C3 Corvette Restorations
Third Generation (1968-1982)


Unlike the second generation of Corvette, which had the shortest life span of any Corvette generation, the third generation of corvette were produced for fourteen years (1968 -1982), making it the longest in Corvette history.

 

Larry Shinoda's Mako Shark II Showcar.

Nicknamed the "Shark". The earliest models of the third generation Corvette were based on Larry Shinoda's Mako Shark II show car design.
Just as previous models, the 1968 Corvette was available in either coupe or convertible models.
The interior and body of these models were totally redesigned. The coupe model now had the two removable roof panels: the first "T-tops." and was now a notchback  fitted with a near-vertical removable rear window.
A 300-hp 327 small- block V8 topped by a four-barrel carburetor was still the standard engine for the '68 model.

But some optional engines were available. The big block 427s from the previous year, a 350-hp 327 andmost notably the L88 Big-Block V8 racing engine which was rated at 430hp.

 

 

1969 Corvette Stingrays

Some changes were made to the 1969 Corvettes which were now called Stingray. Now spelled out as a single word as opposed to "Sting Ray" used for the second generation Corvettes. These changes included replacing the 327-cubic-inch small-block V8s with new 350-cubic-inch engines, though the overall output remained unchanged. The 427s from the '68 models were also available.

The most interesting addition to the '69 models was the ZL-1 engine. A modified L88 427 big-block V8 done up in all-aluminum construction.
It was built for racing as it was significantly lighter than a small block engine. Just two of the 585-hp ZL-1s were produced.

 

The 1970 Corvette saw the introduction of four-speed manual transmission as the new standard and the addition of a new 370-hp "LT-1" 350 engine. Other than the loss of power, the '71 Corvette basically remained the same as the previous year model.

The base 350 cu engine dropped to 270 hp and the LT-1 350 dropped to 330 hp. The poor power performance extended to the '72 Corvette with the base 350 now rated at 200-hp and the LT1 rated at just 255 hp. The "ZR-1" option, which was a special version of  the LT-1 350, was offered as a performance equipment package for club-racing.

 

Following the federal regulation mandate that all model cars be fitted with bumpers that could withstand a 5-mph impact. The front bumper of the 1973 Corvette was a soft body-colored rubberized bumper while the chrome rear bumper from the previous year was retained. The '73 Corvette engine came in different options: the  base L48 small-block rated at 190hp, an optional 250hp L82 small- block, and LS-4 big-block V8 engine rated at 275 hp.  The soft bumpers were utilized for both the front and rear bumper in the 1974 Corvette.
The engines remained the same in the'74 Corvette although L48’s output rose by 5hp in the ’74 Corvette.

 

The 1975 Corvette retained the bumper style of the '74 model but the rear bumper cover became a single piece rather than two on the '74 Corvette. More power was lost on the featured engines of the '75 Corvette with the base 350 V8 now rated at  165hp and the L82 dropping 45hp to 205hp. The loss of horsepower however did not affect the '75 Corvette sales that year as the '75 corvette sold  33,836 coupes and 4,629 convertibles that same year. The 1976 Corvette saw horsepower increase to 180hp on the base "L48" 350 and 210 hp on the L82 350. A new 4-spoke steering wheel was also added to the '76 model making it easier to enter and exit the car and creating more room for the driver. The '76 Corvette was also the last model with the Stingray fender badge.

 

Other than a few changes like the addition of fenders and steel reinforcements, a voltmeter added in place of the ammeter and some redesigns in the center console and sun visor. The 1977 Corvette was the same as the previous '76 Corvette. The horsepower for both base and the L-82 engines remained the same. The 1978 model featured a new fastback-styled back window which aided aerodynamics, improved inward visibility and made room for more luggage behind the seats. The base L48 350 engine was now rated at 185hp and the newly adopted dual-snorkel intake increased output of the L82 version to 220hp. Two special-edition models were released to mark Corvettes twenty-fifth year. A "Silver Anniversary" edition- a two-tone paint job which featured black over a gray lower body and the iconic limited edition Indy Pace Car which had black/silver two-tone paint job.

