As everyone knows, 1982 was the end of C3 Corvette production, but GM definitely sent it off with a bang. They only built 6,759 1982 Corvette Collector Edition coupes like this nicely preserved original, which today are a nice piece of any collection of fiberglass and still a great way to enjoy a vintage 'Vette on a budget.
In their usual unexciting way, GM called the finish on the special edition Corvette “Silver Beige” which, I suppose, accurately describes the pewter-like hue. Not quite silver and not quite gold, it's one of those instantly-recognizable cars that you'll see far away at a car show and smile to yourself because it's so iconic. This one appears to be largely original, including the paint, which shows a few signs of age here and there, but overall looks like it rolled through the decades without incident. Fit and finish are still very good and the darker graphics on the lower doors and hood define some of the Corvette's most dramatic features. The hatchback profile, deep chin spoiler, and ducktail end cap all add to the distinctive look that was uniquely Corvette.
The subtle but well-executed interior is tastefully done, particularly for the era. Original leather seat covers on the adjustable buckets are showing some slight age and wear, mostly concentrated on the driver's side, but that's to be expected in a vehicle that's been driven and enjoyed through the years. Door panels with multiple shades of silver beige give it a racy look without being too loud about it and the neutral carpet makes it bright inside without being a pain to keep clean. In all, it's a very well-designed interior that suits GM's flagship just fine. The carpets are in great shape, the dash hasn't been baked by the sun and is free of any cracks (which is pretty remarkable for a Corvette of this vintage), and the original three-spoke wheel commands the cockpit. The gauges show crisp markings, the factory A/C is cold, and it's loaded with options like power windows, locks, and mirrors, a tilt column, rear defrost, and just about anything else GM could invent to include in the top-of-the-line Corvette. Mirrored T-tops mean that there was still an open-air experience with the Corvette, and they seal up well. For entertainment, there's a Delco AM/FM/Cassette stereo in the center stack that still sounds great.
The only engine in 1982 was the Cross Fire Injected 350 cubic inch V8, which was torquey, powerful, and surprisingly efficient thanks to a new 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission as standard equipment. Considering how easy these are to modify and how many Cross Fire cars have received carburetors over the years, it's nice to see one that's almost completely stock under the hood. The offset air cleaner gives it away, but you'll be impressed by how clean everything is and how well-maintained all the vitals are. It starts quickly and easily, idles well, and snaps through the gears with authority, making for an entertaining V8 drive. The undercarriage is mostly original, again with proper maintenance and new suspension bushings along the way so it still works like it should. Correct turbine alloys were standard on the Collectors' Edition, with this one carrying new 255/60/15 BFGoodrich white-letter radials at all four corners.
Documented with its original window sticker, warranty card, owners and service manuals, and maintenance receipts, this is a distinctive, fun-to-drive Corvette that's extremely affordable when you consider it collectable value. Maybe GM got it right calling it a Collectors' Edition, because we never seem to be able to keep them in stock. Call today!