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Newbie buying first Corvette



I'm looking at buying my first Corvette. I've been looking around quite a bit and I found one that I'm not sure of. It's a 1980 L48, yellow with black interior. Interior and exterior condition is good. The engine runs good. It needs new tires and a new clutch and pressure plate. It's only been in one very minor fender-bender and this was reparied long ago. The asking price is $7000. Here's the part I'm concerned about - it has 141000 miles. Can anybody offer me an opinion about this?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
dsosborne ~Welcome to The Corvette Action Center Community ~

141,000 miles hmmmmm $7,000. L48 4-speed

Without seeing the car and driving it, I am not real comfortable with saying too much.

Normally I would say $6,000 to $8,500 is a very good price on a 1980 4 speed Corvette.
  1. Are all the service records available?
  2. Are all the owners recorded and available to talk too?
  3. Will they let you take somewhere to be checked out?
    ..... Compression Check
    ..... Drive train check
    ..... Suspension check

I would wonder about the suspension, and drive train as well as compression of the engine, brakes, rear end, transmission, front suspension, rear suspension i.e. trailing arms, wheel bearings, U-Joints and the ever presence of Frame RUST.

These are a few things that are or do show wear as our cars age and get miles on them. Actually 141,000 miles divided by 21 years= around 6,715 miles per year :D

If you know some Corvette owners in your area that have worked on their own corvettes or a good mechanic that you can trust, it may be wise to invite them along to go look at the Corvette with you ;)

Welcome, and best of luck.
I think you can probably find one with fewer miles on it for the same price, though there are other trade offs.

I just bought a one owner 77 with 51,000 miles for $500 less, though the body needs paint and a very small amount of fiber glass work and the interior needs to be substantially rebuilt.

I would rather have the low mileage, one owner car that needs easy work rather than a cleaner high mileage car that has the potential for more expensive engine and transmission work.

Good luck with your decision.

Welcome dsosborne!

Originally posted by Racer78:
"...the price seems a bit high for the mileage, but Sil will disagree..."

Yes, I do disagree. But only about the mileage factor, cost could be a tad high unless the car's condition is particularly fine. I don't concern myself with mileage...unless it's what I'm getting while driving! ;) Vehicles were made to be enjoyed and driven and I enjoy driving mine!

My 78 has been a daily driver ever since I got her at 86,000 miles. That was about 7 years ago and 78 has more miles than the '80 you're looking at. We have done some large and expensive repairs and preventive maintenance measures on her over the years...but if I keep ahead of everything, I can keep the vette-budget flowing smoothly year from year, with only one major repair/upgrade per year.

The major item I would check with any high mileage car is how well was it taken care of? (mechanical/suspension) If these items are maintained regularly and properly, these vehicles can be driven forever. If this 80 needs a suspension and/or mechanical overhaul, this could be a price negotiating factor....

Hard decision, but it's yours to make. Make the choice that's right for you.
Silver aka:Heidi

Wow. Thanks for the help. I just signed up to this forum today and I gotta say, this community is on top of things!!

I have another question. I think I'm leaning away from this car for several reasons. I would rather have the L82 engine. Can anybody tell me about the performance differences between the L48 and the L82?

Thanks again!!
The mechanicals are easy and less expensive

Than the interior or the Paint
Oh, how well I know it...

We've done the major mechanicals, did the paint last year and we saved the interior for last since it looked the best out of everything else that needed work.

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