A Cautionary Tale: 1965 Corvette

1965 Corvette

I absolutely love all the insight and knowledge I learn each and every day from reading all the amazing comments you guys leave on the site! It is truly astonishing to read some of the discussions that take place here. Just recently I was reading through some old comments and I couldn’t believe how much I learned. I even got a lead on a reader find that I thought you guys might enjoy seeing. Don S left a comment where he mentioned that he had a ’65 Corvette that he had purchased on eBay, but it hadn’t turned out to be as great a deal as he had initially thought. After contacting Don, he sent over photos of his Corvette when he first got it, what it looked like as he started to pull it apart, and some of the work that he has already done to it.

1965 Corvette 2

I hear lots of success stories with buying off of eBay, but I also hear plenty of nightmares. I don’t want anyone to think I’m saying buying off of eBay is a bad idea, but Don’s story is one that reminds us to be cautious and if possible to look the car over in person. When Don spotted his 1965 Corvette Convertible on eBay, he thought it looked to be in decent shape. It wasn’t perfect but as he puts it, “I felt comfortable buying the car because all of the cut lines were nice and straight”. The seller’s photos couldn’t have been more misleading and boy has Don paid for it. As soon as he looked at the underside, he knew he was in for some serious work.

Corvette on Lift

After getting the car up in the air, he discovered that the frame was seriously rusted. As a matter of fact, the rear half of the chassis nearly came down on his head while he had it on the lift. Since the frame snapped in half, he had no choice but to replace the whole thing. Most of the work removing the rear section was done when the frame split. Don didn’t mention if the rear collapse damaged the body, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. Once the rear section was out of the way, he set about removing the front half in a more careful fashion than the rear.

Assembled Corvette Chassis

With the body off the frame, he inspected the rest of the metal structure and discovered that the birdcage needed repairs too. He has sourced a new chassis and has it ready for the body. Once the birdcage is repaired, the body can go back on the chassis and will nearly be ready to roll down the road. To make sure the new frame doesn’t rust and to ensure a great ride, Don painted the replacement frame and installed all new bushings and suspension components. He also decided to source a date code correct replacement engine. With the chassis coated, suspension installed, and the motor mounted with the transmission, his Corvette is nearing completion!

1965 Corvette 4

Don has done a massive amount of work to his Vette and can nearly see the end of this project. I’m sure he will be happy to have it all done and cruising down the road. Hopefully he will keep us posted on his progress and I for one can’t wait to see it once he’s finished. With any luck his next purchase on eBay will go better than this one did, but in the end he will end up having a great Corvette. I just want to thank him for sharing his find with us and for all the Corvette knowledge he has shared in the past!

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. dj

    It’s great that he’s fixing this car. But you can get screwed pretty bad if you don’t know what to look for on the frames. Over the years, I’ve seen several that the frames have rusted in two. And I’ve bought several rusted in two frames just to have them(1969 big block). Keep up the hobby. Thanks for sharing.

    Like 1
  2. Rich Truesdell

    This is what usually happens when you don’t do your pre-purchase due diligence. Even after the purchase, under eBay’s protection policies he should have been able nullify the sale if it was truly misrepresented. And then there are legal remedies. That’s why there are lawyers.

    All that being said, without looking at the ad, and comparing the description and photos with what he received, how much did he know before completing the deal. Maybe Don will join the conversation and supply more details, especially why he didn’t void the deal and send the car back to the seller?

    Like 1
  3. Ed

    I wonder what recourse Don had with the seller. This seems like a pretty clear case of fraud if the description was as misleading as the story says. Were there any buyer protections in place from PayPal or eBay to help out, is there a lawsuit, did the seller offer to refund some or all of the purchase price? As Paul Harvey used to say, what is “The rest of the story”?

    Like 2
    • Don Sicura

      Ed, if you read further down, I have pretty much laid out how the entire thing unfolded.

      Like 1
  4. Catfish Phil

    Love the extensive photos and detail shots of the cracked, rusted out chassis. Lucky the rear end didn’t separate while operating the vehicle!! New chassis and a frame-off gives a driver a whole lot of confidence that everything is proper. Now that’s a sports car!

