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454/4-Speed: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

If you were to hand a car enthusiast outside the United States a pile of silhouettes of classic American cars, the three most instantly recognizable would probably be the 1959 Cadillac, the 1965 Mustang Coupe, and the C3 Corvette. There would probably be a few others that we could add to that list, but it indicates how readily recognizable those vehicles are on a global scale. The Corvette’s shape is iconic and has stood the test of time remarkably well. Our feature car is a desirable 1970 model being offered for sale by its second owner with 49,900 original miles on the clock. Its engine bay houses a big-block V8, and it would take little to lift the car’s overall presentation to the next level. Located in Blaine, Minnesota, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on Craigslist. By handing the seller $38,500, you could drive off into the sunset behind the wheel of a potent classic. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring the ‘Vette to us.

The seller indicates that they are only this classic’s second owner. They located the car around three years ago and removed it from the storage location that it had occupied for more than three decades. Chevrolet offered potential buyers in 1970 a choice of eleven different colors for their new Corvette. The original owner of this car selected Monza Red, which is one of the more vibrant shades in the range. It isn’t clear whether this car has undergone any restoration work in the past. Given its limited years of active duty before it went into storage, the paint may be original. It shines impressively, with no visible problems in the supplied photos. A closer inspection may reveal marks or chips, but its overall condition is acceptable for a survivor-grade car. The fiberglass is equally tidy, with no cracks or crazing. We receive no information on the state of the frame or birdcage, but the lack of visible corrosion across other aspects of this vehicle gives us cause to be quietly confident. The aftermarket alloy wheels add a touch of muscle to the exterior appearance. While the owner doesn’t have the originals, he has a set of correct factory items that would restore nicely. The glass and trim look good, suggesting that the next owner could enjoy this classic during the upcoming warmer weather.

Corvette buyers in 1970 could choose from a vast array of engines. The original owner of this car selected the LS5 version of the 454ci big-block that churned out 390hp and an incredible 500 ft/lbs of torque. Having copious amounts of power is no benefit if it can’t get to the road, so this car feeds it through a four-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels. There were no genuinely slow offerings within the 1970 Corvette range, but this car’s ability to demolish the ¼ mile in 13.7 seconds places it in elite company. The seller indicates that this classic is a numbers-matching car in sound mechanical health. After thirty years of inactivity, the seller needed to treat this classic to a large serving of TLC to return it to a roadworthy state. After performing a fluid flush and a complete service, they added new brakes and a new exhaust. The ‘Vette runs and drives as it should, with no vices or fluid leaks. The original owner told the seller that the odometer reading of 49,900 miles is accurate, although it appears there is no documentary evidence supporting this. With a known ownership history, there may be a chance to pursue this further.

None of the photos supplied by the seller are particularly good, but those of the interior are sadly lacking. It is trimmed in Black vinyl, and what we can see looks promising. There are no glaring faults or issues and no appreciable wear. The dash looks good, as does the console and remaining plastic. Aftermarket additions include a wood-rimmed wheel and a retro-look modern stereo. There are no luxury appointments like power windows or air conditioning, suggesting that the original owner focused solely on outright performance.

I’ve previously noted how chrome-bumper C3 Corvettes perform strongly in today’s classic market. This trend shows no signs of slowing, but it actually appears to be accelerating. This Corvette is a tidy example that has no immediate needs. For an enthusiast craving originality, restoring and refitting the factory wheels would help it make a positive impact. If the buyer can confirm the odometer reading, its potential value will improve. It has only been on the market for a few days, and I won’t be surprised if a buyer emerges pretty quickly. Could that person be you?


  1. Just Plain Bob

    Actually, it does have power windows. There isn’t a crank on the door, and you can see the switches to either side of the handbrake. Having had a big-block ’72, I can attest that they’re very quick, but terrible understeer. If I ever have another, I’d settle for a small block unit.

    Like 1
  2. Scott

    There are power windows. Switches on console say yes.

    Like 0
  3. Rw

    Some real Torq Thrust , aluminum 5 slots,or you can’t go wrong with 8 in. ralley ,no caps or rings.

    Like 1
  4. gbvette62

    While this car does not have air conditioning, it does have power windows. I can’t tell if the whole car’s been repainted, but the fender “egg crates” have been. The chrome edges they originally had, have been painted over. Also, it looks like the fenders have been flared, but I suspect that it’s just an optical illusion, maybe caused by wheels that are narrower than stock, or have the wrong offset?

    If it is “numbers matching”, it might not be a bad car for the money.

    Like 7
    • Just Plain Bob

      I tried to mention the windows yesterday (the switches are to either side of the hand brake), but my post went away. I also lamented that big block cars are great, so long as you don’t have to steer (had a ’72 454 with A/C, a friend had a 350 car without. Big difference). Anyway, must be a glitch with the site. I sure can’t see this car only getting 2 comments in 24 hours.

      Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        Your comment is live. The cache might have caused a delay.

        Like 0
    • Bob's your Uncle

      They look flared to me, as well. Def a repaint. And 39 large? Am I that out of touch, or is that a lot of coin? Geez. Just took a quick look on eBay. They go from high teens to OMG.

      Like 0
  5. PRA4SNW

    gbvette: I see what you mean by wheelwells looking flared. Maybe it is just that paint color?
    At that mileage, I would love to see if the tank sticker is still there – good chance that it is intact.

    I hate that steering wheel and wonder what happened to the ignition shielding on a car with so few owners.

    Like 0
    • Greg

      I agree with you on the steering wheel! Sure, it’s knit picking but they look awful and feel even worse! Can’t believe anyone would spend money on one of those. First thing to go!
      This car has been for sale for quite a while, so maybe it’s not as nice in person as it looks in the pictures?

      Like 0

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