Factory 4-Door: 1980 Chevrolet Corvette

Update 1/1/19 – This controversial Corvette has resurfaced here on a dealer’s website (NBS Auto Showroom). We’re guessing it’s the same seller because the photos haven’t changed, but the price has dropped significantly to $102,562 (where do they get these numbers?). Do you think that’s enough to move this four-door oddity?

From 10/14/19 – This unusual Corvette sedan was actually a factory-conceived experiment to see if America had a thirst for a sedan version of its favorite sports car. Due to the price tag and apparently common sense kicking in, the project was killed off almost as soon as it had started, with just five examples built and sold (though the seller claims there’s a sixth model that was the prototype.) Now, there are supposedly only two left in existence, and this example is listed here on craigslist for $119,650.

This car has floated around the internet for years. In fact, we featured it back in 2017 when it was listed by a private seller for $275,000. I doubt he ever saw that number, but given the mileage, it seems this dealer may have been the one to buy it from him, presumably for a much lower price than advertised. The four-door ‘Vette is said to remain in highly original condition.

The custom creation was a fairly involved undertaking, as it actually did require that two Corvettes be cut in half with additional bodywork added in the middle to accommodate the additional row of seats. The cabin looks quite nice, equipped with buckets front and rear and wall-to-wall red carpeting. The body and paint remain in exceptional condition, as the Corvette has primarily been used as a show car.

I can’t quite tell if all four roof panels come off, but it’d seem silly if they were affixed in place. I like sedans, and truly do not hate the proportions – I think it turned out about as well as you can expect – but fail to see someone coming up with the money for this oddball, unless owning every single Corvette model ever made is their life goal. Would you want this long-wheelbase ‘Vette in your collection?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. George

    Can we see the build sheet? There were companies that made ones like this.

    Like 16
    • Rick Rothermel

      The ‘factory’ that built these is behind a nice historic showroom on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena Ca. Company made Auburn Speedster replicas. The Corvette America was saleproof.

      Like 10
      • Paul

        I don’t think California Custom Coach, built it. I believe it was a shop in Anaheim.

        Like 2
      • Rick Rothermel

        Nope. California Coach all the way. I had discovered their shop in the mid-70s when The SEMA Show was still in California, shop was across from MG MITTEN (blast from the past!). Stopped in ’79 again, saw one of the CAs parked beside the showroom. I figured they’d be saleproof, I was right!

        Like 1
    • William R Wiegmann

      not a factory build…customized by california customs..they made six and allegedly only two remain.

  2. david

    its cool but ,only because its weird,if gm built this car i would think it would list these with Vin numbers in the corvette register,so like to see that

    Like 17
    • Ralph

      They didn’t its all made up bs.

      Like 14
  3. JW454

    Someone did a lot of work to build this but, I don’t think it was the General. They may have had a hand in having it built but, I don’t believe it was produced on the assembly line.

    Like 22
  4. Morgan Winter

    Just a bad idea from the start…link to a little more info and some pics: https://www.corvsport.com/1980-four-door-corvette/

    Like 12
    • Dan Almashy

      And so from your link we can assume none were made by Chevrolet production period but were the work of a custom fab company who makes other cars, sorta like a Limo company would. Thanks for sharing. I think this thing would probably be worth whatever someone would pay but, it’s a big NO for me.

      Like 4
  5. PaulG

    Morgan, Thanks for the link, it certainly fills in the “rest of the story…”
    Might as well donate it to the Bowling Green Museum.

    Like 21
  6. Ken

    Corvette? I thought that was a 1980 Porsche Panamera :)

    Like 37
    • jay

      I mean who would have thought Porsche would ever make a sedan. Maybe GM should have tried it!

      Like 2
    • MrBZ

      Just as ugly!

      Like 4
  7. Dutch 1960

    Thats one vast morass of fiberglass.

