The Corvette's window sticker was also edging higher. The base price for a '79 Corvette was $10,220.23. Late in the model year, it was raised to $10,926.23 to incorporate air conditioning, power windows, and a telescoping steering column as standard equipment. By the end of the model year, the base price was $12,313.23. The strategy for raising the Corvette's price was simple: With demand so high for the Corvette, the price was raised to whatever the market would bear to increase the profit margin on each car built. The chance to up the margin on a low production car like the Corvette made good business sense. In many respects, 1979 was a watershed year for the Corvette. In the remaining three years of the Shark design, the Corvette would lose more weight, gain a few horsepower, and cost a lot more. Many fans consider the 1979 Corvette to be one of the most desirable of the later models from that generation.
Marc Erwin of Cape Coral, Florida, is one of those enthusiasts. He was the original owner of a '75 Corvette roadster with just 13,000 miles when he spotted this '79 while wandering around Bloomington Gold in 1995. He instantly fell in love with the original-12,000-mile Corvette and bought it from the second owner, who had it from 1980 to 1995.
In 1999, Marc brought the '79 back to Bloomington for Survivor judging. The concept behind Survivor judging is just what the name implies; Corvettes that have never been restored have "survived" intentional or unintentional loss of original markings, paint, or components. If they're 50 percent unrestored or unmodified, they may qualify for Survivor if they remain in a condition that would serve well as an historic guide for others who want to restore a Corvette of that vintage and type (the term "Survivor(r)" is trademarked and can only be used to describe a Corvette that has received a Survivor award from Bloomington Gold).
Marc's '79 easily won a Survivor award and today it has just 32,500 miles on the odometer. It's loaded with options like the D80 spoilers (just under 13 percent of 1979 production were so equipped), power windows, power brakes, power locks, automatic, sport mirrors, mirrored T-Tops, defogger, tilt-tele, cruise, and AM/FM/CB radio.
Marc plans to keep the Corvette as original as when it took the Survivor award. It's not trailer queen, either. Marc drove the '79 from Florida to Nashville and back for the Corvette's 50th anniversary event last year. And that '75 roadster Marc bought new? It sits next to the '79 in the garage waiting for the chance to go out for a drive in the warm Florida sun.
Specifications 1979 Chevrolet Corvette1979 Sales by Engine Option* L48: 39,291 L82: 14,516*No manual transmissions or L82s offered in California