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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Chevrolet Corvette skipped the manual transmission option for the C8 generation. However, the 2020 model was far from the only time that Chevrolet and GM decided to table the manual and stick to an automatic transmission. In fact, to delve into one of the times that the Corvette left the three-pedal setup off the option list we’ll have to go all the way back to 1982.

The 1982 Chevrolet Corvette was the first model since 1955 to offer an automatic transmission as its sole option

1982 was a significant year for the Chevrolet Corvette. For starters, it was the last model year for the C3, or third-generation Corvette. Interestingly enough, the Corvette faithful will know that the C4 lineup didn’t kick off until 1984.

However, 1982 was a unique year for the Corvette in another way. For the first time since 1955, the C3 Corvette model failed to offer a three-pedal, row-it-yourself manual transmission, per HowStuffWorks. Instead, the 1982 model bolted a four-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic (TH) automatic unit up to its 350 cubic-inch Cross-Fire injected V8. 

A blue 1982 Chevrolet Corvette at a car show.
A 1982 Chevrolet Corvette | Eric Bascol via iStock

The 1982 Corvette’s automatic was essentially the same as three-speed autos in previous iterations, albeit with an additional highway-friendly overdrive gear. However, unlike previous L82 C3 models, you won’t find a manual in the middle.

In addition to the Corvette’s omitted third pedal, the 1982 model featured an electric fuel pump inside its fuel tank. What’s more, the 1982 ‘Vette got a redesigned exhaust system and an electric inlet for airflow at highway speeds.

However, the C4 rolled off the line for the 1984 model year. With it, a four-speed manual gearbox found its way back onto the Corvette menu. Better yet, the Corvette refused to lose its third pedal. That is, until the mid-engine C8 started packing the TREMEC TR-9080 DCT as its sole gearbox option.