Bill Of Sale Only: 1966 Corvette Convertible

Some desirable cars just seem forever out of reach.  Take for example 1963-1967 Corvettes.  Often referred to as C2 Corvettes, these handsomely styled vehicles have always been regarded as special and desirable.  Prices for average C2s with older restorations range from the high forties to low seventies dependent upon year, condition, and options.  If you want a big block or fuelie car, then you’d better go get a big mortgage.  Thankfully, a bargain like this 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible being sold on eBay pops up from time to time.  On the good side, bidding is at a lowly $10,100 for this drop top project.  However, before you head out to Wichita, Kansas to pick this project up, know that there is a reason for the bargain price.  Would you buy a Corvette on a bill of sale that was missing its trim tag?

The story on this Corvette is a bit convoluted.  With visions of a beautifully restored Corvette, the seller purchased this car from a classic car dealer that advertised it as a “barn find.”  This transaction was made without a title.  Just a bill of sale was secured.  The classic car dealer got it from an estate sale, and he only got a bill of sale as well.  So, the current seller seems to have tracked the family down and their response was telling.  They said that the car hadn’t been registered since 1979, and that they didn’t have a title for it.  They also didn’t seem very interested in getting one either.  It does have a VIN plate, but the trim tag is AWOL.  If you purchase this car, you will be the third person getting a bill of sale.  As a side note, the bill of sale says that the car is a 1966 model.  The seller does think it is possible that the car is actually a 1965.  Fun times!

If you are a Corvette lover with a little knowledge of how often these cars were stolen in the past, then a chill likely ran up your spine.  Corvettes were the number prime target of car thieves for a great many years, and sorting out a missing title on a sixties Vette could get ugly.  However, there are ways to get a title in many states.  Some states have even created a cottage industry around it.  Buyer beware on this one.  Do your homework and hire professionals to help you through the sale on any Corvette is the best advice that can be given.

To add to the enjoyment of the future owner, there are some parts missing as well.  The seller speculates that the bumpers, grille, rocker trim, driver’s door panel, and a few more parts and pieces were removed to prepare the car for paint.  These items are long gone, and it is doubtful that the original family will return them to you if they locate them.  They just don’t seem to be very accommodating folks.  These removed panels reveal that the car was likely painted Milano Maroon from the factory.

When you look inside, you see the maroon paint in parts of the door jam and behind where the missing door panel used to hang.  The color the car looks to have been resprayed with appears to be Sunfire Yellow.  It is quite a bit brighter than the Goldwood Yellow seen on 1965 cars, and could possibly have been sprayed over the maroon, which was available in 1965 and 1966, to provide cover if the car were in fact a stolen car at one time.  Or someone just liked yellow a lot.  As evidence against this car being a 1965, take a look at the pleats in the seats.  These look to be leather seats from a 1966 model.  They may be reproductions, but they are definitely 1966 covers.  We can also see that this is a four speed car and it has the optional teak steering wheel.

Other than the carpeting, the interior is very useable.  The water damage in the carpet could be from a leaking seal between the top of the windshield assembly and the lift off hard top, or it could be a sign that the birdcage on this car is rusty.  All Corvettes of this era leak.  Some a little and some a lot.  As for the rest of the interior, a set of reproduction door panels can be found at any of the Corvette parts houses.  The carpet can be easily replaced, and modern insulation kits that are cut to fit are available as well.

Under the hood, the engine looks dusty but original for the most part.  Clean it up, throw away the T-handle valve cover bolts, add some ignition shielding, and this one is ready for the show.  The seller believes it to be a 327 cubic inch engine with 350 horsepower.  The evidence cited is the position of the redline on the tach.  Corvette’s 327/350 combo had hydraulic lifters and a lower redline than the solid lifter 327/365 engine.  As for the engine itself, the seller poured Marvel Mystery oil into the cylinders, let it soak for a while, and hit the starter.  The engine rotated, but it did not crank.  There is a lot of fuel system work ahead of the next owner before that happens.  Oh, and there is a problem with the driver’s side rear wheel doesn’t roll.  It may be a stuck brake or a burned out bearing.  The seller is unsure and likely not in the mood to check.

If you could get past the title and documentation problems, then this Corvette might be a real bargain.  A full restoration would leave you upside down, but restoring it to drive and enjoy would be just fine.  It comes with a set of vintage Ansen aluminum wheels and fender flares have already been added.  The missing parts are available from aftermarket suppliers and at swap meets.  If bidding stays in the ballpark of the last bid, then you could probably build yourself a respectable looking Corvette convertible for less than $25,000.  There is nothing wrong with building a car to enjoy, and this car could be just that.

Would the title and documentation problems slow you down from bidding on this diamond in the rough?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    The current seller is a dealer, he bought it from a dealer, yet neither was able or willing to get title for the car. An old bill of sale that has passed through a couple of dealers hands screams trouble. Potential buyers would be wise to check with their states DMV and get the procedure, in writing, they would need to procure a title in their name before purchasing this car. The warnings are clearly spelled out in the ad, for those that are actually willing to pay attention and look past a low entry point for an early Corvette convertible. Buyer beware.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  2. Rock On

    This car will probably end up as an off road vehicle when everyone gets tired of banging their head against the wall trying to register it!

