1980 Corvette "Duntov" Turbo Convertible (#3 of 10 in 1980)
Looking for a very rare Corvette with a great story and
American Custom Industries (ACI), which had worked with racer John
Greenwood building Corvettes in the early 1970s, was looking for an
encore and thought the restless retiree would be an ideal partner.
Duntov agreed to lend his name to a limited-edition Corvette, with
the stipulation that "his" Corvette be turbocharged, another of his
ideas that had been quashed at GM.
To build a Duntov Corvette, ACI started with a regular production
1980 Corvette and tore it down to a bare skeleton. Handling was
improved via the use of specially valved Bilstein shocks and a
reworked steering system. Fat 60-series Goodyears kept the car
planted on the pavement.
Duntov got his turbocharger: a Turbo International unit pushing 4
psi into the Corvette's 230hp L82 engine. Excess heat from the
turbo was an issue during the car's development but was mitigated
via a vent in the car's hood. Just a four-speed automatic
transmission was offered, surely a disappointment to many potential
enthusiast customers (and likely Duntov himself).
"One of Zora's post-GM gigs was working as a consultant for
Sylvania, Ohio-based ACI. The company produced aftermarket Corvette
parts and accessories at the time. Together they planned a limited
run of 200 custom cars with various upgrade packages. In the end,
though, it's estimated that less than 100 were ever built. We found
an old Corvette Fever article which states that 49 coupes and 37
convertibles were made. The price tag back then was roughly $45,000
or about 3 times the price of a regular Corvette."
The Duntov Turbos' stock L48's were force-fed through a Martin
turbocharger which boosted output by 70 horsepower. A
water-injection system was added to prevent detonation (knocking)
from the low octane 80's gasoline. Prospective owners had their
choice of manual or automatic transmissions. An upgraded
independent rear suspension helped keep the Duntov Turbos between
the ditches. Outside, the body widened by 6 inches in
The car featured here is a 1980 flavor and wears classic Corvette
white paint with a red leather interior. An automatic transmission
rests behind the turbocharged 350. This is the 3rd of 10 built that
year. It was featured in a 1994 spread in Corvette Fever and
claimed a 1st place trophy at the 1987 Detroit Autorama. The
current owner has had possession of this treasure since the late
1980's. Other provenance includes the original invoice from Richard
Chevrolet to ACI. Actual mileage is less than 25,000.
Call us for more details or come see it at our Detroit location!
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We are just south of I-75 at the Rochester Rd Exit. Phone: (248)
589-2700. Email: [email protected]
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