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The year 1978 marked the 25th anniversary of GM's uniquely American sports car, and the company instituted some major changes in the 1978 C3 Corvette to celebrate the marque's silver anniversary. In honor of the achievement, a stock C3 became the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 for the first time. CorvetteMods.com shares in the celebration with 1978 C3 accessories such as our silver anniversary decal kit.
Most notable among these changes was a big change in the car's rear window. GM opted for a rakishly slanted, fastback rear window, increasing not only its angle but its size, from 392 square inches to 1,425 square inches. Among the many benefits touted for the new rear window were improved aerodynamics, better visibility, more cargo space and more light and space in the claustrophobic cabin. The change was a hit and a much-needed style makeover to a 10-year-old body.
In honor of the 25th anniversary, all C3s made in 1978 included special silver anniversary badges on the nose and gas cap covers. The company also celebrated the Vette's silver anniversary with a couple of special editions marking the milestone year. A special Silver Anniversary option included a two-tone light silver/dark silver paint job, sport mirrors and aluminum wheels. A Limited Edition 1978 C3 Corvette sported a custom black/silver paint finish with red pinstripes, a front air dam, rear spoiler, aluminum wheels with red stripes, a glass T-top and silver-gray smoke leather interior touches.
Other options included power windows, power door locks, power antenna, rear window defogger, air conditioning, tilt-telescopic steering, an AM-FM eight-track stereo and, for the first time, a CB radio. Opting for the convenience package made available the previous year conferred added features such as a lighted passenger visor vanity mirror, floor mats and intermittent windshield wipers.
Despite the much needed improvement outside and in, changes in 1978 went more than skin deep. Tweaking the exhaust system and replacing the single snorkel air intake with a double snorkel air intake boosted horsepower. The standard 350 cubic inch L48 now had 185 horsepower, up 5 horsepower, while the L82 option bumped up from 210 to 220 horsepower — enough for Car & Driver to call it "the fastest American production car." Fuel tank capacity increased from 17 gallons to 24 gallons.