This 1982 Corvette Berlina is from the era of the late 70’s and early 80’s of the neo-classics. Many different companies at that time were building cars similar to this one but were not factory built. This actual car was built at a factory in Pompano Beach Florida by Phillips Motor Car Company and then distributed through new GM or Cadillac Dealerships back in the day. These “Berlina Coupes” came into the factory at Phillips Motor Company from the St. Louis Corvette assembly plant with no main body pieces and then the transformation began. Original MSRP was a whopping $80,000 when new way back in 1982! That alone in today’s pricing would be equal to approx. $200,000! It is truly a one-of-a-kind automobile. Most people have never seen one of these cars and did not know they even existed. They were only built from 1979 through 1983. These were not considered a “Kit” type of car in anyway. These cars had an actual Corvette VIN # and it is titled as a “Berlina”. The VIN # is 17 digits for this model year so a CarFax Vehicle History Report can be run on this car. I do have one that goes with this Berlina and does show the prior owner history and is clean and clear of no issues. There were originally going to be 500 of these cars built, however right after the developed and started building these unique cars, the C3 Generation ended and the C4 Generation started on the Corvette and this new Corvette was a complete new design and chassis so this concept was scrapped when the 1984 Corvettes came out in early 1983 and the company was no longer able to make anymore of these Berlina’s. With that said they did not make the 500 they were hoping for and less than 100 actually did get built. Today there is fewer than 15 of these cars in this color combination and options. This was a elegant and unique color combination in Tuxedo Black With Dark Red Leather Interior. This was also a 1982 model Berlina and that had an optional “SE” model which this one is and stands for “Side Exhaust”. This was very rare as the past models had the side mounted spare tire and wheels instead of this side exhaust look. The side exhaust in non-functional but really does make this car look nice. This Berlina is the nicest one you will ever find for sale or even in someone’s personal collection. It is extremely rare and the quality of this vehicle is excellent throughout the inside and underneath. We have also done several nice touches to really finish this one off and it does come with an extensive amount of documentation right back to the original owner whom only lived about 75 miles from us.
HISTORY BEHIND THE PHILLIPS CORVETTE BERLINA:
CHARLES W. PHILLIPS:
“After 25 years of designing and manufacturing; I was watching the “Jet Age” slowly take over the true love affair of the automobile. After a long hard look I decided to bring back that love affair of yesteryear when the automobile was a true treasure to behold.”
The world renown designer, Charles W. Phillips has captured the romanticism of the 1930’s in the image of the legendary 540K Mercedes.
This Limited Edition automobile was created for the individual who has … ARRIVED. This modern road car, elegant in detail and unmatched in style, is capable of portraying an image of the “Golden Age” of motoring for TODAY’S driver who aspires after the romantic dignity and prestige of those yesteryears.
PHILLIPS MOTOR CAR with its meticulous attention to detail has created an automobile, with its long rakish hood, flair to its coachwork, luxurious interiors, and safety and emissions approval in all fifty states (Back then in 1982), that provides the knowledgeable buyer with a definite investment for the future.
The appointments, in combination with the superiority of the G.M. engine and chassis, contribute a final touch of Elegance to this Classic.
Born out of dream of perfection and introduced as an original design, not a mere replica, the BERLINA LEGEND has begun.
These “Berlina Coupes” had their frames stretched 22” to accommodate the long front fenders and body. There was also a special riveted “Phillips Motor Car Company” plaque placed on the driver’s side door with the build date and detail of the car.
This particular Berlina was built in February of 1982 but still utilizes the carburetor and L-81 engine that would have been standard in the 1981 Corvette. The Berlina Coupe had all of the features and components of the Corvette from that year and all powertrain and drivetrain as well. This car can be worked on by most any mechanic shops as it does have mostly all GM components. Brakes, fuel tank, instruments, smog equipment are all GM parts from the Corvette.
The radiator was custom made however from Phillips along with the steering column that had to be stretched to accommodate the added length to the vehicle. Power steering hoses were also custom made to the length needed to function properly.
The entire body structure is made of fiberglass with metal reinforcements along with double walled inner linings of smooth fiberglass underneath the front fenders so any debris that might kick up from the tires will not crack the fiberglass and paint from the top sides of the finish of the vehicle. Most all of your “Kit” type of cars will not have this double walled reinforcement protection. This is just another example why these cars were so expensive back in the day. They were built to perfection for that period of time and better than most for today’s standards.
Overall Length 185 Inches
Overall Height 50 Inches
Wheelbase 120 Inches
Width 72 Inches
Curb Weight 3,540 Pounds (Approx.)
