427 Corvette Convertible Barn Find?

This mystery year convertible Corvette is said to be a real 427 4-speed car that was found in a barn. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more information than that. The ad can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $24,000. Located in Cleona, Pennsylvania, the seller does say you can contact them for more information. Thanks to Adam C. for the tip on this car!

To me, this car looks like a ’69, but I’m a Ford guy. If any readers know any more details on this car, please leave us a comment. The car was obviously in storage for a long time, but I’m not convinced it is a true “barn find.” It may be more of a “garage/shed/storage” find.

The car certainly has seen a hot rod treatment at some point in its life. The wide 5-spoke Cragar-style wheels along with the Holley valve covers and ignition wires probably made this a great looking (and performing) car in its day. It also features a 4-speed transmission, which combined with the 427 make a very desirable set-up.

Overall, this is a pretty good looking project. Hopefully, the seller will be able to provide some more details on the history of the car and provide documentation of the authenticity. What do you think? Is this car worth the $24,000 asking price?

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Comments

  1. Angrymike

    Didn’t the 69 have “Stingray” on the fender ? I’m thinking it’s a 68.

    9
    • Rocco

      Yes the car is a 68! The push button door lock knob tell tale sign.

      18
      • Miguel

        Isn’t the front side marker lights different from ’68 to ’69?

        3
      • TriPowerVette

        @Miguel – good eye, my friend. Yes. The 1968 used a clear lens, with an amber bulb, and 1969 changed to amber lens with a clear bulb.

        There was a a time, before everything was being reproduced, that I bought every clear side marker I came across, in case there was ever a need.

        For a while, they were moderately valuable because of that.

        5
      • Miguel

        The ’68 – ’69 is the only C-3 I would want.

        There are any in Mexico that are worth a crap.

        I guess I am going to have to find out what the new rules are for importing a car.

        I am sure those rules will change again with NAFTA being changed.

        2
      • TriPowerVette

        @Miguel – you have always been a man of taste and discernment.

        3
      • Miguel

        Thank you sir.

        2
    • Elliot Kaplan

      This generation of Corvette had chrome bumpers on the rear and front from 1968 the first year in production and from my memory the last year for chrome bumpers as 1972. The last decent amount of horsepower of this generation was either 1973 or 1974 and the body style ended with the last year was 1982 with no corvette model in 1983

      • PRA4SNW Member

        You’re pretty close,
        The C3 began in ’68 and ceased in ’82.
        ’73 had plastic front bumper and chrome rear bumpers.
        ’74 went to the plastic rear bumper and was 2 pieces that had a vertical seam in the middle.
        ’70 was the peak of horsepower. Things steadily declined from there.
        ’74 was the last year for the 454 big block.

        2
  2. Matt steele

    Worth $24,000 all day to me.. That’s about what are new Camry costs

    9
    • TriPowerVette

      @Matt steele – Yeah, but can you hide from the police (and others) in plain sight, with a red Corvette? I think not. If you get a Camry, you can park it up front, in an empty lot and never be able to find it again, if your key fob’s battery dies.*

      Also; if your kids (or you and your significant other) ever have trouble going to sleep, just face your beds to wherever you park the Camry. Better than Sominex.*

      * From the book: 101 Uses for a Camry.

      17
    • Fiete T.

      The new Camry is well over $24k. V6 version with some ‘fun time’ options and it’s mid-thirties all day. Good news? Camry with decent maintainence will go 250k miles no problem

  3. Matt steele

    But I can’t afford a Camry either

    22
    • HARDBALL

      @Matt steele…….You got a full scale belly laugh out of me with that! Thank you! My thumbs up makes 18.

      1
  4. Scooter

    Perfect car, 427 and a 4 speed

    11
  5. Matt steele

    I think it’s a 69 look at the door handle lever not a push button

    5
    • Jim Kerr

      It is a 1968. 1968 had both push button & push down chrome lever door that had to be actuated simultaneously to open the door. In 1969 the engineers finally got smart and eliminated the push button and only the push down lever was used to open.

