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L81 Roadster?!?!?


Well-known member
Nov 2, 2000
The Land of Enchantment
In the market
I just got my 'Vette magazine in the mail yesterday and as I was flipping through the pages I glimpsed a photo of a late model shark roadster!:confused I did a double take and went back to that page and sure enough there is picture of a beautiful Torch Red '81 roadster, complete with C5 wheels.

To answer your question, no this is not a factory roadster. the guy that owns this amazing shark also owns a body shop, and he decided he wanted a late model shark roadster. Not daunted by the fact that they didnt exist, he made one. And from the pics he did a damn fine job!

The mechanicals are for the most part stock, right down to the 190hp L81 engine and TH 350 tranny. If you want a low down on all the body work your going to have to read the story (there is way to much stuff for me to type in).

Budl, this car will make you drool!:D

Jason, that wasn't the only '81 convertible built. A member of our club, Bert DeSantos, built one back in 1995. It too was red, but it had a black interior. He sold it the same year I believe.

The car is shown in the video "CORVETTE - America's First Sports Car" - 1997, along with about twenty of our club members showing their Corvettes from the all of the different generations.

A few that stand out are Bert's '81 drop-top, Duke Bissinger's '89 "HEAT 1", and Russ Carlton's show/race car.

While I'm at it, and thereby not wasting any more space with another post, I'll give my choices for favorite year of each generation (based exclusively on appearance):
  1. First generation: 1962 - The first year for the 4 tailights and a true need for both a hard and soft top. Clean and simple.
  2. Second generation: 1967 - Supposed to have been a new generation but... Again, clean and simple while very attractive.
  3. Third generation: 1970?/1974?/1978? That's a tough one. I don't mean to offend all you L81-ers, but... I DO like the chrome-bumper cars.
  4. Fourth generation: 1990 - Simply because that was the last year for the traditional (since 1962) 4 round taillight configuration.
  5. Fifth generation: - no real choice; they all look alike to me. ;) Seriously, I don't know enough about the differences from year-to-year to tell.
time for a stupid question...

What is a 'roadster' in comparison to the coupe and convertible?

I stand corrected Ken. The article leads you to beleive it is the only L-81 roadster in exestance.


I've wondered that question a few times my self. And here is what I came up with. A coupe is 2 doors and a hard top (Ok, for a lot of us Corvette owners a T-top). A roadster is just are racier way of saying is a convertible. It might go a little deaper than that, but why complicate things?:D


I also seen the roadster article. Was amazed to see that someone had the talent and ability to do such a first rate job. It is way too much work for me. I'll keep my t-tops for now.;)
81 yellow
copr / princess
twiget said:
I stand corrected...

Jason, please excuse me, I wasn't correcting anything; I was just crowing about members of our club, and how Bert did that conversion in '95. I did not mean to detract from your original post.

twiget said:
...but why complicate things?

:L Who me? - check this out:

con·vert·i·ble (k?n-vûr?t?-b?l) adjective
2. Having a top that can be folded back or removed: a convertible automobile.

road·ster (rod?st?r) noun
1. An open automobile having a single seat in the front for two or three people and a rumble seat or luggage compartment in the back.

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

And you're right, it might go a little deeper than that, like something about the windshield folding down, I think.

Did I complicate things? :L

No problem Ken. I've learned to take anything you say with a grain of salt.:cool I know you where not trying to detract from my post or anything.


P.S. Thanks for the definitions too.

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