1980 Corvette Front Driver Side

The Corvette’s C3 generation was its longest, spanning from 1968 to 1982.

That’s an eternity in Detroit time, especially if it included the 1970s—a decade infamously tough on performance cars (also, fashion).

But the Corvette weathered gas shortages, emissions controls, increased safety regulations, and leisure suits better than most other cars did.

In 1973 and ’74, the Corvette lost its chrome bumpers; in 1975 it got a catalytic converter, and in ’76, the convertible was dropped. By 1978 however, the fiberglassed-wonder was regaining some of its mojo, with a revised silhouette and incremental increases in power.

The Corvette got its last significant update in 1980, with restyled bumpers front and rear. It shed some weight and the L-82 option offered 230 horsepower—not too shabby for the era.

By 1980, Chevy engineers were busy drafting a C4 that would see the Corvette lose its Coke-bottle curves in favor of restrained Euro-inspired lines. (The new ‘Vette would debut in 1984, skipping an ’83 model year entirely.)

This one recently rolled into the Summit Racing parking lot near Akron, OH, where it immediately got our attention. We’re pretty sure it’s a 1980 edition, given the chrome rocker panel molding (which disappeared in 1981).

It’s clean, unmodified, and looks great—a true diplomat from the days of disco.

Though it’s easy to pick on cars from the “Malaise Era” of 1970s performance, the Corvette carried America’s sports car mantle through the entire decade, aging gracefully in the process.

(All Images – OnAllCylinders)

1980 Corvette Head On

1980 Corvette Rear passenger Side

1980 Corvette Rear Drivers Side

1980 Corvette Front Pass Side

1980 Corvette Low Front
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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.