Available for no less than 14 years, the C3 came out in 1968 with a design meant to mimic the Mako Shark II concept introduced three years before and with the availability of a T-top. Upon launch, the third-gen Corvette had a 7.0-liter engine with 435 hp on tap and a chassis largely carried over from its predecessor. A year later, “Stingray” came back as a badge, but written as one word rather than “Sting Ray” as it was the case with the C2.
In 1970, Chevy added the 390-hp LT1 as well as the ZR1 package boasting fender flares. A year later, the LS6 V8 was introduced. In 1973, the Corvette received standard radial tires and a crash-compliant plastic nose finished in the same color as the rest of the body. For the 1974MY, Chevy ditched chrome for body-colored plastics at the back, and retired the convertible at the end of the 1975MY.
In the following years, the C3 got a fastback body, spawned an Indy 500 Pace Car Replica edition, and received halogen headlights. Production at the St. Louis plant ended in 1981 and started at Bowling Green, Kentucky, while the Collector’s Edition launched in 1982 served as the C3’s swan song.