1980 Chevrolet Corvette L-82; Stolen and Recovered but Gone Forever!

This car was formerly in our collection but its location is now unknown. The photos below show it after its complete restoration and subsequent destruction. The car was at a local restoration shop here in town; they left it out after the shop closed instead of putting it back in the shop; it was stolen before the sunset! All was captured on surveillance video but no arrests have yet been made. The culprits took a joy ride in Nashville for the evening and then attmpted to dump it in the river but failed. Instead, it hit a guard rail on the way into the water. The results are what you see at the bottom of the page. The frame was bent significantly and there was damage to the paint on every panel of the car including the T-tops. Even the interior was messed up. A big chunk was broken out of the front fender just in back of the front wheel. The damage was too severe to justify another restoration; it was totaled and Grundy Insurance took it away.


Here is an example of an often overlooked but very affordable Corvette. Prices on these are often as low as $5,000 but really good cars will be over $20,000. This is one that was in our collection for a long time until some low life decided it would be fun to take for a joy ride. The result was a total loss. The one good thing is Grundy Insurance is easy to do business with and I highly recommend them to anyone with a collector car.

It is not fun to loose one of your toys but having a good insurance company behind you makes it more tolerable.




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This car was in our collection for almost 18 years. I was the fourth owner and have receipts from the owners prior to that. This is a very rare numbers matching original red with black leather interior L-82 Corvette with Gymkhana Suspension (designation for the high performance handling suspension). It also has air conditioning, automatic transmission (all 1980 L82 Vettes were automatic), tilt telescoping steering wheel, PS, PB, PW, PL, rear defroster and power antenna. I also have the build sheet and lots of paper work.

The last of the sharks, the 80-82 Corvettes are considered by many to be some of the most beautiful C-3’s ever produced. These are also the most refined and easiest to drive for long periods of time. They were designed to be touring cars more than race cars. These cars are distinguished by their integrated spoilers on the front and rear. Engine compartment modifications allowed for nearly 50% more air flow through the radiator, finally eliminating a long time overheating problem of previous years. The 80 Corvette weighed 3282 lbs. this was over 200 lbs. lighter than previous years due to the new all aluminum Dana differential housing and cross member also lower density roof panels, hood, and doors helped, along with the standard L-82 aluminum intake. This was the 1980 equivalent of today’s ZO6! The optional L-82 350 CI engine produced 230 hp @ 5200 rpm and 270 ft. lbs of torque, 40 hp more than the standard L-48 and 50 hp more than the optional 305 CI engine. The 1980 L-82 was the highest horsepower Corvette since the end of the 270 hp 454 CI engine in 1974.

Don’t confuse the L82 with the weak 305 cubic inch California Vettes or even the run of the mill L48 Vettes. If you don’t know, the L-82 was the last Corvette with a high performance optional engine with a carburetor that was ever available in the Corvette. The car is all mechanical; it never had a computer in this car.

The L82 motor was not available in 1980 for sale new in CA, but the original CA owner purchased the car new from Roberts Motor Sales in Lancaster NH and immediately took it to CA. L82s couldn’t pass the new strict CA emission regulations. If you wanted a high performance Vette in CA in 1980 you had to go to one of the other 50 states and purchase one and then transfer it to CA as a used car. It remained there until I purchased it in 1990. I drove it as my daily driver and then retired it in 1997 when I purchased a new C5 Corvette.

It is not a low mileage car but the spare tire has never been on the ground. The engine was just rebuilt and has only a few hundred miles on it. The paint is brand new and the interior is 90% new.

I just finished installing new door panels, arm rests, carpet and dash panels. I had previously put in new seats. The paint is new and very high quality just completed and is beautiful. The wheels were just polished and shine like a mirror. It has a brand new set of BFG Radial TAs.



Production Numbers

1980 Corvette                          40,614 (only 5,714 were red)      $13,140

Power Door Locks                    32,692                                                 $140

Rear Window Defroster            36,589                                                 $109

Gymkhana Suspension              9,907                                                   $55

Heavy Duty Shocks                   1,695                                                   $35

L82 350 Engine                         5,069                                                   $595

Turbo-Hydramatic                    34,388                                                 $0

Aluminum Wheels                     34,128                                                 $407

White Letter Tires                     13,140                                                 $62

Heavy duty battery                   1,337                                                   $168

AM/FM 8 track*                       15,708                                                 $155

Radio with CB*                           2,434                                                   $391

Power Antenna                          32,863                                                 $56

Dual Rear Speakers                  36,650                                                 $52

Total                                                                                                        $


One Comment

  1. i have a very clean yellow 1980 L-82 with the 350. Its manual from factory it also has 41,000 miles with black leather interior and wood gran panels and all the gauges i would like for you to e-mail me back because you say that didn’t make the L-82 manual and i love this car so much that if this car is one of a kind that would make this car that much better

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