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1979 Corvette
All 1979 Corvette models got the high-back seats from the previous year's Pace Car Replica, and its spoilers were a new option. See more classic car pictures.
The changes for the 1979 Corvette were of an evolutionary nature. The base L48 gained 10 horsepower -- 20 in the California and high-altitude versions -- by adopting the L82's more efficient twin-snorkel air cleaner; the optional engine itself tacked on five horses. Shock rates were standardized instead of varied with transmission. On cars with automatic, final drive ratio was lowered from 3.08:1 to 3.55:1.

The lightweight seats previewed in the '78 Pace Car Replica were now standard, bringing more rearward travel and different inertia seatback locks. But they still didn't include reclining seatbacks, now being found on the cheapest Japanese cars.

Pace Car-style front and rear spoilers became optional, and tungsten-halogen high-beam headlamps were phased in. The basic AM/FM radio option became standard, and the crossed-flags body insignia returned. These added features, combined with a strong inflationary spiral, pushed the car's base price over $10,000 for the first time -- all the way up to $12,220.23.

While reviewers continued to be of two minds about the Shark, especially when compared to the more-nimble imports of the day, including the Mazda RX-7, Datsun 280ZX, and Porsche 924, they continued to gush over the Corvette's impressive straight-line numbers. Road & Track took an L82 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, 127 mph flat out, and covered the standing quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 95 mph.

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1978 Corvette
1979 Corvette 1980 Corvette
1981 Corvette 1982 Corvette­

Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:
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  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.