1980 Corvette Modded Restoration

This car was in a collision in 1996, then was fully restored and modified. I had the wreck and did the restoration, so the title is in the clear, there is no “salvage” designation. The restoration was completed in 1999 at about 75,000 miles. Modifications were generally done in such a way to be “hidden” to the casual observer.

The car has 93,000 miles. It has been garage kept and driven off and on by a non-smoker since the restoration.

A few boxes of original and spare parts are included with the sale, if wanted.

Be sure to take a look at the Current Photos and the Modifications.

The 1980 Corvette

The 1980 Corvette is, in my somewhat biased opinion, the finest version of the C3 body style. The final year for the C3 was 1982. There is no 1983 model, as the factory was closed to retool and begin production of the C4 for 1984. 1980 continued to have the fastback style for the back window, that replaced the small vertical window in 1978 and opened up more room in the luggage area. It differs in look from 1979 due to the integrated one-piece front ground effects and rear spoiler. The 1982 special edition made this a hatchback and all subsequent Corvettes have been hatchbacks. However, to get the 1982 hatchback, you also end up stuck with Crossfire injection.

During this period, the performance of Corvettes were suffering due to fuel economy regulations. This stretch has the dubious honor of being the slowest production Corvettes - something I’ve more than compensated for with the modifications I made to this one. In 1982, GM introduced crossfire injection in the Corvette to begin to regain the engine power. Crossfire injection units have some value as collectibles, but the fact that this was a first effort shows, and Crossfire injection was discontinued after only appearing in 1982 and 1984. It’s the limited production of Crossfire units (and frequent replacement by owners of those models) that makes them valuable, not their actual functionality. Crossfire injection was replaced with tuned port injection, which was a much better solution that restored the Corvette power and found its way into many production GM vehicles.

This specific car has been retrofitted with tuned port injection, using a late model ECM that includes improvements that were made to TPI over the time it was in service, such as removal of the mass airflow sensor and sequential fire of the fuel injectors.

In 1980, GM attempted to make up some of the performance loss by instituting a big weight reduction program on the Corvette, making the 1980 lighter than the ’79 by 238 pounds, or about 7%. This car still carries all the benefits to performance and handling that provides, plus the reduction has been carried farther with aftermarket mods like fiberglass springs. Changes for 1980 included

  1.     replacing the steel crossmember that holds the differential as well as the differential housing with an aluminum one

  2.     making the headlight assemblies and other assorted hardware out of aluminum

  3.     aluminum intake manifold

  4.     the drive shaft and half axles were changed from solid shafts to hollow tubes. This not only reduces the weight, but improves the rigidity.

  5.     fiberglass bumpers front and rear - i’m not talking about the body fascia, the actual impact absorbing structure was made of fiberglass. (you’d be hard pressed to find much steel in this car other than the frame, safety cage, and engine block.)

For 1980, the aluminum wheel option was changed from a brushed aluminum finish to a polished aluminum finish, which I personally think makes for the best looking wheels you can get. This car has the original polished aluminum wheels.

Also of minor note, in 1980 GM used a special coating on the steel frame. This coating only shipped in 1980, basically because people buying new cars don’t tend to care much about what the frame will look like in 10 years, so why bother. When I replaced the frame in this car, it was very easy to find the right year model. The salvage yard had a stack of frames taller than me. The right one was the only one that had no rust on it whatsoever. This specific feature is the one thing that gives the 1980 an edge over its near-identical twin, the 1981.

If you’re a fan of the C3 Corvette, like I am, you simply won’t find another example that can come close to this one.


Stock on the outside, modified on the inside.