Chevrolet Corvette (C3) - Production


The C3 fifteen year run shows an extreme contrast. The list price for the Corvette in 1968 was $4,663. By 1982, mostly due to inflation, the base price had increased to $18,290. In 1968 there were six engines, two small-block V8s and four big-block V8s. By 1982 there was only one small block V8 engine available. In '68 there were five transmissions, including four manual choices. By '82 there was one, a four-speed automatic. Although refined, emission standards and fuel economy concerns had changed America's only sports car.

Year Production Base Price Notes
1968 28,566 $4,663 New body and T-top removable roof panels, new interior, engines carried over, three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic replaces two-speed Powerglide as automatic transmission option
1969 38,462 $4,780 First year of the 350 in³ Small-Block in the Corvette; longer model year extended to December, 1969 due to delay in introduction of 1970 model; "Stingray" front fender nameplates added, new interior door panels and inserts, 15-inch black-vinyl steering wheel (replaced 16-inch wood-rim wheel)
1970 17,316 $5,192 First year for the LT-1 Small-Block and 454 in³ Big-Block; three-speed manual transmission dropped and four-speed manual became standard with Turbo Hydra-matic available as no-cost option with all engines except LT-1 350; posi-traction made standard equipment; introduced along with all-new second-generation Chevrolet Camaro on Feb. 26, 1970, new egg-grate metal front grills and fender grills, lower molded fender flares, new hi-back seats & interior trim, new custom interior option includes:leather seat trim, cut-pile carpeting, lower-carpeted door panels & wood-grain accents.
1971 21,801 $5,496 Significant horsepower drops due to reduced compression ratios to meet GM corporate edict requiring all engines to run low-octane unleaded gasoline; horsepower ratings based on both "gross" and "net" figures with the former based on engine hooked to dynometer while "net" ratings based on horsepower as installed in vehicle with accessories and emission controls installed.
1972 27,004 $5,533 Horsepower ratings now advertised in SAE net figures, last year for LT-1 engine, front & rear chrome bumpers & removable rear window, last year for windshield wiper door.
1973 30,464 $5,561 5 mph front bumper system with urethane cover, pot-metal front grills (black with silver edges), chrome rear bumpers unchanged, new design front fender ducts, first year for radial tires (standard equipment), rubber body mounts, new hood with rear air induction & under-hood insulation, new front-end (round) emblem.
1974 37,502 $6,001 5 mph rear bumper system with urethane cover to match last year's front bumper, new recessed tail lamps and down-turned tail-pipes. 1974 is the only year with two piece rear bumper cover with center-split. No gas lid emblem was used. Aluminum front grills (all-black), new dual exhaust resonators, revised radiator cooling and interior a/c ducts, integrated seat /shoulder belts in Coupe. Last year for true dual exhaust, last year for big-block engine in a Corvette.
1975 38,645 $6,810 First year of Catalytic converter & single-exhaust, black (painted) bumper pads front & rear, redesigned inner-bumper systems & one-piece rear bumper cover, plastic front grills (all-black), amber parking lamp lenses (replaced clear lenses on 73-74) new emblems, last year of C3 convertible.
1976 46,558 $7,604 First-year for steel floor-panels, cold-air induction dropped, new aluminum alloy wheels option, new one-piece rear "Corvette" nameplate (replaces letters), last year of "Stingray" fender nameplates.
1977 49,213 $8,647 Black exterior available (last year-1969), new design ""Corvette flags" front end & fender emblems. New interior console and gauges, universal GM radios.
1978 46,776 $9,750 New fastback rear window, Silver Anniversary and Indy 500 Pace Car special editions; Pace-car included sport seats & spoilers-front & rear, limited option-glass t-tops; redesigned interior, dash and instruments.
1979 53,807 $10,220 Sport seats (from previous year pace-car); front & rear spoilers optional, glass t-tops optional; New interior comfort features; highest Corvette sales year to date.
1980 40,614 $13,140 Lightened materials, new hood, front end with molded spoilers, rear bumper cover with molded spoiler and new tail lamps, Federal government required 85 mph (137 km/h) speedometer; California cars powered by 305 V8 and automatic transmission for this year only, last year for L-82 engine - (n/a with manual transmission)
1981 40,606 $16,258 Production is switched from St. Louis to new Bowling Green plant; 350 V8 returns in California cars, last year for manual transmission.
1982 25,407 $18,290 New cross-fire fuel-injected L83, New automatic overdrive transmission; Collectors Edition features exclusive hatch rear window - is one fourth of production.
Total 542,741

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