape.

    I put a $135 Craig Powerplay 8 Track in my 57 Bel Air in 1979. I had to mount it under the glove box on the passenger’s side because I refuse to drill holes in the car. I also bought Memorex tapes and recorded them off a high quality home stereo. It still works fine 39+ years later, at least I think it does. It’s stored in my barn for the winter, there’s something with a car cover over it and I assume the car is there with everything working.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo NotSure

      Back in the mid 90’s? a buddy of mine bought a very low mileage 1978 Caprice with the factory 8-track which I was surprised about as well. My friend always drove fully ragged-out cars that needed to be replaced or repaired often. He wasn’t mechanically inclined at all and probably would’ve had trouble changing a tire. His earliest cars would be AM radio equipped so his dad would install FM converters and on later cars would add cassette players. So when Leonard bought the little-old-lady-owned low mileage Caprice with the 8-track he decided to pay his dad a visit because by this time he had a number of cassettes of his favorite bands and he knew dad would hook him up with a cassette player. He told me that his father saw the car, smiled because he happened to have the solution to the problem out in the shed. Leonard felt immense relief that his dad had something on hand and that he’d be able to make the long drive back home listening to his cassettes. Dad came out of the shed carrying a small box…. full of 8-track tapes!!! Captain and Tenille, John Denver, Righteous Brothers etc. Sadly none of it in Leonard’s musical tastes. 25 years later and his dad is gone but Leonard still gets a good laugh going when he recalls that story and the memories of his father.

      Like 8
  7. Avatar photo j liu

    I hope the new owner drives this car. 39 years of basically sitting is doing this car no favors. What’s the point of having a fun car that becomes a monument that rarely is out on the road? This car is not a Pebble Beach multi-million dollar rarity.
    Grab the keys and go. Life’s too short…

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo leiniedude Member

      I agree j liu . For $33,500 buy something newer or older that smokes the tires and handles great! A ton of rigs out there. This person wasted a short lifetime on a bla car.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo PatrickM

        Not quite so blah, IMO. I’m drooling. This is a beautiful car. But price is too high.

        Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Zipy

    I agree wrong car to store for all those years. Did not change oil filter?? At least take it off and drain it and reinstall. I’ve done that before on an every day car. Not being cheap. I was changing oil every 2000 miles back in the 70s and filter every other time.

    Like 4
  9. Avatar photo V8Johnno

    If I had a Delorean, I would drive it from time to time……………………

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo mallthus

    My dad had a 1980 C3 as well. It was a California car, so it was a dog, power and performance wise, because CA cars had a 180hp 305 in place of the 350 to meet emissions rules. But he literally drove that car for free, after buying it at a steep discount as a GM employee, because he put 235,000 miles on it commuting before totaling it. When the insurance adjuster reviewed the car, it looked good visually and, with a 5 digit odometer, he just wrote it up as a 35,000 mile car. The payout was about $250 less than he’d paid for the car initially.

    Like 10
  11. Avatar photo CanuckCarGuy

    Beautiful car, but can’t help but wonder how well it will hold up if the new owner actually drives it. That’s a lot of sitting, and 1,400 miles over 39 years doesn’t seem sufficient to properly exercise the mechanical aspects of the car. That being said, I’d want to get in at a lower price point to have something in reserve for the unknown.

    Like 4
  12. Avatar photo gbvette62

    This is an interesting car, though in my opinion it’s over priced. Personally, I don’t care for the pinstripes all over the car, and they do hurt the originality of the car.

    As far as the L-82 being rare, there were about 5,000 of them built in 80, or about 13% of production, so they’re not overly “rare”. In comparison, there were 5,700 80 4 speeds built, or about 14% of production. Availability of the L-82 was delay 4 or 5 months in 1980, because of issues passing the Federal emission certification process.

    In 1980, the 8-track was the most popular radio, with over 15,700 ordered. Other radios offered in 1980 were a standard AM/FM mono radio, an optional AM/FM Stereo, an AM/FM Stereo Cassette, and an AM/FM Stereo with CB. An 8-track radio was optional in Corvettes from 77 to 82.

    As far as the history of this car, the seller, MJ Stone, is a used car dealer on RT 13 in Dover DE, so I’m guessing not much history is available. It’s nice that they have the window sticker and owners manual, but the warranty book seems to be missing, which is a shame. Most collectors like to have the warranty book, because it has the original owners information.

    Like 5
  13. Avatar photo IHOP

    I’d be all over this car but for the paint color! I absolutely despise this color! I call it ‘poo-gundy!’ To each his own but not for me. For me, its one of those bug’a boo’s. What ever the reason is that causes the name brands to paint vehicles this color escapes me…its just a horrid color! There, thaz my rant and maybe now I can move on. Thanks everybody for your patience in reading through my post.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Ike Onick

      You are among friends, and I agree 100% -“Shoe Polish Brown” I picture waxing this car with a tin of KIWI Cordovan polish.

      Like 1
  14. Avatar photo JC

    LOL, finally a car I could go look at and I don’t care for it… NADA High Retail on this car is $35600 so the price isn’t too far out of line… If seller has documented proof of miles he might get what he’s asking or close to it… that being said, it takes about 5 minutes to take out the screws on the gauge facing, pull it off and put the odometer at whatever mileage you want. DMV does not record mileage on any car over 10yrs old… Also question the logic of changing the oil and leaving the original? oil filter on… Lastly, like some others, not the best color with tan pinstripes and black interior IMHO… too bad the interior isn’t Ivory, then it would pop a little. The seller is a used car dealer in town… ALL his cars have HIGH mileage so I’d be a little wary of the mileage claim.

