1976 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 350cid/180hp 4bbl L48
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Chevy Corvette was reduced to a single coupe model in 1976, but sales nevertheless boomed to 46,558 units, an all-time record. Aluminum wheels returned as an option (6,253 buyers) and a maintenance-free battery was fitted, along with a sport steering wheel from the Vega. The base price rose to $7,604.85.
The base ’76 Corvette engine was now the 180 bhp 350 cid V-8 with a wide-ratio 4-speed or a Turbo-Hydra-Matic automatic transmission at no extra cost. The engine’s air intake was now over the radiator, eliminating the previously audible howl from the cowl intake, and resulting in a unique one-year hood. A steel belly pan stiffened the front end and also helped deflect heat from the catalytic converters. Astro ventilation was eliminated, so the rear vents disappeared.
Boulevard options predominated, with 36,762 buyers spending $164 for custom interior trim, including wood grain accents and cut-pile carpeting. All 46,558 1976 Corvettes had power brakes, while 46,385 buyers asked for the $151 power steering, 38,700 spent $107 for power windows, 40,787 bought $523 air-conditioning, and 36,625 chose an automatic transmission. This was the last year for the unique “short” Delco radio.
Performance offerings were very much limited, and only 5,720 buyers ticked the box for the 210 bhp L82 V-8, 2,088 bought the close-ration M21 4-speed, and 5,368 opted for the FE7 gymkhana suspension.
The winning color for the year (of 10 offered) was Classic White (10,674), probably part of the bi-centennial red-white-and-blue push. Silver was a close second (6,934) followed by Red (4,590), Dark Brown (4,447), Mahogany (4,182), Orange Flame (4,073), Bright Yellow (3,389), Bright Blue (3,268), Buckskin (2,954) and Dark Green (2,038). There was also one Dark Green Metallic ’76 Chevrolet Corvette built.
Interior quantities are listed this year, with 3,258 black vinyl and 7,826 black leather; 3,256 buckskin vinyl and 8,946 buckskin leather, 3,281 firethorn vinyl and 8,259 firethorn leather and 6,184 dark brown leather.