Car 1979 #Chevrolet-Corvette-T-Roof-Coupe-C3
£14,995 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-T-Roof-Coupe
This refreshed C3 has a plethora of performance upgrades and would be a top daily runner, reports Ross Alkureishi.
This feisty Corvette has had the same owner for 23 years, and Claremont Corvette proprietor Tom Falconer has recently been using it as his daily driver. It’s well known to the firm and Falconer cites the uprated performance as a strong point. Under the bonnet there’s some surface corrosion on supporting brackets and it looks well used, but there are no leaks from the engine itself. The #L82-V8
has had some serious upgrade work carried out including Edelbrock aluminium exhaust manifolds, long-duration camshaft, roller rockers and a new Holley carburettor. Gases exit via a custom dual exhaust system – manifolds are covered in heat wrap but it’s coming loose in places. The net result is an estimated power output of 300bhp, compared to the standard car’s 225bhp. There’s extensive paperwork covering its life since it was imported to the UK in 1994, but none before. It was off the road in a heated garage for 18 years after it was imported.
Originally brown, it has been resprayed Porsche Guards Red and the finish is striking. The bodywork sports the optional larger RPO D80 spoilers and at first sight appears blemish-free. Closer inspection reveals a few chips – including on the offside wing near the door and on the lower nearside front spoiler – but these have been touched in well. There’s a small black graze on the front bumper. Open the doors and you can see that the new colour has been sprayed directly over the existing paint coat, with a little overspray here and there. It’ll never win any show prizes but the overall exterior effect is good.
The light beige cabin is holding up nicely, supporting the car’s claimed 57,707 mileage and. The seats are rip-free and carpets clean, protected by a set of Claremont Corvettebranded mats. The leather steering wheel is a bit worn and the centre horn button is cracked and could do with replacement.
All four General XP2000 255/60 R15 tyres have plenty of tread left and while the steel wheels show surface corrosion, the centre caps are in good order. Underneath, the chassis appears to be solid, and the exhaust system looks recent. The engine starts first time and quickly gets up to temperature. These Chevy V8s run best hot, and the gauge sat at 200ºF throughout.
Power output is impressive and it pulls well from low down right through the rev range, with shifts on the auto ’box smooth and free from worrying clonks. The powerassisted steering feels light but that’s how they are, and it’s free from play. The brakes bite well, pulling the car up without drama. With its fresh paint, a nice interior and grunt aplenty this C3 is priced realistically and should entertain its next owner.
Interior presents well, but the steering wheel’s horn button needs replacing.
Modifications mean the 5.3-litre V8 produces an estimated 75bhp more than standard.
CHOOSE YOUR C3 CORVETTE
Third-generation (C3) Corvette Stingray launched in 1968 with styling influenced by 1965 Mako Shark II show car. Available as Coupe and Convertible, though former is a Targa with removable roof panels (and rear window). OHV V8 available in 5343cc small-block and 6977cc big-block forms, with power ranging from 300-435bhp.
Chrome front bumper replaced by body-coloured polyeurethane item in 1973 and rear window now fixed. Steel beams in doors improve side impact protection. Power now ranges from 180-275bhp. Big-block dropped for 1975, which is last year for convertibles. First appearance for emissionsreducing catalytic converters.
Facelift for 1978 with a fastback-style glass roofline. Special two-tone Light Silver over Charcoal paint scheme is instant bestseller.
Shovel-nose bumper for 1980 incorporates front spoiler, rear redesigned to house a spoiler too. One engine choice for final year (1984), the L-83 ‘crossfire’ fuel-injected unit, good for 200bhp.
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICATION #1979
C3 Corvette T-Roof Coupe
Contact Claremont Corvette, Snodland, Kent (01634 244444, claremont.corvette.co.uk).
Engine 5343cc #V8
ohv, four-barrel #Holley
Power 300bhp @ 4000rpm (est)
Performance Top speed 118mph,
0-60mph 6.5sec (est)
Fuel consumption: 17mpg (est)