Buried Alive! 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

“Holy cow; there’s a Corvette in here!” Sometimes you’ve so completely abandoned hope of making that “old car” run that it becomes another object among many with so little meaning they no longer merit particular care. Cast aside with the broken TV that you might be able to fix and the wobbly rocking chair that may simply need re-glued, these once-useful, once-valued scraps from our past become painful reminders of your broken promises, taunting you with the space they consume and the demand for time they represent. This 1969 Chevrolet Corvette outside Atlanta, Georgia may have slipped down a similar slope, to the point where it’s finally time to let another owner take a crack at putting it back on the road. The listing on Facebook Marketplace asks $9000 for what you see here. Do you see it? Thanks for reader DON S. for finding this garage-find ‘Vette.

This “ran when parked” classic last converted fuel and air into motion some 16 years ago. The lack of a VIN or engine pictures leaves some questions unanswered, such as which of two 350 cid (5.7) or three 427 cid (7.0L) V8 engine options might lurk under the hood, which is to say under the hood, under the boxes, and under the rocking chair. The good news is that even the base 300 HP 350 will put a smile on your face with the four-speed manual transmission. The seller does describe the engine as not a numbers-matching unit so perhaps there’s a Nissan four-banger or a good old reliable Briggs and Stratton V-Twin in there. Chrome bumpers make the early third-generation of “C3” Corvette more prized than the later and larger body-colored C3 bumpers.

What looks like Riverside Gold makes a classy color for this project car. Rust in the windshield frame doesn’t bode well for the metal structure of this fiberglass-bodied sports car. Maybe there’s a complete interior in that Rock Auto box… or maybe not. All coupes featured the removable hard top sections for 1969. Chevy bragged that “the man that drives this kind of car likes to know what’s happening.” My friend Hilary drag races her Corvette, and would never let anachronistic and sexist advertising curb her zeal for “America’s Sports Car.”

Apparently the “ran when parked” story took place before minor parts like, oh, the steering wheel and seats, disappeared, or there was some creating wiring involved. Automotive forensics on a non-running car usually leads to discovering the “Why?” part of the story. Why did folks stop driving this car? One non-running car I brought back from the dead was sidelined because BOTH the neutral safety switch AND a wire in the starter circuit were bad. Someone probably kept working on one of those problems without addressing the other. Another car I resuscitated had nearly everything relating to brakes replaced before it was abandoned, and what it really needed was a new master cylinder. What’s the strangest story you’ve heard about why folks stopped driving an old car?

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Comments

  1. Roger Hackney

    A lot of guessing.

    Like 4
  2. 70SuperSport

    Just nope for so many reasons…

    Like 14
  3. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Looks like a very complicated LEGO set here…GLWTS.

    Unusual story? I delivered the local paper to a couple in the neighborhood I grew up in when they bought their new ‘67 Cougar 390. 19 years later I was at their home on a call and saw it in the garage; it looked like it had just been rolled into the garage when I was still a kid. They’d stopped driving it 10 years earlier as she swore she heard music anytime they were in it, thought the radio was off but didn’t hear it after they got out-until years later when she heard imaginary music 24/7..

    Another customer had a 1949 Ford Tudor that was in the detached garage next to the house; the widow and her husband bought it new, drove it 63 miles home and the engine overheated. The had it towed back to the dealership who then installed a new engine. After 3 years it too overheated and he parked it there where I would see it whenever I went there for a call.
    About 16 years later I was at a gas station near the house when I saw another ‘49 exactly like it on a car trailer; I asked the guy about it and he said he’d inherited it from his great aunt that lived up this street and who’d recently died leaving him the car he’d played in since he was old enough to open the door and sneak inside..It was rough but he planned to completely redo it to original.

    I guess sometimes a dream can be reality with enough hard work to make it happen.

    Like 9
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      I totally need to hear more about this imaginary/ghost radio!

  4. Wolley knuj

    Ran when parked without interior, windshield.

    Looks over priced to me.

    Good luck and hopefully will get put back on the road .

    Like 6
  5. craig

    Someone has a lot of chutzpah thinking they will get that money for this roach.

    Like 6
  6. Ike Onick

    $900 top price and that’s only if Goober cleans all the stuff off it and delivers it.

    Like 8
  7. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Nine thousand dollars.

    But it’s a Corvette.
    Well it was a Corvette.
    Was.

    Like 9
  8. Jerry

    If it was 20 years ago it would be worth the 9k . It is a barn find , but an overpriced one !

    Like 4
  9. Rick

    I guess hat they could not find anymore junk to pile on it, in it, and around it so they decided it was time to sell.

    Like 2
  10. Karl

    I am not the seller really wants to sell this in fact I totally doubt it by the presentation of this Vette. Not one decent picture, nothing of the underside, nothing of the engine a trashed out incomplete interior NOPE would not even consider it with the information that is given!

    Like 5
    • 1Ronald

      Like the guy who advertised his still brand new 92 Fleetwood Brougham about a year ago that had spend its life up on blocks only to run occasionally. 7 miles on the odometer? His wife told him he had to sell it and he didn’t want to. So he listed it on ebay for $250,000. Guess he still has it.

      Like 2
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      I think the only “decent “ picture is the one that portends certain birdcage rot. Pass.

      Like 1
  11. dogwater

    I don’t understand it you want to sell something why not take good pictures after removing all the junk off the car?

    Like 7
    • Mike

      Too much work to remove the junk. They’ll let the new buyer do it for them or get people who stop by to check it out to move the boxes. FB is the haven for lazy sellers. I remember seeing an ad for a van in a backyard where the seller took pics from their kitchen window. The description was equally helpful and the price was a highly optimistic guess.