    Like 1
  5. sunbeamdon

    Don: What a miraculous recovery – based on the garage, and all, I’d say you are one of the few people able to pull this off. As a CPA my educated guess is you are probably up to a buck ninety eight ($1.98/hr) for all the hours spent on the restoration.

    Lovely car; needs a four-speed, although I wouldn’t object to a six speed!

    Best of luck!

  6. sunbeamdon

    Hey Jess and Josh – based on the quick timing of comments I’m guessing our fellow Barn Finders have nothing to do but live vicariously through your posts

    Just a nice momentary diversion when my boss is looking away (Oh! that’s me, I’ll just add this time into the current tax return I’m working on)

    Keep the faith baby!

  7. Don Sicura

    Thanks for posting the story Josh, as for the questions about why I didn’t cancel the sale. To begin with, I was moving from Philly to South Carolina & had to have the car transported to my new home from upstate New York, Still unseen at that time, I had already sent the money to the seller, & I had already paid for the transport of the car from New York to South Carolina, this was money that I would NOT get back. The car was delivered to me in my new home but my detached garage/workshop was not built yet & I was still going between two houses 550 miles apart from each other, so I could not get under the car to really examine it like I SHOULD have done before the purchase. I have to explain that prior to my career in law enforcement, I owned a small repair shop specializing in Corvette repair, so I felt confident looking at the photos that the car would at best need a new chassis, a task I am familiar with but even with all of my years of experience, there were things that I was unprepared for, I am not angry with the seller as I believe that he honestly did have any knowledge about the problems of the C2&C3 chassis rust issues, if I would be angry with anyone, it would be with myself for not going to look the car over personally. Any questions just email & I’ll answer honestly.
    Don

    • stanleystalvey

      There’s an old carnival saying that comes to my mind: “You pays you nickel, you takes you chances.” At least this story has a happy ending..

  8. Brian

    I guess, for people like me, Don’s ebay car purchase is my worst nightmare. Even if he got a good deal on it, it wasn’t cheap (as in ‘take a gamble’, ‘throw away money’, ‘dirt cheap’). I’d never feel comfortable buying any car sight-unseen, even a parts car, and I really don’t like the pressure of buying something that expensive at auction, especially a live auction where you have so little time to think. I really just need to lay my own eyes on any car I buy and consider what I see, if for no other reason than to satisfy my gut feeling gauge! I’m sure that many people have been very happy with their ebay car purhases, but I’ve just heard more bad than good experiences, whether it be cars that were misrepresented by the seller or, on rare occasion, poor inspections from service companies, or problems with or damage from shippers, etc. Some really don’t mind rolling the dice and buying sight-unseen but I’m just not comfortable doing it on big ticket buys. Its hard enough to lay out big money when you are given a chance to crawl all over it!

  9. Don Sicura

    Brian, everything you say is absolutely correct, but my own cockiness led me to make the mistakes that I knew enough NOT to do, but I did it anyway, fortunately I am able to make the car right & I know that the car when finished will be worth my total investment.

    • Brian

      Sounds good Don! Personally speaking, after I make a major boo-boo, I’m usually able to pull things together again, after a good period of anger, self pity, and general acting like a baby about the situation, followed by getting my head back together, discovering my options and formulating a plan. Its really more about, “ok I screwed up, now how do I fix it?”. When I was younger, it was more about, “ok you screwed me, now how do I dump this thing?”. Age and experience have taught me that I will feel much better about the car, the situation, and myself if, like you did, I just fix it myself. Sure, sometimes it means you’ve spent more than planned, but in the end you have what you wanted in the first place. When I was younger, I’d just bail out, but later wonder if I was just being hasty. A wise man learns to make the most of what he has been dealt and tries not to make the same mistakes twice. In the end, you probably got as much good education out of this deal as you did nice Corvette – one can be just as valuable as the other! Keep enjoying your great ride and all your hard work – it looks great!

