BF Auction: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

Sold for $3,950View Result

After spending decades in the wilderness, later examples of the C3 Corvette are gaining traction in the classic market. There are many reasons for the change, from the recognition of those cars as comfortable and accomplished tourers to a new generation of enthusiasts viewing them as an affordable entry into the classic scene. This 1978 Corvette recently emerged after thirty-five years in storage. It needs TLC to regain its youthful good looks, but the bones are there for the right person to complete a satisfying restoration. If you find the prospect impossible to resist, this ‘Vette is listed exclusively on Barn Finds Auctions.

The seller located this Corvette squirreled away in a garage, and although it was unheated, it was bone-dry. Therefore, the fact this classic is rock-solid is unsurprising. They admit it needs everything, but one thing the successful bidder can skip is fiberglass repairs. There are no cracks or other issues, but the Silver paint has a selection of scratches and imperfections that would justify a repaint. The plastic looks like it has avoided the worst that Mother Nature and UV rays can throw at it, with the same true of the glass, roof panels, and trim. It is worth acknowledging that this Corvette is 1-of-972 ordered with the glass roof panels, which is understandable when you consider they added a hefty $349.00 to this classic’s 9,351.00 sticker price. There are no missing trim items, with the car retaining the distinctive “25th Anniversary” badges that were a hallmark of all Corvettes produced in 1978. The factory wheels are a distant memory, but locating a spotless secondhand genuine set or high-quality reproductions is easy if the buyer plans a faithful build.

After thirty-five years in storage, it is unsurprising that this classic doesn’t run or drive. It rolls and steers, but the rear e-brakes are hung-up. By 1978, Corvette buyers could order their new toy with any motor…as long as it was the venerable 350ci V8. The company offered a couple of versions of the small-block, with this car featuring the L48 that produced 185hp in its prime. That power was fed to the road via a three-speed Hydramatic transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes as standard equipment. Although a ¼-mile ET of 17.1 seconds may not sound staggering to some, it proved sufficient for the L48 version to outsell the L82-equipped cars by a margin of 3:1. There are options for potential bidders to consider that could unleash extra performance for those seeking a bigger thrill. Sourcing the correct intake and other equipment to upgrade the 350 to L82 specs is possible, and with the existing transmission in situ, the ¼-mile ET would drop to 16.3 seconds. If complete authenticity isn’t paramount, the restomod path might beckon, offering a host of options that will improve performance while potentially reducing fuel consumption and making this classic a practical daily driver.

One aspect of this Corvette requiring TLC is its interior. However, the successful bidder can commence this part of their build with a complete and unmodified car. It is 1-of-3,338 Corvettes produced in 1978 trimmed in Light Beige leather, representing a take-up rate of around 7%. That doesn’t make it the rarest color choice, but it falls well short of the class-leading 8,999 buyers who ordered their ‘Vette trimmed in Oyster leather. I would thoroughly clean everything before compiling a shopping list, although carpet and a few other items will be obvious inclusions. This survivor features air conditioning, power windows, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM radio for those seeking comfort and convenience.

From its structurally sound nature to its lack of significant modifications, this 1978 Corvette has much to offer potential buyers. Although it probably won’t become a mega-bucks classic, values are heading in the right direction for those contemplating its long-term investment potential. While it won’t possess the outright performance of its predecessors if the successful bidder performs a faithful restoration, it should still pack a punch that would satisfy most owners. If not, there is scope to undertake a restomod build because modern drivetrain combinations offer a winning combination of power and refinement while delivering surprising fuel economy. These scenarios are all compelling, but if one sounds irresistible, submitting a bid on this Corvette would be a wise starting point to get the ball rolling.

