Original Tires! 1982 Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition

When a car is 37-years-old and is still rolling along on its original tires, then there is probably a reasonable sort of chance that it hasn’t clocked up a million miles during its lifetime. That would appear to be the case with this 1982 Corvette Collector Edition, which shows 22,500 miles on its odometer. After sitting for many years it has been coaxed back to life and is ready to drive off into the sunset in the hands of a new owner. It is located in Baytown, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has only managed to crawl to $2,240 at the time of writing, and the reserve hasn’t been met. There is also a BIN available, and this has been set at $17,500.

The original owner of the Corvette was a more mature lady, and when she passed away, the car became the property of her husband. He simply didn’t drive it, and it languished in a garage for years. Recently the gentleman has had to be admitted into aged care, so the car had to be sold. The current owner purchased the Corvette and then undertook the process of returning it to active duty. He has not undertaken any aesthetic work on the car beyond giving it a wash and polish. The Silver Beige paint, which was a color exclusively available on the Corvette Collector Edition, does appear to be in good condition. The distinctive finish extended to the faded-look graphics, alloy wheels, and bronze-tinted panels for the T-Top. All of these components are still present, and they also seem to be in good condition. There were plenty of people who felt that the Corvette C3 had outlived its useful life by more than a few years by the time that this car was produced, but it did provide the motoring public with some glimpses of new features that they could expect to see in the model’s replacement. Chief amongst these was the inclusion of glass rear hatch, which was a first in a Corvette.

The interior trim combination as featured in this Corvette was available exclusively in the Collector Edition. It was comprised of various splashes of Silver and Beige, in both vinyl and leather. The seats and wheel rim were both leather-upholstered, while components such as the door trims were vinyl. This interior is original and unmolested, but it is showing some signs of deterioration. The most obvious area is the seat covers, but it didn’t take a lot of work for me to locate a set of replacement reproduction leather covers for less than $400. There are a couple of small plastic components that have also discolored over time, but it isn’t going to take a lot of work to get the interior shining once again. The car is also quite nicely equipped, featuring ice-cold air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power seats, a tilt/telescopic wheel, cruise control, and a factory AM/FM radio/cassette player. As an added bonus, everything inside the Corvette is said to work as it should.

By 1982, the Corvette was no longer the performance beast that it had previously been. It was yet another victim of tightening emission laws, but at least Chevrolet did make some attempts to liberate some additional power from the car’s 350ci V8. The inclusion of Cross-Fire throttle-body fuel injection allowed the Corvette to produce 200hp. But much to the disappointment of many potential owners, this power was sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a 4-speed automatic transmission. In keeping with the more luxurious leanings of the Collector Edition, it is also equipped with power steering and power brakes. The performance was about as restrained as you would expect from a 3,350lb car being pushed by 200hp. It was capable of hitting the ¼ mile in 16 seconds, but the 0-60 time of 8.1 seconds really told the story. Those sub-6-second days were but a distant memory. Anyway, after sitting for so long, the current owner has been through a fairly thorough process of recommissioning this Corvette, and this has been very successful. The car is said to now run and drive nicely, but he does recommend that the original tires should be replaced before any extended motoring is attempted. That sounds like a pretty sensible idea to me.

The 1982 Corvette Collector Edition is one of those cars that really seems to polarize opinion. As a limited edition, Chevrolet didn’t cap build numbers, meaning that of the 25,407 Corvettes to roll off the production line in that model year, more than 25% (6,759 cars) were the Collector Edition. It was also the first Corvette to break the $20,000 barrier, with a $22,537 retail price before the original owner could get their hands on the options list. Start adding extras and things got expensive pretty quickly. The combination of high price and mediocre performance is what the car is most often criticized for. About a year ago, values on these dipped quite sharply. However, they have since rebounded strongly, suggesting that good examples might represent a reasonable sort of investment. This one needs a few minor things, but even at the BIN price, it might not be a bad buy for the person searching for a Collector Edition.

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    I remember going to the local Chevy dealer and getting the 1982 corvette brochure. We all thought the collectors edition was super cool. Looks like a nice car for the money. These corvettes may not be fast but they sure did look cool pulling into the parking lot at the local hung out. It has fuel injection and overdrive and doesn’t need a ton of money spent on it. Turn key and cruise.

