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Assembly Required: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette L82

The C3 Chevy Corvette would enjoy its second base sales year in 1978 (46,000 copies), only beaten out by 1977 (at 49,000 units). But this car looks nothing today like it did 45 years ago as it’s been disassembled for a restomod that has yet to happen. It’s not entirely complete and you’ll have to spend considerable time loading it all up to take it home. Located in Denton, Maryland, this unfinished dream is available here on craigslist for $2,500. Thanks for the interesting tip Mitchell G!

When new, this ‘Vette is said to have had the L82 350 cubic inch V8 which would have produced 185 hp in those days. But that engine and its companion automatic transmission are not in the pile you see featured. You’ll have to source a new power train when you put this automobile back together again. We’re told that more than $2,000 in new parts are included, but we don’t know what they are. The MIA parts list also includes the windshield and inner door panels.

We’re told the frame was sand-blasted at some point and painted, but still needs some “minor repair.” We assume there are no issues with the fiberglass body and a new coat of red paint is likely on the to-do list. One of the biggest problems with projects like this is assessing what’s there and what’s not so you can get the needed new components before getting in too deep.


  1. Harvey Member

    This is what I did to some of my toys as a kid. I would drive my parents nuts! I took Mr. Machine apart but I put him back together. The disassembly is much easier than the assembly:-)

    Like 10
    • John Eder

      Now there’s a trip down memory lane- Mr. Machine. I, too, took that toy apart and reassembled it over and over.

      This looks like a Corvette that you would buy at Ikea. I don’t see where the little allen wrench is included with this car, however.

      Like 12
      • Marshall Belcher

        It’s in the ash tray.

        Like 7
    • Jim in FL Member

      Yeah, add me to the list of folks who enjoyed “Mr. Machine” back in the 60’s. Don’t forget the “Tic-Tok-Clock”, that was another favorite puzzle!
      And the “Visible V-8 Engine”…..

      Like 0
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    At the ripe old age of 28 I took on a similar challenge with an Austin Healey 100 4. Today I don’t think I’ve got enough life left to even think about taking on this Corvette. Still got the first dibs on my friends ’73 that all I have to do with it is start it and drive it.

    Like 6
  3. Don Sicura

    Batteries not included………lol

    Like 5
    • Driveinstile Member

      Dont you mean….
      Some assembly is required….
      Batteries not included??? Lol :)

      Like 7
  4. Robert White

    If you want to fully rebuild any car it’s best to have a garage
    that allows one to work on whatever parts as one goes through
    the entire restoration.

    When I rebuilt my 1966 Acadian Canso Sport Deluxe I removed
    everything in the garage except the shell of the car so that I would
    have a clear working space that was easy to clean up after a day’s
    work on the car. If you fill your garage up with twenty million parts
    you’ll get distracted and you’ll have too many parts laying about to
    allow you to clean up the garage after a day’s work on it.

    I had a parts room in my basement for all the car parts to be stored
    as I worked on the shell of the car. Welding & grinding dust gets everywhere
    so it’s best to completely empty your work space of everything that might
    pose as a distraction or interfere with a thorough clean up.

    This Vette disarray looks more like a storage space than a work space.


    Like 9
  5. Mike Soucy

    💯 agree with you on work space. I work at a powersports dealership and while doing simple tasks (i.e. bike tires, 4wheeler services, sxs stuff) I don’t think about my work space too much. When I take on “big” “significant” jobs like engine work on a sea doo or anything that’s going to be project, I put all my tools back in my box, clean up all the trash on my benches and sweep/mop the floor. I use muffin tins for removed hardware and bags with notes inside for making it easier for reassembly. Been an ase master tech, now am BRP Certified Tech and ‘not quite’ redline Honda Tech. With my experience and knowledge I would love to own this Corvette in a box if I had the room.

    Like 3
    • Robert White

      I’m a Mechanical Engineering Technician from way back in the
      80s when I went to college for Tool & Die Making. Once trained as
      a Technician workspace becomes essential for work MoM.

      Most projects taken on by private individuals ends up never getting
      professionally finished because people neglect the workspace factor
      of working. I agree with your experience, too. Most Technicians fully
      get how to work after training & hours of work so it becomes second
      nature to rebuild stuff.


      Like 5
      • John Eder

        I worked for an engineering firm that built vehicles for Disney. We worked in a WW II vintage hangar. After each project was completed, we cleaned the entire floor with hot water and soap, repainted the floor and then painted grid lines, marked at 12” and 6” increments on the floor. Every day, we knocked off early enough to clean the the entire shop. The owner was a fanatic about cleanliness (he came from the aerospace industry). Now, when I take my car to a new shop, I look at how clean it is before I let them work on my car.

        Like 3
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I wonder if there are any Maryland-based used Corvette parts houses. The seller should contact them because at this point, that is the best route for this mess.

    Like 5
    • Driveinstile Member

      That is an Excellent suggestion. At this point, you have a lot of value in the parts, and can keep someone elses Vette running. And from what you can tell in the photos the parts seem to be in serviceable condition.

      Like 4
  7. Jim C

    I have a 79 Vette I’m restoring. Took the body off fixed what needed including some welding. All this in a one car garage. I’m a very healthy 75 and not afraid of a challenge. I’ve looked at this for sometime as it is close by. If I had storage I would consider it as I already have all the component’s needed to complete this. That being said if you start defining yourself by age you soon become old. Putting it back together isn’t easy. It can be done with a little effort. Don’t quit because of age, it’s worth the reward.

    Like 16
    • moosie moosie

      Jim C, Exactly !

      Like 3
    • Marshall Belcher

      If you have the time an knowledge in good health buy it an see what goes. It will keep you busy an take your mind off other things. You can always sell it at any point good luck an have fun that’s what it’s about. Do us a favor. Post a picture when you complete it.get the grand sons to help an learn.

      Like 3
  8. moosie moosie

    Jim C, Exactly !

    Like 3
  9. Frank Sumatra

    C3 production in 1979 was the all-time high for Corvette- 53,807. Next highest to date, C4 1984 at 51,547.

    Like 2
  10. Troy

    I didn’t know you could get a Corvette from IKEA are the assembly instructions easy to understand?

    Like 1
  11. EBay Parts

    I suggest list the doors , front end. Rear on Ebay.

    Like 1
  12. DA

    And I thought my garage was a mess. I think it would take a week to sort and organise all of those parts, but for what? Considering what is known to be missing and what might be missing, the project isn’t worth doing. The seller should straighten that mess up and part the bits out for a more worthy candidate.

    Like 3
    • V

      so that is how the older cars end up for sale as a shell….

      Like 1
  13. Frank Sumatra

    I feel bad for the owner. It pretty much sucks when a project like this goes sour.

    Like 2
    • Big C

      It looks like this project went sour back around the Clinton presidency.

      Like 1
  14. V

    the big pieces are not that big of a deal. but the nuts bolts and little screws will drive you crazy. can anyone build this with the new car panel adhesive…see it can be built without nuts and bolts and screws…

    Like 1
  15. Frank TA

    I always understood, that fiberglass should not be sandblasted. Is that incorrect?

    Like 0
  16. Frank TA

    I just re-read the story on this sale. The frame was sandblasted not the car….oops!

    Like 0
  17. LarryS

    1978 L82 was 220 hp.

    Like 0

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