Buying a 1978 vs 1979 vette
The vette bug has bitten and I have finally decided to purchase a 1978 or 1979 vette (because I like the style and features of the 78 & 79 model years). I am a rookie with two questions: (a) Does anyone know of a checklist of "things to be sure to check for when buying older vette " that a new vetter lover can refer to? I am comfortable buying older cars and know what to look for in general - I am looking for "vette specific" questions that one should ask. (b) From a mechanical / repair point-of-view, is one year (1978 or 1979) known as a better year model? In other words, is one year known as being a better built model with fewer problems than the other year? Your opinion / recommendation will be appreciated!
Welcome to Corvette Action Center.
I think that both 78 and 79 are equal regarding quality. Regarding things to look for when purchasing an older vette...we have a checklist of things that you can print out to take with you when looking at vettes. Click on the blue tab marked "Tools" at the top of the page, scroll down to Miscellaneous Tools and print out the Corvette Buyer's Form.
As far as what to look for in general...I'd recommend purchasing the best maintained vette you can find. It has been mentioned before, pay the money upfront, or pay later...but ultimately I feel that buying a vette that has already had the repairs/upgrades performed to it will be a better value than one that you need to do yourself.
Heidi provided some good advice and I'm sure you will see a few more responses here in the C3 forum.
Mechanically I'm pretty sure the '78 and '79 are quite similar, maybe with a base engine bhp difference of 5 or 10. Nothing to choose a specific one over. If you find a '78 that's in better condition than a '79, go for it. And vice versa.
If you'd be willing to purchase a book, look at Richard Newton's Restoration and Modification book for C3 Vettes. It has a big form, just like the one on this site but a little different, for what to look for and inquire.
didn't the 79 have different seats from the 78 except the pace car?
I had a 79 and those seat are very comfortable. i would go with a 79 because of the seats.
Originally posted by silver 80 didn't the 79 have different seats from the 78 except the pace car? I had a 79 and those seat are very comfortable. i would go with a 79 because of the seats.
Yes, the 78 Pace Car seats became standard in all 79s, this included reviesd seat tracks (I think) that gave more room for adjustment. Silver is right, those seats are loads more comfortable than the older seats. Also, both the L-48 and L-82 had slight HP increases in 79.
- Eric "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown
My 78's seats are a bottom and a solid back, was the 78Pace and 79 the 2-piece back? It folds over in the middle?
I think my seats are very comfortable, and I have an old hip injury that can make sitting for long periods uncomfortable. (except when I'm in the 78 )
I can vouch for the 79 seats. The are definitely the most comfortable seat I have been in up to this point. Even though it was designed over 20 yrs ago
These seats had much larger bolsters so they kinda suck you in, keeping you in place better on the twisties
Definitely love the seats!! In fact it was one of the first things I noticed about the car, but not before the stunning good looks.
I'm biased here...but the '78 Pace Car/'79 seats also make the car look more modern. I even had a C1 owner ask me if my car's interior had been modified!
Thanks for referring me to the buyers checklist. It was worthwhile reading and will be put to good use. It is good to hear that the 78 and 79 models are considered comparable as it provides more of a selection to choose from.
"(because I like the style and features of the 78 & 79 model years)"
I'm just curious, but what does attrack you (as far as the features go) to the late '70s? Just curious...
Reasons for prefering any model car are personal. So I am not suggesting that my reasons suggest that 1978-79 models are superior to any other year -- only that these are my personal reasons.
The 1978-79 models are in the "twilight zone" sandwiched between two major events:
1. The oil embargo of 1979 affected ALL cars made after that date. For example, very late 1979 production vette speedometers show 85 MPH (instead of 140 MPH). In short, the federal government forced modifications on all high performance cars (and low performance cars) from 1980 forward (are you old enough to recall maximum interstate speeds of 55 MPH?)
2. Even though the 1978-79 years are not true "Stingrays", they still have the "Stingray" body-style fins. I just think that body style is neat. The 1978-79 years were at the end of the Stingray era - with all of the most "recent" and most "modern" features possible for that era - coming at the close of that era but just before the modifications forced by the oil embargo.
Finally, in addition to the above, cost is a factor for me. 1979 is a record production year for Corvettes (1978 being 4th in production), so they should cost less since more of them were made. I guess I just feel like I am getting more for my money with the 1978-79 models. Plus, I will have more to choose form in selecting one to purchase.
Again, all of this is not to suggest that these vettes are superior or more desireable. I am new to the vette market and know very little about these cars. But these are my reasons.
Just one man's opinion. Your mileage may vary...
NOW THAT I DIDN'T KNOW!! I have a 140mph speedo on mine
. The oil embargo of 1979 affected ALL cars made after that date. For example, very late 1979 production vette speedometers show 85 MPH (instead of 140 MPH). In short, the federal government forced modifications on all high performance cars (and low performance cars) from 1980 forward (are you old enough to recall maximum interstate speeds of 55 MPH?)
Pretty good reasons if you ask me. But I think I am bias
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