Saturday, April 23, 2016

Little Red Corvette: 1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3

The plastic bumper C3 generation Corvette is not the most desirable of cars to have proudly displayed the crossed flags emblem, but if your budget is less than $10k and you don't like the plain looking C4...then the C3 is your best choice.  Sorry.  Find this 1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3 offered for $9,000 in Manteca, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The world is filled with self appointed automotive aficionados who will tell you how horrible the C3 handles or how they were assembled by idiots -- but there are an equal number of folks who love the Mako shark styling and couldn't care less how the car turns in at an apex or responds to trail braking.  These normal folks aren't obsessed with things like how fast the C3 can drive around a figure-8 track and instead look at the shiny red paint and see a fun way to drive to the supermarket.

Under the hood is a 350 cubic inch small block Chevrolet V8 that would have been rated at 190 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque.  The seller states: it has a/c, p/s, p/b, p/w and p/l -- hey, remember when you were limited to the number of characters you could put in an Autotrader print ad?  Yeah. So does the seller.

This little red Corvette is dedicated in the memory of Prince Rogers Nelson, who may have been an odd dude but was unquestionably a talented musician.


  1. Little Red Corvette was released in 1982, so this is exactly the car Prince had in mind - would love to see the lady he had in mind - although... she'd be in her late 50s now - either she took his advice and slowed down, or she's gonna be a bit rough at this point - i'm overthinking this, am i not?

    1. I like this car,, red with a 4speed; it's $2000 in parts away from being much quicker and man they look cool

  2. Just how long is that brake linkage?! The master cylinder is dangling off the front of the car like an AAN. I remember those horrible Autotrader days. Had to buy listings printed in 1930's magazine print and try to discern the state of the vehicle by the aforementioned code and a grainy spy photo. Worse yet the local paper with no photo at all.

  3. You nailed "why a C3 ?" Kaibeezy...

  4. If you are a male porn star or a country radio station DJ from the 80s, this would be perfect!

  5. A friend had a '79 in the family (with an automatic) and we took it out from time to time. Sure, it has some compromises, but the torque was impressive and there's something very cool about those fenders sticking up in one's field of vision. Also, a stoplight drag yielded a dead heat vs. another friend's brand-new (at the time) 1991 Mustang GT five-speed! I seem to recall these lost a bit of power and torque (again) around 1980, but still... Note also there are a few rare CA models with 305s in place of the 350. Those should probably be avoided.


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