Track FT/RR 58.7/59.5 Inches
Factory Air Conditioning
Power Steering, Power Windows
Power 4-Wheel Disc Brakes (Red Painted Calipers)
Cross-Drilled & Slotted Rotors
Dual Chrome Plated Horns
Five Mile Per Hour Impact Bumpers Front and Rear (Chrome Plated)
Classic True Spoke Chrome Wire Wheels
Removable T-Top Roof Panels
Dual Side Mirrors And Running Lights
AM/FM Stereo Radio With Digital Clock & Cassette Player
Dual Rear Speakers
Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel W/Wood Wheel
Built-In Anti-Theft Audio Alarm System
Factory Tinted Glass
Distinctive Grill W/Berlina Ornament
Distinctive Gas Door Lid W/Berlina Logo
Locking Fuel Gas Cap
Back Up Lamps
Time Delay Dome And Courtesy Lights
Head Lamp Warning Buzzer
Low Fuel Warning Light
Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Passenger Side Illuminated Visor Mirror
L-81 350 C.I. V8 G.M. Stock Engine W/4-BBL Carburetor
350 Turbo 3-Speed Automatic Transmission
Independent Four-Wheel Suspension
Limited Slip Rear Axle
GoodYear Super Cushion Wide Whitewall Radial Tires (Replaced New In 2012 From Kelsey Tire In Camdenton Missouri) Sizes P225/75R-15
This Berlina does have the optional 4-way Driver Side Power Seat, Leather Seating Surfaces, Cruise Control W/Resume, Power Door Lock System, Power Radio Antenna, and the optional Cassette Player.
There were 11 different colors available on these Berlina’s along with 6 different interior color choices.
Our dealership purchased this Berlina back in September of 2012 with the miles at that time of 14,674. The first of many things that we did was remove the older tires and replaced them with these new GoodYear whitewall radial ones. These tires totally change the way the car drives and handles and makes for a nice cruising car down the highway. The chrome wire wheels are the original ones and were still in great condition for the age. We did spend a several hours polishing every single spoke and they do look very nice! This car for the most part was kept inside in a climate controlled environment so there was little to no corrosion on any of the parts on this car. Most of these cars the wheels are so rusty and gone that they need replacing but not on this one!
From what information we have and gathered, the car has had about three owners since new and the second one being a car museum and dealership. This Berlina was originally purchased new at Bob Moore Cadillac Inc. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 21st, 1982. The dealership is still in business today. The miles that were on the car when new was 1,727 so obviously the owner of the dealership drove this car most likely in parades and events to not only show it off but also draw customers into their dealership to purchase a vehicle I would assume. The original owner was Wayne Savard of Joplin Missouri and sadly has passed away in 2011. The car ended up at a classic car business and museum in St. James Missouri for many years until October of 2004 where then the car went to the St. Louis area of Chesterfield Missouri until we purchased it from that owner in September of 2012.
The car had around 11,000 actual miles in 2004 and had only 14,674 in 2012 when we purchased it. The car currently has 15,650 actual original miles as of March 2018. Me and my father actually looked at this car back in the early 2000’s when the car was on display at that museum in St. James. My father wanted the car at that time but could never strike a deal with the owner. After a year or so we went back to that museum to find out that it did sell so we decided it wasn’t meant to be. So for several years after that we kept looking for another Berlina that could come close to that one and the condition but never had any luck. Some 10 years later after it had sold in 2004, I was surfing the internet for cars and came across a site that was dedicated to an Easter Day Car Show In The St. Louis area. There were several photos of different cars and crazy enough I seen a photo of a black Berlina that looked exactly like the one we had seen in that museum. I also noticed a small For Sale By Owner sign displayed in the front windshield. I was able to zoom in on the picture and read out the 314 phone number. I knew right away that this had to be that same car we had seen 10 years ago. This car was never advertised or listed for sale on any websites or magazines and once we pursued the car and called the owner, he stated that he then just decided to take it to that show and put a For Sale sign in it. It must have meant to be after all of those 10 years. We ended up with the car several months after we had talked with the owner and the rest is history so they say. This has been the owners personal car since 2012 and now he has decided to let someone else enjoy it as much as he has these past 6 years at many local car shows, cruise-nights and car events. Let me say it does get nothing but attention and compliments from young to old. It is something that no one else will have at any of your car shows and events. Show stopper everytime.
