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Mario's Tribute to C3 Corvette 1968 to 1982

C3 Corvette 1968 - 1982

1968 The 3rd gen C3 Corvette patterned after the Mako Shark II concept car, was introduced for the 1968 model year and was in production until 1982 a long 15 model years.

1968 The new design would become a classic. Corvettes for the next fifty years would follow the same basic lines and be recognizable as a relative of the 1968 trend setter.

1968 427ci 430hp. The new Corvette featured what would become known as the Coke Bottle shape.

1968 Production was 28,566. The shape of the new C3 also featured improved aerodynamics when compared to the C2 Corvette.

1969 The 250,000th Corvette was built in November 1969.

1969 The Sting Ray name tag had strangely disappeared from the 1968 Corvette, but reappeared in 1969 as one word - Stingray. It would continue thru the 1977 model year and then reappear in the C7.

1969 427ci 390hp. The ignition key moved from its 1968 location on the dash near the upper right corner of the tachometer to the steering column in response to new anti-theft regulations.

1969 Production was 38,762. 1969 Corvettes featured round front turn signal lights.

1970 C3 coupes featured the first use of T-top removable roof panels.

1970 and later Corvettes had flat squared off front turn signal lights.

1970 454ci 390hp. 1970 is famous for being the last year that high compression engines were available. Unleaded gasoline was in the future and high octane gasoline was becoming harder to find.

1970 Production was 17,316.

1971 The future had arrived in the form of lower compression ratios. Unleaded gasoline and its lower octane rating forced the move and an era was over, not to return.

1971 was the last year for the fiber optic light monitoring system located behind the shifter.

1971 454ci 365hp

1971 Production was 21,801

1972 Would be the last year that chrome bumpers would appear in the front.

1972 Standards for measuring horsepower came into effect in 1972 and they better reflected real world conditions.

1972 454ci 270hp

1972 Production was 27,004

1973 New laws required all cars to be able to sustain a five mph impact on the front without damaging lights or other safety gear.

1973 The bumper consisted of an injection molded urethane cover and due to the flex agent in the paint, was often a slightly different shade than the rest of the car.

1973 350ci 190hp

1973 Production was 30,464

1974 would be the last year for the 454 cubic inch engine in the Corvette.

1974 completed what was started in 1973; this time the rear chrome bumpers were gone and the rear bumper cap was a two piece design.

1974 350ci 195hp

1974 Production was 37,502

1975 A high energy ignition system became part of the 1975 Corvette and was a huge improvement over the previous transistorized system.

1975 Conventional points disappeared along with the hassle of installation and adjustment.

1975 350ci 165hp

1975 Production was 38,465

1976 Last Year for the Corvette Stingray. There were few changes in the 1976 Corvette.

1976 Engineering resources were occupied with meeting the demands of safety and pollution requirements.

1976 350ci 210hp

1976 Production was 46,558

1977 Another year of minimal changes.

1977 A new luggage rack was an option designed to accommodate the removable roof panels, freeing up some interior storage space.

1977 350ci 210hp

1977 Production was 49,213

1978 25th Anniversary and Indy 500 Pace Car is one of 6,502 built. The first Indy 500 Pace Car in its 25 year history.

1978 All Corvettes featured a 25 year commemorative badge on the front nose.

1978 350ci 220hp

1978 Production was 46,776

1979 Changes were minimal. Side support and overall comfort was improved.

1979 New high back seats were standard for 1979.

1979 350ci 195hp

1979 Production was 53,807

1980 Introduced Lightened roof panels, an aluminum differential housing and cross member along with a thinner hood, windshield, frame and door panels.

1980 Federal government regulations entered a new era of absurdity with the requirement of a speedometer limited to 85 mph to conserve fuel.

1980 350ci 190hp

1980 Production was 40,614

1981 Corvette manufacturing moves to Bowling Green KY from St. Louis MO.

1981 The last St. Louis Corvettes were built on July 31, 1981 and on June 1, 1981 Bowling Green production started so for a couple of months Corvettes were built in two different places simultaneously.

1981 350ci 200hp

1981 Production was 40,606

1982 Corvette Engine Cross-Fire Injection Debuts.

1982 Collector Edition hatchback celebrates the Last of the C3s.

1982 350ci 200hp

1982 Production was 25,407


Video and audio clips

1968 Chevy Corvette Convertible C3


1969 Corvette Promotional Video


1970 Chevy Corvette 454 4-speed T-Top


1973 Corvette Commercial


1975 Corvette Convertible


1978 Corvette 25th Anniversary Edition Pace Car


1982 Corvette Commercial



Related

More Cars of the 1960s
More Chevy Coverage

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Comments

Mario on Dec 28, 2021 said:

The C3 Corvette, a long 15 Model years from 1968 to 1982, was a drastic change from the previous C1 and C2. The StingRay was incredibly aerodynamic and combine that with the monster engines/HP and it explains how the C3 lasted for 15 model years!

[Reply to this comment]

57timemachine on Dec 29, 2021 said:

1968-1973 Vettes are my second favorite to the best 1963-1967 years. They kind of started losing me with the 1974 onward models. With out the chrome bumpers, there is little pizaz there. Oddly enough the only time I ever drove a Vette was a 1974 350 four speed model. It belonged to an ex brother in law. He threw me the keys and said, have fun and man did I ever have fun with it for about ten minutes. Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Dec 30, 2021 said:

1968 to 1973 are the years I like also George. The chrome bumpers did add some glamour. Styling had to change because of the 5 mph crash mandate and it's a shame. What's unusual is the first year C3 Corvette 1968 did not have the name Stingray on the car although the C3's were the first of the Stingrays! Cheers.

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Dec 31, 2021 said:

..Hey Mario, Awesome work on the C3 Generation. You even managed to get a lot of the colors in your post. I owned a 1968, and a 1977. The 68 was a dark blue convertible with white top and light blue interior with small black and 4 speed.

I brought my oldest son home from the hospital in it after he was born. Wife was not pleased. Now my ex-wife sadly.

I sold the 68 after she won every argument. As we approached our divorce, I bought the 1977 with little to no performance but at least I was my own man again if one can say that with 180 horses. At least I felt better.

It was cheaper than couples therapy, and a lawyer, and the settlement.

Learn from your experiences, and try not to make the same mistakes again. Life goes forward, not backwards.

That's why the windshield is huge and the rearview mirror is so small.

[Reply to this comment]

azmusclecar on Dec 31, 2021 said:

Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours Mario.

As you slide down the banister of life, may all the splinters be pointed in the right direction.

I think I stole that from Burma Shave.

Rob

[Reply to this comment]

Mario on Dec 31, 2021 said:

Thanks Rob, I love all your comments. One of my favorites is the 68. A friend of mine has a red 68 convertible 327 4sp. I almost bought a new 68 Corvette when I was in the service but opted for the 69 Camaro SS instead. Happy New Year 2022!

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