1981 Corvette - Serial #419543 History Profile




L81 Corvette Registry

Gerry L.P.'s 1981 Chevrolet Corvette - Serial #419543

Owner information
Name: Gerry L.P.
Owner since: 1985
Member Since: 2004-08-06
CAC nickname: GerryLP
Location: NM, USA
Vehicle Information
Model: 1981 CORVETTE 2 DOOR COUPE
Build Number: 419543
Previous owners: 2
Approx. Mileage: 152557
Final Assembly Point: ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI USA
Owner comments: My car's name is "Gail". That is my wife's middle name. She is not as ferocious as a hurricane, but she drives like the wind. She also has a delicate temperament...the car that is...lol........................ Gail's 1st day of taking shape was February 10th, 1981. Her date code is G10. The 23rd February, 1981 she was prepared for shipment to her first dealership. She was delivered to John Webber Motors, inc. 121 West 7th St., Harvey, ND 58451 on March 10th, 1981. I bought this car from its second owner James H. Leppien on July 28th, 1985. The mileage on the vehicle was 16,000 miles. The driver side glass T-Top was cracked, and as agreed, the owner replaced it new under the settled price of $14,000 dollars for the car. I believe that the original owner's name was a gentleman by the name of Tim Becker. A nameplate was affixed onto the ashtray lid with this name. Mr. Leppein told me that the original owner was named Timothy Becker. On the 23rd of January, 2006 I made a search on the Internet for the dealer above, and I got a hit on a AMC Gremlin X Website (((http://www.gremlinx.com/Dealers/north_dakota.htm))) There, I found John Webber Motors, Inc., and I decided to dial the number listed. To my surprise, a lady answered my phone call, and she identified the phone number belonging to Ripplinger Motors, Inc.,2321 Hwy 52 South,Harvey, ND, 58341, PH: 701-324-2244. WOW! Amazingly enough, the old phone number that was listed for Webber Motors still was in service. The lady did verify that Ripplinger Motors was formerly known as Webber Motors. She later told me that I should call back, since a lady that works there also worked back in the early 80's when it was Webber Motors. Two days later I called, and I was able to speak with the former Webber Motors employee. This lady verified that they had old records for a long time, and that right now she did not know where the records were, but she offered to keep my name and phone number close by in case the records turned-up. Casually conversing with this lady, she told me that her husband is a former salesman at Webber Motors, and she says that he recalls selling a Corvette to a Tim Becker. The husband apparently stated that he also recalls that it was a special order car..................... In august, 1985 the car was involved in a traffic accident in which a old 1970 Dodge Dart hit the front left wheel (at the top of the wheel) with its rubber bumper, and as result, the lower "A" arm snapped, and the upper "A" arm was bent. Damage to the left quarter panel and front rubber bumper was also sustained. On early October, 1985, I picked-up the car from Good Chevrolet, Alameda, California where the repairs were completed...... On April, 1986 the car developed a "ticking" sound emanating from the engine compartment. I took the car to Race - Street - Rally in Santa Clara, California, and they told me that they believed that a cam lobe had gone flat. Upon removal, they showed me the damaged lobe. The parts and labor for the repair totaled $653.00 dollars. The repair was basically a top-end overhaul. A TRW stock-replacement cam was installed with lifters, gaskets, and new double-roller timing chain. On June 23rd, 1986, The Chevrolet Company reimbursed me $466.57 dollars (since the repair took place at around 33,000 miles, they calculated 67% of service liability on the engine based on 100,000 miles of service). What allowed the reimbursement was a conflict resolution agreement between the Federal Trade Commission and GM. The complaint was based on the unusual failure rate for 3 GM components: The THM-200 transmission; the camshaft and lifters on Chevy V8's between 1974 and 1980; and the fuel injection system on 350-CI diesel models. I filed the claim through the Better Business Bureau of Santa Clara Valley, CA and their Autoline Division...... I drove this vehicle for 2 years while attending San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California. Through this period and beyond, the car functioned flawlessly..................On October 17th, 1989 at around 5:06pm in the afternoon, the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area. I had lagged behind on my usual trip to SFSU, for I wanted to catch the beginning of the Oakland-San Francisco World Series game, and I also thought that the traffic backup near Candlestick Park would extend to the Daily City turn-off to-wards Hwy 280 from Hwy 101. So I stayed home, and luckily so, for I usually found myself around 5:05 in the afternoon in the old Hwy 17 elevated portion (the west-bound side was below the east-bound top level) going through Oakland, Ca. If I looked at my watch, and it was earlier than 5:05 pm, then it meant that I was ahead of schedule on my usual trip to the university campus. Not on this day. I was home, and I remember looking outside through the glass sliding door in the kitchen, and the Vette was rocking side-to-side so violently, that the fenders would reach past the edge of the 15-inch rims (if you