      • Don Sicura

        Thank you Brian.

      • Kristi

        Well said, sir!

        Like 1
  10. Rich Truesdell

    Don, thanks for sharing the additional details. I figured that there were extenuating circumstances that you felt justified in completing the transaction.

    Thant being said, I think many of us are guilty of the same thing and it points out the value of inspecting any purchase, even a parts car, in advance of hitting the buy button. In this case, having a third party inspect the car, then making an informed decision, is the best course of action. Of course it also depends on just of inexpensively you picked up the car.

    The car looks great and if I was still editing Chevy Enthusiast, this is the kind of story that I would have loved to run. Great-looking car with a really interesting back story.

  11. Don Sicura

    Rich, I haven’t even told anyone about my problems getting the car titled yet, but that is another story that ended reasonably well, fortunately!

  12. Fernando Resemini

    Don,

    forget all about the past. It’s dficult …I know ! But this is your car…made to and by you !!! Like at first sight of lovers….during the possible future ! You will live together and forever yours days. She needed you and you did her life better than factory. I wish you’ll have a special time during ….Those are my words and wishes….be happy with her !!! She “knows” how good you were and are to her !!!

    • Don Sicura

      Fernando, you are right, it is a love affair and we will be together for the rest of my life………..lol

  13. Bun Thomas

    Don, I had a similar problem with a 1978 C3 Corvette. It was a dry desert car, and I assumed it couldn’t be rusted. When I removed the spare tire—- wow, the entire back end of the frame was gone! This was a running car. Now when buying long distance, I call an AAA appraiser (listed in Hemmings). For a very small fee, they will visit the car. They have agents all over the country. I simply ask for them to hear it run and look underneath; no more than a five minute check. They call me by phone while the car is running and tell me if it was as advertised or not. These are not high dollar cars , but the fee more than pays for itself. Yours is certainly a great looking car now.

    Like 1
  14. Don Sicura

    The car shown in red is the car as it was advertised on ebay, I have some work left to do on the birdcage before it goes back on the frame, and then I’ll do the repairs to the body from the rear frame letting loose on the lift.

  15. Rick Yocum

    Brings back not-so-pleasant memories of a 63 roadster I bought from a “friend.” Frame turned out to be more bondo than metal. I have a series of photos identical to these, including a bare frame sitting in my garage. Lesson learned!

    Like 1
  16. Don Sicura

    How did you make out with yours Rick, I’m sure the others & I would like to know.

    • Rick Yocum

      After nearly a year of work I enjoyed the car a number for a number of years with a certain amount of pride in completing the rebuild. Ended up selling it for more than I had invested, minus of course my labor.

      Like 1
      • Rick Yocum

        I forgot one important detail: To make room for my 63 Vette I sold a 69 Yenko Camaro with 22k miles

        Like 1
  17. stanleystalvey

    Wouldn’t be so nice if we all had a car lift at home? That rusted out frame started as a nightmare but the man was the victor at the end of the day because of his skills, dedication and enthusiasm for the sport. Seeing the finished replacement frame all painted and clean is an inspiration to us all. It’s a keeper now and worth its weight in gold. A happy ending, I’d say.

    • Don Sicura

      Stan,
      I built the detached workshop & installed the lift just for this car, of course I also have 3 other vehicles, so the shop & lift will get lots of use just keeping the cars running. The lift cost me $1300 plus $85 shipping to a freight terminal, I had to rent a U-Haul trailer (cost $30 for the day) & once I got it to the shop, I had to figure out a way to get it off the trailer (alone, since I just moved to the area & knew no one here to help me) finally with my cherry picker & my overhead hoist & adding extra steel to one of the roof supports for strength, I worked it off of the trailer (the lift as shipped weighed 1200 lbs.), after thinking about my dilemma for a few days, I decided to install the lift (again by myself), this time it went much easier & the hardest part of doing the installation was standing up the two towers & properly spacing them & shimming them to level them out, I could have wired it in myself but opted for a professional electrician (cost $1500) to come in & wire the entire shop for my plasma cutter & my compressors and lighting, while the shop looks messy in the photos, the shop is properly laid out & once the 65 is finished, I will be undertaking the massive job of re-organizing my tools. The shop is a 3 car garage with lots of side to side room & front to rear space.

