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Weekly Motor Fix: a rare Corvette Collector Edition

13 July, 2016

Being a bit of a Corvette fan — and owner of several over the years — I was pleasantly surprised when a reader recently sent me through photographs of his rather rare 1982 Corvette Collector Edition. Only 6759 of this particular model were built and, as I understand, very few have made it down to this part of the world.   

Chevrolet has traditionally finished off each Corvette generation by introducing a collector or commemorative model. In order to commemorate the final C3 model (1968–1982), Corvette introduced the 1982 Collector Edition, which also honoured the end of the 1968–1982 Stingray model, and was the first in a series of special collector editions for Corvette.  

The 1982 Corvette Collector Edition received a full complement of bells and whistles unique to the model. These special features included a stylish Silver Beige exterior paint job complemented by a striking Silver Beige leather interior and special decorative emblems, as well as an electrically operated six-way driver’s seat, power door locks, power sport mirrors, power windows, power steering, cruise control, air conditioning, and AM/FM radio with cassette. The glass roof panels received a bronze tint and the rear glass ‘hatch’ had a lifting feature for easy access to the space behind the front seats. Also included were special cast-finned wheels that resembled the optional 1967 bolt-on wheels.

The 1982 Corvette Collector Edition was also the first to receive Chevrolet’s Crossfire fuel-injected 5.7-litre V8 engine. Unfortunately, these motors received their fair share of ridicule and were commonly referred to as ‘Ceasefire’ due to unreliability issues. The motors were also extremely difficult to modify to achieve increased power and torque — many owners opted to replace the injection system with a four-barrel carburettor. The Crossfire fuel-injected engine also made its way into the first of the C4 Corvettes in 1984, and was replaced with a much more reliable, and powerful, Tuned Port Injection (TPI) system in 1985.   

After years of flying under the radar, collector-edition Corvettes are beginning to attract a large following, representing true investment potential that inspires and excites. 

Becoming fond of Fords part two – happy times with Escorts

In part one of this Ford-flavoured trip down memory lane I recalled a sad and instructive episode when I learned my shortcomings as a car tuner, something that tainted my appreciation of Mk2 Ford Escort vans in particular. Prior to that I had a couple of other Ford entanglements of slightly more redeeming merit. There were two Mk1 Escorts I had got my hands on: a 1972 1300 XL belonging to my father and a later, end-of-line, English-assembled 1974 1100, which my partner and I bought from Panmure Motors Ford in Auckland in 1980. Both those cars were the high water mark of my relationship with the Ford Motor Co. I liked the Mk1 Escorts. They were nice, nippy, small cars, particularly the 1300, which handled really well, and had a very precise gearbox for the time.
Images of Jim Richards in the Carney Racing Williment-built Twin Cam Escort and Paul Fahey in the Alan Mann–built Escort FVA often loomed in my imagination when I was driving these Mk1 Escorts — not that I was under any illusion of comparable driving skills, but they had to be having just as much fun as I was steering the basic versions of these projectiles.

Fear and loathing the blue oval – part one

The slogan went something like ‘There’s a Ford in your future’. ‘Bugger off!’ were always the words that sprung to my mind. Ford and I have never really got on in the manner of many of my friends, so I’d say my relationship to the brand was distant. The accelerating blur of passing time has helpfully blanketed memories of a few Ford encounters which I probably wanted to forget but I have to admit, now I look at them, they are re-appearing through the mists of time. What comes to mind more readily, to quote some uncharitable wit, is that the letters Ford could stand for ‘fix or repair daily’. Still, I have to ’fess up, there were several Fords in my past.