Only 56 miles from new
1978 Chevrolet Corvette '25th Anniversary' Targa-Top Coupé
Chassis no. 1Z87L85439566
Outstandingly original and preserved 'time-wrap' example
Numerous desirable factory options
Comes with original sales invoice and relating documentation
Back in 1953, Chevrolet's launch of a two-seater sports car was a radical departure for a marque hitherto associated almost exclusively with sensible family transport. Based on the 1952 EX-122 show car, the Corvette made use of existing GM running gear and a shortened chassis frame, around which was wrapped striking Harley Earl-styled glassfibre coachwork. Motive power came from Chevrolet's 235.5ci (3.8-litre) overhead-valve straight six and, unusually for a sports car, there was automatic transmission, a feature that attracted much adverse criticism at the time.
Intended as competition for the T-Series MG, the Corvette cost way above the target figure, ending up in Jaguar XK120 territory but with an inferior performance. Sales were sluggish initially and the model came close to being axed, surviving thanks to Chevrolet's need to compete with Ford's Thunderbird. A V8 engine for 1955 and a radical re-style for '56 had consolidated the Vette's position in the market before arrival of the heavily revised 'Sting Ray' version.
Introduced for 1963, the Sting Ray sported a totally new ladder-type chassis and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupé in the range. As had been the case with the previous (1956-62) generation of Corvettes, development proceeded slowly, being characterised by annual facelifts and few engineering changes of note. On the latter front, the long-overdue arrival of four-wheel disc brakes was the most significant development for 1965, while Chevrolet's 327ci (5.4-litre) 250bhp standard V8 was joined by an optional 396ci (6.5-litre) Big Block for '65 only, then a '427' until the end of Sting Ray production in 1967. The 'Stingray', of course, continued and the Corvette would go on to become the world's best-selling and longest-lived sports car.
The immortal Chevrolet Corvette, 'America's only true production sports car', celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1978, a year that marked the first major re-style since the commencement of the 'Stingray' era ten years previously. By then, catalytic converters had arrived, the 'Big Block' engines had gone, a steel under-tray had been added and a revised dashboard introduced, while the Corvette roadster had been deleted in the expectation that Federal auto legislation would effectively outlaw convertibles. Gone too was the 'Stingray' name, dropped at the end of the 1976 season. For '78 the fastback roofline of the 1963-67 Sting Ray was reinstated and complemented by a wrap-around rear window. The 'Silver Anniversary' was one of two limited edition models offered that year, featuring silver metallic paint above the waistline and charcoal grey below as part of a package that included aluminium alloy wheels.
Currently displaying a total of only 56 miles on the odometer, this amazing '78 25th Anniversary Corvette has the 350ci (5.7-litre) L48 V8 engine and three-speed automatic transmission. Power steering, power brakes, Positraction rear axle, bucket seats, 4-wheel independent suspension, tinted glass and removable roof panels were among the 25th Anniversary model's standard features, to which this particular car adds a selection of desirable options including power windows, rear-window defog, air conditioning, cruise control, adjustable steering wheel, stereo radio/cassette, alarm system and red leather seats.
The car was ordered by a Chevrolet dealer and collector circa August 1978, and kept in dry storage for many years before being sold in 2013 to another American dealer, from whom it was purchased by the German vendor in 2014. The car is said to have always been maintained and stored with liquids that were changed every now and then.
Outstandingly original (as confirmed by the accompanying Dekra expertise), it comes with the customer copy factory build sheet, original sales invoice, original instruction manual, other original documents and catalogues, original keys, and the original leather roof bags. Indeed, a wonderful opportunity for the Corvette collector to acquire a 'virtually new' 1978 Corvette.