      2
      • TriPowerVette

        @Jim Kerr – Not to be confrontive, but the ‘push down lever’ for 1968 is actually nothing more than a spring loaded cover over the void, to provide a purchase for the fingers.

        The ‘thumb press button’ is the only active component, in 1968.

        Only the push button needed to be actuated to open the door. The ‘spring loaded cover was inert, and there for convenience only.

        In 1969, the ‘thumb press button’ became the door lock only, and the ‘push down lever’ became the active component.

        Fun fact; there is a HUGE difference in the weight of a 1968 door to 1969, even though they look nearly identical. A 1968 door can be easily carried by 1 hand. The 1969 version is best managed by 2 people. The difference is the mandated steel side-guard door beams.

        6
    • Rocco

      It’s a 68 that was a 68 feature.

      7
  6. Pat

    It’s a 68, 69’s had ignition in steering column. 68’s are on the dashboard, as this is.

    21
    • Rocco

      Agreed correct

      5
  7. Derek Nathan Daniel

    68 had cover that opened over wiper blades and 69 had sting day emblem on fenders

    2
    • Mike

      My 69 had the vacuum operated door over wipers.

      1
      • TriPowerVette

        @Mike – @Derek Nathan Daniel – Absolutely. You are both correct. All Corvettes, from 1968 until 1973 had vacuum headlights and wiper door.

        After 1972, only the headlights continued to be dependent on a byzantine, maddeningly fragile, over-complex vacuum system (only less so, after that), until the introduction of the C4.

        The power brakes were vacuum as well, but that was a completely different system and circuit (which could nevertheless complicate the diagnosis and repair, in spite of that nearly complete division between the two systems).

        Oh, I almost forgot, the distributor spark advance, Quadrajet secondaries, AND outboard carbs on the 3X2 setups were vacuum-operated, too. On the plus side, my hair is starting to grow back in, now.

        I guess we were lucky that we didn’t have vacuum-assisted power door locks as well (as with my Jaguar XJ6).

        Thumbs up to both of you.

        5
      • leiniedude Member

        I have been lucky, my stock 72 that I have had for 18 years still works well with the vacuum headlights. I do have to laugh when I stomp on the girl, as the left side headlight always pops up. LOL! It pops up a lot! Always enjoy your input TriPowerVette. Thank you, take care, Mike.

        4
      • TriPowerVette

        @leiniedude – You are too kind… and lucky that you have hung on to that sweet ride.

        I know, right? BOTH of my headlights would come up. First the left, then the right. I understand that many racers worked out a way to pin them, but I just chucked it and installed the plexi-covered rectangular lights on the ’69. Never regretted it.

        (I did experience a little fogging when it was really wet out, but I could live with it. Probably a better seal than the one supplied with the kit would have done the trick, but in Arizona, *shrug*.)

        Thumbs up to you, sir.

        3
  8. Dan

    Yep 1968.

    2
  9. Stang1968

    Valve covers and wheels don’t add performance to a car any more than stickers and logos do. The plug wires perhaps could yield a stronger spark with the right distributor and plugs.

    1
    • Steve R

      It’s a proven fact stickers add performance. Just ask any guy at the local cruise or drive in that has them plastered over their quarter window.

      Steve R

      30
      • Chris

        Indeed, one of the well kept secrets in hot rodding. I had a ’71 Dart that ran 2/10ths faster once I added a Holley sticker to the quarter window, back in ’83 of course.

        19
      • Steve R

        It would have gone even faster if you had added a NOS sticker.

        Steve R

        15
      • Dennis

        If you really want to add performance put the stickers closer to the engine. Got a lot off empty spaces under the hood. LMAO!!!

        1
      • Country Joe

        1/10th of a second per sticker was our rule of thumb….

        1
  10. doug

    This car was just sold at auction about 2 months ago. By now it could have been washed.

    11
    • TriPowerVette

      @doug – Tracking information for these cars is vital, and always appreciated. Thank you.

      One time, a very rich collector friend of mine told me how to tell the principals from the lookers at a car show or auction.