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Gaspumpchas

    yep pristine but a smogged down automatic. To me nothing collectible or desirable about it. You could def get something more desirable for 33 large. Think the owner is dreaming. Hey its worth what someone will pay, but as one of the guys said its still a 39 year old smog era chevy Good luck to the new owner.


    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Henryfrederick

    I didn’t like the color of mine, so changed it to this.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo PatrickM

      Almost a good picture. I get the color, but…..

      Like 1
  17. Avatar photo Bob McK

    NADA may say that the price is “reasonable”, but will anybody else? The 80’s have an automatic transmission. The color is horrible. It has low miles and seems to be in perfect condition. I wonder what it is worth.

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Stevie G

    I understand taste in color is subjective, but I like the color. I would feel claustrophobic in that tight, black interior & I can definitely do without the pinstriping, but I like the body color & I think it really accentuates the body lines on this sexy looking car.
    One of my bosses (I work a couple jobs…gotta pay for the toys lol) just purchased a 2012 Harley V-rodfrom one of our regular customers. Because my other job is @ a Harley dealership, he asked me to come look the bike over with him.
    I thought it was odd that our customer had a Harley for sale. He is blind lol. It turned out he had 2 Harleys for sale, the V-rod & a 2010 ElectraGlide. The V-rod had 14 miles on it. Yup, 14. The ElectraGlide had just a couple hundred on it.
    Our customer & his brother were very close. They still lived together in the house they were raised in. The brother was a city of Milwaukee cop. Anyhow, the day the brother brought home the V-rod from the dealership when he purchased it (same dealership I work @, even though there are 2 that are closer to his house), he went to bed to catch some sleep before his shift. There too, I found that odd. I would have been all jacked up & want to go riding! Anyhow, he died in his sleep.
    Our customer has some health issues & decided to sell the bikes. I am not sure why the big hog only had a couple hundred miles on it either. I never asked too much about it. I just know my boss bought the V-rod & the big hog sold to someone else. Our customer also had a couple Corvettes for sale too. Even though I like the 3rd generation corvettes for their elegant style, I am not much of a Corvette guy. I didn’t ask about them at all. Probably should have lol.

    Like 2
  19. Avatar photo Jeff

    I have a 1982 Collectors Edition and in my opinion this car is worth the price. My CE, however, has 133k miles on it!

    Like 3
  20. Avatar photo Craig

    Amazing, don’t you wish you had the money, sense and facility to pull of buying and stashing your dream cars. What would you have stashed?
    During the 80s oil crisis, when gas guzzling muscle cars were selling for nothing I toyed with the idea of approaching a rich cousin with the idea of buying them up and stashing them in barns. Never pursued the idea, stupid. Worst car mistake I ever made beside selling my 1958 Porsche speedster.
    Not a fan of the year or body style but IMHO it’s worth the price and should either go to a museum or serious collection.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo UK Paul 🇬🇧

      As far as relatively sensible cars from my youth, had I the cash I would have stashed a whale tail Ford Sierra Cosworth and a S124 Mercedes. (I was in my teens so no chance)

      Someone in the village where I lived had a Ferrari F40. I wonder if they still do?

      Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Craig

    Amazing, don’t you wish you had the money, sense and facility to pull off buying and stashing your dream cars. What would you have stashed?
    During the 80s oil crisis, when gas guzzling muscle cars were selling for nothing I toyed with the idea of approaching a rich cousin with the idea of buying them up and stashing them in barns. Never pursued the idea, stupid. Worst car mistake I ever made beside selling my 1958 Porsche speedster.
    Not a fan of the year or body style but IMHO it’s worth the price and should either go to a museum or serious collection.

    Like 0
  22. Avatar photo JimmyJ

    If only he bought a used 67 427 tripower 4 speed instead for probably 1/4 of what this cost at the time then he’d be making money.
    Or maybe all those dirt cheap hemi cars for sale in the early 80s
    Glad he wasn’t my investment broker!
    I guess u spend your money and take your chances but this mint vette wont even return inflation…
    Too bad

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo JimmyJ

    For what he paid for this vette he probably coulda bought 2 decent 67 427 tripowers instead, or maybe a couple hemi cudas.
    Oh well u spend your money and take your chances.
    Nice car but for an investment it didn’t even keep up with inflation

    Like 0
  24. Avatar photo R Soul

    This car is worth between 17 to 18k. The driver seat looks like it had more than 1400 miles of ass time. The alternator doesn’t look like it spent time in climate controlled environment.

    Like 0
  25. Avatar photo grant

    One oil change in 39 years? Regardless of mileage that’s kinda scary.

    Like 0
  26. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    I’ve always wondered if that style of seat would do a number on one’s back/spine because of the 1 segmented cushion that sticks out further than the others just below where the seat folds.
    I would prefer the earlier style flat cushion seat back, that folds where it meets the bottom cushion.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Jeff

      I’m 6 ft 4 in about 225 pounds, and I find the seats to be fairly comfortable. Not too bad, but I wouldn’t want to make a cross-country trip in the car, LOL!

      Like 0
  27. Avatar photo PK

    I would be cautious with the mileage. Back bumper looks pretty wavy for a garage kept vette.

    Like 0

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