Ready To Enjoy: 1979 Chevrolet Corvette L82

There are some very real advantages to owning a classic car that is in good condition but isn’t perfect. One of the most important of these is that you can drive and enjoy such cars without the stress that can come with the very thought of minor chips and scratches being inflicted upon your pride and joy. This 1979 Corvette isn’t perfect, but it is a solid and clean car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. It is located in Shallotte, North Carolina, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently sitting at $7,225 in what is a No Reserve auction.

The Red paint on the Corvette has a great shine to it, but the owner does note that the car has received some touch-ups in the past. The really good news is the fact that the car is completely rust-free, which is one less thing to worry about. There is a crack in one of the glass mirror-tint T-Top panels, but this is quite difficult to see. I have also noticed that the weather seals around the doors are looking quite dry, and would appear to be in need of replacement. This would be worth tackling fairly quickly, as they look to be almost at the point where they may allow moisture to find its way inside the car. The pop-up headlamps are said to operate perfectly, and the overall presentation of the car looks really nice. I know that there are enthusiasts who aren’t that taken by the styling changes that found their way into the later C3 Corvettes, but the larger rear glass did make a substantial and positive difference to rearward visibility.

The Oyster leather interior trim of the Corvette looks quite clean and tidy, with only a few spots of wear and the start of some seam separation visible. It would be very tempting to take the car to a leather specialist to have it cleaned and conditioned professionally because I think that it would really boost what is already a fairly tidy interior. It would also be worth the effort to have the seams on the seats attended to quickly before they have the opportunity to deteriorate any further. The rest of the interior looks really good, with no major staining or problems with the dash, door trims, or carpet. The owner does indicate that neither the clock or air conditioning function, and both of these issues are quite common occurrences. Otherwise, the Corvette comes with power windows, power locks, an AM/FM stereo radio, and cruise control.

The most powerful engine option available in the Corvette in 1979 was the L82 350ci V8, which produced 225hp. That’s what you will find under the hood of this car, while you also get an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Power outputs across the Corvette range had taken a hit during the 1970s, but Chevrolet had managed to claw back some ground in the 1979 model. It was never going to challenge the earlier performance benchmarks from the Corvette’s illustrious past, but a car equipped as this one is was still capable of knocking off the ¼ mile in under 16 seconds. At that particular time in American automotive history, that was quite respectable. Making this car even more attractive for potential buyers is the fact that the owner says that it runs and drives perfectly.

This Corvette looks to be a classic car that could be driven and enjoyed as it currently stands. For me, the idea of owning a classic that I can enjoy without the fear of chips or scratches holds a lot of attraction. Owning a classic car should be an enjoyable experience, and that is what this car seems to promise. I love and respect beautifully preserved or restored classic cars, and would love nothing more than to have one sitting in my workshop right now. However, owning a classic where I can just jump behind the wheel and drive it, regardless of the weather or other considerations, sounds like an attractive proposition. That’s what this Corvette seems to be offering the next owner.


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  1. Frank Sumatra

    Nits will be picked about this car, but at first glance this looks to be a nice driver that should be enjoyable to own. Good luck to seller and buyer! Enjoy.

    Like 7
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks good for a C3, long as the birdcage is solid and the price doesn’t go to an outrageous price. Looks like a buy and drive for someone and hope the buyer enjoys it. Yes I know the car isn’t the fastest one out there, but some people like to drive a car rather than race it.

    Like 5
  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Some Vettes in the shop also, builder?

  4. R Soul

    That paint has had more than a touch up.

    Like 1
  5. Miguel

    From the Ebay ad “headlamps go up and down well”

    I seriously doubt that. I don’t think I have ever seen a C3 that the headlights went up and down well.

    • Frank Sumatra

      You should look harder. I have owned a 76 and 79 and the headlamps snapped up and down for years with no issues. I have also never experienced the plethora of urban legend issues repeated here constantly in regards to C4 Corvettes with my 84 and 95. Apparently there is a cottage industry of repetitive canards about Corvette “issues” a la Lucas electrics. Everybody has a story and I must be one lucky Corvette owner!