      Like 1
      • stanleystalvey

        You’re doing a hell of a fine job. I salute you. I’m reading all of the croakings of doom by the nay-sayers. All of your answers have been great. I rode in a car like this once, a 67 w/427ci, but never had the chance to drive one. If you lived close by I’d be thrilled to visit your shop. You seem to have most of what the rest of us can only admire and daydream about. Keep up the fine work and “drive it like you stole it.!” hahaha..

      • John

        I don’t know which I envy more, the Corvette, or the shop. certainly, both have found good owners. Please keep us posted if you can regarding how this turns out, please.
        Good luck to you, sir.

  18. Joe

    On long distance sales, be very wary of the appraisers too! I once hired a long distance appraiser “certified”, many years in business, who advertised in Hemmings to inspect a very rare ’57 for me, also listed there. He inspected, called me, gave me a glowing report, “well worth the money, smooth driver” etc. Then mailed me a 2 page checklist report, all good to very good. It was a low car and apparently he didn’t look underneath. Disaster. I always thought since he and the seller were from the same city, and 2000 miles from me, they hit it off well during the appraisal, maybe a little too well.

    Like 1
  19. bruce

    What’s it worth after restoration? And, is a ’62 worth more or less and why.

    • Don Sicura

      Bruce,
      Putting a price on cars like this is hard to do, as it depends on the person looking to buy it, how much he (or SHE) has to spend, how much they want the car & at what point the seller is willing to let it go for. About the best way to price these things is through the Haggerty price guide, but even that is merely a price guide & NOT the absolute in determining price. So my best answer is, whatever the car sells for at the time it is sold.

  20. Joe

    BTW I agree with Don and was roughly in his position, though I paid $10K for my car. At that level I was stuck. An interstate legal battle, between me versus the seller and appraiser, would have taken take years and probably more than $10K in attorney fees and expert opinion testimony. The seller said he “never looked underneath the car” and knew nothing. Hmmmm. The appraiser said the car was too low for him to inspect underneath (hahaha, ridiculous. I guess he forgot his keyring flashlight and didn’t want to get the knees on his chinos dirty!!). Neither would refund any money as letters passed. Meanwhile the car was 2000 miles away from the sale. During any legal battle, the car would have to be stored independently, at more cost, so I couldn’t be blamed for any more damage, and not driven or serviced further, nor re-sold. Impossible. Don is doing the best he can do, turning a situational lemon into sweet lemonade. Good karma too. Kudos Don! Simple rule in buying long distance cars—Worry about what you can’t see with your own eyes or don’t understand or can’t fix yourself.

    Like 1
  21. Nova

    A definite unfortunate realization of misrepresentation, deception etc…

    But, the frame Now, is only ” fixed “, unfortunately the corrosion that created the current failure areas is all that was addressed. The corrosion has in fact affected the complete structural integrity of the entire frame, not just the repaired areas. In a situation as this it should be decommissioned and recycled/destroyed due to the terminal corrosion.

    Sadly the repairs are futile and this car with it’s current frame still yield an unfit vehicle for the road, especially a “ROAD” car that was designed to be a “CORVETTE”.

    If I bought this car and found these repairs I’d feel as sick as this fellow that purchased it from eBay…

    • Don Sicura

      Nova,
      If you look at the photos, you will see that the original frame is in the process of being replaced, as to the birdcage, it is being opened & any rusted areas will be replaced with steel that is better protected from rust and structurally stronger than as built by GM, about the only thing remaining on this car is the original fiberglass & the original window glass. The reason people like myself restore these cars is because to us, this is the pinnacle of automotive design, there is a love that we have for them & for those of us that have the means, it is a way to own one, plus the fun (if you can call it that) of building it from the ground up. While I am not trying to cast aspersions, I do know that my car will be better than the car that it was when built by GM, after all, I will be driving it & driving it HARD!

