View Full Version : All you L81'ers

10-29-03, 02:19 PM
There is a thread going about the reliabilty of the 1981 L81 and in that thread I see a couple members that have owned their 1981 for a NUMBER of years. This got me thinking.. always a dangerous thing when Yoda starts thinking...

How long have you owned your 1981..

Me personally... Rare and I have been together since 1997 :D and I don't regret going back into the C3 ONE SINGLE BIT ;)
(It will be 7 years this July 18th)

10-29-03, 03:24 PM
The wife and I picked her up in Townsville in North Queensland in April this year.
We saw the ad, booked a flight from the Gold Coast and drove her back two days later. :Steer

It was love at first sight. :love

We have spent hours tinkering over that 6 months and even two trips on a tow truck, but it has all been worth it.
We have repaired most of the drive line such as the transmission, the drive shafts, the diff, the suspension and the steering and are planning an engine rebuild next year after Christmas.
Nothing too aggresive, just stock if we can get away with it and the bore is OK. Last time the heads were off, which was the first time in her life, there was a bit of carbon build up, but not much lip. Not bad for 22 years!
Have also found a small amount of flakey rust on two body mounts. We scraped this away and applied a rust converter. I checked this the other day and it was gone.

Should have bought one years ago!


Tony & Tanya

81 Corvette
10-29-03, 04:15 PM
14 months give or take. Something like 10K miles. Would be more, but being in the shop for 2 months hurt.

143,000 total

10-29-03, 05:13 PM
ive owned mine for 2 years
and will keep her for 20 more:upthumbs

10-29-03, 05:56 PM
I have owned mine now for 3 years, and only put about 2100 miles on it, but it's getting real close to being finished.


10-29-03, 08:30 PM
I've had mine for about 3 and a half yrs. Three yrs and counting on the rebuild!:D

I'll get the engine done this winter;LOL One can hope can't he! After that I intend on finishing the interior, it's about 90% done. With that comes a stereo. I'll drive it until I can afford the paint job...I hate to plunk down that kind of money all at once. I know when it's done it'll look great though.

10-29-03, 08:42 PM
I've owned my baby since July 1995 and she just keeps looking better every year. HI BUD, yes I'm still around.


Dave L.
10-29-03, 09:29 PM
I have had mine for 3 years now. It has 112,000 miles on the original stock engine. I put about 4000 miles a year on it. It's never let me sit,turns right over everytime and uses very little if any oil. Needless to say,I'm extremley pleased with the car and it will be stuck with me forever!


10-29-03, 10:07 PM
I have had my 81 for a year. I drove it daily this past summer w/no
problems. I'll begin my winter projects very soon ( boxes of parts are
rolling in). I also purchased a new sound system w/a Infinity powered
sub-woofer. The system should be in around January. I'll let you know
how the sub works out. I know this has been a hot topic.

Take Care!

10-29-03, 10:32 PM
I have owned my 81 since 1998 and plan on keeping it until I get to old to drive it. It has 113,000 miles on it and runs great!



10-29-03, 11:00 PM
I've had my '81 for one year now. It doesn't have the power of my other cars, but it is the most comfortable to drive, and corners like a slot car.

10-30-03, 01:25 AM
5 years next month! Lucky enough to have it as a first car, and responsible enough, no tickets, no accidents, put over 30,000 miles on it, everyday driver, has 127k on it total!


10-30-03, 06:09 AM
One year this month :D Only put a couple hundred miles on it so far. All of the safety features are new, trying to decide on which way to go with the engine and trans:confused. Got the hots for a Harley now:cool sooooo:beer :w

10-30-03, 10:08 AM
.... about 3 months.... 2 months on the road and she's been undergoing a frame-off for the past month. I will say that considering the car is 20+ years old that the body/frame were tight with just superficial frame rust.

Of course the bushings were a bit mushy and in my car the engine had been rebuilt with smog and computer removed so I can't give much info on those systems. I will say I had absolutely no electrical or vacuum problems.


10-31-03, 08:51 AM
I've had mine for 5 years. Only driven during summer months. Has 78K miles.

During winter months is when I have it stored in the garage and usually choose some area of the car to upgrade. So far I have replaced steel spring with fiberglass, replaced mufflers with Targa type, replaced cat with Random Tech, replaced parking brake cable, replaced all power steering hoses, replaced starter, replaced alternator with higher amp model which now powers 400W sound system I installed, replaced seat leather with leather like, replaced carpeting, replaced speedometer with 140mph model, added window tint to all windows except windshield,replaced all shocks with bilsteins,fixed all scratches in paint and detailed.

After all this, the car is like brand new and probably better. I am thinking of making some minor engine upgrades next, like new heads and intake. Unfortunatlely, as much as I love this car, I only find enough time to drive it maybe 500 miles each summer. But, I do enjoy working on it anyway.


Dave L.
10-31-03, 11:39 AM
Sounds like a nice car jeff,got any pictures?


10-31-03, 07:43 PM
I have had my 81 since March of 2000. The milage was 45,000 and now is 58,000. The engine is original, headers, a vacuum advance type HEI distributor, true dual exhaust, and an Edelbrock performer carb are about the only changes from stock.

11-01-03, 07:40 PM

beer :beer :bar :bar

Tom Bryant
11-02-03, 03:50 PM
My wife ordered hers and took delivery in Oct of '80. got all of the papers even the complete dealer order file. Chris works there. I married it....I mean her in '83. Nice car and not a bad wife either. Never been out in the winter (the car) and has missed a few summers too. Sometimes she is just too busy to drive it. I drove it 3 or 4 times this year. Son Blaine drove it to the prom and she rode in it once when we went out for our anniversary. The longer she has it the more scared she is of driving it on the road with all of the nuts out there (not you Nut). I think she fears deer the most. Getting way too thick around here.


