Bargains Are Still Out There: 1969 Corvette

Why is it that every time I am broke (all the time) and/or already waist deep in a project, a great car comes along for a bargain price?  1968-1972 Corvette Stingrays are some of the most beautiful cars on the planet.  There are options galore to improve the drivetrain and suspension on these cars, or you can tap into the immense network of Corvette owners and parts companies to bring them back to original condition.  Few cars from the era offer so much for the price.  Too bad I can’t add this one to my stable.  To celebrate my financial depression, take a gander at this 1969 Chevrolet Corvette being sold on eBay out of Crystal Lake, Illinois.  With bidding currently at $5,600 and a Buy It Now price of $7,500, this long term storage queen is selling for far lower than your average chrome bumper C3.  Let’s take a look and see what is going on here.

The trim tag reveals our first surprise: the color we see is not the correct one.  This Corvette was originally painted Fathom Green, and it rolled out of the factory with a black leather interior.  Fathom Green is a color similar to the famous Highland Green from Bullit Mustang fame, and it looks great on Corvettes of this vintage.  A lot of readers show distaste for green cars in story comments, but this shade of green certainly has its history with car lovers.  With a set of Corvette rally wheels and a fat set of tires, a Corvette in dark green just has that gloriously mean look.

Sadly, this Corvette was over sprayed with what appears to be LeMans Blue Metallic.  The fact that the door jams are still green and that the blue looks misty and faded provides evidence that the whole paint job was a fiasco.  While it would be easy to assume that the owner stuffed this car into storage in disgust, we are told that a blown engine was the reason for the entombment.  The tag on the car is one from 1977.

Yet a look at the pictures reveals that the blown engine might have been a blessing for whomever ends up with this car.  The body looks straight all around and unmolested.  Bad paint jobs seem to have a way of magnifying problems underneath.  Fortunately, nothing is standing out.  Speaking of underneath, the ad has a number of pictures of the undercarriage of this car.  The seller tells us that the frame is good, and the pictures reveal nothing alarming.

A look inside reveals the factory black leather interior.  While dust and a light coat of mold have found a home on the seats, there don’t appear to be any broken seams.  Some cleaning and numerous liberal applications of Saddle Soap would probably revive the leather to a useable point.  We can also see what looks to be an aftermarket radio, an automatic transmission, power windows, and what I believe to be a tilt-telescopic steering column.  Add to that the seller’s claims that the car has head rests, a speed warning indicator, and a removeable rear window with the factory bag still in the car.  The car is also equipped with factory air conditioning.

Under the hood, we see that the 350 cubic inch engine has been enhanced with an aftermarket intake, valve covers, and air cleaner.  Packing 300 horsepower from the factory, I guess the previous owner thought the car wasn’t fast enough.  Looking past the modifications reveals numerous factory correct parts.  The power brake booster, air conditioning compressor, radiator, and various other parts look to be untouched from the factory.   The car even comes with a side mount exhaust system and a proper small block hood.

If you were satisfied with a small block car, and didn’t mind spending some money, this car would likely be a good candidate for a proper restoration.  Other than the lack of big block power, this Corvette was exceptionally well optioned.  It would be great to know what type of rear end and suspension options it came with.  Thankfully, the seller tells us that the original fuel tank is still in the car.  Thus the tank sticker, which told the folks on the assembly line what options to put on the car, is likely still present.  If what we are told about the drivetrain being original, then this car should be restored to factory correct.

So, for a $7,500 Buy It Now price, you can get a very original 1969 Corvette with a bad paint job and a blown engine.  While it doesn’t sound like a bargain on the surface, serious Corvette enthusiasts are probably calling the bank right now.  It is hard to find intact Corvettes this well optioned that haven’t been restored already.  I just wish I had the cash and the room for this one.

What do you think?  Is it the bargain of the year or a money pit?


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  1. 68custom

    a casual glance tell me this one is a bargain, might even be able to save the factory paint?

  2. Frank Sumatra

    Each to his/her own.

    • steve

      Nice car

    • Fiete T.

      Fathom Green, Highland Green, and-the coolest of all- GG1 Dark Racing Green Metallic

      Modern green I really like 6v4 Spruce Mica…Toyota

  3. ACZ

    Long term storage storage in Illinois = long term frame and birdcage rot. Look before you leap.

