Lot 246: Chevrolet Corvette L82
After the war, America started its love affair with the British sports car, and it did not go unnoticed that sports cars attracted customers to showrooms. At the time dream cars were a feature of American motor shows and late in 1951 Harley Earl, General Motors chief stylist, sketched out a sports car named the Corvette which, in January 1953, was shown at the Motorama in New York. Production began in June of the same year with the standard six cylinder 160bhp engine, but by 1956 this had grown into a V8. A fibreglass body was fitted from the start; early cars could reach 105mph and 115mph and the car had excellent acceleration and handling.
After a number difficult years, the Chevrolet Corvette slowly but steadily grew in popularity throughout the 1950's. In 1960 the production reached the planned 10,000 units for the first time. Ten years after the first Corvette was released, the Corvette was all-new for 1963. Besides the Stingray design, the car had a shorter wheelbase, was lighter, handling was much improved by replacing the live rear axle with a double wishbone and transverse leaf spring setup.
One of the most striking novelties on the new Corvette were the reverse rotational flip-up headlights which would remain a Corvette feature until the C6 was introduced in 2004. Another important change was the introduction of the Coupe body style. The third generation Corvettes, built from 1968 through to1982, are the most affordable and frequently driven 'Vettes, barring the new models.
This stunning Targa Top model from 1978 is the rare L82 variant, which developed some more power thanks to a dual snorkel air intake as well as larger exhaust tubing and freer flowing mufflers behind the catalytic converter from the same trusted V8 with a displacement of 350ci. Period road tests accelerated the all American sports car from 0-60 mph in 6.5 sec, respected figures even now.
The quoted top speed was a satisfying threat to just about any speed limit anywhere, obviously not counting Germany. Beautifully presented in blue metallic with a matching dark blue leather interior, this head turner comes with full Belgian registration documents and is being described by the vendor as in excellent condition throughout.
Coys, Essen, Germany
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