Do you know what the all-time record for Corvettes sold in a year is? Well the 1979 Corvette sure does! GM sold 53,807 Corvettes in 1979, and hasn’t sold that many in any single year since. Approximately 12,000 cars shipped with a manual transmission, while the remaining 41,454 cars were sold with the automatic gearbox. The 1979 Corvette was also the first Corvette to include a radio in its base configuration. Buyers could add stereo, cassette, 8-track, and CB capabilities if they desired.
Remember the ‘78 Indy Pace Car? Well it was so popular, that in ‘79, GM designers incorporated elements from this design in the regular production Corvette. The front and rear spoilers first developed for the pace car became options for 1979 Corvettes (RPO D80), the glass roof panels continued to be offered (CC1), and the “high-back” seats from the pace car were made standard on the ‘79 car.
The base Corvette in 1979 sold for $10,220.23. The car was available with the base 350ci, which produced 195 hp, or the optional L82, which generated 225 hp. A/C, the tilt-telescopic steering column, and the convenience group were the three most popular options. In stark contrast to previous years, where white and silver were top sellers, the color black was painted on over 10,000 1979 Corvettes.