The third generation of the Corvette, based on the Mako Shark II study car, was introduced in the 1968 model year and was produced until 1982. This version was the first to feature a T-roof with removable roof panels. This generation also saw the introduction of famous model names that would return later, such as the LT-1, ZR-1, Z07 and Collector Edition. For the 25th anniversary of the Corvette’s debut in 1978, a two-tone paint job of the C3 was produced, called the Silver Anniversary Edition, and a replica of the Indianapolis 500 race leader was available for purchase. This was the first time a Corvette had been used as the lead car for the famous race.

The main engine and floorpan elements are carried over from the C2 generation, but the body and interior have been updated. For 1969, the 5.4-litre engine was dropped from the range and the 5.7-litre became the standard engine, with 300 hp (224 kW). 1969 was the only year Chevrolet offered factory-fitted side-exit exhausts or conventional rear-exit exhausts with chrome tips

The 1969 model year for the C3 was delayed by a lengthy union strike, resulting in only 17,316 units being sold in 1970. In 1970, the pinnacle of the small-block range was the new high-compression, high-revving LT-1, which produced 370 hp. The 7.0-litre big-block engine was upgraded to a 7.4-litre engine with 390 hp. A special ZR-1 package was available for the C3 from 1970 to 1972, which included an LT-1 engine and other racing parts. Only 53 of these were produced.

In 1978, the 25th anniversary of the Corvette’s launch, the rear windows were made larger and more raked, following the lines of the coupe body, and the interior was redesigned, including the dashboard. To mark the anniversary, a replica of the Indianapolis 500 race car and a limited edition Silver Anniversary Edition in two-tone silver and grey paint were made available for purchase. The 1979 models featured seats similar to those of the lead car and could also be ordered with custom front and rear spoilers for an extra charge.

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