427 And A 4-Speed! 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

Yes, I think you frequent readers know that I think a C3 Corvette can be a very inexpensive way to get into a great sports car. This one isn’t inexpensive, at least to me, but it does have a big-block V8 and a manual transmission. This car can be found in Trenton, New Jersey, but you can bring it home if you are the high bidder in the auction here on eBay. Bidding is starting at $18,000, but there’s no reserve.

These early C3s have such a clean rear end. The thin blade bumpers along with the iconic round tail lights mean you could not be following anything else. I even like the “flying buttresses” giving the car the fastback look. Although the body looks pretty good in these pictures, the seller tells us that the roof and nose are original paint, but the rest has been repainted. They would recommend a full repaint if you want a spectacular car.

I’m surprised to see the Wide Ovals on the car–I’m sure they are reproductions, not originals, although they are listed as NOS. If they are, I’d sell them to someone that wanted to show a car. On a driver, I think I’d look for some more modern rubber. What do you think?

The car has it’s original interior, which is both good and bad. The wear and tear is obvious, but the pedal pad wear is commensurate with the claimed 90,000 miles. And I still love that it has a third pedal. But don’t expect this beast to be genteel to drive–with no air conditioning, power brakes, power windows or power steering (!) this car will give you a workout.

My, that’s a nice thing to see on an air cleaner, isn’t it? While it’s not perfect in appearance, the under hood area is basically pretty sanitary. Not only that, but the seller has replaced the gas tank, fuel filter, fuel lines, brake calipers, lines, pads, rotors and 4 new shocks. They have also replaced both transverse leaf springs and the rear strut rods. We’re told it runs and drives great. So a lot of work has been done already. I’d like to know if you think it’s a decent buy, and whether you’d drive it, store it or restore it?


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  1. Bill

    If it was closer, I’d be interested.

  2. flmikey

    This would be the Corvette I would want…no ps, pb,pw…back to basics…and the 390 horse is much easier to maintain…going to ebay now for a closer look…

    • Mike

      I have that car, numbers matching 427, 390HP, 4spd, t-tops, no a/c, ps,pb 1 owner 62k original miles

  3. Alan (Michigan )

    A car someone ordered with a monster motor, and zero power-robbing accessories? Seems as though 1/4 mile acceleration may have been the goal, eh? This is a stoplight grand prix car. I wonder how many wagers it won in the early years of it’s life? That 427 is a great engine, if it is as advertised.
    I’d love to have it, but being old and wimpy mean that power steering and brakes would have to be added!

    Like 1
  4. Anthony

    I always have loved the look of these, beautiful design. I always wanted one until I had the opportunity to drive one… the coupe is just to claustrophobic for me… now an early C3 convertible, that is on my bucket list!

  5. RicK

    Cure for claustrophobia in a ’68 Corvette coupe: Pop of the t-tops and pop out the rear window, and if that doesn’t cure it, better see a shrink!

  6. RandyS

    Any C3, no matter how good it looks, needs an inspection of the frame at the rear kickups and the birdcage behind the kick panel. If either of those are bad you have a parts car or a very expensive project that will always be underwater. Never ever buy a C3 sight unseen,

  7. Chris Buchaniec

    Gentile to drive??? LOLZ funny

    • Mike H. Mike H

      I’ve been resisting commenting on that. . .

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        OK to both of you, you got me! I fixed it.

  8. Vin in NJ

    This is a quick flip for whoever found it. The plate on the rear is a recent NJ license plate. I can’t make out the date on the inspection sticker from the last time it was on the road, but judging by the fact that the pop up lights don’t work, I’m guessing it hasn’t been driven in a while

  9. Don

    I can not believe how wimmpy men are today every one needs power every thing .gro some balls .

    • John

      I have driven a large block C3 which had no P/S. one does not need to grow anything except Popeyes’s forearms. The seat is too low to allow any sort of leverage. You can lift yourself out of the seat trying to park it. P/S is not an option, it’s a necessity.