    Like 7
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Never had a Corvette; my thing was full-size Fords, intermediates and pickups but I certainly liked the earlier models because of their performance. I just never could afford one of the more potent models and had no interest in anything post-1971. I think these later ‘Vettes are coming up in value because the earlier ones are beyond the means of most of us. I would be interested to see if this car meets the Reserve/BIN. It is a clean, low-mileage example but as with all the Malaise-Era Corvettes, the lack of reasonable power keeps the interest on the low side. That and there are a lot of them available.

    Like 1
  3. Steve R

    Right now there are 13 1982 collectors edition Corvettes listed on eBay. The highest price paid over the last 90 days was less than $16,500, it shows that an unknown offer was accepted. These are good looking cars, but they appear to be flooding the market. It’s hard to see someone paying the asking price since the only difference from one to another is condition, it probably needs to be flawless for someone to pull the trigger on its BIN.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  4. Bing

    Banker friend of mine called me two years ago to tell me they had gotten one of these in from a gentlemen that had passed. The bank held the mortgage and the family said they could have the car to lower the outstanding balance on the home. I went over for a look, the car had 6,000 miles on it. all the original paperwork and oil change slips were in the glove box. They were trying to get 10G for it and no one local was stepping up. Saw it a few weeks later at the local Chevrolet dealer in the shop, most likely getting it running again.
    Just wondering if any of these cars will ever be worth something. C1 and C2 cars are through the roof. To most of us, Corvette translates into power and speed, and these cars have neither.

    Like 6
    • r s

      “Just wondering if any of these cars will ever be worth something.”

      Likely not a huge demand to own one of the slowest and least powerful of these sports cars… considering what they had been in the past and would be again in the future, these are sadly just dogs in comparison.

      Like 6
      • gbvette62

        The performance of the 73-82 Corvettes was about the same as base motor 60’s and early 70’s Corvettes. Earlier cars ran low to mid 15 second quarters, later ones low 16’s. The big difference was that the large optional engines were gone.

        How horsepower was rated changed in 1972, but a base 80 350 still produced about the same power as a base 70 350. The rear gear ratio was the main reason earlier cars were quicker. In a effort to reduce emissions and improve gas mileage, GM was using taller ratios. 3:55’s and 3:70’s were common in earlier cars, while the later ones were usually limited to 3:08’s.

        Those are not the original tires on that car. 82 Corvettes came with Goodyear Eagle GT’s. The GT+4’s came out about 10 years later.

        Like 5
  5. r s

    With only 200 horsepower this thing sure didn’t burn the tire treads off.

  6. Chas358 Chasman358

    I had a ’78 Silver Anniversary Corvette which I bought new.

    Silver Anniversary cars used a special paint scheme – silver over dark gray (this is not a great picture) – and had Oyster interiors. Most were automatics.

    Mine was a black interior with 4 speed, L82 engine option.

    Great car to drive but it certainly wasn’t fast.

    Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      It was fast enough compared to the junk on the road in 1978. My 1979 L-82, 4-Speed had all of the smog gear taken off (And saved) and the cat converter came in a cardboard box with the car. With the open exhaust and optional 3.70 axle with the Gymkhana suspension, it sounded great and ran pretty good.

      Like 3
  7. Chas358 Chasman358

    L-82 was rated
    @ 220 HP.

    The car had an interesting radio option. It was an AM/FM with a CB.

    Like 2
  8. Superdessucke

    In case nobody’s noticed, I generally have disdain for Corvettes, particularly the C4s. But I actually kind of like these ’82 anniversary editions. Slow but that can be fixed, and tasteful colors, unlike some other ‘Vette specials. Recall the snow blinding 35th Anniversary and the outright frightening 1998 Indy Pace Car.

    Like 2
  9. Walter

    The Eagle GT+4 is not the original tire. It was the Eagle GT. The +4 was one of the first claimed all season performance tires.

    Like 2
  10. Superdessucke

    Good catch. Regardless it doesn’t matter. Any tires over 6 years old should be changed. I suspect these might be a couple decades old.

    Like 1

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