Welcome back to Hobby Car Corvettes for the conclusion of our C3 Corvette Series. We began this series with the exciting, though slightly rocky, launch of the third generation of Corvettes in 1968, and this week we bring you the final year of the third generation, the 1982 Corvette.
Here at Hobby Car Corvettes, located in Martinsburg, PA, we began this series because we think the third generation of Corvettes was, and remains, the best! We love all Corvettes, but let’s be honest, everyone has favorites. The third generation is ours. If you feel similarly, you will love our C3 series!
It’s been quite a journey, so let’s get right to it and see how Chevrolet wrapped it up, for the third generation of Corvettes.
THE THIRD GENERATION CORVETTES COME TO AN END
In our 1981 post, we learned that Chevrolet had moved Corvette production to a high tech facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. With this move, suspicions were heightened that the third generation of Corvettes was coming to an imminent end.
In 1982, those rising suspicions came to fruition when Chevrolet announced that the 1982 Corvette would be the last of the third generation. Though it was thought that the 1981 could have been the last, with the new move having already taken place, it was determined by Chevrolet that the factory workers should be trained in the new facility making a design they were familiar with, as opposed to learning new systems while simultaneously creating a new model. This is why they ran the third generation for one more year as workers acclimated to the changes and new environment, in the Bowling Green facility.
Knowing that they needed to prepare for the launch of a fourth generation Corvette in 1983, Chevrolet Corvette engineers utilized the 1982 Corvette as an opportunity to test new technology that was being designed for the next generation. This led to the 1982 Corvette being fitted with the revised engine and transmission developed for the C4 line.
“It’s a harbinger of things to come…”
said David McLellan, Chief Engineer for Corvette…
“For the 1982 model is more than just the last of a generation; it’s stage one of a two-stage production. We’re doing the power team this year. Next year, we add complete new styling and other innovations.”
1982 CORVETTE MECHANICS
The new engine 1982 revealed was a classic 350 cubic inch V-8, though it was now equipped with anewly developed twin throttle-body fuel-injection system instead of a carburetor. It featured an injector unit within a carburetor-like throttle body for each cylinder bank, while a crossover intake manifold fed the air/fuel mixture to the bank on its opposite side. This new and improved process sped up mixture velocity, increasing thermal efficiency and power, while simultaneously reducing emissions. The engine changes, in combination with improved Computer Command Control (CCC), resulted in a system titled Cross Fire Injection. This system was successful in boosting power, though slight, while also reducing emissions. This can be a tough task, as the two areas tend to contribute to the other’s setback as they strive to improve. More power often means more emissions, and reduced emissions, typically means reduced power.
The new Cross Fire 350 engine would become the L83 engine, and was the only engine offered to consumers during production of the 1982 Corvette. The 1982 Corvette was also only offered with a standard four-speed automatic transmission. This transmission was a variation of the three-speed turbo-hydra-matic with a long striding fourth gear added on.
The last of the third generation Corvettes did show performance improvements as a result of the Cross-Fire Fuel Injection system and the improved hp output of the 350 ci engine. The 1982 Corvette was clocked at 16.1 seconds for a quarter mile, running a speed of 84.5 mph.
1982 CORVETTE AESTHETICS
Because Chevrolet was not trying to make any major improvements on a generation that was coming to a close, the 1982 Corvette saw very few cosmetic changes, on the base coupe. One of the few changes was the addition of “Cross Fire Injection” labels above the front vendor vents. The move to the high tech facility, continued the option of several two-tone paint options.
The interior remained virtually unchanged, though this would be the last year for the option of an 8-track player.
1982 Commemorative “Collector’s Edition” Model
Similar to years past, being a significant year in Corvette history, Chevrolet decided to offer a commemorative 1982 “Collectors Edition” model. Though, after running into the “cloning” incident with the 1978 Indy pace car replica, they decided to only make the Collector Edition Corvettes per order. They felt this would help eliminate the number of knock offs.
Some Corvette enthusiasts argue that the 1982 Collectors Edition Corvette was the best C3 of them all.
David McLellan stated that it was:
“a unique combination of color, equipment and innovation (resulting in) one of the most comprehensive packages ever offered to the Corvette buyer.”
The Collectors Edition Corvette was the first to feature a rear lifting glass hatchback, which has since become standard on all Corvettes. This was without a doubt, a precursor of what was to comefor the fourth generation of Corvettes. On the outside, the Corvette featured cloisonne emblems. Included was a special crossed-flag emblem on the front and rear that read “Corvette Collector Edition”.
The Collector Edition Corvette was finished in a unique and eye catching color. It was a special silver-beige metallic paint with a graduated shadow-like contrast striping on the hood, fenders, and doors. The T-tops were made of bronze tinted glass. The wheels stood out, made of alloy and designed to appear as a finned “turbine”.
The elevated aesthetic features unique to the 1982 Collector Edition flowed seamlessly to the interior, where you find a silver-beige leather upholstery and door trim that matched the car’s exterior paint. Even the car floor was upgraded to match the rest of the car, with a luxury high-end and color-matched carpet.
In extra effort to eliminate attempted cloning, the 1982 Collector Edition Coupe carries a special VIN code, represented with a zero in the sixth digit.
The elevated aesthetics of this Corvette were not overlooked when pricing the car at a shattering $22,537.59. By the years end, Chevrolet had sold 6,759 of the Collector Edition Corvettes.
DID YOU KNOW
The console mounted QUARTZ clock, is a detail unique to 1982 Corvettes only.
