Big Block Four Speed Convertible: 1971 Corvette

The Devil is, as they say, in the details.  Anyone who has restored a vehicle knows that the details are the hardest and most expensive part of any restoration.  So, when you look at the Corvette in the main photograph of the article, I want you to think details.  The reason for that is the seller of this 1971 Chevrolet Corvette convertible being sold on eBay has spent far more than the reserve price of $7,500 on the restoration of this Corvette.  The frame, suspension, rear end, and the complete driveline have all been restored, rebuilt, or refurbished on this Tarrytown, New York based sports car.  While this Vette still needs a lot of bodywork, whoever finishes it will have one of the most desirable Corvette combinations: big block engine, four speed transmission, and a convertible top.

There is a bit of a story to this Corvette.  The seller bought this nearly all numbers matching car in 2004, and it was claimed that the car was garaged all of its life.  The car left the factory in Ontario Orange with an LS5 under the hood and a four speed backing it up.  Somewhere along the line the exterior was painted red and the interior was changed to red as well.  The car had damage in the driver’s rear quarter and in the front clip that was poorly repaired.  A restoration was started in 2005 to bring the car back to original and fix the shoddy repairs.

It appears that one thing led to another and the seller went all in on making this Corvette right.  The frame, which was in good condition, was sandblasted, etch primed, and repainted the correct factory black.  Another expensive step was the complete rebuilding of both the front and rear suspension.  The brake and fuel lines were also replaced along with the addition of a new gas tank.  All of the correct bolts and fasteners were used in the process.

Before we get to the driveline, we need to go over the original parts not seen in the pictures and the used parts that come with the sale.  Among these are a correct and complete 1971 front clip, an original 454 hood, an original tonneau cover, a set of original doors with medium saddle door panels, front frame extensions, front and rear bumpers (these will need to be re-chromed), a restored convertible top frame, trim rings, center caps, and a set of B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A tires.

Mechanically, the original engine was rebuilt along with the M-21 transmission, and the rear differential.  The car also received new motor mounts, all of the correct ignition parts up to and including the braided spark plug wires, and the Rochester Quadrajet that was on the car but not original was rebuilt.  The chrome valve covers are not the originals.  However, the seller has the correct ones and seems to have saved all of the parts that came off the car during this process.  If you can say anything for the seller, its that they are meticulous.  Even the steering box was rebuilt.

To finish, the seller tells us that the car will need a driver’s side quarter panel, a full interior, carpets, a windshield, and the required body work and paint.  While replacing these parts and getting the car to the finish line will be tough, remember that many of the expensive details are done.

When you add up what has been done to the car, it is obvious that the $7,500 reserve is way lower than the sum of the parts.  Hopefully this car doesn’t get parted out by the next owner.  A beautiful Corvette like this one needs to be put back on the road.  The price of big block cars are only going up.

Would you finish the restoration on this Corvette or part it out?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. DonBunning

    So paint jobs run 15-20 and this will reach or exceed the build. Still needs interior and put back wiring and top.

    Your way over the price of feet an all original convertible 454 four speed both tops.

    1971 Chevrolet Corvette https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113769215191

    Like 2
  2. TimM

    Wow!! Tons of body work!! If it could be bought at $7500 it might be worth it cause it’s no doubt it would be a high dollar car when done!! I just think it’s going to go much higher than his reserve price!!

    Like 3
  3. Doug Walters

    You’ll be upside down in no time.

    Like 4
  4. grant

    A rebuilt driveLINE is nothing to write home about. A redone driveTRAIN could be a good selling point though.

    Like 2
  5. RoughDiamond

    While this ’71 big block four-speed Corvette has potential, it’s not for the faint of heart.

    Like 2

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