      • John

        Actually, while its probably hard to see it now, you have had a lot of fun with this project, and you will be driving a car that you know every nook and crannie of. Just looking at what we can see in the pictures, it appears that the workmanship is first class, and the improvements in metallurgy and coatings over the past 40 years will yield a final product that is better than when it was new.

        Just a curiousity, are the tires in the “red” photos a proper size? They look large.

  22. dj

    I learned my lesson as well. I bought a vehicle off ebay and the price was good, pics were great and “it only needs blah blah”. Once it gets here, transport says it won’t run, no wiring harness, no sunroof and had set for a very long time full of water. Same legal crap. I would have won case and damages. I asked what guarantee will I have that the seller will pay. After asking several times, the attorney told me none. So if you do sue and win. You may never get your money back. I fixed the vehicle and drove it a while after sinking a ton of money in it. I finally got sick of fixing crap and sold it for less than half what I had in it. Lesson learned like everyone else has stated. The only drawback on the Corvette is the frame won’t match the numbers on the car. Most folks won’t care but the purists will if you sell it. Thanks for the updates Don.

  23. Sid Member

    I read something a while back that I think is very true.
    I can’t remember the author’s name so I can’t give him credit.
    When a buyer is looking at car on the internet, no matter the level of information presented, the potential buyer has to fill in some blanks.
    Like listening to a radio show versus watching it on TV you have to mentally fill in the information that is not presented.
    The author said that almost without exception the potential buyer will fill in those blanks with what he wants and hopes he will get.
    The author went on to say that in this situation the possibility of disappointment is very high.
    Over my life I have bought several cars sight unseen or based on a friend’s inspection.
    The results have been as the author predicted.
    I’m not saying this was the case here but my comments just add to the level of due diligence a person needs to go to before buying a car they can’t lay their eyes on.
    In addition to lack of disclosure and a poor listing is the potential buyers desire to buy the car he envisions in his head.

    • Don Sicura

      Very true Sid,
      We only see what we envision the car to be, not the very expensive project it will become and even with my experience I still at times make those very same errors.

  24. Alan (Michigan)

    Oh my.

    A cautionary tale, to be sure.

  25. Don Sicura

    RE: John,
    “Just a curiosity, are the tires in the “red” photos a proper size? They look large.”

    Yes they are too big for the car at H70 X 15, the size called for in the spec sheets are 7.75 X 15 which roughly translates to F 75 X 15.

  26. Don Sicura

    Thank you for the vote of confidence John & I will keep the group updated.

  27. sunbeamdon

    So many of us have tales of woe – but, on occasion, we also have sight-unseen successes.

    About four years ago I participated in an active, non-ebay, online auction for a 1964 Merc. Marauder 2dr ht – 54,000 miles (represented and, based on my later inspection, probably true). Car was a sun-baked California car, paint was baked, exposed interior was baked. But, rust was almost non-existent. Auction representations were close but not definitive. The car-hauler dropped the car off 55 mi from home – first time I saw it live. I added fuel, battery, primed and fired it. WOW, it worked; drove it home to become my ultimate tow vehicle. The only real issue was the leaking power steering system, which, by default had protected most of the under carriage with a quarter inch of grease!

    Sometimes we do get what we thought we paid for.

    Time for breakfast, then off to restoring steering wheels for Sunbeam Tigers!

    Like 1
    • Don Sicura

      Ahhh, A ray of sunshine…….lol By the way, I thought those old Mercs were gorgeous cars back then, especially with that opening rear window for ventilation, I hope you didn’t do a resto on her, she would probably be worth far more as a survivor.

