1982 Chevorlet Corvette: From Coke Bottle to Crossfire
1982 Corvette Special Edition
The 82 Corvette marked the end of the 3rd generation or ‘C3’ design that dated back to the dawn of the muscle car era in 1968. From that time, the Vette had seen its share of highs and lows, first starting with incredibly powerful small block V8s producing well beyond 400hp to being caught with its pants down as the energy crisis and emissions standards choked America’s sports car to a mere 125hp by 1980. Design wise the C3 represents the blend between the classic and modern Corvette with elements of both in its final years. Even the options list for 1982 was transitional, offering CB radios, 8 track and cassette tape radios in the same year.
1982 Corvette Special Edition interior
By 1982, most if not all the chrome that was once the bumpers, mirrors and window trim had given way to lighter plastic and rubber bits. A major overhaul in 1980, produced a more modern and streamlined version of the original coke bottle shape. The interior was improved, resembling a less ergonomic version of the Nissan 260Z. Saving weight and more importantly improving fuel economy was the net result of these refinements. Not that anyone buying a Corvette cared about gas mileage.
1982 also marked the return of fuel injection, this time an electronic system called ‘Crossfire Fuel Injection’. Production of the C3 Vette was scheduled to wind down as an all new car was on its way. Production had moved from Missouri to Kentucky where the new C4 was to be assembled. To commemorate the last of the C3 cars, a special edition with an opening hatch (the hatch added from 1977 forward did not open) and a special two-tone color scheme. Under the hood it was much like any other Corvette with a 5.7 litre V8 making only 200 hp. Corvettes were one of the few GM cars with a fully independent suspension, making the rear wheel powered car more manageable on poor road surfaces.
Sadly, Corvettes of this vintage just don’t get much love. The legacy of new safety regulations and CAFE standards combined to suck much of the like out of the once powerful American sportscar. GM was busy getting ready for the C4 and had just released a new Camaro and Firebird, stealing much of the thunder of the lame duck Corvette. The press routinely lambasted the Vette for it’s crude interior and not quite ready for the world stage fit and finish. Despite all the baggage, these cars should gain the respect and interest of Vette fans over time because the C3 was a distinctive design that was easy to modify mechanically compaired to the computer controlled Corvettes that came afterwards.
1982 Corvette rear