    Like 11
  8. gbvette62

    These 4 door Corvettes were built in 79 and 80, and were called the Corvette America. Though they shared the same name as a national Corvette parts company, they were built by California Custom Coach, not the parts company. California Custom Coach also built the Boattail Auburn Speedster replicas of the early 70’s.

    I’m not too sure about the story that they cut 2 Corvettes apart to build these. I would think they could have bought a floor, seats and other extra parts needed for a lot less than the $13000-$14000 a new Corvette cost. I remember when these came out, and I don’t remember Chevrolet having anything to do with them either.

    Monogram made a really nice 1/24th scale model kit of the 79 Corvette America (I have an unbuilt one in my collection).

    This red 80 has been advertised for sale a number of times the last 9 or 10 years. Around 2010 the price was $300K, and around 16 or 17 it was “down” to $275K. The current price is a little more realistic, though still probably 3 or 4 times what it’s worth.

    Like 29
  9. Scott Marquis

    Almost as bad as the C8.

    Like 5
    • Johnny R

      Funny you say that. If Chevy had come out with the mid engine Vette as they planned originally in 1973 I may have bought one before now. To me you can keep every Corvette after 1972 through the C7. To each their own though and more C8’s for me.

      Like 7
    • Chevy Guy

      I wish this still had a dislike button….

      Like 1
  10. Ron Bajorek

    terrible, I do want a c3 Panel van though

    Like 9
  11. Ralph

    Not factory, not made for Chevrolet,this is all made up mumbo jumbo from the seller and the author making this up.

    Lets start of with the year-1980, this Corvette was already a dead duck, no more money was going to be spent on it, the new Corvette was already locked in to debut in late 1982 as a 1983 and GM WAS NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS GOING TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE ANY 4 DOOR CORVETTE EVER AND MUCH LESS on the generation that was going to be out of production in 24 months.

    Much less this awful looking dachshund thing.

    So yes, this is all made up fiction.

    Like 19
  12. OIL SLICK

    Eww, why? Just buy an Impala.

    Like 5
  13. Frank Sumatra

    Total BS on the “GM thought about a 4-door Corvette” Even they weren’t that stupid. This Urban Legend belongs with the “Carburetor that will get you 500 miles/gallon” or “War Surplus jeeps for $75” stories I have heard all of my life.

    Like 28
    • JOHN Member

      For what it’s worth, there were indeed “war surplus Jeeps” available for ridiculous prices. What I remember is that you gambled as to how much of a Jeep you would get for that price… might have even been lower. I remember looking through old Popular Mechanics magazines from just after WWll (these were already 10-15 year old magazines when I saw them) and seeing stuff at crazy prices. One of the things I remember seeing that really blew my mind was a complete B-17 upper turret assembly, from the plexiglas bubble, all the controls, motors, top to bottom (less machine guns of course) was $69 or something like that. Now I want to find some 1946, 47, 48 or so Popular Mechanics magazines to look through. They were full of war surplus ads.

      Like 7
      • Tony

        And $75 back then, would still have been a few $$$ for the average Joe.

        Like 1
      • Brent

        Here is a link to old Popular Science issues. I enjoy browsing though them now and again.
        https://books.google.com/books?id=iikDAAAAMBAJ&source=gbs_all_issues_r&cad=1

        Like 2
      • Cattoo Member

        I remember seeing ads in the back of popular mechanics for WWII surplus jeeps that were still in the crate. Forget what they were asking for them. Also selling grandfather clocks in the seventies as diy kits. I found a clock recently in great shape so those ads were the real deal.

    • Royal

      There really were Army Jeeps for sale after WW2 and Korea for 75.00 each. The other stuff is BS.

  14. yes300ed

    Must have the rigidity of a marshmallow!

    Like 7
  15. grant

    No way Chevy built any of these, much less 5. 5 production models? Sure. This came out of a SoCal custom shop at some point. It is an interesting design exercise.

    Like 3
  16. Gary S.

    I agree with Ralph. No photos of VIN number and VIN number is not enough digits. Might be a custom built car but definitely not a factory built car.