We do have an extensive amount of paperwork and documentation that all comes in two separate three ring binders. One binder has all of the original documents and the other three ring binder has all of the receipts that we have spent on the car from the past 6 years. Documentation includes several brochures from Phillips Motor Car Company, original dealer warranty book with the original owners name and information with the Berlina Logo on the actual warranty book, original pre-delivery inspection sheet with also the Berlina Logo, original small folder that your documents came in with the Berlina Logo, sales brochures, original owners manual and Delco radio manual, copies of original patent that Phillips Motor Car Company had to have and assembly manual of the break down of the panels and parts, several pages of the story behind the concept of the Berlina, original consumer information brochure, original tire brochure, original warranty registration from Phillips Berlina that has never been filled out, original 1981 GM general maintenance brochure, original sales brochure for the 1981 model Corvette, original build sheet, window sticker, invoice, both sets of keys, CarFax History Report, T-Top Storage Bags, original jack and lug wrench, huge bag that both t-tops can be stored in and is a carrying type of bag, two small signs for car show events displaying in detail about this Berlina and the concept behind it, inspection slip from previous owner, purchase information from previous owner, odometer statement on the miles from previous owner, previous title copy, and the list goes on. This car is very well documented and more paperwork than any Berlina you will ever see!
This car was also featured in VETTE VUES Magazine May 2013 issue with a complete detailed article about this actual car in a 9 page spread. We also have two copies of that issue that go with the sale of this vehicle.
The paint on this Berlina is very nice. From the best of our knowledge is is mostly original. The car has a nice shine with no swirl marks. The finish on the door jambs and other small areas is much better than the factory paint that came on the Corvettes from that year. The Phillips Motor Car Company spent many more hours prepping the body and getting all of the door gaps, and panel fitment to the best they could. This Berlina has little to no nicks or chips in the paint and is a strong 8 out 10 on a scale being 10 the best.
The interior for the most part is also original to the car and is in “Like New’ condition. The carpeting, door panels, and dash assembly is all original including the instruments where you can see the “Berlina” logo. The car has no odor nor has ever been smoked in. We did remove the original seats and installed these newer ones you see out of a 1999 model C5 Corvette. They were already finished in Firethorn Dark Red color that was only used from 1997-1999. The color matches almost perfectly as you can see and they are more comfortable and sit better than those stock original ones. The seats have little to no wear on them. We did have the driver’s side power seat switch fixed up like the original one so it simply unplugs if ever needed to remove it. The entry and exit of the vehicle is also much easier with these seats and they both have the nice Corvette logo plus gives those that don’t have a clue that it just might be a Corvette. The seat bracket attachments came from Mid America Motor Works so these seats do fit like factory. We also installed the nice wood grained steering wheel, engine turn aluminum accents on the dash trim, center console, gauge cluster and the glovebox door. This added touch does give it that 1930’s era where you would have seen something similar on those model of vehicles. The original dash trim accents were of wood grain finish and we did still save those original pieces along with the original leather wrapped Corvette style steering wheel and those items do go with the car. The original horn button with the Berlina logo did work nicely with that wood wheel that we installed. The rear carpeting along with all of the front carpeting is as new condition. We did purchase a set of new carpeted floor mats that match and do have nice clear floor mat covers over them when driving. Another nice touch is we added on the side console covers that extend all the way back running on both sides of the console, done in nice dark red leather. The original sides of the console were all carpeted and we did save those but it looks much nicer done in leather. We also chrome plated the striker latches on the door jambs, chrome plated the door sill plates, and added clear protective covers over the carpet to help from scuff marks or damage to the carpet from entry and exit. These clear covers have been dyed the dark red color on the back side so they will never scratch. Just several of the many nice accents and touches we did to this Berlina to set it apart from others. The glass and all the trim around the windows is excellent and original to the car. No discoloration at all. All of the gauges are nice and crisp with no fading or dust behind the lenses. It has been kept inside and only driven on occasion.
We did remove the spare tire carrier and wheel for more of a view of that nice polished out chassis. I did save those parts as well and go with the sale of the car. Going to the road if you are behind this car you can see that detailed chassis otherwise with the spare tire carrier in place it would cover all of that up.
We also changed out the original painted t-top roof panels to the new dark colored glass t-top roofs which give it more of an open view when driving. I do have those original painted tops so you have best of both worlds. The underside of those painted tops have the nice dark red liner which also makes for a nice accent when inside the car. These new tops came from Melrose Tops and do fit just like the originals and come on and off easily. Several things we did do to the chassis on this Berlina such as the tie rod ends, oil pan and transmission pan, strut rods, etc that was all saved and do go with the sale of this car.
