1968-82 Chevrolet Corvette C3 - Club Classics Around $30k

By: Cliff Chambers

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You can you still buy a very decent post-1977 ’Vette for less than $30k


1968-82 Chevrolet Corvette C3

I know that chromium as sourced from the wilds of Africa is scarce and expensive but who would think that a few ounces when used as automotive embellishment could double the value of a 1970s Chevrolet Corvette.

You might think that in 1974 when Chevrolet changed its ’Vette from chrome bumper to all fibreglass, buyers hated the bland design and sales plummeted. No, they didn’t. Even though the evocative chromium plate was gone and performance blunted by ‘smog’ controls, more and more Americans decided that they still wanted a Corvette.

By 1978 when the shape changed to incorporate a larger wrap-around rear window production topped 46,000 a year, peaking in 1979 at almost 54,000. C3 production ended in 1982 and cars from that year are the only ones to incorporate a factory-fitted rear hatch.

So why do buyers today so often ignore post-1977 cars and why can you buy a very decent ’Vette of this vintage at less than our $30,000 spending cap?

Leaving aside the shame of being denied entry to ‘chrome bumper’ car shows, there’s the issue of perceived performance. 1970s Corvettes all included various versions of Chevrolet’s 5.7-litre engine in their line-up but by 1979, claimed output had dwindled from 190kW in 1973 to 145kW.

Lots of Corvettes came to Australia as new cars and were converted to right-hand drive. Before deciding on a specific car, drive both versions. Older RHD adaptations can suffer durability issues, not to mention the effect on handling and stability. You should also save some money.

Value range: $12-40K+


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