Cheap Big-Block Project? 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

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Every enthusiast dreams of the moment when an affordable classic project candidate hits the market. Those cars typically require a deep commitment to regain their former glory, but when the vehicle in question is an early C3 Corvette that rolled off the line with a big-block under the hood, people tend to take notice. That is the story for our feature car, although the seller floats the idea that some may view it more as a parts car than a viable project. It will be interesting to gauge your response once you see what this classic offers to its next owner. And there will be a new owner, because the seller has listed the car with no reserve.

Chevrolet released the C3 Corvette for the 1968 model year and found it had a hit on its hand. The previous C2 set a sales record of 27,720 cars in 1966, but the C3 hit the ground running with a new record of 28,566 in its first production year. The latest model carried over most of its predecessor’s underpinnings, although the stylish and swooping body captured the buying public’s imagination. Our feature car is a first-year vehicle that has fallen on hard times. There is little evidence of its original International Blue paint, which was 1-of-10 shades offered by Chevrolet that year. It was chosen by 2,473 buyers, representing a take-up rate of a mere 8.6%. Tuxedo Black, Polar White, and Cordovan Maroon proved less popular, but the tally was well short of the 4,779 buyers who selected British Green. This classic is a sad sight, and a previous owner’s decision to flare the rear wheel arches would appear to be the least of its problems. The fiberglass shows significant deterioration and damage, and it is unclear what could be repaired without the assistance of a specialist. Many trim pieces are missing, and those that remain require restoration or replacement. However, that could be the least of the buyer’s problems, with the seller admitting the frame and birdcage are rusty. They provide no specifics, and the underside shots are inconclusive. Therefore, completely dismantling this classic would be the first step in determining whether it is a viable project candidate.

The Corvette’s interior is nearly as sad as its exterior, although it is essentially complete. The Code 414 Medium Blue vinyl has seen better days, and a retrim is the only option if someone does tackle a restoration. That raises the question of how faithful they might be because substituting leather for vinyl wouldn’t add significantly to the budget. If the buyer views it as a parts car, there are plenty of interior items that could recoup the purchase price.

We live in an era where manufacturers have focused on developing and selling zero-emission vehicles, and this Corvette ticks that box. The seller confirms this classic is a roller, with the original engine and transmission a distant memory. That is a crying shame because they wouldn’t have come much better than this in 1968. The seller claims it rolled off the line powered by the L71 version of the 427ci V8. The big-block delivered 435hp and 460 ft/lbs of torque, which was fed to the road via a four-speed manual transmission. Its ability to cover the ¼-mile in 13.4 seconds looks respectable in a modern context, but it would have commanded serious respect in 1968. The L71 was chosen by 2,898, and finding replacements for the engine and transmission might be possible. However, with all we have seen, that might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for those considering the financial viability of this build.

No Reserve auctions traditionally generate strong interest, but this 1968 Corvette has received only two bids to reach $930 since the seller listed it here on eBay in Kansas City, Missouri. However, over five hundred people have viewed the listing in the past day, suggesting the situation might change as the end draws near. So, what do you think? Is this American icon a viable project candidate, or will it end its days as a donor?

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  1. Ron E Bee

    that’s an incredible amount of work and without a tank sticker , or the original drivetrain its a guess, hard pass

    Like 2

    Good parts car if you need some body parts, but might just be a lost cause.

    Like 0
  3. ACZ

    There isn’t 900 bucks worth of scrap metal there. The fiberglass sees to that.

    Like 1
  4. Frank Sumatra

    $930 should be the winning bid. I look forward to the time the writer will call a bad car a bad car. With a decent Corvette re-paint being a five-figure event, the restoration cost could never be recovered or even have a dent (Or stress-crack) put in it.

    Like 1
  5. Charles Jenkins

    Definitely a “walk away” Vette. Might be enough useable parts to get $1500.00 or so for, but not much more. The wheels are the best part of it. I don’t see it going for more than the current bid. It’s sad.

    Like 0
  6. Mike

    Parts at best, doesn’t even have a good title. SALVAGE

    Like 0
  7. George Mattar

    For whatever reason, this has been the fate of many 68s. They are extremely expensive to restore, due in part to many one year only parts. To name a few, doors, headlamp buckets, steering wheel, seats, dash with ignition still there, taillamps. Pass.

    Like 0
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Pair this one with the seller’s other 68 that he has on EBay – also featured here on B.F. – and you might be able to piece together a usable car. That is, once you’ve spent a year of hard labor.

    Like 0

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