    Like 3
    • Shawn P gherity

      The hundreds off corvette wagons built under shade trees with ekler kits are “custom built” too but that doesnt mean its worth the resin used to build them.
      I worked at a corvette shop in the 80s where it was common practice to weld together two good halfs of junk frames and cobble together the bodies…wouldnt have ridden one on a bet😱

      Like 5
    • Rick

      The VIN in 1980 had only 13 digits.

  17. Coventrycat

    Still better than seeing a Grand National.

    Like 17
    • moosie moosie Member

      Or a rusty 356 Porsche !

      Like 9
  18. Luke

    Dude, what the — If I had 119,000 bucks I’d up and buy it no matter who made it! Considering it could be, as you say, listed fro $275K, then it’s a bargain. C’mon! Somebody buy it!

    Like 3
  19. CanuckCarGuy

    A rarity that I’ve only seen once before….here on Barn Finds, looking for a new owner. Cool in terms of the workmanship and factory appearance it retains, but defeats the purpose of owning a Corvette.

    Like 5
  20. Classic Steel

    I hope this person is not trying to recoup his money 👀

    Its personally to me just a novelty 30 k at most car if one wants it…

    one could get a limo License and do weddings..

    I myself personally think it’s a waste of two vettes.

    Good luck with the attempt to sell 👀🤔

    Like 4
  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    With four people on board does everyone get to hold there own T-Top? Interesting that the rear tops are backwards for ease of build. From Josh, 2017. https://barnfinds.com/four-door-1980-corvette-prototype/

    Like 3
  22. Mikey K

    This is about as factory as a Ford Camaro Stingray LX.

    Like 8
  23. mainlymuscle

    I don’t hate it as much as I do the 4 door 1980 Trans Am that an acquaintance has been flogging for $50k for a year.This Vette is prettier to my eye than a Panamera,and bares some resemblance to the best looking 4 door automobile in history -the Fisker Karma.Performance would not be it’s strong suit,but a nice touch for a larger Corvette collection (my 4 does not qualify ).

    Like 4
    • Vsport

      I had one of these in my shop in San Diego..

      The rich kid in a drug induced week tore a function car completely apart!
      I was hired to restore it. But after a month of working on the frame.. with the tub still attached.. I refinished the frame… replaced suspension bushings..

      The guy was so difficult to work with… I carefully packed up what parts he had brought over… and shipped the car back to him!
      Never sure if he ever finished it…
      but was a properly constructed car… what I saw of it!

      Happy Trails

  24. M.Lopez

    Just a little ahead of its time. Just look what Porsche did with the at first reviled Panamera! Now it’s considered one of the best sport grand touring sedans on the planet!

    Like 2
  25. djjerme

    Paint it black and grey and it’s perfect for cruising around Champion City.

    Casanova Frankenstein approved!

    Like 2
  26. Comet

    Kinda asking a lot from 190HP. Oh yeah…GM didn’t build it.

    Like 1
  27. Leslie Martin

    Clearly the answer to a question that nobody asked. But that’s also what they said about the Porsche Panamera, so who knows…

    Like 2
  28. Mr.BZ

    No less hideous than the Panamera.

    Like 3
  29. rod444

    Well I have an 81 Vette, the same color, and despite being in excellent shape I’d be lucky to get $12,000 for it.

    So two Vettes + custom bodywork = 12 + 12 + 24 = 48k max.

    Like 1
  30. Fossil

    Does it come with its own garage, 4′ wide and 27′ long?

    Like 3
  31. 67Firebird_Cvt Member

    OK someone has to say it 2 doors too many

    Like 8
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      lol!!!!!!

      Like 4
    • Ronnie Brown

      I’d like to road trip it one time I think anyone would it’s a cruiser!

      Like 1
  32. Patrick Farmer

    Say wasn’t this Casanova Frankenstein car? Is that the color of the paint after the Spleen farted in it? Yeah, just around the time that Captain Amazing died and that millionaire Lance Hunt disappeared. This is one of those Corvette compatible kits.

