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We originally found this White over Red leather 1977 Corvette in May 2019 on Craigslist in Highland Park, New Jersey where the original owner has his example listed for $12,500. Based on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool, the owner has his L48 4-speed example priced just below the #2 “Excellent value.
Entering its ninth year of production for 1977, the C3 Corvette evolved from a raw sports/muscle car depending on powertrain to more of a grand tourer as increased safety and emission rules saw the choice of engines dwindle. For 1977, changes to the Corvette overall were minor. The biggest change saw the steering column repositioned two inches closer to the dashboard to allow a more “arms out” position for the driver; the new column also featured a new three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel. The custom interior with leather seat trim was now standard, with cloth and leather a no-cost option. A redesigned center console permitted universal Delco radio options. One consequence of this modification was that an 8-track tape player was now available as an option. Auxiliary gauges were restyled and an ammeter replaced the voltmeter. Chevrolet engineers also redesigned the sun visors with a swivel feature to provide some glare protection from the side as well as the front. Corvette’s refinement as a touring sports car continued as both power steering and power brakes became standard. A new Convenience Group included dome light delay, headlight warning buzzer, and under-hood light, a low fuel warning light, interior courtesy lights, and a passenger-side visor mirror. Unchanged was the horsepower ratings for both base and L-82 engines. Early in production, the engine paint color was changed from Chevy orange to Corporate blue. The “Stingray” script, seen on front fenders since 1969, disappeared. In their place were new cross-flags emblems that began appearing on fenders before the model year ended. Windshield posts were now painted black for a “thin pillar” look and this was the final year of the “sugar scoop” tunneled roof-line and vertical back window. Another fun fact is that Chevrolet produced the half-millionth Corvette during the 1977 model year.
The original owner of this Classic White over Red Leather example honestly states that he had his Corvette stripped down and painted the original color in 1991. Based on the limited pictures the repaint appears shiny but you’ll need to look closely during an in-person inspection to confirm whether fiberglass spider marks have been kept in check.
The red leather interior presents very nicely with no cracks present from the pictures provided. The steering wheel appears to have some discoloration from normal wear however the sunlight in the pictures provided may be hiding some of that.
Options above the expanded standard feature list for 1977 mentioned earlier include a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, aluminum wheels, tinted glass, luggage carrier and an anti-theft system. While the original factory 8-track comes with the sale, the current dated in-dash cassette stereo would be the first thing we would change on this example.
The fifth digit of this example’s VIN (1Z37L7S422695) contains and “L” which denotes this example came equipped with the standard 180 horsepower L48 350 cubic inch V8. The last six digits of the VIN also indicate that Chevrolet produced the owner’s car about halfway through the model year 1977. The blue-painted block also confirms this as Chevy made a change from orange earlier in the production year. While the original owner doesn’t mention it, the interior vents and engine pictures seem to confirm this Corvette is an air-conditioned example, so make sure you check the system operation as part of a thorough in-person inspection. We would plan on enjoying this Corvette over the summer and then make a plan to detail the engine over the winter.
While this 1977 example may not be the most popular C3 available, we love that this is being sold by the original seller who appears to have the entire story of his Corvette’s life as well as the documentation to back it up. Add to that is the fact this Corvette is a well-optioned example in a classic color combination that you can cruise comfortably in. Consider this: in 1977, 93% of new Corvette buyers at the time were under 49 years and 50% of that were under 30. Hypothetically, if the original owner was 30 at the time of purchase, he’s now likely in his late 60s or early 70s and is looking for the right caretaker for his beloved Corvette rather than making a quick buck. Good luck with the purchase!