Sports Car Or Rat Rod: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

There is nothing sadder to see than a great classic car that has gone up in flames. Although at first glance, this 1969 Corvette Stingray sort of takes on the appearance of a custom built “rat rod” of sorts. Despite the burned off body, there is still a solid frame as well as some other potentially worthwhile parts, including a 402 big block that still turns over. If you have a solid body and a rusty frame, this ‘Vette skeleton may be a suitable fix for the $2,500 asking price. Take a look as this sad old Stingray here on craigslist out of Sylvania, Ohio. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Bill Walters for the crispy submission!

The fact the 402 cubic inch big block turns over is promising, but still a gamble. There are quite a few metal items melted in the engine bay that makes me leery of the engine’s condition. The bell housing on the 4 speed transmission looks to be melted where it may no longer be of any use other than a boat anchor. The chassis appears capable of rolling, and overall still looks to be quite useful for someone in need.

Little remains of the interior other that the steering column, and the shift lever. I guess in a way with the body burned off it is easy to examine the true condition of this chassis. The seller has pointed out that the windshield frame is in good condition making this a “worthwhile” venture. Perhaps it is a bit blasphemous, but I could see someone in the “rat rod” community installing few bomber seats, some lights, and hot rod wiring harness to enjoy this dead ‘Vette in its crispy condition.

From the rear view, there looks to be little melted and the frame and chassis components look good from this as well. Nothing seems out of place or shoddy on this chassis lending me to believe that this was a nice well put together car that was truly a heart breaker when it burned. The seller is certainly losing out on this investment, and on his dream. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The remains of this Corvette could possibly live to drive the streets once more. Could you put this burned down dream to good use?

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Comments

  1. Blyndgesser

    There’s a sort of elemental beauty in it as is.

    8+

  2. Pat lamb

    Looks like somebody Parked it in the BRONX…

    7+

  3. Pat lamb

    A bAGHDAD “Look -mom -no-BOMBS” daily driver….

    3+

  4. Big Mike

    Roll cage and Sand dune tires and head for St Joe State Park and have fun!!!!!!

    3+

  5. Mark-A

    Reminds me of Cleetus McFarlands MURICA,Corvette!! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pc786PIDcew
    Remember to Do It For Dale as he would say!!

    1+

  6. Steve R

    It’s worth, at best, 50% the value of its salvageable parts. I don’t see $5,000 worth of parts sitting there.

    Anyone that has dreams of turning it into some sort of road warrior tribute would be financially better off by stripping some mid-70’s model that is currently running but has body damage.

    Steve R

    3+

  7. jw454

    This is about as completely burned as one could get. No soft tissue left.
    As I’ve stated here in the past, my garage burnt to the ground in 1979. I still remember I could bend my Craftsman wrenches into a “u” shape by hand. That makes me wonder about any hopes of salvaging anything from a car like this. My 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe went to the scrap pile.

    13+

  8. John M.

    Looks like a vehicle that one of the Humongous’s boys in the movie “The Road Warrior” would like to get behind the wheel in.

    1+

  9. Ray

    “Burners” are among the most difficult salvage vehicles to harvest useful parts from. Yes, there will be some, but the heat damage is pervasive and the effort to get to the ‘maybe’; good parts exceeds their value. Nothing on that car that cannot be obtained from a better source. Another ‘fishing expedition’ by the the seller on this one.

    7+

  10. AMXSTEVE

    yard art

    0

  11. AMCFAN

    Someone would have to be a piece of work themselves to even attempt to try and reuse the remains or even just the frame. I have seen what fire can do.
    Just as jw454 has said about his tools being bent by hand afterward is sad.

    This the seller trying to hawk this….. whole what ever it is left is sad. For everyone’s safety it needs sent to the scrap yard. Get over it. There are a million others left. Please BF enough of the burned Corvettes. Can’t there be anything else “found” or currently selling that is more interesting then this?

    Please readers help and submit something more worthy of attention

    9+

  12. Bill McCoskey

    I lost a major car collection in 1973 to a lightning-caused fire in a barn, and again when lightning struck my antique car shop in 1998. Any vehicle in this condition will have lost the tensile abilities in every ounce of steel & iron, and that includes the frame. It may be rust free and straight, but not for long once it’s got weight on it and the torque from the motor will twist it out of spec. All the pot metal will have melted [and the carb would have melted & run into the manifold, possibly into the heads too.] Any soft items like suspension bushings are gone. All the soldered fittings on the radiator have melted, and while the windshield frame may look OK, I’m sure when measured, it will have sagged at the base where it joins the body. I’ve gone thru this with a total of 6 cars in the first fire, and 14 cars in the second fire.

    I had a 1956 Packard Caribbean with the 2 4bbl carb setup. After everything cooled down, I took the manifold off the motor. The manifold bolts were so loose I used my fingers to unscrew and remove them. Once the manifold was sitting on a flat steel table [not in the fire], the manifold would rock from one corner to the opposite corner. It was that out of spec!

    The 1939 6C2600 Alfa coupe with an alloy body was a twisted pile of steel tubing, and various motor & transmission “hard” parts could be seen sticking out of the large chunk of solidified aluminum on the floor.

    My 1932 & 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25 cars [a Hooper sports saloon & a James Young limo] we nothing more than a pile of rusty steel pieces, with visibly warped frames. No body at all on either car, all the wood burned & the aluminum vaporized. Yeah, it was that hot.

    The 1941 Cadillac convertible coupe was reduced to less than 40 inches at the tallest part of the car!

    A car that has burned to the level of this ‘Vette has ZERO usable and SAFE parts on it.

    10+

  13. erikj

    Bill , Sad tale, we all hope that’s not us someday. I guess just super enjoy the next group you have!!! Sad ,but those things happen. Good luck with your future rides and don’t toss in the towel. You sound like a true car lover.

    3+

  14. LAB3

    Not sure If believe the story of this being what’s left after a fire, still too much of it left relatively in tact. While working a summer job at a marina I saw a fiberglass boat burn up. Now granted, there’s a lot less metal and a lot more fiberglass in a boat but what was left of the engine and outdrive was nothing more than a charred hunk of metal. In this picture I’m seeing an awful lot of thin stuff that looks almost unscathed which leaves me leery of the story, that boat was one hot fire!

    0

  15. PRA4SNW

    It’s interesting that the floors didn’t melt.
    They aren’t metal.

    1+

  16. Mike Williams

    Make a Cobra kit car out of it.

    0

  17. Grunt0331

    I agree with LAB3…hard to believe that a “fire” of the apparent magnitude in the photos would have had no physical damage to the fuel tank…hmmmm?

    0

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