1978 CHEVROLET Corvette L82 Pace Car- N. Vancouver Print
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 07 November 2012 18:16

1978 CHEVROLET Corvette L82 Pace Car- North Vancouver, BC.


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

The original owner of this 1978 Corvette L82 Pace Car was immune to the hype boiling over for the pace car. He got his car and instead of storing it for investment purposes he drove it. Despite meticulous care and mileage that isn't excessive the Corvette reached the crossroads in the winter of 2003.

The price for driving and enjoying the car was frame rot. The original owner places the blame squarely on the location of his home. He lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The lower mainland area around Vancouver, BC is notorious for massive amounts of rainfall, but North Vancouver seems to get hit much heavier. Most residents of North Vancouver live at a higher elevation up on the mountainside. From October through April higher elevations are plagued with ice and frost that requires heavy salt application to keep the steep roads safe. That salt dissolved the frame in the otherwise reasonable condition Corvette.

The Corvette had over 100,000 miles with decent paint and graphics. The interior was worn but not thrashed. The T tops didn't leak which any Corvette owner will tell you is a miracle.  

The cost of taking the body off the frame is steep. Taking this big step puts you right into the "May As Well" syndrome. If you are going that far, you may as well restore the chassis while it is stripped down. If you do this, you may as well go all the way for a complete restoration. The owner considered doing a frame off restoration but even with the L82 and the Pace Car graphics, the car simply isn't valuable enough to justify that kind of expense. 

Many original owners find themselves unwilling to face a decision at this stage of the car's deterioration and park it. By not taking any action, they have made a decision by default to allow the car to be completely destroyed. Time goes by; the elements pound away at the car which melts away into the earth. At the end of the tunnel the car gets junked. Sometimes decent storage is found for the car and there is hope that one day the car will be saved. In this case, the owner was encouraged by a Corvette vender to part it out.

The original owner went through conflicted emotions about parting out the car. After 26 years as his daily driver, the Vette had become part of his life. Following some anxious back and forth he finally took the plunge and sold the car to the Corvette vender who parted it out. The original owner enjoyed the car and paid the price for it. In the end, it seems that it was worth it for him despite the sad conclusion to this tale.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 July 2013 22:22 )