      Like 2
  12. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Todd said it well:

    “painful reminders of your broken promises, taunting you with the space they consume and the demand for time they represent.”

    Like 5
  13. Johnny

    From the looks of it. I,d say the seller is is too lazy to take the junk off the car. He,s probably the original owner and was too lazy to work on it. He won,t get $9,000. He will get alot less.Maybe $1,000. I saw one the other day on Craigslist for $2,500 and it was in better shape,but still needed put back together and it had a big block –complete–sitting in it.

    Like 1
  14. terry Brundage

    looks hit in rt front, see crack by head light & exposed glass at top front

  15. George Mattar

    Another hillbilly with the philosophy “gonna get to it someday, but now I need money” there are far better cars than this garbage can for the same money.

    Like 3
  16. Stephen Coe

    The owner has been watching Auto auction far too long & has NO idea of repair cost if you take this beep to reliable shop and say fix it,the cost is well over 30,000. Just say no no no no

    Like 4
  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    With this one, at least you don’t have to guess at the condition of the windshield frame. And with that amount of rot, I’ll bet that the frame is gone too.

    Like 1
  18. Bill

    Someone’s broken dream. Emphasis on broken.

    Like 1
  19. Bill McCoskey

    Over the last 50+ years I’ve seen plenty of garages, houses, and back yards that looked chaotic and full of junk. I’m not a doctor, nor a Psychiatrist, but having been thru a severely traumatizing ordeal [big fire], I know exactly what it’s like to deal with depression. It makes even the smallest task seem impossible. Until you conquer it, nothing will change.

    In each & every instance where the locations were trashed and needed major work just cleaning up and organizing, the owner had been dealing with a level of depression that made it difficult, or downright impossible, to do simple tasks like remove the stuff off the car or clean out the garage. The owner of this ‘vette may have had a hard time just deciding to place the car up for sale, much less take the pictures, or place the ad.

    I’ve actually been able to buy cars that other buyers were told were “Not for sale”, because I understood the “Deer in the headlights” situation I describe here. Sometimes I was willing to help owners clean up things a bit, and work with them to make the sale possible, because as we talked they started to accept the situation for what it was. This also applies with heirs who felt inundated with the task of trying to make sense of the deceased’s property.

    I’ve sat down with family members and gave them the advice they needed to make the right situations. A few times I made heirs a very cheap offer because I promised to take everything, leaving the house & garage “broom clean”. Knowing they didn’t have to worry about selling items one at a time to many different buyers, was more important than the cash sale value. They were able to focus on selling the house/property.

    But in every case, I never took advantage of the owners. One time my ex and I went to see a large collection of vintage toys the owner was selling after her partner died. She told us how much she wanted. It was far too cheap, so my ex and I made her a counter offer that was about double what she wanted, but still cheap enough we could resell things. That was almost 20 years ago. I’ve stayed in touch with the seller, and over the years she’s sent me several people who wanted to sell their toys, collectibles, and cars. She even met her current partner at a dinner I hosted about 10 years ago.

    Like 11
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Great stories, Bill McCoskey! And good advice. “Stuff” may be fun, but treating people kindly and fairly is a true legacy.

      Like 6
    • cyclemikey

      The occasional appearance of an insightful comment like Bill’s is what keeps the site interesting despite all the constant, repetitive negativity about nearly every car featured here.

      That and the very good write-ups by the BF staff.

      Like 6
      • CVPanther Member

        Thanks, Mikey, for saying exactly what I was thinking.

        Like 1
  20. Comet

    One of the only clear pics are of windshield/birdcage rot. I can’t imagine what lurks under all that crap.

    Like 3
  21. chuck

    A guy I work with does stuff like that. He bought a boat a while back. Tore all the dash out of it and interior. Then it sat for a long time. He accumulated thousands of dollars worth of new stuff to put on it. Finally sold it to somebody else at work for $900.

    Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey

      Chuck,

      That’s a classic example of what I mentioned above. Buying things for a project often provides a quick emotional high, but actually doing the work often doesn’t provide that quick high, at least until the entire job is completed.

      In the late 1980s I bought the contents of a fairly large barn. The former owner was a Studebaker and Packard collector. When the sliding barn door was opened, I was met with a solid wall some 6 to 8 feet high. It was filled with tools, parts and other automotive stuff. I didn’t have a clue what was there, but as I worked my way in, I kept finding multiple purchases of the same tools or tool sets, most in the original bags with the receipts still attached, showing that the guy kept buying the same items year after year.

      Inside I found complete cars, including a 1953 Packard Convertible, 2 – 1956 Studebaker Hawk hardtops, 1955 Studebaker Speedster, 1951 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe with V8 & automatic transmission, and 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk with an Avanti engine & 4-speed.

      Parts included many sets of Studebaker Hawk pot metal trim, all NOS in the boxes, and even included a pair of Hawk NOS front fenders [they are different from the other Studebaker cars and are made of “Unobtanium”]. He had spent a lot of money on buying not one, but three, complete and correct convertible top assemblies for the Packard, over about a 15 year period.

      I ended up continuing the rental of the barn for another 6 months so I had time to clear it all out.

      Like 3
  22. Mark

    So sad. Under all those boxes I can see it’s been on fire. Portions of hood burned Explains windshield and interior missing.

  23. Richard Van Dyke Sr

    Went back and looked at the pictures again and the seller does provide an engine picture. It’s to the left of the car. What a mess.

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