  28. Chris in WNC

    eBay and other online purchases are caveat emptor, big-time.
    I have bought 4 cars sight unseen based strictly on photos & verbiage.
    my 89 Volvo from an out-of-state auto broker was a good buy and an excellent daily driver for 7 years.
    our ’35 Chevy that we found on eBay via Barn Finds arrived looking BETTER than the description.
    ’37 Plymouth from eBay, the dealer/seller LIED abut “original paint” but it was still a very nice car that we enjoyed for years in spite of the spider-webbed repaint.
    our unrestored 31 Ford Coupe was the worst old car I ever bought. the paint & interior did not measure up to the photos and the bloody thing NEVER ran smoothly even after an engine rebuild. glad it’s gone.
    “your results may vary”

  29. Don Sicura

    Well, lets step back & take a look, your results are 75% positive………lol

  30. Dolphin Member

    This is a great entry and discussion about the risks of car purchases based on photos. Lots of things to learn from here. Thanks to everyone for this, especially to Don Sicura, who has done the right thing for this rusty Stingray when a lot of us (well, at least me) might have given up. The one time I bought a car on photos and seller’s description it turned out to be eactly as pictured and described, fortunately. It came out of L.A., which might accout for the zero rust. Yes, I know I dodged a bullet there.

    Not only did Don’s Stingray get saved, but it got saved properly by someone who knows what he’s doing. The only thing I can’t figure out is how the heck Don was able to get his 1200 pound lift home and off the trailer, and then set it up—alone. I know he described it, but my brain still can’t get it.

    If there was a Barnfinder of the Year award my vote would go to Don Sicura.

  31. stanleystalvey

    There’s a company I found on the web in Cali and spoke to the guy on the phone called “One Owner Car Guy.” I thinks it’s near San Francisco area. After watching for over a year and see that he sells nothing but amazing “one owner” cars. He sells cars for as little as $2,800 that are fantastic. All have low mileage and look near showroom new. I’ve been a car guy and mechanic since I was 12 in 1970 and would buy anything he has on the phone. Each car comes with a full length video presentation including a drive test. Anybody looking for a good car online should check it out. Pass it along.. One Owner Car Guy.com –YouTube..

    • Alan (Michigan)

      I have from time to time looked at some of the cars that eBay lister has offered, and nearly pulled the trigger on a couple of them. The big thing is the distance from me, ahd the cost to get the car (or truck, or motor home) to me here in the Great Lakes State.

      One of these days…. I will not be able to resist taking the plunge.

      Like 1
      • Don Sicura

        Remember to do one thing Alan, hire an appraiser.

    • Joe

      Please post the correct website for this One Owner Car Guy. Gee whiz, what you posted goes to some Vietnamese fashion site, maybe virus infected!!!

  32. Don Sicura

    Thanks Dolphin,
    This was just another day in the life. I learned early on that each of us really only has one person to absolutely depend on, ourselves and once we give up, the fight is lost. In all honestly, I enjoy the challenge & overcoming the obstacles placed in my way, yes I posess some skills but nothing more than any other person with some determination.
    Don

  33. stanleystalvey

    Yes, Don should get a Gold Star for the speedy restoration of his Stingray. The photography was also very nice. I saved the best of his pictures for my archive.. Maybe in a year or two BarnFinds can do a car show and meet some of the fans.! Wouldn’t that be neat.? I would go..

  34. Don Sicura

    Not a bad idea Stan, but I don’t deserve any rewards, mine will be when I get my first speeding ticket………….lol

  35. John Engstrom

    Sorry to hear about what he ended up with but happy to see another Vette restored and on the road again. It’s one that you know is good all around.

    • Don Sicura

      It isn’t on the road yet John, the frame is still separated from the body, those pretty pictures you see of the red car are as it was advertised on ebay, when the car is done, it will either be black or dark gray metallic with a red interior.

  36. stanleystalvey

    Make sure get get score of 100 on that driving test.. haha.. If it was mine I’d scrawl my initials “SS” in squigley black marks all over the pavement in the neighborhood. Just jiggle the steering wheel a little when you punch it..

  37. Don Sicura

    Rest assured Stan, I’ll be enjoying AND employing every horse under the hood of this car!

