Affordable Muscle: 1969 Corvette Stingray

Usually, when we see a C3 Corvette in nice driveable shape, most car enthusiasts (myself included) think that it’s way out of reach in today’s muscle car market. However, in this case, those people would be incorrect. Don’t believe me? Read on to learn more about this ’69 Stingray that’s listed here on craigslist near Ludlow, Massachusetts. Our reader Peter R. found it and suggested it to us

In the late 1960s, the sports car scene was all about go-fast, and the bigger engine was always better, so to have a lower-model was not as cool as a big engine with creature comforts and crazy power. The 1969 Corvette could be had with a number of different options, with a higher-end price tag than most cars of its time, and most people who bought them wouldn’t have been caught dead in a SMALLblock car!

So, for this particular car, we are told that it was originally a 350/350, which is to say 350 cubic inches displacement with 350 horsepower, but they don’t tell us what’s in it now. This one has the four-speed manual gearbox, and we’re told that is has had the gas tank, tires, and convertible top replaced. The odometer allegedly stopped working at 50,000 but we’re not told how long ago that happened. From the looks of it, though, it is indeed in rather nice driver condition, needing interior and paint work if the next owner wanted it to really stand out.

In a way, it’s fitting that this car has come up for sale on the exact 50th anniversary of Woodstock music festival. These were the cars that many of those festival-goers secretly wanted to own someday, and now here’s one that even a modern young adult could theoretically afford to buy and keep. It’s in nice enough shape that you could be proud to have it at shows and cars-n-coffee meets, but you wouldn’t be sad if one of those coffees accidentally spilled on the carpets. I myself would seriously consider purchasing this car right now, if I didn’t have certain other surprise expenses related to my current daily driver. What do YOU think of it? Am I crazy to suggest that $15,500 is “affordable”? Are you a young person who could afford to buy this car? Let me know in the Comments!


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  1. Mike Ramsey

    I’m not even a Corvette guy, and I would consider this car as a weekend driver.

    Like 10
  2. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Thinkin’ with you – kinda looks priced right -anyone close enough to check it out ?

    Like 1
  3. Pookie Corvettejamie

    Nice car. Last year for black until 76. It being in Massachusetts, you have to wonder about the condition of the birdcage, and if the vacuum system is up to par. Also if the factory alarm works. Do all the fiber optics work? And IF it’s a 350, would be easy to cool. Nice find. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      No black available in 1976.

      • Pookie Corvettejamie

        1977. Sorry for the mix up

      • Frank Sumatra

        No worries. I obviously have too much time on my hands here in the County Jail.

        Like 1
  4. Curtis

    Nice to see one without a luggage rack as personally I think they are awful. Wish this car was in the Midwest as I would be checking it out.

    Like 2
  5. TimM

    If $15,500 is all they want!! I’ll take it!!!

    Like 4
  6. Troy s

    I’ve began to take notice of these older Vettes lately. Liked them as a kid, always have, just more so lately. Sounds like a good deal if everything checks….if it had the 350/350 it would have been quicker on the street than many of those big block versions, at least to 50 or 60.

    Like 3
  7. ccrvtt

    Chrome bumper C3s are only going to go up in value. Maybe not a whole lot, but the early ones are the ones to get. The buyer will most likely not lose money if he or she decides to sell later on.

    My experience with them is limited to only a few drives back in the day, but I remember they rode like trucks and rattled like a bucket of gravel. But you just can’t beat the outlandish styling. Never anything quite like it before or since.

    Like 8
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Boy does that bring back memories. In 1979 I looked at a gray 69 convertible with black soft top, black hardtop, 350/350 hp and 4 speed. The seller had the entire car gone through and had the paperwork to prove it.
    I took it out to a deserted stretch of road, IIRC I think I hit 110 about the same time I hit 4th gear. Ran perfect, idled like a dream and no rattles in it what-so-ever.
    Only issue with the car was a 2″-3″ scratch on the rear drivers side quarter inflicted by putting on or removing the hardtop. Otherwise the car was picture perfect.
    Offered the guy $3K for the car and $400 more for the hardtop if I got the car. He said he’d make a decision in a few days, after a week of waiting I called him back, said he’d sold the car to someone else for $3400 including the hardtop. Was I mad, to say the least I was boiling on it.
    I bought a Cutlass instead, and when I was talking to my agent I mentioned the Vette. He told me it was a good thing I didn’t get it as the insurance for me would have been more than the car cost even though I didn’t have any tickets etc. to deal with me.
    I still wish I’d gotten the car. One thing though would be IIRC it had 11-1 CR so it took Super Shell or Sunoco 260 to have enough octane to keep it from rattling the engine to pieces.