  • Location: Mount Clemens, Michigan
  • Mileage: 64,332
  • Engine: 350 Cui V8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • VIN: 1Z87L8S420776
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $3,950
Register To Bid
Ended: Mar 9, 2023 10:00am MDT
Winner: Jefferyscott
  • Jefferyscott
    bid $3,950.00  2023-03-09 09:47:52
  • SJD bid $3,900.00  2023-03-09 09:44:54
  • Jefferyscott bid $3,850.00  2023-03-09 09:27:27
  • SJD
    bid $3,750.00  2023-03-09 09:18:26
  • Jefferyscott bid $3,700.00  2023-03-09 07:57:56
  • Sosa bid $3,500.00  2023-03-08 14:12:37
  • Jefferyscott
    bid $3,350.00  2023-03-07 22:21:34
  • Tommyrocks bid $3,150.00  2023-03-06 10:34:41
  • AUTOMANRUSS bid $3,000.00  2023-03-05 20:58:03
  • Jp_kleist
    bid $2,600.00  2023-03-05 08:08:56
  • Russ bid $2,500.00  2023-03-05 07:54:48
  • Alexander1 bid $2,100.00  2023-03-03 13:56:22
  • JTM
    bid $2,000.00  2023-03-02 23:31:29
  • Gabster bid $1,750.00  2023-03-02 16:48:40
  • Russ bid $1,500.00  2023-03-02 09:43:34
  • Gabster
    bid $1,250.00  2023-03-01 16:25:14
  • 2manyvettes bid $1,000.00  2023-03-01 10:35:32

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    I doff my cap to the chap that rescues this needy C3!

    All the best!


    Like 2
    • JAYPEA50

      Unfortunately these years were a “dime -a – dozen…

      Like 0
  2. Robert West

    The article states that the L-82 used a different intake. There is no performance advantage between any of the small block Quadrajet intake manifolds. Later Quadrajet intakes were made of aluminum, but all 20+ years of small block intakes are the same height and runner size.

    Like 1
  3. Cooter CooterMember

    I rescued and restored a 79 to my color and likings. It is a great ride and grabs much attention at the shows. They are slowly gaining traction in the market. Also have an un-restored 77 with new engine. That one is next.

    Like 6
    • Dan

      How much would you expect the buyer of this one to pay to make it like yours?

      Like 2
      • Cooter CooterMember

        35 to 40K, depending on how far he wishes to take it.

        Like 0
  4. matt kennell

    Loved my Eggshell White 79 Corvette, bought used in 83 with 29K miles and sold a year later to buy my first home, still regret that sale. I am glad the Disco Vettes are coming into their own. Plenty quick for me.

    Like 2
  5. Roland Schoenke

    I wish I would have kept my ’79 , but my three daughters and there activities came first. I had it modified to a fantastic finish and drive quality

    Like 0
  6. Mike gosden

    Robert the factory aluminum L82 intake is different than the cast iron L48 of the same year. Not possible to bring a L48 to L82 specs .h/p yes. All L82 s were 4 bolt ,steel cranks 2:02 intake 160 ex screw in studs windage trey etc but only 30 h/p difference. Cams are different etc etc

    Like 1
  7. Gary

    Had a 79, L-82 auto and it drove like a truck that you couldn’t see out of. Ride was OK. It was a dog compared to my 65, 365 HP 4 speed although they drove like trucks as well with better vision.

    Like 1
  8. Joshua MortensenStaff

    The reserve is off!

    Like 0
  9. Rainer Beran

    This was the last year my stepfather bought this year new, as he said they were getting slower and slower every year, i got to drive it as a young teennager of 17. It was fun. He eventually sold it and went back to finding and restoring the 60,s model year vettes which were much lighter and faster.

    Like 0
  10. Jefferyscott

    Does the seller have the title? The vin# “does not appear valid” is the vehicle currently outside?

    Like 0
    • Joshua MortensenStaff

      The seller has the title and it’s already to go. I’ll check on the VIN, chances are there’s just a typo.

      Like 0
  11. Jefferyscott

    I’m ecstatic. Can’t wait to get it back on the road.

    Like 0

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