  38. Joe

    Thought I would share some ideas on EBay buying that have worked for me. Many of us buy off EBay for a number of reasons and cautions. First, the car we are seeking is not available in the local area. Second, for many our emotions get in the way. Third, if it seems like to good a deal it probably is.

    I have bought 3 cars off EBay – MG TD, TR3, and a TR6. I still have them and they are NOW in great shape. My rule is very simple. Expect to spend $3000 to get it fixed up to meet my standards and add $1500 for covered transportation. Now when you do that if adding $4500 to the price makes it a “good” deal then I hit the bid or buy button.

    One other consideration, I also have to consider if I buy from a dealer that I have to pay sales tax in my state on the full price when I register the car. Would I buy a car without a title? Not in my lifetime.

    • Don Sicura

      One thing that should be considered, add another zero to your numbers, re-doing a Corvette gets very expensive, especially if you have to send it out to a repair shop.

  39. ConservativesDefeated

    @ Don Sicura:

    I’m glad you had the skills to right the clsterfck!

    Personally I don’t understand how a seller can NOT know that his frame is about to split in half. Even if the pressure of the lift rising put a particular strain on the frame, any reasonably well informed seller HAS to know whats going on with his car. So a pox on that guy!

    Which brings me to another wonderful website where the owners of the site actually bought and restored a split window off of EbaY as a promotional tie in w Ebay. THAT Vette had also been monkeyed with though with major birdcage and body changes if I recall correctly. And the appearance hid a whole other reality. Something about Sixties Vettes.

    SO I guess the lesson is, even with unlimited funds, these days, buying an original untouched Split window is a pipe dream. Ah well……..

  40. Chris Rhee

    Hi Don,
    I really enjoyed reading this. Have you ever met Carlos and Shelley of C&S Corvettes? I used to be their neighbor. I thought since you travel in Corvette circles you might know them. He did several body-offs in his garage and it was really neat to see this in person.
    Enjoy your labor of love!

  41. Don Sicura

    Thank you Chris,
    I have done business with C&S through ebay but never met them in person.

  42. Joe

    I’ve learned car buying lesson 1: Many honest seller and many sellers who lie. Sometimes even the honest sellers tell “little lies” e.g. “Oh I forgot to mention that” or with a non-disclosed, photo angle -hidden large, side scratch, “It’s only original once!” or “What do you expect the car is 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years old”—all produces nausea. 2) Increased dangers with distance from sale. Sellers are less worried if a buyer is thousands of miles away, with some good legal reasons, 3) Appraisers can be negligent or, in my case, liars. Don’t assume that if you are not side by side with the appraiser, he hasn’t taken a kickback form the seller, equal to or more than what you are paying him!! Almost no legal liability if the appraiser is working out of state “Uh sorry Judge , my back was injured in WWII and I can’t bend down to look underneath any cars—any no I’m not a mechanic nor a body shop guy nor have I any formal training as an appraser—but I didn’t promise anything anyway—just my good ol’ opinion for $200!” 4) Forget a legal solution unless you have a very high end car or you are a lawyer working on your own time and can attach the seller’s house or anything else he owns while in process, 5) From what I’ve heard, ebay now declares that you can win a car, but all is subject to an on-site inspection within a reasonable time after the sale. You have to be close enough or able to travel, but if you show up and it was not as described or major problem, you can walk away with no possiblity of bad feedback. Also, now ebay is guaranteeing many purchases up to a certain dollar limit. Check it out. 6) As in any business desision, ask youself “What will I do if the car is not as described or has $1000s of dollars in needs?” “Is this car really worth the potential hassle of a long-distance sale and Why?” My 45 years of experience: Be wary of anything a) You can’t see or diagnose with your own eyes (not an appraiser) b) you don’t understand or have direct knowledge about mechanically, electrically or with paint and bodywork c) you can’t fix yourself or d) has rust, weak frame, serious accident or any fire history, more than 3 owners in it’s life, electrical problems, smokes or has non-working AC !!! These problems almost never get fixed properly or as original. With this, my batting average on good cars has gotten a lot better.

