During the Corvette C3 generation, various manual and automatic transmission options were available. Manual transmissions were more popular from 1968 to 1971, after which automatic transmissions were more common. The 1982 model year was exceptional regarding transmissions when only the automatic transmission was used.
You can browse transmission options from the Corvette C3 options section by model year.
The Corvette C3 generation offered three- and four-speed manual transmissions made by Saginaw, Muncie, and BorgWarner. Except for a few model years, there was also a wide-ratio or close-ratio version that could be selected from the same transmission.
Saginaw 3-Speed (1968 - 1969)
In 1968 and 1969, the base price of the Corvette included a Saginaw 3-speed manual cast iron transmission. This transmission was not very popular and only a few hundred were produced in 1968 and 1969 as the 4-speed transmission was only available for less than two hundred extra dollars.
Muncie 4-Speed (1968 - 1974)
The Muncie 4-speed transmission was developed in 1963 for the Corvette and Chevrolet full-size cars. As for the Corvette C3, it was available between 1968 and 1974 in various versions with the codes M20, M21, and M22. It has an aluminum case and weighs 80 lbs. A BorgWagners 4-speed transmission replaced the Muncie starting in mid-1974 on C3 Corvettes.
The M20 is a wide-ratio transmission and was an option in 1968 and 1969 and a standard from 1970 to 1974.
The M21 and M22 are wide-ratio versions, the M22 being heavy-duty, nicknamed the "Rock Crusher", which was only available with the L88 engine.
BorgWarner 4-Speed (1975 - 1981)
The new and strengthened BorgWagners 4-speed transmission was fully introduced on Corvettes beginning in the 1975 model year. Like its predecessor, the gear case is aluminum and weighs 70 lbs. Due to the decrease in engine power triggered by the oil crisis, the heavy-duty M22 version was no longer available.
The wide-ratio M20 was standard on 1975 – 1981 Corvettes, the automatic transmission was a no-cost option and became more popular. In the 1980 model, the code M18 was used for the wide-ratio gearbox, and in 1981, MM4.
The close-ratio M21 was an option on 1975 – 1979 Corvettes, only the wide-ratio transmission was available in 1980 – 1981.
Turbo Hydra-Matic is the name of a family of automatic transmissions made by the Hydra-Matic Division of General Motors. During the Corvette C3 generation, three different TH (Turbo Hydra-Matic) automatic transmissions were available.
TH400 (1968 - 1977)
GM introduced the TH400 in 1964 and it was widely used in other car manufacturers' cars as well. During the Corvette C3 generation, the TH400 was in use between 1968 and 1977 with big blocks and some more powerful small block (L82) versions.
The TH400's main case and tail housing are cast aluminum and total dry weight of 135 lbs. The kick-down works electrically and does not require a cable.
TH350 (1976 - 1981)
The Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 was released in 1969 and was available in the Corvette C3 generation between 1976 and 1981, after which it was replaced by the TH700R4. The TH350 was designed for small-sized Chevrolet cars and was used with engines producing less power, the TH400 was used with big blocks and for several years with L82 engines.
The TH350 main case and tail case are cast aluminum, like the TH400, and the total dry weight is 120 lbs, slightly lighter compared to the TH400. The TH350 uses a mechanical kick-down cable.
The TH700R4 was developed and introduced in the 1982 model year Corvette. The stricter fuel consumption and emission requirements drove the development of the TH700R4, which included an overdrive. Thanks to the overdrive, fuel economy were reduced, and revs at highway speed dropped significantly.
Considered an evolution of the TH350, the TH700R4, like its predecessor, was made from cast aluminum, but the weight increased slightly to 150 lbs.
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Last Updated 3/10/2023