Curbside Classic Capsule: 1978 Chevy Corvette Silver Anniversary Edition

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Last weekend I was helping a friend reshingle the roof on his garage. While we were on the roof I heard a tough-sounding V8 fire-up out at the road. It had a pretty lumpy cam in it; the driver kept stabbing the gas to keep the engine running until it warmed-up enough to idle. Then he backed it out of the garage and parked it on the street.

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It was the neighbour Gil across the street and his 1978 Corvette Silver Anniversary edition. Naturally, I went to take a closer look next time we took a break.

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1978 was the year that the Corvette exchanged its notchback rear for the large glassback window. This relatively inexpensive make-over really changed the look of the car.

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Gil’s example is fairly rare with the 4-speed stick. Out of total production of 46,776 in 1978, there were 8162 Corvettes with 4-speed manual transmissions, or 17.4% of the total. If that ratio holds true, then out of a total of 15,283 Silver Anniversary ‘Vettes, this is one of about 2667 with the stick.

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Gil has owned his ‘Vette for about 20 years. It’s been thoroughly restored. Gil says he did most of the work himself, including repainting the car in his garage. He says he installed a Crane cam in the 350, but he can’t remember the exact grind.

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He briefly mentioned how these cars have gone up in value, but readily conceded the point that it still wouldn’t make sense as an investment if a price was put on his time. “This car is my toy.”

1978 Vette engine

We had a job to do, so I didn’t pester Gil to open the hood, though I’m sure he would have been happy to if I had asked. If he’s kept the stock appearance, it would have looked like this.

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While we were over, Gil donated some spare roofing materials that he had lying around in his garage. At 65 years old, he said he’s done his last roof, so he won’t be needing them.