  33. MICK George.

    FORD built up a 4 door Mustang in clay full scale but due to the Mustang’s huge success upon its Show debut thats all it was an idea. only one comment makes sence here and that is from JW454 . GM would never have built this car nor dreamed about doing so. this has been well made or it would not be around today.be intrested if it was ever registered as no vin no rego.it looks ok on the computer screen what it looks like in the carpark will give you any answer you want.

  34. Philip

    This would be the perfect car for one of those Nigerian “Prince” scammers…from one scammer to another.

    Like 2
  35. TimM

    Strangest and ugliest thing I ever did see!! Total unicorn!!! I really couldn’t see American as a whole embracing such a car!!! It was the beginning of the new decade and massive amounts of cocaine was being shipped into the US!!!

  36. mark houseman

    The 80’s Vettes are just plain ugly! This is DOUBLE UGLY!!!

    Like 2
  37. bog

    Having read the entire ad on Craigslist, the dealer may just have this Vette there on consignment for the actual owner (Iowa plates on a car being sold in California). I loved the first bulletpoint NBS has in the ad: “Prices drop daily !” (etc), so perhaps if one was “patient”….. I’ve never been to the Corvette Museum, so maybe they WOULD take it, they lost a bunch of cars some years back due to a sinkhole & water damage, maybe even a related fire (???).

    Like 1
    • moosie moosie Member

      No fire at the Corvette Museum, just the sink hole which was enough.

      Like 2
      • bog

        moosie – thanks for clarifying, it was a while ago and you’re right..sink hole was quite enough. My “foggy” memory says a number of the damaged cars were “resurrected”, but not all.

        Like 1
  38. Ed Parks

    I just can’t see sitting in the back! I’ve only ridden once in a Corvette..a ’68 Stingray and I felt like I was riding (sitting, actually) on a skateboard…my butt only a few inches from the pavement. I’m sure it’s much more a car for driving but, not so much for riding as a passenger.

  39. Clay Bryant

    Somewhere in my storage I have a brochure for when these came out. I’ve been into Corvettes since the late 60s and when these came out I ordered some info on them. I’ve seen worse. One time in the late 80s, some guy showed up at Bowling Green in a diesel. When God passed out brains, he thought he said trains and he wasn’t taking one…………..

    Like 1
  40. PirateDick

    Name one original idea GM has ever had in the past 80 years!?

  41. PirateDick

    List one “original” idea that GM has ever had in the last 70 years?!

    Like 1
  42. Adam Smailes

    I actually quite like it. I wish they had made more of them. It might have spurred the Corvette into Europe far earlier and given the M5 a run for its money!

    Like 1
    • Lance Fontanne SR

      My only reason for never considering a Corvette in the past was you were so limited for only 2 people — I don’t like single cab pickup trucks either.

      Like 1
  43. Chuck

    I think the lines actually work. But might have worked better as a 2 door sedan tho, or even a 2door hardtop 4 seater.

    Like 1
    • TDM Member

      Chuck did you ever see the 4dr convertible 57 chevy bel air?

      Like 1
  44. John

    Santa rides a red sleigh, pulled by 8, and it’s got a red nose…

    Like 2
    • bog

      Ho Ho Holy smokes, John. You waited 2 months to drop that on us. Well played, sir…..

      Like 2
  45. Brian Watson

    My Dad built a 4 seat Corvette in the early 1980’s. It wasn’t a 4 door, but had 4 seats. I have a good picture of it at a car show and he sold it right after. He cut it in half and added about 10″ to the middle. He ran a Corvette shop for 40 yrs and just barely retired.

    Like 3
    • Bear

      Just 10″??
      That’s gonna be awfully tight on rear passenger leg room! :-O

      Like 1
      • Brian Watson

        That’s what I would think too because my Dad is 6’8″ and I am 6’9″. I was so little when they built it and I am just going off of memory of his story about it but I think he said 10″. I’ll ask him again when I see him. Growing up we had so many corvette’s around and when I turned 16, he had several that he would let me burn around in. His biggest regret is not keeping some of his old vette’s and Camaro’s.