      The principals will always have a pad and something to write with available. Where the lookers, just look around and walk away, the principal will have his head (or the head of a younger assistant) under the hood and elsewhere, so he can write down serial numbers, options, dates, etc… At home, they keep a file on each car (often a Ferrari). They usually have a more-or-less complete picture of any given individual car’s history.

      They didn’t make enough money to collect these cars by not knowing what they are looking at, in detail.

      9
  11. Steve

    I wish I could afford this car I have always wanted a 60’s Vette with this engine and transmission combo

    5
  12. Frank

    1968 the keylock on the door is a push button, which opens the latch. That’s the only year like that.

  13. Blk63vette

    Definitely a 1968 Corvette. I had one that was Corvette Bronze on the outside and black interior. 327 350 hp. I miss that car. I like it this one

    1
  14. TriPowerVette

    To my way of thinking, 1969 was the year that the pre-1983/84 Corvette peaked. There were 8 different engines available, from mild (300 H.P.) to W.T.F. (All-aluminum 427 RPO ZL-1 – genuflect), and 4 different transmissions.

    You could get side-exhaust (the only C3 year for that option).

    You could get tri-power on the 427, with factory A/C! Take that, Plymouth/Dodge.

    This example is factory red on red. Yessssss!

    Attached, is a pic of my 1969 427 3X2 A/C 4-speed both tops.

    It was my daily transportation for about 10-12 years.

    21
    • glen

      I always liked the look of side pipes, very cool.Nice daily driver, I’m guessing you don’t live in Canada!

      2
      • TriPowerVette

        @glen – Thank you. About as far from it as possible in the U.S.; Arizona.

        From the appearance of these two cars, most regular readers of BF should be able to get a feel for where my sentiments lie, on the
        |- completely, totally, 100% factory original—to—wild and crazy Kustom -| continuum.

        BTW – Wish I hadn’t had a radiator issue, so close to when that pic was taken. It was a complete surprise. One day a co-worker came to me and asked whether he might snap a few pix of it. I told him that he flattered me, and that it would be an honor. Thus, at that moment in time, it wasn’t even freshly washed.

        Taught me a life lesson: A picture is forever.

        Big thumbs up.

        3
    • stillrunners

      wow – such a good comparison…..

      • TriPowerVette

        @stillrunners – Could you clarify your remark, please? Or even identify to whom you were addressing it? It is not clear.

    • Steve

      If I recall that was the 400 horse L68. That was the one I always wanted. Jealous. 🙂

      3
      • TriPowerVette

        @Steve – You are correct, sir. X2. Thumbs UP!

        1
  15. TriPowerVette

    I missed the ’69 so much, that when I found this 1968 WITH EXACTLY THE SAME SPECS, except that the ’68 had the Speed Warning option, I grabbed it. (The gross hood was not my idea, and was later changed.)

    11
    • Rich

      I always liked the “no hubcaps” look!

      2
      • TriPowerVette

        @Rich – Thank you, sir. Me, too (obviously).

        Thumbs up.

        1
  16. Tim

    I’m thinking my dad had a 69 and I know you could take the back window out and back in with this lever thing fast it came like that.

    1
  17. Steve A

    Looks nice from what can be seen of it. Definitely worth it, I think. Wish it was closer to me, I’d really like see it in person. Anybody live closer than Wisconsin to it?

    1
  18. KevinLee

    I like the L-88 hood scoop TriPowerVette, I put one on my 1974 Firebird.

    3
    • TriPowerVette

      @KevinLee – I hear you, and an L-88/ZL-1 hood is perfect (see my red and black Vette). However; this one was designed to clear much taller induction equipment and, after I returned it to Tri-Power, that which was previously necessary became kind of clunky and in the way. Thanks for your input, and thumbs up.

      2
  19. Frank Sumatra

    Easiest way to check is the backup lights. 68 has two small ones under the bumpers. In 69 they were placed in the tailights.

    5
  20. gbvette62

    There’s no question that it’s a 68.

