No Reserve: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary

The 1978 model year saw Chevrolet release two separate special editions of the Corvette, and the more common of these was the Silver Anniversary. While they produced 6,502 examples of the Pace Car edition, Silver Anniversary production totaled 15,283 cars. This particular Silver Anniversary is showing its age, but the owner is offering it for sale in a No Reserve auction. The owner also welcomes personal inspections by potential buyers so that they can gain a full understanding of the car’s condition and needs. Located in Warren, New Jersey, it has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Corvette has reached $6,275 at the time of writing.

The Silver Anniversary edition brought with it distinctive two-tone Silver and Grey paint, along with alloy wheels. Both features are still present on this car, but they are showing their age. The paint is peeling in spots and is quite aged, while the alloy wheels are quite heavily oxidized, and will probably require professional attention to return them to their best. As you will see from some of the photos that I have included in the article, there is obvious corrosion present in a few places around the vehicle. Having said that, what can be seen of the frame looks quite solid. There are no indications about the condition of the birdcage, but at least the fact that the opportunity is there for a personal inspection should allow some light to be thrown on its condition. All of the glass looks like it is in good condition, while all of the minor trim pieces are also present.

I mentioned visible corrosion around the Corvette, and nowhere is this more obvious than when you lift the hood. It is pretty obvious that the car has spent some time in a damp environment, which would definitely motivate me to subject the car to a thorough check. By 1978, emission laws were really biting into the Corvette’s performance, but this particular car was about as good as it got by that stage. What we find is the L82 version of the venerable 350ci V8, which produced 220hp. In this case, it is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. The performance was not as impressive as when the Corvette had been at the height of its power around a decade earlier, but this car would have been capable of despatching the ¼ mile in around 15.8 seconds when it was new. The seller only recently purchased the Corvette off the original owner. His intention was to restore the vehicle, but like so many people at present, his circumstances have changed, and he has decided to sell it. He believes that the odometer reading of 33,786 miles might be original, but he has no way of confirming this. The original owner has replaced the radiator with an aluminum unit, and around 3-years-ago, the Corvette was fitted with new brakes. Judging by the heavy coating of corrosion on the discs and calipers, the vehicle hasn’t seen much use since that time. The owner says that the Corvette starts and idles easily, but given how long it would seem to have been sitting, he does admit that it will need a tune-up, new tires, and new mufflers before it could be considered to be roadworthy. The owner is including some boxes of parts in the deal, and these include new AC Delco original wires and a cap, along with sundry other parts.

The generally tired theme continues when we take a look around inside the Corvette. It would appear that the only obvious non-original item is the radio/cassette player that has been fitted at some point. However, the factory radio is included in the sale for anyone who wants to restore the car to its former glory. If you actually look more deeply at the Corvette’s interior rather than just giving it a cursory glance, the trim and plastic are in quite reasonable condition. What it needs more than anything else is for someone to be willing to put in a few days of hard work to clean everything thoroughly. The seats are free of any obvious tears or splits, while the vast majority of the plastic remains crack-free. Everything is just dirty, and I believe that it would all be quite presentable after the application of some plain old elbow grease, along with some quality cleaning products. The interior does come equipped with air conditioning, along with power windows and a tilt wheel. I’ll admit that isn’t a whole lot of luxury, but it is enough to make life pleasant on the road.

By 1978, it was becoming quite obvious that time was beginning to overtake the C3 Corvette, but for all of that, it still managed to sell in fairly respectable numbers. A total of 46,776 Corvettes found their way to new homes that year, marking it as the 3rd best sales result during the entire 15-year production run of the C3. The Silver Anniversary was not a limited edition vehicle and remained available to any buyer during that model year if they were willing to hand over $399 on top of the Corvette’s base sale price. When you add together total sales figures for the Silver Anniversary and the Pace Car editions, between them they actually account for nearly 50% of all Corvette sales for 1978. That means that neither are particularly rare, but the Silver Anniversary edition does tend to command a premium of around 10% over a standard Corvette. Probably this particular car’s greatest strength doesn’t lie in it being a Silver Anniversary, but the fact that it features the L82 engine and 4-speed manual transmission. From a drivetrain perspective, this was about as good as it got with a Corvette in 1978. I will admit that the signs of surface corrosion do concern me, but I do like the fact that the owner is open and candid about the vehicle’s overall condition. I also like the fact that he actively encourages personal inspections, which tends to indicate that he has nothing to hide. It is that sort of approach that promotes confidence in potential buyers, and it might help to explain why bidding on this car has been relatively strong.


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  1. Pookie Jamie

    Looks like it’s been in a flood. The end

    Like 4
  2. Classic Steel

    Flood car? Or stored is a wet basement as even the vin has sweated..
    I would have rather seen two less pics of body to see underneath.
    I think the story of sale is a drawn out flippers story.

    A four speed is great but non visual ability is scary to purchase with rust.
    I am surprised the seller didn’t clean breather snd other misc items under hood….
    This could be deal or money pit…

    Like 4
  3. 370zpp

    Having to re-install the factory radio would probably be the least of the potential problems here.

    Like 4
  4. moosie moosie

    New Jersey QQ license plates (historic) and a Pennsylvania title, how does one do that ?

  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $6,350.

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