    • Rx7turboII

      That’s funny you say that because I’ve had my Datsun 280ZX in long-term storage since 1994 waiting for time to repaint it and it’s no different now than it was back then when I put it away and I live in northern il an hour away from this car. it’s how you store it not how long you store it!😱

      • Poppapork

        I live 10 minutes from this car. My corvette is in my attached suburban garage and it rusts just from.the 90%humidity combined with temerature drops….

      • ACZ

        For every person that does it right, there are a thousand that don’t.


    sold sold sold

  5. Mercury

    You could spend half of the “buy it now” price just on the included side pipes.

    If rust is not too bad, (check the windshield frame thoroughly too BTW), and you do not care about the original engine being long gone, install the best crate motor you can afford and go have fun!!!


    As far as the engine goes as long as a connecting rod is not sticking through the side of the block, the engine could be saved,heads,pistons,cranks can be replaced. who knows what some people might call a “blown” motor. Hopefully, rust is not terminal

  7. Ralph

    The good news is that the “Rally Wheels” are already on the car, under those hubcaps…..all Corvettes of this vintage came with “Rally Wheels”

    • steve

      Never understood putting hubcaps and white walls on a Corvette.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        It must have been a popular thing back then. Lots of them came from the factory that way, including the one I had.
        By the time I got it, it had rally wheels and RWL tires, a much better look.

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I would say a decent deal. Not sure if the hubcaps are original.I prefer the rally wheels myself. Ashcan the air cleaner at least. Strange, as far as the mold on the seats, my 1972 Stingray develops mold every winter on the seats. A little Armor All and the seats are all good. Ended: Jul 05, 2018 , 11:01AM
    Sold for:US $7,500.00
    [ 15 bids ]

  9. JC

    Why would I buy a ratty Vette with a blown motor when something like this is available-

  10. AMXBrian

    I do actually enjoy green cars, with green interiors as well. Funny enough, the awful paint job reminds me of what the dyed blue egg shells people make for Easter.

  11. 86 Vette Convertible

    You could crate motor this one and go through the mechanicals easy enough. Big thing is the paint if you aren’t set up to do it yourself. Most places I talked to in the past wouldn’t guarantee their work unless they did the prep too. Having them doing it all, even if you did the disassembly yourself got very pricey where Vettes are concerned based on some of the ridiculous estimates I got in the past.

  12. mrscarbuyer yes painting a corvette is very pricey I just repainted mines why drop 20,000 plus in this car an one can mines all done an running

    • Jbones

      Looks like your still taking that car with you on the move after all.

      • mrscarbuyer

        lol Jbones maybe so maybe not is not a problem if I do sir are Maam

      • Spicy Meatball

        Does seem a little more concerned than a month or so ago.Might be time to start negotiating. Another couple of months and its time to start thinking about storage. Just a casual observation.

  13. dl

    A friends car which I believe is Fathom Green.. love that color.

  14. erikj

    I like it,Have money coming that would have bought it. now it gone already sold. I am going to look at a 79 brown(ick) but $7000 and nice. and 71k miles. Atleast it is a stingray but rubber bumpers though.

    • Poppapork

      79 is the year to have if you want a cheap vette to modify, next year they redesigned the rear diff ( known as a batwing) into an even weaker unit.
      You can backdate bumpers to chrome if that bothers you (about $2k plus labor). Checkout door jambs, look behind the kick panel (by the drivers left foot) and check frame in front of rear wheels.
      7k should put you in a nice 79!

      • Ike Onick

        7K will put you in an OK 79, if you spend a lot of time looking Then another 3-5K will make it a nice 79. A “nice” 79 is 12K all day long depending on the definition of “nice”.

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    1970 Donnybrook Green, the day it left me.

    • dl

      I’ve got a ’64 and for many years didn’t care for C3’s. A couple years ago I was in a parking lot with my C2 and a very similar ’70 like yours (same color comb) was parked next to it. For the first time couldn’t tell you which was the better looking car. Funny how your taste for things changes over the years. Beautiful car.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Thanks dl.
        Despite the popularity of dissing green here, I was hoping to find one in green, if I could. When I went to look at this one, it was painted a horrible baby blue color. I was going to pass on it until I discovered that it had the green paint code.
        Also, the tan interior was not a popular choice to go with green. Most green cars also had a green interior.

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