    The push button doors, the steering column, the left side dash with the ignition switch, the passenger side dash without a map pocket, the door panels with the horizontal trim, the shift plate with the cross flags emblem, the wood grain steering wheel and the hardtop without stainless tips on the rear corners of the top, are all 68 only parts.

    It’s hard to tell in the photos, whether the tach redline is 5300 or 5600, but if it’s 5300, that’s a 327/300 horse tach. If it’s 5600, then it’s either a 427/390 or 427/400 tach.

    The car has potential, but I think $24000 for a 68 with a non original motor, is a little strong.

    5
    • TriPowerVette

      @gbvette62 – Couldn’t have said it better… except, I would add that the fake, no-trees-were-harmed-in-the-making-of-this-steering-wheel, simulated wood steering wheel appears to be, but is not an exact duplicate of the 1967 wheel.

      While we are talking about wheels, but this time, road wheels, 1968’s were 7″ and 1969’s were 8″.
      Also, the center gauge cluster was smooth for 1968,but ‘crinkle’, ‘crackle’ or ‘camera’ finish for 1969.

      And, the bolsters behind the seats for ‘finishing’ the convertible top mechanism were smooth and padded for 1968 whereas, in 1969 the factory just said ‘screw it’, and made them of cast ‘crinckle’, ‘crackle’ or ‘camera’ finish plastic.
      Of course, headrests were optional in 1968, but standard in 1969.

      The center console arm rest had seat belt wells for 1968, were eliminated for 1969 (they were a source of cracks as well).

      Most of the way through the 1968 production run, the door panels had the swoopy ‘hidden’ door pulls that ALWAYS cracked and fell apart, since they were made of vinyl covered foam! Late in the production run, Chevy began supplementing the same door panel with the vinyl door pull that would be standard on the 1969 door panels (only without the ‘hidden’ part).

      Amusing side note: the late ’68-1969 pull was the exact same one used in the 1967 Corvette. But the 1967 pull was the hugely better chromed metal, instead of flimsy vinyl. So, the hot ticket was (every time you had the chance) you replaced the later cr*p with the excellent (and prettier) chrome metal 1967 unit.

      For a while, you couldn’t get replacements for any of this 1968-only stuff, the replacement part you would have been sold was 1969.

      Thumbs up to you, sir.

      5
      • Steve number 4

        Good golly you know your way around 68-69 Vettes!!! I have a 68 LeMans Blue roadster I bought in 1979…the twin to your car except it’s a small block…I actually put a Four bolt main bearing 400 in it…and some other mods I could live with…yes the Hooker sidepipes too. I had couple other 68s but no big dollar cars. I really like your red and black car…and thank you for great comments and info!!!!!

        2
      • Mark

        Sir, you are really a wealth of information. Thanks. Always wanted a Corvette, but they have always eluded me.

        2
      • TriPowerVette

        @Mark – …and thank you, too, for your kind reply.

        Your experience (so far… you ain’t dead yet) has paralleled mine for Lotus. I’ve driven them, wanted a few, know a lot about them, just never pulled the trigger.

        Sigh.

        Big thumbs up to you.

        1
      • TriPowerVette

        @Steve number 4 – I am overwhelmed. Thank you.

        Your ’68 reads like a sweetheart.

        On the 1969, I had the opportunity to test all 3 of the most popular exhaust systems: 1) Out the back 2) Factory side pipes 3) Chrome Hookers.

        There was a clear H.P. increase at each step (presumably due to the progressive change in restriction). I found the progression nearly linear from #1 to #3.

        BTW – On the 1968, I wanted a more stock look, but needed as little restriction as possible. So the entire exhaust system is custom.

        It went from the already excellent Chevrolet exhaust manifolds, to ‘turbo’ mufflers.

        They were connected with (either 2″ or 2.25″, I don’t remember) pipes that had no bends, but rather were cut and welded at the turns. At the ends, the tips were cut where they narrow, and welded to the ends of the pipes, making a straight through system, with no bends or narrowing.

        It worked well. Not as well as the Hookers, though. The only thing better would have been open fenderwells.

        What was your experience?

