1976 Chevrolet Corvette Barn Find

Not all sellers are professional photographers but this seller made up for the poor pictures by including a large number of pictures that document how neglected this poor 1976 Chevrolet Corvette really is. Located in Merced, California, this 1976 Corvette probably once looked pretty good with its red paint and black interior. Now, it is covered in dust and the tires are flat after being put away for the last 21 years. Even the Barbie toy Jeep next to it is in better shape! The seller has the car listed for sale here on Facebook Marketplace for $5,000. The Corvette has been listed for about a week.

There were only two engine options in 1976. The L48 350 cubic inch V8 engine was the base motor which this car is apparently equipped with from the factory. The optional performance engine was the L82 350 cubic inch V8 engine that had a few more horsepower and it included the engine designation call out on the hood. Even though this is a California car, the engine compartment shows signs of rust and deterioration. The car comes with an extra 5.7 liter engine but there is not much explanation if that is another boat anchor or one that you would gladly install under the hood.

The 350 cubic inch V8 engine is backed by an automatic transmission. The car is said to have a black interior but it looks dark brown to me. The seller states that the car is unmolested but I would argue that the seller’s definition of “unmolested” would be equivalent to “uncared for” in many other enthusiast’s terminologies.

From the driver’s side, it is hard to argue that this is not a barn find. the amount of dust and debris did not happen overnight. I can’t be certain but the Corvette looks like it has factory Rally wheels. Regardless, this car will need to be cleaned up to assess what needs to be done. Sitting for 21 years is not the recipe for reliability and whoever buys this Corvette has their work cut out for them.


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  1. Chuckster

    This is a crime ! To hard to even throw a old blanket on it ?

    Like 9
    • John DeBiasi

      As a Corvette owner I agree. I only own a 1984 but it is garaged now at my mechanics storage facility due to the current weather in Pa, covered and started once a week. They say if you can walk away from a ‘Vette and not look back at it then you totally own the wrong car. As this is the case here!!

      Like 9
      • Pete Lelong

        Sold my ’68 ragtop with an L46 350/350 hp in 2010. Still crying over it!!!

  2. 8banger David Mika Member

    BTW, is there any space consideration for the HEI as to the earlier points-style caps?

    Like 1
    • MFerrell

      I put an HEI in my ’71, I got an offset base air cleaner, it provided plenty of room.

      Like 4
  3. 914Shifter Member

    Sure looks like a brown interior to me??? Also, I see it has AC and tilt wheel for options… still, will need a lot of cleaning up…

    Like 5
  4. Steve R

    The seller is fishing. The $5,000 asking price is ridiculous for a non-running Corvette from that era, especially in California. With the states smog laws and the abundance of inexpensive 60’s and 70’s performance cars through the late-1980’s the rubber bumper 3rd generation Corvettes never developed a strong following. A more realistic price for this car would be in the $2,000 range.

    The write up mentions the engine compartment rust and how it’s odd on a California car. The numbers and design of license plates would have been issued in the early-90’s. This car likely started life in another state, rust could definitely be a factor with this one, if so it would make this a parts car based on its location.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  5. george mattar

    76 Corvettes are very common, 45,000 made. Most were automatics, boring. I worked at a Chevy dealer when these were new. We got in a silver one with L82 and 4 speed. It had beautiful Firethorn leather interior. I got to drive it. For 76, it was pretty fast and the L82s pulled very hard. This one is sad. Not worth even $4,000. These cars cost a ton to restore because parts are so expensive, even though some Corvette parts places are on the brink of going out of business. They are easier to work on than say a C4, but unless you know what you are doing, setting up the rear wheel bearings is difficult, even with the special tools needed. Even a so called simple job like changing heater hoses on an air conditioned C3 is a pain in the butt. It is not easy and you must be gentle as to not break the heater core. Taking the original radio out of these cars also a total pain. I have owned 2 C3s, currently have a 73 coupe, but living in salt infested Pennsylvania, it is off the road for the winter.

    Like 3
  6. Tom peters

    I have a base model 76 corvette it was originally L-48 when I bought the car it had a late model small block about 300 horsepower it a driver with big hooker side pipes!!!! After market wheels. White with ox blood red interior!!!!!

    Like 1
  7. dogwater

    I guess the guy had know soap and water ?

    Like 2
  8. The Real Jake

    I often see Barn Finds and find them appealing as a potential project. No such thing with this car. It just looks like a lot of work. Sometimes a Barn Find and a piece of junk look a lot alike.

  9. brett gates

    in australia this car would be worth 20grand easy
    3k shipping 5k car
    youre all spoilt

    Like 1
  10. plwindish

    Looks like the Barbie car has received more care and attention than the Vette.

    Like 1
  11. Bob Mck Member

    They even set the emergency brake. Good luck getting that to release so you can roll the car out of the barn.

    Like 1
  12. Jim

    From all the rust on the engine could this vette have spent a few days in salt water as a flood victim? The interior carpets may have a tale of their own!

    Like 1
  13. Stephen Coe

    750-1000 tops 5K to fix brakes and suspension fix doors and windows another $1500 interior cheap is 1500. Tires 650, car is worth 10k tops just say NOamd run away.

  14. Garry Currie

    1976 is a great fun car to drive and restore, as long as you know what you’re doing! Had mine now for46 years.Drive a bit of history and turn some heads!

    Like 2
  15. Kenn

    I wonder if Brett bought this???

  16. Bill

    Yup your right that car would only have 160, HP

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