1981 Chevrolet Corvette
1-4 of 4 reviews
Test drive review

The Penultimate Shark!

by from California on September 27, 2013

The last time I owned a C3 was 1985. It was a Red on Oyster 4 speed. I was 27 and had owned the car since new but thought it was a good idea to trade it for the new fuel injected 1985 Corvette. Bad id...
The last time I owned a C3 was 1985. It was a Red on Oyster 4 speed. I was 27 and had owned the car since new but thought it was a good idea to trade it for the new fuel injected 1985 Corvette. Bad idea. Like all 85 Vettes, it was terrible. So recently I got the fever and decided to get a 3rd Generation one more time before I die. So I started searching until I found one at a reasonable price in decent condition. And I did luck out. 81 one is the Penultimate Shark, and in my opinion the last year of the C3 to buy. 82 with the "Cease Fire Injection" system should be avoided unless a previous owner has replaced the engine. 81 has only the ignition timing controlled by a computer system. It's still a Carb system so you can replace the Rochester with a Holley or other choice. Nothing looks like the C3. The best looking car in American history I say. The 3rd gens ride isn't for anyone who is opposed to feeling every pebble on the road. The interior isn't the quietest either. And the interior is also pretty cheap material, although I do love the deep dish seats. And in 81 the driver's seat was power adjustable! The car while a VERY thirsty beast is very reliable. The engine if you change the oil regularly and do all the other normal maintenance will run forever. Chevy small block 350's are that good. The Transmissions on the Vettes of this era(say 78-81) are also durable and reliable. Mine is a automatic. Sticks are a tough find since of the 40 plus thousand made only one in about 8 in 81 were manuals. Only one in 10 of the nearly 42 thousand in 1980. It is listed at 190HP, but it seems to have much more. I had a Grand Prix GTP previous and it's 230HP was not nearly this quick or fast. It's pure FUN and even the most jaded snobs in their BMWs and Benz will stare at you with envious eyes. In this you are not a Sheep in the flock or just another Lemming packed into a shinny metal box. No way. You is wrapped in fiberglass!! Parts are easy to find and reasonable in price(although these days what is reasonable can be debated). So if you want to have fun driving again. Reconnect with your lost youth. Feed your mid life crisis. Or just want to dare to be different, find ye an 81, or a 1980, 79 even. The Sharks from 79-81 were the best. and from 80 - 81 the "Coke Bottle" Vette as they became known have it all. I would not lie to you. May tease you from time to time but I try not to lie on such serious Corvette matters.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

1973 454 corvette

by from trinidad colorado on July 6, 2014

like the car but I like a stick shift ,the color red is a great shape in the style of the car . this is one that I would take on as a project car get it rebuilt and would be a nice car
like the car but I like a stick shift ,the color red is a great shape in the style of the car . this is one that I would take on as a project car get it rebuilt and would be a nice car
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Most reliable car I've owned

by from Anderson,IN on February 26, 2017

Great car! Needs just a little work to be a show room car!! It has been my favorite car I've owned! Time to get a newer truck though.
Great car! Needs just a little work to be a show room car!! It has been my favorite car I've owned! Time to get a newer truck though.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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Test drive review

Built at the new Bowling Green KY plant.

by from Goshen IN on February 14, 2017

Beautiful color combination for 1981. Rides much better than previous corvettes I have had due to the fiberglass rear spring.
Beautiful color combination for 1981. Rides much better than previous corvettes I have had due to the fiberglass rear spring.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

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