look at the image of Gail here, you'll see how intense and dramatic the rocking was when you see the distance of the fender to the wheel rims on the front wheel). I also remember that it got even more scary! It felt as if "someone" had turned-up the power of the earthquake. I remember being some of the longest seconds of my life, and I will never forget that feeling of despair, and how I hoped that the building would not collapse, or that I could make it out of there. As you may imagine, I came out unscathed. But my worry turned to my wife, son, and yet unborn daughter, who had left a half hour earlier on their way to my in-laws in Concord, California. I was so glad that the majority of buildings had held well. Thank God and Civil Engineers. My daughter Danielle was born 4 days later on the 21st of October, 1989 at 5:21 pm...right in the middle of a 4.5 aftershock........................On September 16th, 1991 we closed on our first home. We lived in Tracy, Ca, and we commuted to the Bay Area for approximately 3 years. During this time, Gail saw very little miles. I probably kept her about 9 months on average in the garage. I would only cruise her on a few occasions during the Summer..................On August 21st, we left Tracy, Ca on our way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I drove the Vette on our move from California. The only negative effect was the accumulation of miles and ,more miles......At around 148,000 miles, I pulled the engine due to some reported wear damage ( The shop to which I had taken the Vette [ Strictly Performance, Albuquerque, NM) told me that the #8 cylinder wall had a scratch. But in fact, there was no such damage at all, so I never dealt with them again. I believe that they went out of busines........................My personal desire to cruise at better than highway limit speeds motivated me to change her speedometer to a 140 MPH speedo. The new speedo's current indicated miles traveled has to be corrected by +350 miles to calculate the actual total miles the car has...... Gail is now undergoing a full overhaul of her engine. The stock cylinder heads turned-out to be cracked at the middle exhaust ports. The head's date codes are L180 (December 18th, 1980) and A281 (January 28th, 1981). I am currently searching for a set of replacement stock cylinder heads that meet her cylinder date-codes. I received great assistance from two L81 owners. Dean (a.k.a. Lanny in CAC) and Chris (a.k.a. Sensei in CAC). Lanny sent me his L81 cylinder heads, but they turned-out to be cracked beyond repair. Still he hanged in there with me during this cylinder search ordeal. Chris' L81 heads were inspected, and only one head could be repaired. His awesome integrity and good will showed me that there is hope for this world still. He offered me a full refund, but since one head could be repaired, I only accepted a partial refund (I had already used quite a bit of resources in shipping and testing costs on other cylinder heads, so his refund offer was a blessing). Thanks Lanny! Thanks Sensei.................... In 2004, I drove this car to Auburn, Indiana for the Corvette Action Center's 1st Annual Cruise-Fest. For about 4,000 miles, the car moved under the power of a 1968 SBC, aluminum heads, XE274 cam, and Holley carburetor. In November, 2004 I pulled the replacement engine, and now the car still awaits the return of the stock engine. The repair on the stock engine should be completed by the 1st week of April, 2006. But in fact, the engine was not completely running and drivable until the beginning of October, 2006. Gail still undergoing with minor improvements that will long ensure long years of driving pleasure...... After the engine overhaul, she will get a new Y84L lacquer paint job. I have saved about half the money for a new paint job. Meanwhile, I have been barely driving her, and only in nice/dry days -sighting cloud formations will keep me from bringing her outside.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE STANDARD ON THIS MODEL AT NO EXTRA CHARGE UNLESS REPLACED BY OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
*5.7 LITER V8 4-BBL (350 CID) ENGINE RPO L81 *COMPUTER COMMAND CONTROL SYSTEM *LIMITED SLIP REAR AXLE *REMOVABLE ROOF PANELS
*AM-FM PUSH-BUTTON RADIO *POWER FOUR WHEEL DISC BRAKES *STEEL BELTED RADIAL TIRES *POWER WINDOWS
*CENTER CONSOLE
*TINTED GLASS *POWER STEERING *ANTI-THEFT ALARM SYSTEM *TILT TELESCOPIC STEERING WHEEL
*AIR CONDITIONING *INDEPENDENT FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSION *FULL INSTRUMENTATION *HEAVY DUTY BATTERY
MANUFACTURERS SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE OF THIS MODEL INCLUDING DEALER PREPARATIoN 15,598.52
L81 5.7 LITER 4-BBL - V8
Power Door Locks
Power Driver Seat
Removable Glass Roof Panels
Rear Window Defroster
Gymkhana Suspension
Cruise Control
Aluminum Wheels (4)
White Letter Steel Belted Tires P255/60R15
AM/FM Radio Stereo With Cassette and CB
Power Antenna
Roof Panel Carrier
Trailer Package
Charcoal Metallic - (84)
Silver Gray Leather - 152


.00
145.00
183.00
414.00
119.00
57.00
155.00
428.00
491.92
750.00
55.00
135.00
110.00
.00
.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
THIS VEHICLE IS EQUIPPED WITH A GENERAL MOTORS ENGINE MANUFACTURED IN A GENERAL MOTORS PLANT OPERATED BY CHEVROLET MOTOR DIVISION

   
OPTIONS SUBTOTAL 3042.92
DESTINATION CHARGE 349.00
TOTAL AMOUNT 18990.44

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