Corvette Stunner: Wild Custom ‘Vette Time Capsule

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Custom 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

Like 8-track tapes and bell bottoms, some things are better left in the past…or are they?

Much like the world of fashion, custom car style ebbs and flows with the passage of time, with trends coming and going. It’s the natural order of things. The most extreme trends seem to be the ones that make the biggest splash, but also the ones that fall out of favor the quickest.

While some custom cars are routinely updated and refined over the years, others remain as time capsules, a window into the customizing world at the time the car was built. This 1978 Corvette we found on Hemmings is a prime example of the latter.

Custom 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

Looking straight out of the Mark Hamill cult classic Corvette Summer, this radically customized late C3 Corvette is typical of the style seen on magazine feature cars in the late 1979s into the very early 1980s. In fact, this particular care was featured in a 1983 issue of Custom Rodder Magazine. Eckler’s Automotive Parts was especially active in the scene, and in fact supplied the radical IMSA-style body kit seen on this Corvette.

Custom 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

The bright gradient stripe paint job is also indicative of the era, as well as the wire-spoke wheels and raised white letter tires. While this custom Corvette might be amusing to some and an abomination to others, it stands as an important historical relic of how people used to modify their Corvettes in the late 1970s.

Custom 1978 Chevrolet Corvette

Given how dated this particular car looks, it’s amazing to us that it survived the last several decades relatively untouched. The paint looks to be in great shape — the ad’s description reveals very minor spider cracks — and the interior is equally nice. The chrome is free from pitting, and even the Plexiglas over the fixed headlights is clear and scratch-free.

It’s clear that whoever took care of this thing over the years really cared about it, and while the style may have aged about as well as disco, we’re glad that it’s here now for us to appreciate.

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Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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