1981 Chevrolet Corvette
This 1981 Chevrolet Corvette is one of those cars that's easy to love. And why wouldn't you? Low mileage, unusual colors, and a bargain price. If you're looking to have some fun in a vintage car without spending a ton of cash, this Corvette looks very like a very smart choice. If you look around, clean C3 Corvettes are getting harder to find. Sure, you can always find some tired beater, but with prices inching steadily upwards, the best original cars are surely to start appreciating. This 48,172-original mile Corvette is wearing what we might consider original paint. It was repainted when it was new in 1981 by the dealer because the original owner didn't like the condition of the factory paint. As a result, it has probably held up better than most and its condition suggests that someone has always loved this car. The fiberglass is in excellent condition with no evidence of accident damage, and the finish is nicely preserved thanks to owners who kept it out of the foul weather. Urethane bumpers came into vogue a few years earlier, but because of that early respray, these match the bodywork and aren't all cracked and crumbling like many neglected 'Vettes you'll see in this price range. It's pretty easy to imagine this car in your driveway, isn't it? The gorgeous code 672 Dark Red leather interior is a fantastic contrast. For an all-original interior, everything seems to be in good condition save for some cracking on the driver's seat that should be easy enough to repair. These cars only came one way: loaded, so notable features include power windows, locks, and seats, A/C (needs to be serviced), AM/FM/8-track stereo radio, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The door panels and dash pad are in great condition, again suggesting that the car never spent hours baking in the hot sun, and we have to believe the carpets are original too. The gauges are bright and clear, and yes, the tachometer parking itself at 800 RPM is typical of GM cars of this vintage and is not a defect. A color-matched leather steering wheel has aged slightly differently than the rest of the interior, more proof that it's original, and a neatly finished cargo bay with protective cover all make this a Corvette that's very easy to live with every day. The engine is the original, numbers-matching L81 350 cubic inch V8, which made a fairly stout 190 horsepower 1981. The chrome air cleaner with dual snorkels helps feed the energetic small block and there are signs of proper maintenance and correct markings throughout, with nothing radical or modified that would suggest abuse. By 1981, they weren't exactly pretty engines, but this one has not been hacked or modified in any significant way, which means that it has been in responsible owners' hands all its life. Even the exhaust system is a fresh original-style 2-1-2 setup with catalytic converter. There's also a new carburetor, fuel pump, master cylinder, and sending unit to make it run right. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission always seems to find the right gear when you need it, and the very tidy undercarriage shows off clean living in a warm climate and that miniscule mileage. Four-wheel discs and an independent suspension have been standard for decades, and the '81 Corvette was the best-handling 'Vette yet, due in part to those handsome alloy wheels wearing their original (yes, original!) 225/70/15 Goodyear radials (great for show but if you're going to drive it, we might recommend fresh rubber). This is a high-grade survivor that can win preservation awards and remains a fun-to-drive alternative to the big-dollar cars. Call today!