302 Equipped? 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Any time you spot a Corvette parked out in the elements, you can’t help but wonder what the story is and how it ended up being left out. Well, Reader Bill B in Central Florida just spotted this 1969 Corvette and had to stop for a closer look. Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t around, but their neighbor was. He didn’t know the car’s full story, but made an interesting claim that has Bill perplexed! More on that in a moment. Since you don’t see too many 1969 Corvettes projects just sitting around, he knew he needed to share it with his fellow readers. So, a huge thanks to Bill for sending his sighting in!

So what was it the neighbor told Bill that seemed strange to him? Well, they claimed that the car has a 302 V8 under the hood. While there was a 305 V8 option offered towards the end of C3 production, the smallest engine available in 1969 was the 350. Chances are the neighbor just has the numbers mixed up, but there’s always the chance that someone put a 302 from a Camaro into it. That sure would make for a fun combo! The hood would suggest that this car was at least originally optioned with a big block 427 V8, but the hood could have been added prior to it being parked. Perhaps the intake gasket sitting on the hood could be a good clue?

Personally, I love a good mystery like this! Chances are there’s just a 350 under that hood, but it sure would be exciting to lift that hood up to see what is in there. So, what do you think? Could this be a 427 car? And what do you think the odds are that the neighbor is accurate and there’s a 302 under that hood?


  1. Ralph

    Doesn’t matter….from the looks of it, this is where the car will sit until the end of time……

    “Gonna fix it up….”

    Like 20
  2. Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

    302 Ford?

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      Chevy made a 302 from 1967-1969.

      Steve R

      Like 11
      • Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

        Ford made a 302 from 1969-1970.

        Like 5
      • Steve R

        Newport, not exactly, Ford made a 302 from 1968 until the mid-1990’s. They made the Boss 302 in 1969 and 1970, but that’s not what’s in this car.

        Steve R

        Like 10
  3. mike b

    Wasn’t that hood also part of the LT-1 (350) package?

    Like 4
    • al8apex

      yes, but the LT-1 was a 70-72 offering

      No holes in the hood for 427 emblems on the LT-1 hoods

      Like 3
  4. Walter

    When the jack stands holding it up are rusty too, I keep driving…. No matter how good the back story is.

    Like 7
  5. John

    The fact that the neighbor even knew that there was a 302 is a pretty good indication that he may,indeed, be a savvy guy. I have often wondered what the high reviving 302 would be like in a better chassis than a Camaro. I had a 69 Z28. The motor and transmission were wonderful. The rest of the car was a stiffened up Nova with a swoopy body..

    Like 6
  6. John DeFilippo

    Wikipedia › wiki › Chevrolet_small-bloc…
    Web results
    Chevrolet small-block engine – Wikipedia
    is there a 302 small block corvette from en.wikipedia.org
    Jump to 302 · In 1966, General Motors designed a special 302 cu in (4.9 L) engine for the production Z /28 … 1969 Corvette and 1970 Z/28 engines were equipped with until the Q-jet carburetor returned in …
    Block material: Cast iron, Aluminum
    Piston stroke: 3 in (76.2 mm); 3.1 in (78.7 mm); 3.25 in (82.6 mm); 3.48 in (88.4 mm); …
    Torque output: 215–400 lb⋅ft (292–542 N⋅m)

    Like 2
  7. bob

    This is way off topic, buy how many out there have ever seen a small journal 327 that was a 4 bolt main block. I have seen 1, way back in 1975. I owned it for a short time. Didn’t know what I had and how rare it was until many years later.

    Like 1
    • JagManBill

      Bob, I bought 68 Chevelle in 79 to use as a parts car for a 69 ElCamino that was my Brother-in-Laws (that had an engine fire in my driveway). I do not know if the engine was original to the Chevelle or not but from how it looked, I would assume so as the car only had about 60k on it if I remember and looked very original. That said, the engine I pulled out of it was a 327 small journal 4 bolt main with 202 heads. Sold it to the neighbor for $200 (what I paid for the Chevelle) who put it in his 66 Chevelle.

      Like 3
  8. Tom Member

    At least he saved the tires from developing flat spots !!!

    I’ve been around 53 years. I have never seen a corvette’s finish look like this. any explanation? Sun Rot? It looks like someone put paint stripper on there and forgot to continue the process. I have owned 4 72-76 corvettes.

    Maybe I just don’t know because, further, I can’t understand how anyone could let a corvette get into this condition? Or any classic/muscle car for that matter.

    UGH !!!!

    Like 8
  9. SquareLeft

    You never know what’s going to end up in what. If you look in my garage right now, you’ll find a ’55 Chevy 4-door sedan that has a 302 and a 4-speed in it. It’s a really slick swap and it belongs to my buddy John, who bought it from his buddy Chester. The ’55 originally had a tired 265/3-speed in it. In 1971 (as I recall), someone totaled a ’69 Z28 and Chester ended up with the engine and tranny. The ’55 needed an engine, so…. My favorite part of the story is that Chester got so tired of all the Camaro guys b**ching and moaning about the swap when they saw the DZ code on the engine; he ran a bead of JB Weld across the ID pad!

    Like 6
  10. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    I think I still have a pair of stands like that, bought new in the 60’s.
    Moss, mold, lichen, fungi….. All seem to have found a home on or in this car. When dendritic organisms dig into a material like fiberglass, I’d bet they have a far more damaging effect than just dirt and grime.