        1
  21. Karl

    Hey guys am I mistaken but that looks like a Holly card bowl sticking out from under the air filter, did this car come from the factory with a Holley carb or is that an add on? I can’t see the intake very well but if the carb is aftermarket I would bet the intake is also.

    1
    • TriPowerVette

      @Karl – Q-jets on these. Holleys were for the big boys (400, and both flavors of 430 and 435 horse).

      BTW – My brother makes some of the most evil Quadras on the planet. They can make H.P., with the right mods.

      For whatever it’s worth, Holley made a spreadbore as well, for just this sort of occasion. Carb doesn’t necessarily dictate manifold.

      2
      • PRA4SNW Member

        @TriPower: In your extensive Vette travels, have you ever happened upon a guy named Lars? I forget his last name, but he was (maybe still is) a big Quadrajet tuner. He used to be a GM Engineer and was well known on the Corvette Forum. For a couple of summers, he and his wife would travel throughout the country, in what was informally called a “Tuning for Beer Tour”. There was a small group of us C3 owners who paid for their flight tickets and a couple of the guys put them up in their houses. One day was in Ma and the next was in NH. The only rule was that each person bring a locally crafted brew. This was in 2007.

        I had a ’70 350/300 with a ’72 truck Quadrajet on it. I had bought on EBay a correct ’70 Quadrajet and wanted him to install it. I sent it to him beforehand and he said not to bother – it looks great on the outside and had correct jets, etc., but it was otherwise messed up. Instead, he took the parts off of the ’70 carb and put it on the ’72. That car never drove as good as when he was finished. We were all amazed at the magic he performed on all of our cars.

        2
      • TriPowerVette

        @PRA4SNW – If I did that, I’d b prayin’ for a long time, in Phoenix. It’s not unheard of, but many moons pass between dustings.

        Well, sir, no. Have never had the pleasure. You all sound like just the sort of group every one of us on BF wishes he/she were part of.

        It’s color like yours that makes BF worth hanging out at.

        I tell you, when a Q-carb is right, they are hard to beat, even though the squirrels look down on them.

        Really; the only reasons for using a Holley are; ease with which they can be re-jetted, and flexibility of capacity (There are Holleys from very small, to toilet bowl, and everything in between).

        I ran Carters on my HemiCuda.

        The attached picture is my old east driveway, Feb 22, 2005. It was at the corner of Lone Mountain and Ranch Road. I no longer live there (Cave Creek) but loved it.

        Thank you. Enthusiastic thumbs up

        2
  22. Brian K.

    If it was matching numbers, I’d be all over this.

  23. Johnny Joseph

    My oldest brother is a former fly boy, flying missions in Nam, before returning home to Chicago and flying right around 30 years for United. When he first got back he got a yellow 68 convertible, had a 350 and a 4 speed. After about a year and a half he was ready for a big block. Enter the 1970 454 LS5 also with a 4 speed. That car absolutely flew! He took me for a spin one day and he nailed it and got it up to 70 before he banged second gear and laid about an eight foot patch into second! The speedo went to 160 and he took us up to 130 before he brought it back down. I wanted more! My life story.

    7
    • TriPowerVette

      @Johnny Joseph – Good memories.

      When I had the 3:08’s in it (that is the gear your brother had as well, I’d bet), I saw about 60mph before I needed to shift. After I got the 3:73’s that number dropped significantly. Your brother might have been twisting it a little tight.

      Thumbs up to you, and your brother.

      4
  24. Bodyman 68

    Yup holley spread bore on cast iron manifold , had my share of them . Price not bad for big block car, id buy it !

    3
    • TriPowerVette

      @Bodyman 68 – That is because you are among the cognoscenti. Thumbs up.

      BTW – If I may ask, in which state are you, currently?

      2
  25. Mark

    TRIPOWERVETTE: I have driven Lotus Europas and thought about buying one. A couple of friend did, one a John Player Special. They were tight in the interior and finicky when tuning. Decided against getting one. Maybe the newer Lotuses are better.
    Still would love to have a Corvette, a ’67 or a new one, but again, they elude me.

    Thanks for the reply.

    1

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