      Like 5
    • 71FXSuperGlide

      As someone who has owned a ’69 for 30+ years, I can attest to that. Between those and the wiper door, God knows what Duntov and crew were thinking with the vacuum operated design.

      Although these later model C3’s don’t produce much HP in stock form, they can certainly be modified to do so, and some of the ‘quirks’ from the earlier models were worked out – like the pesky headlights.

      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        On the headlights and wiper doors and vacuum operation, there is IIRC articles on HRM website on how to convert them to electrical operation. I found it interesting. There was some minor modifications to make it all work but the changes are apparently available in kit form

        Like 3
  6. George mattar

    Nice car. If birdcage and inner door structures have no rust, that is a homerun. If do, forget it. The cost to repair rust even yourself far exceeds the value of a 79. GM built more than 53,000 79 Corvettes, a record I believe still stands. I own a 73 coupe and love it. Just plan most of a day if you have to replace the radiator. That was with a copper replacement made by Chinamen. Should have bought a DeWitt.

    Like 1
  7. Chuck

    I ordered one similar to this one in ’79. The only difference was that mine was dark blue. It was teh car that put me off of GM forever and domestics for 26 years.

    Had there been lemon laws back then, I would have returned it within weeks. I’ve never had a more unreliable vehicle. It didn’t even make it home from the dealer when I picked it up.

    Like 1
    • JoeNYWF64

      Hard to believe yours would die & not restart? with quadrajet & trusty HEI & mechanical fuel pump & no computer? Then again, ’79 was a record year (also for t/a – also had quality issues) to get the cars out of the factory asap to keep up with tremendous demand – & maybe have the dealer sort out serious problem(s) later?
      How practical is oyster colored carpet above?! – especially if you live in da boonies. lol Hard enough keeping dirt off black pedals.
      Too bad the 2000!! degree cat converter warranted a switch to a steel floorpan in ’75 – that can rust.
      I would like to see the original also impractical oyster steering wheel.
      Apparently some late ’70s vettes have dual air cleaner snorkles & others have single ones – like this one. & others have cold air induction. odd.
      I wonder if Chevy ever tried throttlebody injection with just 1 big simple injector body – for the ’81 or ’82, like the aftermkt ones you can retrofit today.

  8. Comet

    By the looks of his shop it’s clear this guy knows his way around Corvette’s. It appears to be a presentable driver. But c’mon, “some paint touch-ups?”

    Ok, ok, to be fair, I guess if you squint, while looking through the bottom of a bottle, in bad light, while drunk, I could be mistaken for Brad Pitt.

    Like 3
  9. Bikefixr

    87,xxx miles. It’s definitely had a front-end hit. Poor hood alignment. Terrible nose alignment and paint, waves across the nose behind the Urethene. I think it’ maxed out. This is the kind of Vette I don’t mind working with. Not collectible and never will be. Yank the motor, add 200hp. Do the body work and paint to driver-quality, put some real tires on it, drop it a little and go have fun.

    Like 1
  10. Rod444

    The 79 Vette L82 was the “better” engine than the L48 because it had 30 more hp. But the odd thing is that the L48 was rated 285 lb/ft @ 3200 RPM while the L82 was only rated 270 lb/ft @ 3600 RPM.

    More torque at lower rpm sounds “better” to me cause torque is what you feel when you punch the skinny pedal. Not sure why the L82 was always more valued.

  11. JOHN Member

    Of the rubber bumper C3 Corvettes, I think the 80 is the best looking. The rear spoiler looks much better than this design, it looks almost cheap to me. The rubber bumper front ends were ok to me, the real bumper cover always looked bulky to me. The integrated spoiler to me takes that bulkiness away. The late C3’s are growing on me, it’s only taken 40 years…

    • rod444

      Welcome to the dark side, John. We all come to the light eventually.

      – 81′ Vette owner


      Like 2

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