Wrecked 1979 Corvette Reveals Parts You’ll Never See At Auto Shows


As a collector’s car, the classic C3 Chevy Corvette rarely sees the light of day in disheveled form. Those left on the road, the owners keep them in perfect condition. According to Steve Magnate, this Corvette came from the model’s most successful year when the public bought 53,807 copies of the car. This one appears to be finished in the same shade as Prince’s Litte Red Corvette. Although having seen serious damage, it is difficult to see the original livery of this car. A canoe appears to be resting on this Corvette, hiding it from the world. Yet it is clear that much of the cabin no longer exists.


This tornado hit Corvette, it’s unlike anything else.

What happened to this 1979 Corvette C3?

According to Steve Magnante, on June 1, 2011, an EF3 tornado wreaked havoc in Massachusetts. According to Tornado Facts, it is the third most intense tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Storms in this category have a minimum wind speed of 136 mph and up to 165 mph. Surprising no one, this C3 Corvette appears to have suffered a high-speed accident. After all, it’s basically like the C3 that topped out at 124 mph.

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Interestingly, this car is one of the few vehicles with a manual transmission. The Corvette C3 came with either a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic. Most customers bought the automatic although with added rarity and extra driver involvement, manual cars came with higher prices. Magnante claims that of the 53,807 Corvettes made in 1979, only 4,062 had the manual. With that in mind, perhaps this car could turn a profit after a restoration.


What can you see on this Corvette C3?

In the tornado, cars were thrown into the middle of streets, buildings collapsed and trees fell on many classic cars in the Brimfield, Massachusetts area. What it does mean though, is that this Corvette lets us see the C3 Corvette’s crumple zones.

Looking at this classic car clearly shows how far classic cars have come. The roll bar has now rusted and bent on impact. However, it remains largely in place. This means that even though it is 49 years old, the C3 would have protected the driver and passenger if they had rolled the car. Comforting to know. Crash safety is always a concern with cars of this vintage.


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The front of the Corvette shows a completely different story. The A-pillar running along the front of the cab no longer holds its shape. Other damage shows some of the pioneering features of this model. The lightweight fiberglass seat backs are fully exposed. The Corvette is from General Motors but, just like the C8, it is the company’s flagship model and therefore the first place they look to showcase technological innovation. This model also had power windows as standard, a rarity in the late 70s and early 80s.


This Corvette has a few more interesting historical features. With the legally mandated 85mph speedometer, this Corvette is reminiscent of the grim 1970s oil crisis that sparked the crackdown on gas guzzling cars.


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