The first production Corvette “fuelie” since 1965.
An optional radio was also offered at a reduced price to consumers purchasing the Collectors Edition package. RPO UN5, a Delco ETR AM/FM stereo with cassette deck and CB radio, could be purchased at a discounted $695.00 instead of the regular price of $755.00
The 1982 Collector Edition Corvette was the first Corvette to cost over $20,000.
One thing we saw this year, was sizable price increase. Some people speculate this as sole purpose for the notable decline in units sold from 1981 to 1982, selling only a total of 25,407 1982 Corvettes. Other people attribute it to economic hardship. More than likely, it was a combination of the two. But overshadowing both of these theories, was the popular opinion that Corvette sales declined in 1982 due to the announcement that the fourth generation of Corvettes was to be revealed in 1983. People were waiting to see what was to come.
And so, it is with no surprise, but a fair amount of sadness nonetheless, that we say goodbye to the third generation of Corvettes. But before we do, we want to acknowledge the challenges that C3 Corvettes rose up to meet. Between economic hardships, and tightening regulations, Chevrolet was challenged to uphold reputation, while adjusting in the changing times. Here at Hobby Car Corvettes, we feel strongly that they did not just a great job, but an outstanding job of doing just that.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey as the C3 Series unraveled week to week. If you are just now coming across our blog, do consider revisiting C3 Series posts of the past, as we visited each C3 Corvette from 1968-1982. Though our C3 Series may have come to an end, we will continue to release weekly blog posts on varying Corvette topics, for your reading pleasure.
As always, we are open for business…
and have a large inventory of impressive used Corvettes for sale here in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. Please check out our 1982 Corvettes for sale below, and call us as soon as you find the Corvette of your dreams in our inventory.
We currently have the following 1982 corvettes for sale:
|MODEL||1982 CHEVROLET CORVETTE|
|BODY STYLE||Two-door coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive|
|MANUFACTURING LOCATION||Bowling Green, Kentucky|
|ORIGINAL PRICE||$21,800.00 (Base Coupe)|
|TWO TONE OPTIONS||Silver/Dark Blue, Silver/Charcoal, Beige/Dark Bronze, Autumn Red/Dark Claret|
|CONSTRUCTION||Frame features a cross-member for transmission (with bolting assembly for transmission). The frame is all welded (full length), ladder constructed. The full frame includes four cross-members and is sealed with a corrosion resistant material. The body is constructed of a corrosion-resistant, steel-reinforced fiberglass. The front bumper features a honeycomb cushion system. The rear energy-absorbing bumper features twin hydraulic shock absorbers. The hood and doors are constructed of fiberglass and feature a double-panel construction method. The roof assembly features two removable roof panels.|
|VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN)||1G1AY8786C5100001 – 1G1AY87865125408|
1G1AY8764B5100001 – 1G1AY8764B5108995 (Bowling Green)
|ENGINE SUFFIX||ZBA: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION|
ZBC: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, CALIF. EMISSIONS, EARLY PRODUCTION
ZBN: 350 CUBIC INCH, 200 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
|ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER||14010207: ALL|
|HEAD NUMBER||462624: ALL|
|TBI NUMBER||17082052: REAR UNIT|
17082053: FRONT UNIT
|CARBURETOR NUMBERS||ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080204: 350 C.I., 190HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION|
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080207: 350 C.I., 190HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080228: 350 C.I., 230HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #17080504, 17080517: 305 C.I., 180HP, AUTO. TRANS, CALIF. EMISSIONS
|DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER||1103479: ALL|
|ALTERNATOR NUMBER||1101071, 1101075, 1103091, 1103103|
|AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER||OJ: 2.87:1 RATIO, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION|
OK: 2.72:1 RATIO, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
|PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE||OCT., 1981: 100564 FEB., 1982: 107287 JUN., 1982: 117686 OCT., 1982: 125408, NOV., 1981: 100590 MAR., 1982: 110060 JUL., 1982: 120227, DEC., 1981: 102647 APR., 1982: 112598 AUG., 1982: 121889,|
JAN., 1982: 105004 MAY, 1982: 115020 SEP., 1982: 124433
Options Codes, Production, & Pricing
|1YY87||Base Corvette Sport Coupe||18,648||$18,290.07|
|1YY07||Corvette Collector Edition Hatchback||6,759||$22,537.59|
|AG9||Power Driver Seat||22,585||$197.00|
|AU3||Power Door Locks||23,936||$155.00|
|CC1||Removable Glass Roof Panels||14,763||$443.00|
|C49||Rear Window Defogger||16,886||$129.00|
|DG7||Electric Sport Mirror||20,301||$125.00|
|N90||Aluminum Wheels (4)||16,844||$458.00|
|QGR||White Letter SBR Tires, P225/70R15||5,932||$80.00|
|QXH||White Letter SBR Tires, P255/60R15||19,070||$542.52|
|UM4||AM-FM Radio, electronically tuned stereo with 8-track tape||923||$386.22|
|UM6||AM-FM Radio, electronically tuned stereo with cassette||20,355||$423.00|
|UN5||AM-FM Radio, electronically tuned stereo with cassette/CB||1,987||$755.00|
|U58||AM-FM Radio, stereo||1,533||$101.00|
|V08||Heavy Duty Cooling||6,006||$57.00|
|V54||Roof Panel Carrier||1,992||$144.00|
|YF5||California Emission Certification||4,951||$46.00|
|YA||Turbo Hydra-Matic 700-R4 4-Speed Automatic with Overdrive|