        Like 2
  46. DynoDon

    It was originally built in the late 1970s by a Pasadena-based company called California Custom Coach for people who wanted to combine the Corvette’s sporty character with the practicality of a four-door sedan.

    Only six four-door Corvettes were originally built by the company. One was a prototype, while the other five were tailor-made for each buyer. Each car was built by cutting two cars in half, extending the wheelbase of the vehicle by 30 inches when joined together.

  47. Terry Boyce

    Actually, GM did at least once consider a 4-door Corvette, although it has nothing whatsoever to do with this 1980 car. In 1962, Ed Cole, who had just relinquished the reins of Chevrolet Division to Bunkie Knudsen, briefly advocated for a 4-door Corvette—but nothing came of his proposal.

    Like 1
    • Ralph

      They considered a 4 seat Vette on the C2, but never a 4 door. There was a full size mock up made.

  48. Ken

    I wouldn’t say it’s ugly, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting one. I don’t believe GM had much, if anything, to do with the modification of this car.

    Like 1
  49. TDM Member

    I used to hate it, especially in triple red. But as an oddity, it would be neat driving to work.
    My friend, Fred, in Australia, used to do these anyway. I used say it was a travesty. He didn’t have that roof though. It would be neat, but I don’t have the money to buy this one.

  50. JoeNYWF64

    I bet if they made a 4 door vette, stang ,camaro & challenger TODAY, they would sell so many more 4 doors than 2 doors that even THOSE 2 doors would be killed off.

    • Steve R

      If GM thought a 4 door Corvette was a good idea they would have done so with the new 2020 model. It was a clean sheet design, yet they chose not to go down that road. That says it all.

      Steve R

      Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      So here we are at the beginning of 2020, with Ford bringing out the Mustang E-GT. They tout the performance aspect, although I will probably forever wonder why they chose to call any SUV a Mustang.

      Like 2
  51. grant

    How many times are we going to feature this fake car? This is a custom job as I stated before. They build a few dozen of them, and by “they” I do not mean General Motors. I think it’s pretty fair to expect Barnfinds writers to know what they’re talking about, and not fall for obvious BS. Pretty disappointing that it’s Jeff, he’s usually pretty sharp.

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      Not only fake but still using the term “factory” in the article title too…..

  52. socaljoe

    I think it’s worth about the same or slightly less then a similar condition 1980 Corvette that hasn’t been converted.

    Like 2
  53. RobB

    Call me crazy, but, me and my grand kids could take a little road trip in this. I guess I’m not a Corvette enthusiast. I’m just imagining the fun they would be having riding in Papa’s Vette!

    Like 3
  54. Haig Haleblian

    It’s torch red for a reason. Torch it and save humanity.

  55. Bill Warner

    As noted, this is not a GM project. It was built by California Custom Coach and was featured in the February 1979 Road & Track. If you want to see ALL the mid engine Corvette prototypes, come to Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 8.

  56. nlpnt

    I want the model kit, but not for more than $50.

  57. larry

    Picture on the dealer’s web site clearly shows all T tops are removable.

  58. Tort Member

    Total waste of time and money!

  59. ZF

    I could imagine this is a chauffeured car like a Maybach. I could see the back windows blacked out with “limo tint”.

  60. Bish

    Certainly sparks the commentary though!
    I think it’s better looking than the Porsche Panamera by far but no way It’s worth $100k. Interesting post!

    Like 2
  61. Hugo

    No wonder it never went into production who ever produced it Looks as though some one poked it with an Ugly Stick. Ugh they would need to pay me to take it then I would tear it down for parts. This model looked bad enough as a two seater but four you have to be kidding me

  62. Steve

    would probably look better perched on a 4wd frame with monster mudder tyres/

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.