427/4-Speed Project: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

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Here’s a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette where the positives seem to outweigh the negatives by far.  While this one’s going to need some fiberglass replacement on the driver’s side, it appears the rest of the body is in reasonably nice shape, plus the original big block and 4-speed manual transmission are still present and functioning.  The ‘Vette is located in Wilmington, Delaware, and it ticks many of the right boxes if you’ve been on the hunt for a late-sixties C3 to take on as a project.  The asking price has been set at $22,500, and we’d like to thank Barn Finds reader Tony Primo for his great tip here!

This is a case where the seller doesn’t give us very much background information regarding the Corvette’s past, and there’s no mention of how long he’s owned it or how that big crunch occurred in that one quarter.  Fortunately, the most severe body damage seems confined to only this area, so once it’s dealt with, the rest of the panel prep should be smooth sailing by comparison.

Probably the best news here is the drivetrain, starting with the 427, which is still the original numbers-matching block.  Although it’s the lowest output for this size in ’69, a factory horsepower rating of 390 is more than enough to put a smile from ear to ear on the face of most drivers.  When it’s matched with a 4-speed manual, the fun factor intensifies, and we also get to view a couple of videos, including one of a cold start plus another of the car being driven.  There’s no word on whether or not the engine has ever gotten an overhaul, but it certainly sounds healthy and I didn’t witness any tailpipe smoke when it was fired up.

The dark green interior seems to be in about average condition, or maybe slightly better.  The buckets have some wear and tear, but if this was addressed, perhaps the rest of the components in there are close to satisfactory if it’s just a driver you’re going for.  For safety reasons, it might be time well spent to repair the horn, which shouldn’t be all that difficult.

The positives continue underneath, as the seller provides a good selection of photos from down below, all of which seem to confirm his claim that the south side isn’t rusty.  This one could use a good restoration, but other than the one obvious fiberglass flaw, it seems like a solid and potentially rewarding candidate to invest in.  If you’re already envisioning taking this C3 to a higher level. the car can be spotted here on Craigslist.  What are your thoughts on this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette?

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  1. james sartor

    Looks as if a tire sacrificed itself for this car (burnout anyone?)

    Like 6
    • KCJ

      First thing that came my mind was tire blew during burnout

      Like 0
  2. Shannon Coates

    What a cool car! I hope it finds a good home

    Like 4
  3. CadmanlsMember

    Listing is gone , so someone was more than interested in this beauty. 390 HP is nothing to sneeze at, and three peddles make it better, done right repair should be just fine. Smiles per mile folks!

    Like 1
  4. Frank Sumatra

    I have heard tales of what happens when a rear wheel bearing lets go on a C3. That looks like the damage I have heard described. That may also be why rear trailing arm rebuilds, bearing rebuilds, and stainless-steel brake re-sleeving services are still going strong today. All are weak spots on the C3.

    Like 4
  5. George Mattar

    The rear wheel bearings let go on my 71 coupe in 1976. Why? Previous never had the bearings repacked. It is a tough job even with the proper Kent Moore tools. But my car was spared any body damage. Price is too high for all that needs to be done

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      Thanks for confirming, George. Repacking the bearings was the cause of most of the issues. As you noted, many times the bearing grease was in worse shape after if the proper procedure wasn’t followed.

      Like 0
  6. chrlsful

    nope, not 4 me, only C1 ’56 or better ’58/60 only. But…

    local just brought ina brand new late 30s cheb kit car (glass) w/this motor, a
    “435” (bored out I guess). turbo-hydromatic transmis, 4 link ford 9 inch, coil overs, etc.

    ~30K$ and ‘everything’s wrong’. We hada change out their mini starter (2a cheb sm block), re-wire the battery (lug fell off in our hands), fix the pass side ball joint, relocate the engine harness offa da R&P steering, weld the driver’s spring bucket together (they hada zip tie? wtf?), clean rubber fuel line oudda da needle’n seat, more. And this isa brand new car…

    I will say “With that custom frame, light glass body, & warmed up vette engine “it has the power” (to chirp tire even 2nd & 3rd gears).

    Like 1
  7. George Mattar

    The real wheel bearings let go on my 71 coupe in 1976. Why? Previous never had the bearings repacked. It is a tough job even with the proper Kent Moore tools. But my car was spared any body damage. Price is too high for all that needs to be done

    Like 0

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