Last Year C3 Survivor: 1982 Corvette

The C3 Corvette had been long in the tooth for a while by 1982, but it was still one of the sleekest American cars available. This one appears to be a very original survivor and is available for purchase here on craigslist. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jeff for this clean find! It’s located in Antioch, Tennessee and the seller is asking $15,000. The car had been stored in a climate-controlled garage for 13 years before the seller put it back on the road.

The seller tells us that only 664 Corvettes were made in 1982 in this particular color scheme, and I find myself wondering why after looking at it–I think it is terrific looking and the two-tone paint accents the C3 lines very well. The paint is rated at a 90% level by the seller with two chips on the driver’s side door and one on the passenger side.

What a nice view! Of course, I’d rather be looking the other way, as in out of the windshield from the driver’s seat!

Speaking of the seat, it looks really nice, along with the rest of the interior. Not only that, but we’re told that the original radio, gauges, heat and air conditioning all work perfectly. How about that! I wish the ad included the mileage — I tried blowing up the dash picture to see what the mileage was, but I couldn’t decide whether the first digit was a 2 or a 7. It sure doesn’t look like 70,000 miles! The seller does say the car has new rubber seals (maybe the T-tops don’t leak?) and that they have been driving it for two months.

Not only are the cosmetics nice but the car also has new rotors, pads and a battery. The seller does note that the tires are 13 years old despite having 90% of their tread left. I would highly recommend replacing them as soon as possible, and certainly before driving any distance at all. Apart from that, though, wouldn’t it be nice to have a car that really doesn’t need anything (I’m figuring you could stop at the local tire store after flying in to pick it up. Yes, I’m suggesting driving this one home–what could be more American than driving a C3 Corvette across our highways! Let us know your thoughts below.


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  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    That is a good looking example. Unfortunately no underside pictures or mileage, but if the rear tire carrier or front frame behind the A-arms is an indication, looks like a rust free vehicle from what I can see.

    Personally I think the $$ is on the high end but then again most C3’s are IMO.

  2. Bill

    I bought a white ’81 brand new. Loved that car. It was stolen 4 months later, never to be seen again. These have always held a special place for me.

  3. Coventrycat

    I’d like to experience a C3 at least once before I die.

  4. grant

    Photography rule #1: Light source behind you…

  5. Vegas Vic

    Such a sweet body, sure performance may not be up to 2018 standards…. but it is a CORVETTE!!
    ME want….

  6. BOP Guy Member

    Not my favorite generation, but DAMN that’s a straight car (at least from the pictures) !!

  7. rob

    I would rather a 1981 with a 4 speed manual and a good ole fashion carb. The red stripping turns me off as well but it does look like a decent car.

  8. Luki

    Two questions.
    How many miles?
    Who was the third grader that wrote the ad?

  9. gbvette62

    It looks like a pretty correct and unmolested 82. The price might be a little strong, but I don’t think it’s to far out of line.

    For a long time, the 80-82’s commanded much stronger prices than the 75-79’s, but about 10 years ago, they seemed to lose a lot of value in the market. Lately though, they appear to be regaining back a lot of their value.

    The 80-82’s aren’t the fastest of the 68-82’s, that are by far the most comfortable, and probably the best handling too. This is especially true of the late 81’s and 82’s, that were built in the new Bowling Green plant. Some people worry about the computers used in 81’s and 82’s, but they actually control very little, and were really more of a diagnostic devise. The Cross-Fire Injection on 82’s, scares a lot of people, but it’s not a bad system. If there’s a legitimate knock on the Cross-Fire, it’s that it’s getting hard to find parts for them, and mechanics who are familiar with it.

  10. moosie Craig M. Bryda

    Only 82s with the rear hatch that opened were the Collectors Edition. Nice car,

    Like 1
  11. rod

    This was also the only year for the Cross-Fire Ignition which meant the intake had two throttle bodies at an odd angle.

    Not sure why the layout or whether it actually had any practical purpose other than throttle bodies were brand new and definitely the unreliable “electronic” QuadraJet of 1981 was not worth carrying over for another year. I have one and it was a pain in the butt for years til I bought a new after market chip. As gbvette62 said it only controls the fuel/air mixture with a plunger on a solenoid but without that working my 81 was getting about 5 mpg.

    Price is a bit high but not crazy for one this good looking. I kinda miss the two tone look that was popular in those years on just about everything GM made.

    • moosie Craig M. Bryda

      ’84s had ceasefire injection also.

      • IROCGUY

        Or as we called it at the dealership on-fire injection.

  12. David Miraglia

    Never understood the Corvette mystique, but then I am a Mustang guy, enjoy…

  13. Classic Steel

    Automatics ar less desirable and 70k is high mileage compared to those on markets .

    c3s get rust easily on frame so watchut!

    I have owned a couple C3s but only four speeds

  14. oilngas

    Does no one remember the cross ram intake available on early Camaros? I had two 84’s never had a single problem with the crossfire injection. Had throttle shaft bushings made for it at 300,000 to solve a high idle problem.

  15. Jeff

    Finally, one of my submissions hits BFs!

  16. Pa Tina

    Great looking Corvette. Not so sure about $13,000 as that should be ALL the money for that car if it is in the 70K miles range. If one could negotiate to $10,000 I think that would be a fair deal for both parties. I like it.

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