This Berlina basically looked just like a stock 1982 Corvette from underneath and since this car is so unique and different we decided to give it a first class touch. The underneath was real clean and honestly did not need bushings or parts even replaced but we decided when we disassembled the chassis to replace everything anyway. We did use all polyurethane bushings when installed those components back. I would like to add that the car was never driven in any inclimate weather since new nor has been since all of this chassis details have been completed. We did service the car and replace all of the fluids including the anti-freeze coolant, oil and filter, all brake fluids, transmission fluids, and the rear end grease. This was all done in 2015 and we just serviced the car again in 2018. Close to $15,000 was spent on this chassis alone to get it to this level. Most all of the work was completed in late 2014 and early 2015. We did remove the radiator and took it to a shop to have cleaned, all new radiator hoses were installed using the nice Billet style flex ones, the engine was untouched other than new spark plug wires and spark plugs, new distributor cap and retuned. We did remove the oil pan and replaced it with the nice polished aluminum one with fins and did that also on the transmission pan. All new one piece gaskets used. Also the engine was originally blue from the Corvette but we decided to paint it black. All smog equipment is still intact, original fin black valve covers still intact, aluminum factory intake manifold, and the air cleaner assembly is all stock Corvette. We did have the top piece of the air cleaner that covers the whole top side of the radiator refinished in a nice gloss black paint. We had several things sent off and professionally chrome plated such as the fan blade, fan pulley and crankshaft pulley, all hood latches and hood catches, power steering pump is new chrome plated, chrome air conditioning compressor cover, all hardware chrome plated, new chrome plated master cylinder, braided power steering line hoses, new chrome alternator and brackets, and the list goes on. The power brake booster is stainless and has been polished out to a show finish as well. Many new components replaced and originals saved. The upper and lower front control arms have been removed and powder coated semi-gloss back with all new bushings installed and the coil springs have been chromed. We did take one inch out of those coil springs so the car sits better and ride height in the front. The half shafts and drive shafts have been “Jet” coated like what you would see on headers. This coating is nice and accents the chrome. All new u-joints as well. We also did this coating on the front spindles. The brake calipers have been all replaced and painted in red with new cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors. Even the brackets that hold the front brake calipers on have been chromed. New brake lines as well. The rear leaf spring is the fiberglass-reinforced monoleaf one that came on the stock Corvette however we did remove it and refinished it in glossy black as well with a special paint that will not flake or crack when the spring flexes. Both front and rear bumpers have had chrome hardware installed. There is even a nice leather velcro cover that fits on the extension of the front bumpers and that is still intact! I have never seen another Berlina with that one them. The frame and underbody was just lightly cleaned and refinished as it did not need much at all. As you can see in the photos the frame is excellent with no pitting or rust. Very solid and is original to the car. The exhaust system was special ordered in all stainless steel and then we had it polished out. Even put a new catalytic converter back on the car and it even is polished. The system has the mufflers built into the twin pipes out the back giving the car a much needed better sound but not overly loud. Just a nice tone when driving down the road. The front tie rod ends are all new with chrome sleeves, all wheel bearings repacked, new chrome rear adjustable strut rods, the complete aluminum third member was removed and sanded smooth and polished out to almost chrome. That alone was a painstaking job. Gas tank cleaned and repainted, new Bilstein chrome shocks front and rear, rear trailing arms removed and completely gone through, nothing overlooked at all in anyway. I do want to stress that this car did not need any of these things rebuilt or redone, but being a car that we were not looking to sell right away we wanted something to show and display at different car events. It is a labor of love when it comes to this chassis. We did use all Lucas fluids on the car and had it completely realigned after this was done. I would not be afraid to get into this car and drive it on a road trip if desired. Always starts right up with no overheating issues. We have driven this car now with all of the work done and is ready to enjoy! We did leave the exterior mostly stock with the exception of the exterior mirrors. We used 1956 style Ford Thunderbird ones which gives it a much better look than the stock style ones. Again the original ones we saved and no extra added holes were drilled to accommodate the new style ones. Another nice touch was the rear inner fender wells were of an undercoated type of finish and they are removable, so we used that truck bed style coating on them. This way they will never need to be touched up and being as tough as that coating is, there will never be any debris from the road damaging the inside of the rear inner fender wells. We also did add LED bulbs to the tail lights for much better looks and visibility.
Everything works on the car including the wipers, lights, power windows, back up lamps, heater and defroster, a/c, instruments, windshield wipers, driving lights, etc. I would not be afraid to even use the car in parades at idle for long periods of time.
No Disappointments is this Vehicle!
Must See To Appreciate!