  10. 86 Vette Convertible

    If I didn’t know better (which I don’t) I’d swear that once belonged to a former coworker of mine. He talked about selling it at one time back in the 70’s and I told him I was interested. Thing was he was really interested in selling it and I was willing then he spun a bearing in it and decided to fix it and keep it. I lost track of him and the car after he left the company.

    I don’t remember if he had power windows or not, but it didn’t have A/C, P/S or P/B so anything is possible. Then again that was back in the mid 70’s so it’s not likely but not impossible.

  11. pperros

    Lack of power accessories is a plus, but lack of A/C can be problematic in the summer. The big block throws a lot of heat into the cockpit. Years ago, I was interested in a ’70 – ’72 (don’t recall exactly which year) with the 454/390, and the owner let me take it to a shop for a PPI. It felt like driving a rolling sauna. I didn’t buy the car — it needed too much work for the asking price. I ended up with a turnkey ’74 with the L82 “performance” (a relative term in the mid-70s) small block. As a rubber bumper vs. steel bumper car, it was much less desirable, which = much less expensive. At 250hp + M20 4-speed, performance was adequate, and the functioning A/C kept things comfortable.

  12. On and On Gregg Member

    Can’t believe no bids on a 427 matching # car. With C2s going nuts it’s only time that these will move…….Am I missing something here? If the frame is ok and checks out what car 48y/o this cool can you buy for 18K.

  13. Car Guy

    A 427 Corvette without power steering, and A/C is a bear to drive. Especially if you live in a warm humid climate. I know from driving one. You will develop your arm muscles, and lose weight thru perspiration. These cars had very little thermal insulation. The floorboards will also get really hot if you get stuck in traffic.

    All the being said, the car really needs a set of factory side pipes!

  14. Rustytech Member

    The steel bumper 3rd gen vette’s were my favorites. The only thing I didn’t like was, when sitting in the seat it felt like the sloping door panels forced you to lean to the right, not very comfortable on a trip of any distance. This presses many of my buttons, “BUT” my days of wrestling steering wheels are over. Like Alan “M” I would need the P/S P/B and some A/C.

    • pperros

      I believe the door panels were mainly a problem in the ’68s. They revised the design in ’69 and forward.

  15. Rolf Poncho 455

    Grate car I love the 69 to 73 big block corvette’s
    just the rite car for me but I am so far away I’d
    only dream of it

  16. racer99

    “The front and roof are original paint the rest has been painted over.” —- Uh, think I’ll pass. Anyone who’s driven a big block Corvette knows what a bear it will be to cruise without PS and PB — A/C in any warm weather climate is almost a necessity as well as these are basically a hunk of plastic wrapped around a motor and get warm as heck inside unless you’re moving at speed. Another car with no underneath pics from a rust prone state. Just can’t get too excited about it. Still no bids.

  17. Mike H. Mike H

    See, now here’s where the thumbs feature really was handy. Thumbs up to you, Brakeservo!

  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Man, I think some one stole this thing, I hope it was flmikey! Sold for $18,200.00. 3 bids. Big block, 4 gears and numbers matching. And I agree with Don, grow some or use your daily driver. She will be hot and a handful, but what a ride! Use it as what it was built for. April 2017 Corvette Magazines C3 buyers guide lists a 1969 in average condition for $27,400. Plus 5K for the 390 horse BB. I really hope an enthusiast got it and not a flipper.

    • racer99

      Just not sure — with all the “stuff” that doesn’t work and the buggered repaint on the rear (only) of the car it would be one that I wouldn’t touch unless I could lay my hands on it first. Yes, to me the lack of power accessories and a/c would be a downer but my real concerns would have been the overall condition and the reason why the entire rear of the car has been repainted. It may have been steal or could be a rabbit hole in which you throw money. Obviously lots of other skeptics out there besides me.

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