    Like 2
  3. Matt steele

    Need a magician or a criminal to get a title

    Like 2
  4. Tom Bell

    This would be pre-title in New York. NYDMV actually has a good system for registering pre-title, bill of sale only vehicles. I’ve done it twice on motorcycle restorations. Of course, if the VIN comes back as stolen, then a problem.

    Like 2
  5. Joeinthousandoaks

    Make a drag car.

    Like 3
    • DRV

      Call your local DMV to see what you need to register. Abandoned vehicles get registered all of the time. New serial number plates are reproduced for many popular Chevies and others.

  6. pete Hendrickson

    In Louisiana no title are certificate of origin no sale .I learned the hard way

  7. CharlesMeek

    Someone check the numbers on frame and engine block.
    Search NCRS for tagged or listed.
    Check for stolen then get a new vin tag with frame number ….

    I agree with washing in NY as it’s a bos state . Others do it out west but get you salvage ..

  8. George mattar

    Stay away. You will never get a legit title for this. I bought a Corvette in NJ with a good title. Before I could register the car in PA, I had to have a licensed inspection mechanic to verify the VIN on the A pillar. If not, no way would Penndot give me a registration. As one reader said, drag car.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      This car IS NOT a good choice as a drag car. You can buy a well used turn key competitive low-10 second race car for around this Corvette’s current bid, $11,500. Grudge night or T&T bombers are significantly less. It makes no sense to use this car as a base for a race car, which would wind up costing close to $30,000 with a cage, good engine, transmission and rear end and all of the other incidentals if starting from scratch. The best option is to avoid this car like the plague.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  9. gbvette62

    This car looks like nothing but trouble to me!

    63-64 VIN tags were spot welded to the dash support, early 65’s used regular round rivets, and from mid 65 on, all Corvette VIN tags were attached using rosette rivets. This car has a 66 VIN number, so the VIN tag should be attached with rosette rivets. The VIN tag itself, doesn’t look right to me either. I think it may be a repro tag?

    The seats, the dash knobs, door pulls, window and vent cranks and the glove box emblem are all 66 parts, but the air cleaner and a couple other under hood details, look like 65’s.

    If the tach is original, this car originally came with a 327/300, not 327/350. The 350 hp engine used a 6000 redline tach, this car has the low horse, 5500 redline tach. Also, that is not a teak wheel, but instead is the plastic “walnut” wheel, that was standard in all 64-66 Corvettes.

    The missing title, wrong VIN tag rivets and questionable VIN tag, all set off way to many red flags, as far as I’m concerned.

    Like 8
    • Don Sicura

      I agree with you GB, looking at this VIN plate, I can attest that it is NOT a factory plate, and if that is not correct, I would venture that there are no other matching numbers on this car, run away from this very obvious faked VIN plated car or you’ll wind up with more legal expenses than the value of a clean 100 point C2.

      Like 1
  10. Vudutu

    I don’t know *hit about this licensing thing but it would seem to me some state would figure out they should make big bucks just becoming an orphanage for these vehicles. Why not, 500 bucks and you are good.

    • ccrvtt

      While your assumption that most governments are in the profits business is spot on.

      However, most governments are not in the common sense business.

      (I hope this isn’t too political.)

      Like 2
  11. TimM

    That sucks for a car such as this that it can’t get to the proper person to restore due to title!!!

  12. moosie moosie

    It could very well be a pieced together totaled wreck bought from the insurance company. Pieces and parts of different years from excess parts laying around the shop that bought it with an eye for profit. Who knows, but without proper legit paperwork I’d stay away cause it’d really suck to put your blood sweat & tears into it , finish it, and then get a visit from the cops confiscating it as previously stolen.

  13. Ron Bajorek

    Wow, a chance to buy a c2 corvette that you could ACTUALLY DRIVE! I would leave the ansens and the flares and 6 tail lights, I’d shoot it yellow and drive the snot out of it, and in NY the non-title is a non-issue for cars before ’73. I’d love to own this one

  14. v

    it looks like whoever had this car was in the stolen corvette buisness. ill bet after more research whomever got to pick and choose possibly from a number of stolen corvettes of this period and with there evil mind pieced a number of stolen parts together to wash clean the stolen singular goods into a new frankenstine machine. now you have a possible clean car that nothing matches any of its other parts. after all some larger pieces would have been recovered but who’s going to look for smaller individual parts. i say run from this car. if 2 professionals could not title it how can anyone who knows nothing title it . its a forever parts car…

  15. Keith

    The VIN plate is made of aluminum and installed with round head rivets …… GM VIN plate is made of stainless steel and used Rosetta rivets …… The missing trim tag would be maid of aluminum not the VIN plate . I would suspect there is another car out there running this exact VIN number and this car could be on a list of stolen cars ! The real VIN will be stamped on the frame rail and should give the real story on this car !

    Like 1
  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Seems like a gamble with a ton of work thrown in. Oh well. Ended: Jun 22, 2019 , 8:58PM
    Winning bid:US $17,800.00
    [ 35 bids ]

    Like 1

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