    I’d expect that the car has been sitting out for at least two decades. Makes me wonder, if the Corvette wasn’t valuable enough to put into that garage, then what was it that got stored inside, all those years ago?

    Like 3
  11. Camaro Joe

    Square Left,

    I have a real DZ 302 in a 57 Bel Air. A lot of those cars had motors blown up and ended up with everything from 350’s to big blocks. Also a lot of drivers ran out of talent and wrecked them, so the 302’s ended up in other cars.

    I have one original 69 Z/28 with under 50 K miles, so I stumbled across a second car (less original motor and trans) that I mated a motor and trans from a car that my friend burned in a garage fire. Before I got old and decided that I don’t need to race any more I bought a motor out of a car that was wrecked and put it in the 57 Bel Air just in case I got stupid and “stuff” happened. I tell people at car shows it’s a 57 with the rare Z/28 option. Most of them laugh, a few just look confused.

    If that’s a “DZ” (69 motor) or “MO” (67/68 motor) it’s probably worth more than the Corvette is.

    Like 7
  12. Mike

    Get it running, touch nothing on the outside and inside. Drive up to a car show wearing a hazmat suit and grab all the attention.

    Like 12
  13. Jack Hammer

    This is a gentlemen’s car from the early ’70s, used to cruise around and pick up “birds”(chicks). Looks like the birds won.

    Like 1
  14. Jeff

    Run, don’t walk from this money pit!

    Like 1
  15. Gaspumpchas

    Shame to see it in this condition, and I’d bet that you that Ralph is right–he’s gonna fix it up. Mother nature will get it first if she hasn’t aleady. SMH.


    Like 2
  16. Benjy58

    A perfect example why you should not buy any ones nightmare.

  17. bigdoc

    I have always wanted a Corvette but I think I’ll pass.

    Like 2
  18. TimM

    What a shame!! I really don’t think the motor is an issue at this point the body is in such poor shape it’s almost beyond repair!! If the top is this bad wonder what the bottom looks like???

    Like 2
  19. Leon Siegler

    If it really was a 427 big block car at one time, maybe it now “sports” a 402 as a replacement, not 302…that is if rotting into the earth counts as “sporting.” So sad to see, but may still make a good start for a drag car.

    Like 1
    • Jack Hammer

      Drag it to the dump?

      Like 1
  20. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Looks like Barn Finds needs an editor for facts, and better educated readers, any car guy knows a Chevy 302 was the only engine in 67 to 69 Z/28s, why it was under 305 CI, and what they were raced in. Where exactly is this car? I just want the engine, and maybe part out the car. It does look odd, black and white moldy looking crud, maybe it’s just surface and body is better than it looks.

  21. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    @Chuck F 55chevy .
    Thanks for the post… newbies just repeat what they read on the internet…and most haven’t a clue as to what is real anymore

    Like 2
  22. John

    There used to be a lot of discussion ( I wish I could remember it all) about 327 blocks and 283 cranks, or perhaps vice versa. I can remember lots of “4 bolt mains” and “big-valve” head talk. I does seem to be that the 302s were considered to be parts bin motors, not ones which were specifically engineered as 302s. There was a lot attention being given in those days to windage trays and peripheral drag. For a young and usually cash-strapped guy, all I could do is watch and listen. I finally acquired a brand new 69 Z28. It was $3900 in a day when there were lots of $2700 327 and 307 Camaros. My dad wanted to have me committed. My car payment was over $100. I never got inside the motor of my Z28. Holley “double-pumper” carbs were about the end of my expertise. I spent many many hours re-curving the distributor. I usually put it back to stock. I still have distributor weights in my tool box. My BIGGEST expenditure was for a Hurst linkage and “T” bar shift handle. I drooled over American Racing mag wheels, but those were never in the budget. Those were very, very good days for us gearheads.

    Then my interests changed to a girl named Barbara, and a couple of years later to our daughter. My cars were more likely to be selected with power steering and A/C. I was very lucky to have a wife who could drive a “four-speed”. I have only recently begun to look back and dream and to wonder if I could recreate some of those things that I left behind. Maybe that’s why Barnfinds exists.

    Like 6
  23. Jack Hammer

    John we all had dreams, and most of us never got there, for one reason or another. I think you are right about Barnfinds.

  24. 327 365

    Has the owner came forward

  25. Gerry Rhoades

    A guy in Sheffield Ohio had a 58 Vette and a 38 Chevy coupe with a small block sitting outside for at least 15 years. I stopped once and got permission to look at the Vette, it was horrible. The upper control arm mounts peeled away from the frame, taking chunks with them. The interior was completely rotted away, and some one stripped the body down to the glass. I stuck my finger through the body in several spots so that body was junk. The frame had more holes than metal. Not for sale of course. I think the 58 to 62 Vettes are to garish, especially the 58,ilike the 57 best. I haven’t been out that way in 10 years, might take a ride and see if its still there. I saw a 63 to 67 Vette convertible in Ashtabula Ohio that sat in the guys front yard by the drive for at least 15 years from my daily school bus ride in Jr High to my late twenties, not for sale of course. It is gone now, I was told when they hauled it away it broke in half loading it on the flat bed.

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