Corvette 101: The C3 Vette

The C3 Corvette is the third generation of this highly respected and frequently collected sports car. Chevrolet manufactured the C3 from 1968 through 1982. Once it entered showrooms, the third generation Corvette presented a noticeably different appearance than its predecessor with its fully redesigned body that exhibited long, sleek lines and an undeniable attention-commanding aura.

1969 C3 Corvette Convertible

Yesterday’s Corvette

When Chevy first introduced the C3, the model was a strong competitor in its class, but once the country established emissions standards, the C3’s performance dwindled. It hit rock bottom in 1975 with a base engine that provided just 165 horsepower. This was also the last year that the carmaker made the convertible Stingray.

Corvette C3 Features

The T-top and classic convertible were two popular features of the C3’s first model. In 1970, the C3 Vette received flared fenders, redesigned seats and more headroom. This was also the first year that leather and interior wood grain detailing became an option. Later, the 1981 model came with a power-operated driver’s seat.

Chevy produced more C3 Corvettes than any other generation. The 1968 C3 was the first model to feature the detachable twin tops. Furthermore, the C3 Vette was the first one to come with the car’s iconic flip up headlights.

Under the Hood

Over the years, Chevy installed a variety of engines in its C3 Corvette. In the car model’s first year, it came with a 300 horsepower base engine while in 1971, the base engine power dropped for the first time to 270 horsepower. In 1977, the carmaker included a base engine that could produce 180 horsepower. The engine in the 1981 model emitted 190 horsepower.

C3 Collectible Value

During the 15 years that Chevy produced the C3 Corvette, it became one of the most beloved and sought-after sports cars. Collectors tend to respect the model’s distinctive style and ride. Despite this, over the last few decades, third generation Corvettes diminished in value, but the car model is making a comeback.

What’s your favorite thing about the C3 Corvette?

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