Roller Project: 1982 Chevrolet Corvette

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Sometimes it’s hard to remember that a 1982 Corvette is a member of the vaunted C-3 class which covered the years 1968 through 1982. Yeah, it’s the end of the run but these final year examples don’t have nearly the draw that the steel bumpered ’68 to ’72 versions do – and a lot of that has to do with the erosion of power that continued through the ’70s. Beyond that, the C-3 arguably overstayed its welcome – fifteen years is a long run, too long. There are other reasons too, so let’s examine this example and identify some of those issues. Located in Brownstown, Michigan, this ‘Vette is available, here on Facebook Marketplace for $5,200. Thanks to Jim A for this tip!

By ’82, only a single engine was available in the ‘Vette, a 200 net HP, 350 CI V8. It was, however, an interesting arrangement as it was fed by a pair of throttle body fuel injection units on a cross-ram intake manifold. It sounds more impressive than it actually was. The problem here is that the cross-ram and the fuel injection units are all that are left. Yeah, it’s a roller, and there’s no automatic transmission either, the only gearbox available in ’82. The seller suggests, “This car would be a Great LS candidate or even a BB Chevy“. Well, there are lots of potential options but I would agree, something other than trying to mimic the original underpowered engine would be a positive move.

While we’re talking about missing stuff, both of the bucket seats are nowhere to be found. No word as to what happened to them. There’s no image of the dash but it’s claimed to be near perfect. What can be seen in the above image, and admittedly it’s not a lot, looks OK.

The seller states, “has a clean rot-free frame, typical light surface rust, solid floor pan. The car was always garage kept. Just look at the rear bumper cover spoiler. It’s wave & sag-free. Paint not perfect could use touch up in a few areas. The spot on the driver’s door will need repair“. There’s only one comprehensive image of the entire car and it’s not very revealing. The seller does have both a new ACI nose and tailpiece that are included in the sale. The existing nose has been tweaked but the tailpiece shows as OK. Holding up all four corners is a set of steel wheels that look as if they’ve been boosted from a similar-era Camaro.

I like to put our various different “finds” into separate categories such as restoration, modification, leave as is, etc. Well, this is one that obviously can’t be left alone, so what to do? Maybe restore it to stock and original appearance but power it up with something that is decidedly not 1982. That’s my thought, what’s yours?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Think I’d go somewhere else to buy a Corvette.

    Like 6
  2. jrhmobile

    I’m one of those guys who actually likes bubble-back C3s, but I prefer the smoother ’78-’79 models to the front underbite/rubber spoilered later models.

    But a roller? With no seats and a bunch of tacky add-ons? For 5 grand? Pass.

    Like 6
  3. Troy

    With this craze of everyone putting a LS in everything I’m halfway tempted to buy this and put a hemi or ford engine and transmission in it just to mess with the purists

    Like 4
    • John EderMember

      There’s always electric. You could beat Chevy to the next generation of Corvette…

      Like 1
      • Troy

        I would not know how to do that unless I took the parts from a Tesla or lucid air but its a cool idea

        Like 1
    • Bick Banter

      Not a fan of the Cease-Fire, and this one’s rough as a cob. But I always like the looks of the ’82, particularly with the two tone. Though I don’t think this two tone is factory

      Like 1
    • John D Bellmore

      If you really want to mess with them, put a Jaguar V12 in the empty hole.

      Like 1
      • Unc GEV

        A 8.3 Cummins diesel
        Or a DT466 IHC
        EITHER ENGINE would blow mind body and soul

        Like 0
  4. James David Miranda

    the only model of the c3 corvette that was available for the 1982 year was the collectors edition to close the end of the c3 line.
    the two tone paint and the tbi injection shown came out in mid 1981 to proclaim the opening of the bowling green plant.

    Like 1
    • Dan

      There was no TBI available in 1981. Only 350cu 190 hp

      Like 1
  5. Mike

    $ 2500 car tops

    Like 0
  6. Robert Levins

    Super simple – ish. Get a basic small block Chevy , build it up , reasonably , and put in a 4 – speed manual (or) 4 – speed automatic. Simple, slightly larger 4 – barrel carburetor and you’ll probably be over 300hp without spending a fortune. Then , fix the rest of the car up the way you want it. It probably won’t be the fastest Corvette out there but – you will be able to go on that vacation you always wanted to go on with your friends. Nice article by the way!

    Like 0

    Hey wait, you guys know what would be perfect for this car, is one of those 502 roller motors!!! Add some side pipes, cowl hood, deep dish centerlines.

    Like 0
    • Brian W

      @Brian Bekken Five hundred two cubic inches? Why? That car will guzzle gas like a sailor chugs beer on shore leave. Why do you need such a huge, heavy engine to move the car forward? Unless you want to kill two birds with one stone by destroying both handling and the gas mileage at the same.

      Like 0
  8. Mikey

    3 grand maybe 3500….interesting project. I would like to hàve it

    Like 0

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