The difference between a 1978 Corvette Sting Ray and a 1979 Corvette Sting Ray is not very big. A new generation of Corvette cars, the C4’s, was planned for 1983 and the work on this entirely new line of Corvettes consumed a lot of energy and resources from the developers. Some of the most notable differences between the 1978 and 1979 models regarded safety and comfort. The 1979 Corvette Sting Ray had improved side support and the designers had strived to increase overall comfort. A new design made it less of a hassle to access the rear storage area.
Despite the anticipation of the C4 Corvettes, the 1979 Corvette Sting Ray sold very well. 53,807 unites were produced. During early 1979, a base Corvette Coupe with a 350 cu. in. engine capable of 195 hp cost $10,220. The base price did however increase during the year, as did a few options.
In 1978, a Corvette paced the Indy 500 race and a special edition consisting of 6,502 Indy 500 pace car replicas was created to celebrate this. Several features from this special edition was borrowed and reused for the standard 1979 Corvette Sting Ray. The new high seats featured in the pace car replicas were for instance included in all 1979 Corvette Sting Ray cars. The special front and rear spoilers from the Indy 500 race replicas could also be included in your 1979 Corvette Sting Ray, if you were willing to pay an additional $265. These spoilers was not only a race gar gimmick, they actually reduced aerodynamic drag by 15 percent and thereby made the Corvette a bit less fuel guzzling. By installing the D80 spoilers, you could achieve an increased fuel economy by ½ mpg. D80 spoilers were purchased by over 1/8 of the buyers.
When you purchased a 1979 Corvette Sting Ray, you could choose among ten different exterior colours: Black, Corvette Dark Blue, Corvette Light Blue, Corvette Red, Corvette Dark Brown, Corvette Light Beige, Corvette Yellow, Silver, Classic White and Corvette Dark Green. In 1978, the by far most popular alternative had been the Silver Anniversary, which sold to over 30 percent of the buyers. For the 1979 Corvette Sting Ray this option was no longer available and the most popular choice was instead the Black exterior, which sold to nearly 20 percent of the customers.
For the 1979 Corvette Sting Ray, the options regarding sound systems were truly diverse. A buyer willing to spend $439 could get the UP6 AM-FM Radio stereo with CB. Less than 10 percent of the buyers settled for this option. A more popular alternative was instead the less expensive UN3 AM-FM Radio stereo with cassette. It cost $234 and was purchased by over 20 percent of the buyers. The by far most popular alternative was however the second least expensive option, a $228 AM-FM Radio stereo with 8-track. This radio was installed in nearly 40 percent of all 1979 Corvette Sting Ray cars. The fourth option was an AM-FM Radio stereo for $90, which appealed to slightly more than 17 percent of the buyers. Fancy radios naturally called for high quality antennas and 66 percent of the 1979 Corvette Sting Ray buyers spent and additional $52 on an U75 Power Antenna.