    • Don

      Joe thanks for your input, everything you say is absolutely true, but even guys like me who as a licensed Pennsylvania appraiser make mistakes & miss things, however, the car turned out well but with more work than originally anticipated, but then this is normal for any type of restoration work, you never know what you will find once the job is opened up.

  43. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Don, Thanks for sharing your story. Lots of good comments here, too.

    One thing I always wondered about when reading about people buying cars like this that are a complete danger to drive:
    Could the seller somehow be help liable if the rotted frame car he just sold caused a terrible accident? Or is he exempt once the Bill Of Sale is signed, title transferred, and keys handed over?

  44. Don Sicura

    The liability of selling a car depends on how the seller presented it, if he tells you it is in perfect condition & you find out that it is somewhat less than that, you would probably have some recourse, (note the word probably) but if the seller presents the car as being in need of restoration, you are basically on your own. While my explanation is a bit simplistic, the old adage applies “let the buyer beware”!

  45. Don Sicura

    Here is a follow up to the red car posted at the beginning of this thread, it is just about finished & looking forward to doing what all Corvettes were designed to do, drive & provide enjoyment for the owner.

    Like 1
    • John

      What a beautiful car. As I said a while back, the workmanship, and the final product are simply excellent. Well done, Sir.

      • Don Sicura

        Thank you John, it’s been a long expensive road, but I am never going to sell it so, now the fun begins. Here’s a look at the interior

  46. Ohio Rick

    Congrats!

    • Don Sicura

      Thanks Rick.

  47. CHUCK LAPUSHESKI

    Don,

    Where are you located? Do you do any Corvette customer work?

    Chuck Lapusheski

    • Don

      Chuck, I am in South Carolina near Myrtle Beach, while I am not a registered repair shop, I do some work, depending on the car & what you need done. I can be reached at vettezr AT sccoast DOT net

      Not sure if this photo is on the page, but this is the car nearly finished, just dialing it in for my daily driver.

  48. CHUCK LAPUSHESKI

    Don, Outstanding!! Hopefully, when I find one it will turn out as well. You mentioned that you replaced the frame. Are new ones available, or did you find one in excellent condition?
    You’ve done a beautiful job with a challenge that most of us could not even begin to attempt. Well done!

    Chuck

    Like 1
    • Don

      Thank you for the great complement Chuck, in my case, I found a used frame, however it wasn’t perfect, but cost was a factor. New frames are available in most any configuration for the early Corvettes, you can even buy a frame that accepts the newest C7 engine & suspension and they start at around $5K & up. My willingness to tackle a job like this was because of prior experience working on Vettes, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have plenty of surprises in this job, thank you again.
      Don

  49. CHUCK LAPUSHESKI

    Don, do you have a direct email address?

    Chuck

  50. CHUCK LAPUSHESKI

    Don, What are some of the important areas, considerations to look at when evaluating a mid-year? e.g. birdcage behind kick panels, frame kick ups, etc., What else? What about carbuncles noticeable on the frame, how important?
    Please send me an email. Thanks, Chuck
    Spectre0011@yahoo.com

    • Don

      Chuck,
      Here is my email: vettezr@sccoast “DOT” net replace the “DOT” with a period. When it comes to looking the car over, the main areas are the chassis as you mentioned, but you should check for rust throughout the entire frame especially if the car has gone unused for any period of time, if the frame has ANY rust through, you can count on the birdcage also having rust damage but that is not an absolute. When I look at a corvette, I check that the door lines are equal from the top to the bottom both front & back as well as the bottom of the door, but again this is not absolute. The doors should open & close without riding up or down or making rub marks in the jamb area, also the hood should have equal space all around & not have any corners up or down & no high or low areas in the center over the wheel openings. there is so much more to look out for but I’d rather explain it in an email rather than take up space here, when you email me I will respond as soon as I see your email.
      Don

  51. CHUCK LAPUSHESKI

    Don, I tried, but your email is not working.
    Chuck

  52. Don

    Chuck, my email is vettezr at sccoast.net change the “at” with an ampersand “@”

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.