While not necessarily the nadir of the make, the Silver Anniversary Corvette was more a boulevarder than a sports car. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '78 however, is a hard-core-vette.
We've already established that late ‘70s - early ‘80s GM cars suck sweaty goat balls, and the only way to un suck them is through some sort of otherworldly transformation only made possible by speaking the incantation - bring me my cherry picker. Yesterday's 1980 Pontiac Sunbird was one such recipient of this Cinderella-like transmutation, and its hard-ass V6 topped by a prehistoric snail turned the car from mild to wild with little more than a Sawzall to the hood. The collective commentariat apparently love a good magic show and rewarded the beast of bird-en with a 78% Nice Price win. America, intercourse in the affirmative!
Early in that Sunbird post I asked if you were sick and tired of LS1s being dropped into damn-near everything. The answer, as it seems, was hellz no! meaning you won't be satisfied until everything short of that thing in your wife's bedside drawer is powered by GMs go-to go-faster motor. That being the case, I give you today's candidte - a 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette, that has cast off its weaker-than-Dick Cheney's heart, only to have been reborn with its chest thump provided by an LS1 from a much younger Firebird donor.
Wingman to the '99 LS1 is a stout 4L60E electronically controlled 4-speed automatic, and the seller makes the claim of upgrades to the suspension and brakes as well. A '99 LS1 out of a WS6 Pontiac should have been good for 320 horsepower out of the box, and that's nearly double what this Corvette's original asthmatic eight was capable of. In that much heavier Pontiac, the fuel injected pushrodder was able to move the metal to the tune of sub 6-second zero to sixty runs, here, that number can only limbo lower. Unlike the homebrew Sunbird, the work on this Vette is claimed to have been professionally done, by a company called Taylormade Automotive, and is said to still pass muster with the strict Golden State
soup nazis smog regulations.
Along with all the under-hood shenanigans this plastic Chevy has been the recipient of aftermarket hard candy nose and tail pieces that clean up the ends but don't drastically differ from the stock soft caps. The hood also has had some work done and features a significantly larger bulge than it did during the Carter era. Moddish 5-spoke alloys complete the visual updates and provide for a nice view of the fire engine-red calipers both front and rear.
Inside it's a little more retro, starting at the top with a set of mirrored T-top panels that, were these sunglasses, you might immediately identify the wearer as a douche. Here they're totally appropriate, not because Corvette owners are d-bags, but because '78 was the first year that the factory offered glass roof panels. This was also the initial year that the flying buttress and vertical glass roof treatment was replaced by the bubble back. This allowed for both greater visibility and storage, however the Corvette is less known for hauling bags than for hauling ass, and to that end, '78 offered a redesigned instrument cluster to go along with the 5-gauge center stack intro'd the year prior.
Combine the interior with the Corvette-embossed plastic engine shrouds under hood and this car could rightfully be described as black and white and red all over, as its seats are leather buckets the shade of vanilla sky. The rest of the inside is somber black, but those thrones - claimed to have been re-sculpted to fit somebody's 5'10" frame - look like Bibendum's scat and feature an odd diagonal stitching reminiscent of the losing participant in a Tijuana knife fight. Whatever, it'd only be your ass that would notice while you were piloting this silver bullet.
One thing your wallet would notice, were the pink to be in your name, would be that $24,990 price. That's pretty outrageous for a '78 Corvette, but perhaps not so for one that has been re-imagined in the fashion of this one, where many of its malaise-era foibles have been exorcised while leaving its inherent Corvette-ness intact.
So now comes the moment of truth where you get to decide if this modified Corvette is worth somebody modifying their bank balance to the tune of $24,990. What do you think, does that make this Vette a viable value? Or, despite the LS1, is the seller on LSD?
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