C3 Corvette Books & Literature

As they say, information is power, and if you plan to wrench on your Corvette—trust me, you will—you want and need the best information available.

While I do a lot of the work required to both maintain and restomod my car, some I leave to professionals. I am fortunate to have a big garage, but I don't have every tool I would like to own... yet. So things such as a 2-post lift, compressor, welding equipment, bead-blasting cabinet, etc., are in my tool bucket list.

But one thing I do have are plenty of good books, starting with the Corvette Assembly Instruction Manual, or AIM, for short. This is a must-have book if you own a Corvette.

And here are other books for your consideration. I own every one on this list.


How To Restore Your C3 Corvette, 1968-1982

From the back cover: Whether it’s hard use, neglect or just elapsed time, often these 30-years-old or older cars require a major restoration and not just simple repair.

Through the pages of this book, you are expertly guided through each crucial stage of the restoration process from disassembly to inspection and parts selection to assembly.

The hands-on restoration techniques for all major component groups are explained in exceptional detail for professional results, including suspension, engine, interior, body, paint, brakes, steering, electrical, and interior.

Special coverage is devoted to restoring the birdcage frame and the fiberglass body.

In addition, the author addresses the real-world benefits and drawbacks of doing the work yourself. It will also contain essential model information, VIN identification, powertrain and interior options and more.

If you’ve been looking for the authoritative guide for restoring your 1968-1982 Stingray, this is it.
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Corvette 1968-1982 Restoration Guide

From the back cover: Chevrolet’s Corvette remains the quintessential American sports car, and collector interest in the 1968–1982 C3 “Shark” cars is at an all-time high. The surge in C3 popularity has given rise to an insatiable demand for information about these cars, and this painstakingly researched book provides all of the details you need to bring your car up to the highest show standard.

Everything from running production changes to interpreting component part numbers and dates codes is clearly explained. Corvette 1968–1982 Restoration Guide provides accurate information on different paint and plating finishes, fastener types, engine parts, upholstery, gauges, soft trim, chassis components, body glass, wheels and tires, and virtually every other part that enables you to restore your Shark Corvette to its exact original factory configuration.

More than 400 color photographs of low mileage, beautifully preserved original cars as well as perfectly restored examples complement the detailed text and help illustrate vital information.

Whether you’re performing a complete restoration or basic maintenance, this book is an invaluable resource that will help you every step of the way.
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C3 Corvette 1968-1982: How to Build and Modify

From the back cover: About half-million Corvettes were sold between 1968-1982, and the distinctive Shark body style with the combination of V-8 power has gained legendary status. Some Corvettes are too rare and valuable to be modified. These include the big-block cars built between 1968-1974, which command big dollars at auctions.

However, the vast majority of Corvettes, built between 1975 and 1982, are affordable and plentiful, and these are ideal for high-performance builds.

Many Corvettes from this era are often considered weekend cruisers because they carry antiquated brakes, steering, and suspension, and also anemic V-8 engines with 165-220 HP. Lacking modern technology, these 31-year-old or older cars are ripe for a high-performance transformation. And with the right build-up plan, products, and services, they can become high-performance sports cars that rival current sports cars on the road today.

Corvette expert and builder Chris Petris shows how to transform a mundane C3 into a standout, high-performance car. The most popular upgrades to every component group are covered, including engine, transmission, differential, front suspension, rear suspension, steering, chassis, electrics, interior, tires and wheels and more. With this information, you will confidently know all the products and procedures that make the car as a whole a far better performer than stock.

Corvette C3: How to Build & Modify is the ideal book for the at-home mechanic as well as the adept enthusiast supervising the build-up of a Corvette. Whether it's mildly modifying your Corvette for greater comfort and driveability or substantially modifying it for vastly improved acceleration, braking and handling, this book has a massive amount of information to accomplish the reader's goals.
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How To Rebuild Corvette Rolling Chassis 1963-1982

From the back cover: Second- and third-generation Corvettes may well be the stuff of collectors’ dreams—but if you’re an owner or enthusiast who plans to drive your dream car, this guide to repairing and rebuilding will put you and your ’Vette on the road.

With step-by-step text and photographs, author George McNicholl documents the complete rebuilding of four Corvettes—1965 and 1967 convertibles, and 1969 and 1972 coupes—putting the process within reach of any do-it-yourself mechanic.

McNicholl’s focus is on rebuilding the second- and third-generation Corvette rolling chassis for daily use, with clear and concise information on engines, transmissions, differentials, frames, front suspensions, brakes, wheels, and fuel, exhaust, and cooling systems for models from 1963 to 1982.
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Haynes 1968-1982 Corvette Repair Manual

Even though I've had one of these manuals sitting on a shelf in the garage for years—much like the Chilton manual for the same vehicle—I hardly ever bother to crack them open.

These manuals are okay for some basic maintenance and repairs, but there's nothing like a Corvette factory manual specific to the year of your car.

Having said that, there's no such thing as too much information, and both the Haynes and Chilton manuals can come in handy, from time to time.

Actually, I've found the wiring diagrams to be quite helpful in at least two or three occasions, and if you don't mind owning a used copy, you can pick these for deeply discounted prices.
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Vette Vues Fact Book, 1973-1977

I was lucky to find one of these at the NCRS show in Lakeland a couple of years ago. The book was in excellent condition and I only paid $10 for it.

Great photos and all sorts of production data makes it far more than just a pretty "coffee table" book.

The 1973-1977 edition—as well as others in the series—has been out of print for quite some time now, and even though it is not a restoration or repair manual per se, it makes a great addition to the library of the serious Corvette owner and aficionado.

So, if you can find a copy for a somewhat reasonable price, grab it before it's gone.
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Last but not least, Corvette-specific magazines provide tons of great information for the Corvette owner and/or restorer.

Most titles have gone out of business with just a couple remaining. Vette and Corvette Magazine. I subscribe to both.

I usually look through the mountains of old magazines offered at swap meets, where you can usually pick those up for 25 cents up to a buck per copy. And sometimes you can score a few great deals on eBay#SponsoredAd


Corvette Fever is one of my favorites, and I've been accumulating back issues all the way to the early 1990s. I've even found a couple of collections advertised on Craigslist, so you have to keep your eyes peeled since you never know where the next great deal is going to come from.

But again, a quick search on eBay for Corvette Fever magazine lot may pay off, so keep on the lookout.

Hope this list of C3 Corvette books and literature is helpful.