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Bridgehampton Blue: 1971 Chevy Corvette

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It’s amazing how a car can look fairly rough on the surface but more solid underneath, or vice versa with a shiny topside and corrosion in the floors. This 1971 Corvette convertible here on eBay and located in Miami is an interesting car, what with its highly original condition but surprising amount of surface rust underneath. The car wears Michigan plates, so it may have spent some time in winter driving conditions before retiring to South Florida. There’s currently one bid to $8,000 with the reserve unmet. 

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The Corvette retains its original, numbers-matching 454 engine, and the engine stamping reveals it to be the 365 b.h.p. LS5 variety. The seller is adamant that it is a stock example, but the Moroso valve cover makes me think otherwise. Paired to a Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission with power brakes, this ’71 would make an excellent top down cruiser, especially once repainted in its original shade of Bridgehampton Blue over black leather seats. It’s currently not running and the seller doesn’t know if it has ever been rebuilt.

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The interior looks presentable for a soft top car, with decent seating surfaces and a crack-free dash. The Corvette came from the factory with power windows and AM/FM stereo, though it appears the head unit has been swapped out at some point in time. Underside photos show an unsettling amount of surface rust on almost all suspension components, but no word on whether that corrosion has founds its way into the floor pans. There is also rust in the lower door panels that will need replacing at some point.

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I’m not sure where I stand on this ‘Vette: it does appear highly original, though perhaps not as original as the seller thinks. The amount of rust underneath the car is a bit worrisome, as is the rust-barnacled convertible top mechanism. Though I have seen cars that simply had surface rust on the springs and control arms and were otherwise free of major corrosion, I don’t know if that’s the case here. This is definitely a car that warrants closer inspection, and an inquiry as to why the previous auction winners walked away.


  1. redwagon

    only way it gets to this shape is winter driving in michigan followed by time in florida near the coast + inattentive and/or downtrodden owner(s) at least somewhere along the way.

    i know enough about vettes to know that you do not bid on this one unless you see it in person or have someone you really trust do a ppi – esp on the birdcage.

    no doubt beautiful when finished but getting there will be all the money plus a wee bit more. (uotd – understatement…..)

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  2. PaulG

    Way too much rust and corrosion for this Desert dweller; one of the reasons I left northern NY 40 years ago…
    Make it “safe”, leave the rotted side pipes, and show up at a corvette show. Guaranteed you’ll turn a few heads…

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  3. Eric Dashman

    One of the restoration shop cable shows (Fantomworks?) did a Vette like this or maybe a little younger. The owner wanted it completely redone, but said that it was basically in excellent shape. When the shop got started, they found all sorts of rusted mess high up in the rear fender wells that supported the doors. All had to be replaced at significant cost. I agree with Redwagon’s comment that you’d better crawl all over this beast before agreeing a price.

    That said, the 62, 67 convertible with a 327 and 4 speed, and this chrome bumper Macoshark version (69-71 or 2) are my favorite Vettes. In college I worked in a dealership one summer and had the opportunity to drive several Vettes. The 67 327 was a sweet ride for sure. There was a 66 with a 396 and competition clutch that scared the bejeezus out of me just moving around the lot. It felt like what a Viper must feel like (if you’ve seen that viral CL ad that may or may not have been a tall tale).

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  4. edh

    I would drive this as is, it looks so bad ass!

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  5. Rando

    I am amazed that someone could own a car like this and let it deteriorate to this point. If I owned a “play car”, I’d definitely at least be trying to keep it as nice as possible and upgrade things as possible. this hurts my soul.

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  6. Rock On Member

    I love big block Corvettes of this era, but I wouldn’t just walk away from this car, I would run as fast as I can!!!

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  7. Bob Hess

    As a very south Florida resident I can tell you that car looks just like some of the thousands of cars that went under salt water in ’06 when hurricane Wilma went through….

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  8. Chris A.

    Per Bob Hess. I’ve seen one like this at Yogi’s in Linesville PA. The restoration cost was way up there. This is no bargain, but a big block ‘Vette will always draw attention.

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    • Pontiactivist

      I m a local to yogi too. I know of three vettes in this shape in that area myself. Including a split window and a 68 427 4 speed coupe. Run fast. This would be expensive.

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  9. Mike D

    sorry to say, this car is in sad shape

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  10. Bob S

    No pleasure working on something so rusty.

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  11. John

    That, folks, is a Corvette that’s been under water. It would surprise me if there were more than just a few of its parts that might be salvageable. I would bet that even the fiberglass panels are damaged. Salt water is ugly stuff.

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  12. joeinthousandoaks

    Very sad for a big block roadster. I just bought a clean 72 LS5 coupe. These are very fun to drive.

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  13. Doug Towsley

    Same seller ALSO has another blue one, this one a small block vette with T tops and a 1976 for $2,000 and no bids. That looks like a better car but a big block early one would be attractive on paper but I agree it looks like its a flood victim. Too bad, both cars are attractive from a distance

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  14. Bruce

    I love these Corvettes as well, but after watching the first day of the Barrett-Jackson auction at the Mohegan Sun Casino recently, I was amazed at the the really nice 68-72 Corvettes that sold in the low $20’s. I realize that they were small block hardtops, but with a 4-speed, that works for me.

    On a somewhat related note, I was surprised at how many 60’s muscle cars went for much less than the price of a restoration.

    Just my two cents, and worth every penny… :-)!

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    • Doug Towsley

      I have had 454s in my 72 Nova and a mid 70s Camaro and they were FUN FUN FUN! But not very practical, Torque monsters. But i can get dang near the same power out of a small block, no weight penalty (And thats a BIG penalty for handling and braking let me tell you if you have never driven one) and cheaper to build.
      I suppose if you go with the new generation of small blocks,,, 500hp is no problem at all,
      but the point here is, 4 speed or Auto trans w/shift kit and a well done small block is good enough for the girls i go out with. Plenty of fun and more than enough power.
      My buddy bought a brand new vette in 1969 when he got back from Vietnam,. Got pulled over by Portland Police and he said you could look in the Mirror and still see the dealer sign (Ron Tonkin Chevrolet). Cop asked “Son, you just buy this?” “Yep!”
      “Son, I dont think this car is going to work out for you” and handed him his first ticket in that car.

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  15. The Chucker

    The current $8K bid is a gift. Seller would be wise to sell as this thing needs everything. $50K would get you a showpiece of similar era. Spending $50K on this would make one wonder where it went.

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