11-02-03, 07:51 PM
Hi Ron and Melissa!!!!! Good to see you on the forum.......... Had the blueshark out for a cruise yesterday, 82 degrees here in KY. Was running over on 55 south blistering some turns and met a KY State Trooper. Thought for sure I would get a ticket. He about drove off into a field getting a look but never turned round to give chase.............
life is GOOD:Steer

11-02-03, 08:30 PM
must be nice drving your vettes in November! Mine has been off the road for a month!

Tom Bryant
11-02-03, 08:35 PM
Hey Dale,

That trooper probably thought that you looked like you were from Maine and decided to let you enjoy the nice day. :L


11-03-03, 06:27 AM
I've never tried to put a picture in a forum before, but since Dave asked, I will try. See if this works.

Dave L.
11-03-03, 07:30 AM
Hey Jeff..It worked! Beautiful car. Thanks


11-03-03, 08:28 AM
I have mine 2+ years, bought it at Carlisle with 102,450 km she reads 109,654 km or 68,095 miles. My dream came true since I was a teenager.

Chuck :w

11-04-03, 06:12 AM
Got mine in March 2000 after a 20 year wait. My only regret is that I couldn't have got it earlier. Drive it as much as possible & the only problem I've had (apart from Bubbas work) is the water pump bearings going. Really impressed with the reliability of it, how easy they are to work on, the parts availability and, even better, the scope for modifications :D

11-05-03, 04:21 AM
Picked mine up in late March of this year- she was really ragged out by the previous owner. After trailering it home to south Louisiana from North Carolina, have spent every spare waking minute on her for a frame on restore. Am 99.99% complete- (are you really ever complete?) and made my maiden cruise last Sunday. My bride was impressed, to say the least.
Have wanted one for many years- finally was able to get her.
We will never part (me and lil red, that is!)
I forgot to mention- I got many, many helpful ideas/tips from this site along the way.
check her out :

11-05-03, 08:05 AM
Nice ride, mikejpss.

No you're never "done". When I bought my vette I told my wife that I wouldn't work on it until hers was done. Well, four yrs later hers is done, or is it? We now need to touch up the 2 yr old paint job and we'd like to rebuild the enginne since the new rear end just isn't givingus the oomph we expected.

I've changed my stance and now I say since yours can be driven, I get to work on mine. I pulled the engine about 2 months ago and have been looking for a suitable replacement. Interior is 90% done and with the motor out I'm going to rebuild the front end and detail the engine compartment. Oh yeah, let's not forget the rear wheel bearings and maybe a new set of gears.

Only takes time and money!

11-08-03, 12:03 AM
2 years. Have had alot of fun with this group and miss everyone. Brad and I are going to Arkansas this weekend for a trip with the club. Brad has been driving since June. Always smiling. Drives the old man around while I relax!! Anyone for a margarita by the pool??

Tom Bryant
11-08-03, 07:11 AM
I hope Auburn is on your list of places to go next year. I can hear the blenders reving already.

11-09-03, 01:27 PM
August 1, 1989 is what's on the title.
Had to look, seems like it has been part of the family forever.
Just a driver and driven 12 months out of the year, including Iowa winters.
And no, it is not very good in the snow. :)


11-10-03, 07:36 AM
15 years and 204,000+ miles and still counting. Probably still be running 15 years from now (I just hope I still am) :D

As for reliability..... I've added at least 10,000 miles this summer alone making 3 - 2,000 mile trips from MD at Atlanta, GA; another 2,000 mile trip from MD to Maine and countless runs to the beach. DRIVE them my friends!!!! God how they love to be driven.

............. Nut

11-13-03, 01:46 PM
My White '81 with Black interior turned 149,930 miles when I pulled into the parking lot this morning. When I saw it in 1999 I knew that I had to have it. I just restored the center console area and I have a front suspension rebuild kit ready to go. My mechanic wants $400 to do the installation. Does this sound right? I've made other repairs myself, but don't trust myself on this one. Thanks in advance

Dave L.
11-13-03, 01:53 PM
In my opinion... $400 to do the upper and lower control arm bushings and ball joints sounds reasonable to me. Is he also including the sway bar bushings?


Tom Bryant
11-13-03, 02:01 PM

Welcome to the Corvette Action Center and the L81 Registry.


11-13-03, 02:36 PM
Yes, it is included. The kit has upper and lower control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, and the sway bar. Here's a picture of the whole car with my cousin at the wheel. I dropped him into the seat and he immiediately grabbed the wheel, pulled himself up, and started making his motor noise. The kid is already a speed freak!

Dave L.
11-13-03, 02:49 PM
Go for it SmartI !


11-15-03, 08:40 PM
Wow, you guys are mostly new 81 owners. We have had our yellow 81 for over 10 years now. It has been a blast.

She is no way orginal, is driven in all types of weather and has been auto-crossed by both of us. We use our vette as they should be used...........driven!

Hope all of you enjoy yours as much as we have enjoyed ours.

aka Coprtop

Richard Cooper
11-16-03, 03:39 PM
We got ours on October 13, 1997. I have only put around 3000 miles on it so far because every time we go out we end up getting a ride home on a flatbed, but we are getting there.:)

11-16-03, 08:18 PM
Hey Princess.... long time no hear from. I have to admit I have been somewhat remiss for not stopping in Fair Play and visiting since I have been up and down I-85 visiting the lunatics from the Southeast contingent of the CAC in Atlanta this summer. Promise I'll pm you the next time I'm rolling south.

Regards and best of health............. Bob (Nut)