T-56 Magnum 6-Speed! 1979 Chevrolet Corvette

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The Chevrolet Corvette celebrated its 25th Anniversary back in 1978, with one notable body update from the prior year being the large fastback glass that replaced the flat rear window, which had looked much the same since the third generation began ten years earlier.  The window shape carried over to ’79 and remained a staple for the car’s styling all the way through the end of the C6 run in 2013.  If you like the looks of the late seventies C3 cars, this 1979 Chevrolet Corvette may be a good one to take a peek at.  It’s located in Lancaster, Ohio, and can be seen here on Craigslist with an asking price of $12,500.

Reader Pat L. spotted this ‘Vette and we’d like to thank him for the tip!  The seller doesn’t mention exactly how long ago he acquired the car but does say that a lot of the bugs have been worked out under his watch, plus it comes with a stack of receipts from the previous owner dating all the way back to 1981.  The 350 engine is stated to be all original, and I believe the seller meant to list the mileage as 49,900 even though he typed 59,900,  One major update to the drivetrain is the addition of a T-56 Magnum 6-Speed manual transmission, which was professionally installed along with some other new parts, including a bell housing, driveshaft, and U-joints.  Wonderful and amazing are two words the seller uses to describe how his car runs!

There’s not a whole lot of information given about the interior, but things are looking really well preserved in there, which certainly seems to help back up the seller’s claim that the car has been very well taken care of.  Another change in ’79 was Chevrolet adding a real functional glove box, which replaced the map pockets from the earlier cars.  This one came nicely equipped with items such as power windows, power door locks, and A/C, plus it even has a CB radio.  All of the gauges are listed as working, with new LED lighting behind them, making the instrument cluster more visible at night.

Surprisingly, even less about the body and paint are mentioned, and no word on whether or not the car has ever had a respray  But back in the seventies, silver was one of the worst colors for fading quickly, and if that’s the original finish it still looks pretty decent to be more than 4 decades old.  We also don’t get any photos from the underside, so I’d probably at least inquire about any rust issues down below before proceeding.  This one seems like it would make a sweet weekend cruiser, and I’m guessing the T-56 is a fun component to go through the gears on.  What are your thoughts on this 1979 Corvette, and its upgraded Magnum 6-Speed?

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  1. Tim

    Were these photos taken underwater? With a flip phone?!?

    Like 6
    • SubGothius

      Photos on the CL ad are clear and sharp, so that at least explains how Mike was able to opine confidently on the apparent paint and interior condition!

      I’d reckon some sort of “artistic” filter was inadvertently applied prior to reposting the pics here?

      Like 2
  2. Tony Primo

    T-56 Magnum 6 speed seems like overkill for this stock 195 horsepower 350. But since the seller paid for it, does seem like a good deal. Can always add horsepower as required.

    Like 5
    • Dave

      Probably. But highways are terrible with a TH350 and 3500 to 4000 rpm with 355:1 gears. I did one of these swaps on a 79 Vette and the overdrive changed the whole character of the car. The T56 eats up less hp than the TH350 so there was a noticeable difference in acceleration. And I agree more HP is always more fun. The motor in mine had better heads and a bigger cam so if you’re going fast enough you can use the 6th gear overdrive. The two things I didn’t like was the driveshaft angle, you’d have to cut and raise the trans tunnel to get it right, though mine didn’t vibrate at 100, so maybe it’s ok. You need a different speedo to use the VSS on a T56, but mine wasn’t a Magnum, it was from an F body.

      Like 3
  3. drew

    The transmission is a good upgrade that didn’t come cheap.

    Like 5
  4. steve

    Six speed or not, it’s still an under-powered 79 Vette.

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Cheap solution to that…. I put a L76 327 in mine with 4:11’s. Pretty quick for all the more money I have in it.

      Like 2
    • moosie moosie

      I had a ’80 L82 that was replaced by the previous owner with a Mr. Goodwrench 350 crate motor. I have no idea of what the horsepower was for that Goodwrench motor but I never found it lacking to take me to any reasonable speed even tho the speedo only went to 85 MPH. I’ve owned many Corvettes with gobs more motor then that Goodwrench, ’71 LT-1, ’70 L46, 350-350, a few C2s with built 350s , so I think poo-pooing low advertised horsepower Corvettes is not a valid criticism. It’s all a seat of the pants feeling I think.

      Like 3
  5. PRA4SNW

    Nice car if you want a ’79 Vette. Receipts back to ’81 are nice to show the history of the car.
    This seems one upgrade (engine) away from being a nice driver.

    Like 4
  6. Mark

    Cheap solution to that…. I put a L76 327 in mine with 4:11’s. Pretty quick for all the more money I have in it.

    Like 1
  7. George Mattar

    While I am an OEM guy and like totally stock cars, I admit my 4 speed 1973 Corvette with 3.36 rear is noisy on the highway and I am always looking for 5th gear. Truth be told, new Hondas can blow my car off the interstates. 6 speeds is a little much with a boat anchor L48, but cool.

    Like 0
  8. ACZ

    Worth the money.

    Like 1

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