    Like 2
  9. gbvette62

    “The 1969 Corvette could be had with a number of different options, with a higher-end price tag than most cars of its time, and most people who bought them wouldn’t have been caught dead in a SMALLblock car!”

    Really? The L-46, 350/350 was the most popular engine in 69. More than a third of all 69 Corvettes were powered by the 350/350, and another 10,000 were powered by the base 350/300. Of the 36,000 69’s built, 23,000 were powered by small blocks.

    Chances are good this car started life some other color. Tuxedo Black 69’s are pretty rare and usually command a premium. The vast majority of the black 69’s floating around, were originally green, or yellow or gold.

    With an “asking” price of $15,500, this car might be a good buy for someone looking for a presentable driver. If the trim tag identifies it as a true black on black car, it might even be a deal.

    Like 8

      gbvette62: I agree about the color Tuxedo Black has always been a rare color on Late C2(65-67) and early C3(68 and 69) Corvettes. My 69 carries the code 980 Riverside Gold. When I first restored the car(it was a wreck painted International Blue or something close), in the mid 1980’s I had it repainted with Black Imron, when I decided to go back to original, boy was that Imron a chore to remove.The Riverside Gold is a color that one needs to get used to, at least for me, for awhile it was cool, but lately I have been thinking about repainting it black. especially looking at this one,

      Like 2
  10. whmracer99

    We restored a ’68 red convertible 4 speed 327/300 hp car that was possibly the only car I’ve owned that I regret selling. Easy and fun to drive, got lots of attention, and made all the right noises with the factory side pipes. Someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse ($10k in 1995 dollars) so off it went. This seems like a deal as a weekend driver as long as the underside is solid.

  11. rpol35

    On the surface, that seems very reasonable for a C3 convertible, probably too reasonable, especially a pre-’71. But you get what you pay for and there is nowhere near enough information about this car on its Craigslist posting to know what you would really be buying. If a thorough inspection reveals nothing hugely extraordinary, then yes a good deal but that’s a big if.

    As for the engine, the L46 was a fantastic performer, a truly great engine. However what it “had” under the hood is of insignificant value; what matters is what’s under the hood now and it’s pretty cheeky not to reveal that information.

    Like 2
  12. George mattar

    350 hp engine an excellent performer without the hassle of adjusting a solid cam, but you cannot regularly drive this car with pump 93 gas as it has 11:1 compression. Black cars are scarce so that is a plus if it is code 900. 69 had more options than any other C3 year. The asking price is cheap, but the car is 50 years old. I have owned two C3s. Believe me there are many issues. The rear wheel bearings probably need attention. The vacuum system on these cars are challenging just like the fiber optics. Thank God GM got rid of it after 1971. I have a 73 coupe now and everything works. No vaccum wiper door. Better rubber body mounts and first year with radial tires.

  13. spit451

    A nice C3! Appears to be well taken care of with only minor modifications. Shows what would be considered ‘normal light wear’ with the tell tale areas corroborating this. After owning about a dozen C3s and a few later models. I find the C3 easier to work on & more reliable. Hard to tell for sure, but from what is shown, it doesn’t show the side effects of the rust & issues that can be seen on early C3s. General condition (& lack of alterations – no aftermarket radio) bode well for the new owner & the few missing interior parts are easy to come by.

  14. moosie moosie

    Its a steal at 15,500 OBO, If my situation was different I’d be on my way to Mass. with cash in hand. Although it no longer is an L-78 car a chrome bumper Corvette in the obvious good shape this one is in is worth the ask. One of the best Vettes I owned was a ’70 350/350 Roadster with air. It needed paint and a new top but was spectacular when I finished with it, found out it had a no hit body, painted it the original white and put a white soft top on it, black interior.

    Like 1
  15. NovaTom

    The odometer quit at 50K just like mine did – whats up with an odometer that cant even make it to 100K? And I gripe about Chinese made junk…

  16. Frank Sumatra

    Since when is a Corvette a “Muscle Car”? Corvette is a “Sports Car”

    Like 1
  17. Ben

    There is a fine line while labeling a car…. For example, a classic Mustang is a pony car, but what would you call a 1970 Boss 429 Mustang?
    A pony car or a muscle car?

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