History shows that the 1980 Chevrolet Corvette was the first Corvette since 1974 to have more than one engine size, but it was not a better engine with more horse, it was a new option 305 cubic inch engine destined to meet the more stringent smog laws in California. The good news was the 1980 Corvette was 250 pounds lighter than the 1979 model.
To do this Chevrolet had to make the hood and doors thinner, the rear differential housing and supports were manufactured from aluminum, and the intake manifolds were made from aluminum on the 350 cubic inch Corvettes.
Other features on the 1980 Corvette included the front and rear spoilers from the 1978 Corvette Pace Car that were now molded into the front and rear bumper pieces, the California 305 engine got stainless steel exhaust manifolds, all now had the 85 MPH speedometer, and power windows, tilt-telescopic steering and air conditioning were all included in the base price.
The 1980 Corvette had the base engine 350 cubic inch L- 48 V8 with 190 horse and 280 lb. ft. or torque, and optional was the L-82 engine 350 cubic inch that had 230 horse and 275 lb. ft. torque. The 1980 was also the last year of the 4-barrel carburetor. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard (not available on the L82) and the automatic was a no charge option.
The 1980 Corvette had quite an option list and you could order the Gymkhana suspension ($55), Heavy duty shocks ($35), Trailer towing package ($105), Heavy duty battery ($21),Rear electric defogger ($109), Cruise control ($123), Power door locks ($140), Convenience group ($94), Sport mirrors with left remote ($45), several combinations of AM/FM stereo radio with 8 track, or tape player, CB and antenna, Glass roof panels ($391), or Aluminum wheels ($407) and 255-60-15 tires ($426.)
Chevrolet sold 40,614 1980 Corvettes at the starting base price $13,140.24, not including the options. The Corvette continued to impress owners as it could run a 0-60mph time of around 7.5 when tested with the L82, which was faster than all but a few of new cars no matter what brand.