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Your thoughts on this 78 Silver Anniv.

Iron Mike

Feb 7, 2002
I looked at a 78 Silver Anniversary a couple days ago and would like members thoughts on a couple points.

Body -- appears to be excellent EXCEPT the passenger mirror got ripped off the door! :eek Pulled the fiberglass right off in an area slightly larger than the footprint of the mirror. The mirror and fiberglass piece are still with the car. Any guesses on the cost to repair and repaint that section of the door panel?

Frame is solid, but one question here... The 78 had a single exhaust to the CAT, then split for a dual exhaust look. This frame has "holes" on the left and right for exhaust routing near the transmission. Another mint 78 I looked at only had the "hole" on the passenger side. What's up? Personally, I'd like to go with a true dual exhaust with tuned pipes, so this could be an advantage. I'm just not experienced enough to know if those transmission cross members came in different configurations.

The brakes are shot from non-use (the car hasn't been registered for 10 years). I don't have a big problem with this, since a stainless rebuild would be reassuring and kind of fun to do.

The engine runs rough. But, without brakes, I can't get a good road test. It is possible that the only problem is that the carb is gunked up and the wires are shot. Of course the whole fuel system would have to be cleaned.

Now that I've made it sound like a POS, let me explain that it only has 27,000 miles and can be had for something under $10,000. The interior is in excellent condition. So, the BIG question is... at what price is it worth the body, brake, exhaust and engine repairs to make this a cherry, low mile driver? :confused

Thanks for you thoughts.

Nothing there unusual for any old shark, especially when they sit around too long. That door will cost you $250-$750 for a shop to repair and repaint.

As far as the other things go, like I said above, it is just welcome to the club.

I don't know enough about the 78 to give you a perfect answer to the exhaust question. However, it was not unusual for things to carry over from year to year until the old parts were used up. Maybe it was an early production 78 and has some 77 frame parts in it?

We have some pretty good SA people here that may be able to answer that.

As far as the price goes, that is up to you. We would all hope you get a steal of a deal, but it is ultimatly worth what you are willing to pay. Unless you just steal the car, you could always keep the final price to yourself and leave us guessing.

I would think thought that $6,500-$11,500 might be the general ball park for such a car.
Hiya Mike, I have a 78. Not an SA but they are the same in most respects. The exhaust question. The "holes" you talk about, I have them aswell. I have duelies straight back from the manifold. I cut out the CATS.
The door, funny you should talk about that, I have a crack in my drivers side door about 12" long running right through the line of the door. My parts guy said I could get a new skin for $200 CAD. The mirror should be a minor worry. Reuse it on the new skin. I have been told that it would be cheaper to replace the skin than have it repaired. I can get a complete door(including the power window motor and mirror) for $400 CAD. I have been told that the prices are a lot cheaper up here in Canada than in the USA. I am not sure why, but they seem much cheaper.
Depending on where you are located in the States, you might think about cross border shopping for a car. $10,000 USD seems a bit high. The car will need a major tune up and who knows what will need to be replaced. But a 78 SA is a fun car. If you don't plan on driving it for a year or so, then it would probably make a great project car for the summer. The good interior is nice to hear. Don't forget the wheel bearings and the weatherstripping. All of these parts can run you some major bucks.
Well, good luck.


I agree that $10K is too high. I'm thinking of a much lower offer. The idea of replacing the door skin makes a lot of sense. That's why I asked. Thanks.
I think you should consider well under $10k

Kenny bought our 78SA L48 about 12 years ago for $9,500.
It had approx. 75,000 miles on it, everything worked, everything was tight, well maintained and in excellent condition. (previous/1st owner, owned a tire shop)

The prices of $13k-$25k sound excessive to me, but perhaps this vehicle has become a collector's desire and the value has increased since we bought ours. I am NOT an authority on vehicle pricing.

I just checked the garage and mine also has two holes for exhaust.

ps...happy hunting for The Right One!

In my (so far) limited search, clean original SA's priced at $12K or less go fast and the ones priced at $16-18K are sitting around for the choosing. I think the sellers research the pricing as though theirs was a Cat 1 NCRS car, which they seldom are, IMHO. :)

Understand, I don't blame a seller for starting high. After all, you can always come down!

BTW, did you get the transmission going?

I've rebuilt 4 Corvette bodies, one was a rolled total, and a Lotus, and believe me when I say Don’t replace the skin just to repair a hole. In my opinion the hole would have to be at least 2 foot square to rip a skin off rather than repair the hole.

Good luck on your decision ether way.

Thanks. IF I get this particular Vette, I will certainly post some shots of the damaged area and ask for more specific opinions. Its nice to know there are different ways of attacking the problem.
I will be retiring within the next month or so and that’s what I intend to do. I got 3 lined up to restore but no vettes yet. What ever, let me know if you can use any help that I'm capable of. See how I worked that disclaimer in there?

Thanks, Keith. I've got a couple leads I will be chasing in the local area this week, but I will keep it in mind. Right now, my focus is pretty much on the 78 SA, but we'll see what happens. ;)
I recently purchased my 78 (not SA) w/ org 27,000 miles from a Vette dealer in CA, I live in OKC. It was owned by one family and had all paperwork and title history. The dealer sent me about 30 digital pics of the entire car, inside, outside, engine, documentation and even the smallest blemishes so I would not be surprised when it showed up. I thought the deal was GOOD FOR ME at under $13,000.00 and they paid for 1/2 the shipping. I had looked all around the local area including Dallas/Ft. Worth. No matter what, who, where and when you talk with people ultimately you have to feel your paying the right price for what you're getting. The Vette you're describing sounds like a pretty good deal with a relatively small amount of clean-up work to get it the way you desire. Have fun and once your mind is made up feel good about it. Good Luck!!!!
Paul R.

I'm still looking at this point. I've seen several -- the SA's aren't rare, even though some of the owners think they are. :( I figure the right combination of miles, wear, options, colors and price will come along eventually. And when it does, I think it will strike me as being just right. I have a few more leads I'm tracking right now.

The one you picked up sounds like a sweet deal. The one I have described here has lots of potential, but it just doesn't seem to light the spark for me. We'll see what happens...

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