 

For the 1979 Corvette, a dual-snorkel air cleaner was introduced to all models and the L48 350 output was increased to 195hp while the L-82 engine was boosted to 225 hp. A total of 53,807 Corvettes were produced that year. The highest ever in Corvette history till date. The 1980 Corvettes front and rear bumpers were restyled making the car lighter and increasing radiator air flow. The base L48 350 now generated 190hp while L82 was rated at 230hp. Due to emission considerations ,California had only a 305- cubic-inch V8 rated at 180hp.

 

 The "L81'' version of the 350 V8 was introduced in the 1981 Corvette. It was rated at 190hp and available with manual or automatic transmissions. Corvette production also moved from St. Louis to a brand-new facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky in June of 1981.

All models of the 1982 Corvette were fitted with a new four-speed automatic transmission ditching the old Manual transmissions. The year also saw the introduction of “Cross-Fire Injection” fuel delivery system which increased the output of L81 350 to 200hp. Also in 1982, to mark the end of the Third Corvette generation, a Collector Edition was made with silver-beige paint, multivaned wheels, and an openable rear glass window.

 

The third Corvette generation might not have been as fantastic as the second generation but the sales  made from the legendary stingray models show that these were the cars everyone wanted to ride in. With an all time record of 53,807 cars produced for the 1979 model year and a record 542,861 cars sold. The highest ever in Corvette history. The third generation of Corvette will surely be remembered for all of time.


EXAMPLES OF OUR WORK


1969 CorvetteConvertible
Job Description

Job Description
427 Big Block 4 Speed
New Carburator, fuel tank and tune up.
Ignition job



1970 Corvette Convertible
Job Description

Complete Suspension
Steering & Brakes


1970 Corvette 350 CI
Job Description

Complete Suspension, Steering & Brakes Overhaul  Engine

Fuel & Ignition Upgrades

Vintage AC Installation

Complete Interior

Much More



1971 Corvette 454 CI
Job Description

Performance engine build

Fast EFI injection conversion

Big brake package

Performance suspension

Clutch kit, electrical and much more




1971 Chrevolet Corvette 
Job Description

Frame off Restoration
Vintage-a/c unit
Complete body and Paint, 
All new interior,
engine and transmission overhaul and much more


1971 Corvette 
Job Description

Performance engine build

Complete suspension

Steering & brakes package

Carburation & ignition system upgrades

Vintage AC install

Complete interior



1973 Corvette
 350 CI 250HP 

Job Description

 

Frame off restoration

Engine overhaul

Transmission overhaul

Complete interior


1975 Corvette
 350 CI 250HP 

Job Description

 

Rated @ 300 HP

Frame off restoration

Performance engine build

Fuel, ignition

Carburation

Exhaust upgrades



1976 Corvette 
Job Description

Frame off restoration

Engine, Transmission & differential rebuild

Vintage AC/ kit install

Complete interior

Full body and paint

Many performance upgrades


1978 Corvette
350-CI AUTOMATIC 

Job Description

Job Description

Frame off resto mod

Performance engine build rated @ 350 HP

4 speed 700 R4 transmission conversion w/stall speed torque converter

Complete interior


1978 Chevrolet Pace car
Job Description

Performance engine overhaul

Carburation upgrade

Fuel upgrade

Ignition upgrade

Exhaust upgrade


1978 Corvette C3 Pace Car
Job Description

Complete Frame Off Restoration

Custom engine build

Many upgrades



1979 Corvette
Job Description

Frame off restoration

Performance engine build

Performance Upgrades

1979 Corvette



1980 Corvette
Job Description

Mechanical and body work
Electrical gages, lighting
carpet, electronic


1980 Corvette L-82
Job Description

All mechanical suspension

Transmission and AC


1980 Corvette 
Job Description

Performance engine build

6 Speed conversion

Suspension

Steering and Brakes

Vintage AC install

Interior work and more