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The 1979 Corvette

1979 Orange Corvette Coupe Ad

The 1979 Chevrolet Corvette was a much smaller change from the last year. The standard seats are now the lighter weight and taller version that was introduced on the pace car in '78. The passenger seat now folds flat to the level of the cargo area. The bolt-on spoilers from the '78 pace car were now available as an option. These reduced drag by approximately 15%. Both the base and L82 engines now use a dual snorkel intake to add 5 horsepower to the base engine. The L82 engine option has a higher lift cam, special heads with larger valves and higher compression, impact-extruded pistons, a forged steel crankshaft, and finned aluminum rocker covers. These improvements added another 10 horsepower to the L82 engine. Some late 1979 models were "upgraded" to the new 85 MPH speedometer that would be standard on the 1980 models. The automatic transmission equipped models had the rear gear ratio changed to 3.55:1. This was the last year for the "Corvette" named colors.

1978 Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1979 Corvettes Built - 53,807

Serial numbers: 1Z87x9S400001 through 1Z87x9S453807

The "Vehicle Identification Number" (also VIN or serial number) is stamped on a plate on the inner vertical surface of the left windshield pillar visible through the windshield.
Position Character Description
1 1 Chevrolet Division
2 Z Corvette
87 coupe
5 8 L48 350-cid V8, 195-hp, Four-Barrel
4 L82 350-cid V8, 225-hp, Four-Barrel
6 9 1979
7 S Assembled in St. Louis, MO
8 to 13 400001 to 453807 production sequence

Engine Serial Number

1979 Corvette engines have the last six digits of the VIN stamped on the block after the engine number. The date code the engine was manufactured was also cast into the block. The engine serial number includes a production sequence number starting with 0001001 and one of the suffixes below.

Code Engine Horsepower Compression Transmission Fuel Supply Emission
ZAA L48 350-cid Early Production 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Manual Four-Barrel Carburetor ;
ZAB L48 350-cid Early Production 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Automatic Four-Barrel Carburetor ;
ZAC L48 350-cid Early Production 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Automatic Four-Barrel Carburetor California
ZAD L48 350-cid 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Automatic Four-Barrel Carburetor High-Altitude
ZAF L48 350-cid 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Manual Four-Barrel Carburetor ;
ZAH L48 350-cid 195-hp V-8 8.2:1 Automatic Four-Barrel Carburetor ;
ZBB L48 350-cid 225-hp V-8 8.2:1 Automatic Four-Barrel Carburetor ;

The body number plate is located on the engine side of the cowl. The Fisher Body Style Number identifies the model of Corvette.

79-1YZ37 - Corvette Coupe
The body number is the serial number of the body. The trim number represents the color of the interior, the paint color is the exterior paint color.

Production Options

RPO Description Price Production
1YZ87 Base Coupe $10,220.23 53,807
A31 Power Windows $141 20,631
AU3 Power Door Locks $131 9,054
CC1 Removable Glass Roof Panels $365 14,480
C49 Rear Window Defogger $102 41,587
C60 Air Conditioning $635 47,136
D35 Sport Mirrors $45 48,211
D80 Front and Rear Spoilers $265 6,853
FE7 Gymkhana Suspension $49 12,321
F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers $33 2,164
G95 Optional Rear Axle Ratio $19 428
K30 Cruise Control $113 34,445
L82 350ci. 225hp engine $565 14,516
M21 4-spd, Close Ratio Manual Trans. $0.00 4,062
MX1 Automatic Transmission $0.00 41,454
NA6 High Altitude Emissions Equipment $35 56
N37 Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column $190 47,463
N90 Aluminum Wheels (4) $380 33,741
QBS White Letter Steel Belted Tires - P255/70R15 $226.20 17,920
QGR White Letter Steel Belted Tires - P225/70R15 $54 29,603
UA1 Heavy Duty Battery $21 3,405
UM2 AM-FM Radio Stereo w/ 8-track $228 21,435
UN3 AM-FM Radio Stereo w/ Cassette $234 12,110
UP6 AM-FM Radio Stereo w/ CB $439 4,483
U58 AM-FM Radio Stereo $90 9,256
U75 Power Antenna $52 35,730
U81 Dual Rear Speakers $52 37.754
YF5 California Emissions Certification $83 3,798
ZN1 Trailer Package $98 1,001
ZQ2 Power Windows and Door Locks $272 28,465
ZX2 Convenience Group $94 41530

Color Options for 1979

Interior options for exterior colors are suggested by Chevrolet. Any combination could be ordered.
RPO Exterior Interior Production
10 Classic White B-DB-DG-LB-O-R 8,629
13 Silver B-DB-DG-O-R 7,331
19 Black B-LB-O-R 10,465
28 Corvette Light Blue B-DB-O 3,203
52 Corvette Yellow B-LB-O 2,357
58 Corvette Dark Green B-DG-LB-O 2,426
59 Corvette Light Beige B-DB-DG-LB-R 2,951
72 Corvette Red B-LB-O-RW 6,707
82 Corvette Dark Brown B-LB-O 4,053
83 Corvette Dark Blue B-DB-LB-O-R 5,670
Color Codes: BG=Blue Green, B=Black, DB=Dark Blue, DG=Dark Green, L=Leather, LB=Light Beige, O=Oyster, R=Red

Interior Colors

RPO Color Production
12C Oyster Coth 2,606
29C Dark Blue Cloth 2,142
49C Dark Green Cloth 517
59C Light Beige Cloth 2,224
122 Oyster Leather 9,316
292 Dark Blue Leather 4,768
492 Dark Green Leather 907
592 Light Beige Leather 8,818
722 Red Leather 9,181

1979 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Feature Coupe
Wheelbase 98 inches (2.489 m)
Overall Length 185.2 inches (4.704 m)
Overall Width 69.0 inches (1.753 m)
Overall Height 48 inches (1.219 m)
Ground Clearance 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Front tread 58.7 inches (1.491 m)
Rear tread 59.5 inches (1.511 m)
Wheel size 15 x 8 inches
Tires P225/70R-15 SBR (steel-belted radial)
Positraction Standard
Steering Recirculating ball
Front Suspension Independent, unequal-length control arms with ball joints, coil springs, and stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension Independent, trailing link, transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs
Brakes Hydraulic, vented four wheel discs 11.75-inch diameter, single calipers
Ignition HEI electronic
Body Construction Separate fiberglass body and box-type ladder frame with cross-members
Fuel tank 24 US Gal (20 Imp Gal) (91 liters)

Engine Specifications

Feature Base Engine RPO L48 RPO L82
Type V-8, 90-degree Overhead valve
Block Cast Iron
Displacement 350 cid (5.7 liters) 350 cid (5.7 liters)
Bore & Stroke 4.00 x 3.48" 4.00 x 3.48"
Compression Ratio 8.2:1 8.9:1
Brake Horsepower 195 @ 4000 225 @ 5200
Torque 285 lb-ft @ 3200 270 lb-ft @ 3600
Main Bearing Five
Valve Lifters Hydraulic
Fuel Supply Rochester M4MC Rochester M4MC

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