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Crazy 1970 Chevrolet Corvette 396 SportWagon!

The world of Corvette van conversions is an interesting one, as it sheds a light on the many nuances of sports car ownership. You may love the idea of a high-powered sportscar, until realizing you can’t fit a set of track tires inside for autocrossing. Apparently, this van-converted Corvette was used for competitive driving events back in the day, making the enhanced rear end perfect for stowing a set of period R-compounds. Find the “SportWagon” Corvette here on eBay with bids to $7,100 and the reserve unmet.

In addition to the breadvan conversion and wild period graphics, the Corvette is also sporting a 396 paired to an M21 four-speed manual. The Corvette was originally equipped with a 454, with no details offered on when or why the swap occurred. Regardless, the bodywork looks reasonably sound with flared fenders front and rear and wicked period graphics. The back window is missing, but who knows if the original van kit even came with one.

When you peek inside, it becomes even clearer that a previous owner wanted this wild Corvette conversion to be as impressive on the track as it was in its physical appearance. The roll cage is unexpected, as are some of the cosmetic enhancements, like the red bucket seats and carpeting, but if this was someone’s hot rod/track toy in the 1970s and 80s, it’s not at all surprising. The car runs and is available for a test drive at the seller’s shop.

The engine bay looks a tad greasy but mostly complete. The seller doesn’t have any information on the conversion or the engine swap and notes that there are some imperfections in the fiberglass and rust on the corners of the doors. The current bid certainly seems light given the cool factor and the drivetrain, but the desirability of a Corvette with a van conversion is an entirely subjective affair – especially one set up for track days. Would you drive it?


  1. Avatar photo piston poney

    if i was rich i would buy it, fix the small issues like the rust, missing window, and what ever else would need to be taken care of, then take it out on track days.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo bry593

      For a minute I thought those were ’74-’78 Bird tail lamps. But, upon closer inspection, I can’t place them. They do look Pontiac.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo bone

    1979 called …….

    Like 2
  3. Avatar photo Don Sicura


    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo EBZ06

    Anyone who would do that to a ‘vette should be sentenced to life, locked inside a Yugo with only a magnesium-citrus laxative as substinance.

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo David G Green

      I agree. It’s almost beyond words how bad these conversions are. The best I can come up with is….terrible, just terrible.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo ccrvtt

    Let us take a trip back in time to the late ’70s when the radical changes from the ’60s had settled down and disco was on the radio. The high-performance Corvettes had been emasculated with smog motors and the owners became painfully hip with their gold chains, Members Only jackets, and shirts unbuttoned to reveal hairy chests (and beer bellies). A lot of the images from that era have haunted Corvettes to this day. Cars like this certainly reinforce that stereotype.

    All it lacks is a window sticker declaring, “Gas, Grass, or A$$ – nobody rides for free…”

    Rather than blasphemy this is a remarkably accurate reflection of its times no matter how grotesque it may appear at first glance. The dichotomy arises from the underpinnings set up for legitimate competition and spirited driving. You have to respect that.

    While it would look better restored in white with Greenwood-style American flag stripes and ditching the kitschy wagon-back, it almost demands to be left as is with its rusty and corroded textures and faded paint. It’s a survivor like an aging prostitute or an abandoned amusement park.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Ian McLennan


    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo CCFisher

    With no opening other than the rear window, good luck getting race tires in there.

    Like 2
  8. Avatar photo ACZ

    Gotta day, it’s certainly good for a laugh.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo J Reed

    I like it! As a musician it would be great to have a sport vehicle to drive to gigs and still be able to carry my equipment….

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Rick

    Oh F yeah! Body kit(s) from period Ecklers, wild paint, big engine… clean it up, repaint it, find the missing grille insert and blow minds at the next car show. These customs aren’t for everyone… personally, I love it!

    Like 11
  11. Avatar photo jeff

    needs a paint job that one is gross

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo John

    Swoopy, I like it!
    I think I remember seeing this in a hot rod magazine a long time ago.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Phlathead Phil

      I think you are correct.

      Seems I saw it too!

      However, that was a long time ago.

      Like 1
  13. Avatar photo James

    I wonder if the original body is still under there somewhere.

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo shanahan

    Somebody pinch me, I’m having a nightmare.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Dan Priestman

      I would buy it, sell the body to someone ( from Canada), then turn it into a windshieldless Grand Sport, and drive it around dressed like the sting.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Skorzeny

        What does Gordon Sumner have to do with Corvettes??

        Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Darryl

    I come from a Land Downunder!!
    This is the ultimate panelvan
    Whats not to like..
    Stick shift
    Wild graphics

    You cant exactly sleep in it unless you are mini-me.

    Blasphemy is having the same car as everyone else & paying a small fortune for the privilege

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      Use it for transporting kangaroos. That’s the only thing it’s good for.

      Like 0
  16. Avatar photo KEVIN

    passenger seat headroom seems lacking

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo jbbush

    It’s ugly and tacky and all 70s-style and I love it in a deeply disturbing way. 100% would rock it.

    Like 3
  18. Avatar photo Stan Marks

    Before I checked out today’s Barn Finds, I saw this ad on the interweb.


    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Stan Marks

      BTW…… They state “There are some imperfections in fiberglass”.
      YA THINK???????????

      Seems there are too many secrets, with this build.
      WTF were they thinking, bastardizing this Vette?
      I can see tears coming from her headlights.
      Poor baby……..

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Stan Marks

        Another thing…….
        The Chevy bowties, on the sides of the wagon, is tacky.
        But then, the entire build is tacky. IMHO…

        Like 2
  19. Avatar photo TONY MILO

    I Had that tarantula manifold on my old 68/l71when I trashed the trips.

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo PHJ

    Ahhhhh, the old days. I remember thinking the car in Corvette Summer was the coolest. These things were amazing when they were new. Now, maybe not, but it still has something special. Fiberglass imperfect? well so be it, at least it’s an original. Does anyone have the balls to do that today? Not many.

    Like 2
  21. Avatar photo al

    Hideous! I’d take a Uber, better off, walk if had a chance hitch hiking & this thing pulled up. Sorry, but this is really sad.

    Like 0
  22. Avatar photo Turbo

    Hideous is not an accurate enough description. More like fideous. As others have said, whoever did this should be brought up on charges or institutionalized at a state hospital.

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo 86_Vette_Convertible

    The back lights look like Firebird to me, but I could be wrong.

    Like 1
  24. Avatar photo Chris

    Just not for me ,operation that went wrong LOL

    Like 0
  25. Avatar photo V8roller

    The world is not exactly short of stock Corvettes.
    Dare to be different.

    Like 2
  26. Avatar photo Paul

    I would love to have it. Hot rod, 4 speed big block…. is it fuggly, heck yeah! But door dings wouldn’t matter, you definitely can find it in a parking lot without much worry of theft. A no worries fun mobile, works for me!

    Like 0
  27. Avatar photo Jeff

    The taillights are riviera!

    Like 0
  28. Avatar photo chrlsful

    What I wrote on the Hagerty Blog when seen on my feed. “Do U like this?” (i think it said)
    I do not like this model. A C1 bout ’56 – 60’n I’d B sad’n angry, screamin at my puter. Not a mako shark fan & this 1 I don;t like for the same things – here a wagon back, too truck like (for a ‘sports car’) the condition, original styling used, etc. It just don’t care, me either. And I DO like trouble, so I’d put on my cowboy boots, faded jeans’n a black T, race it from truck stop to truck stop, or some other americana. May be it’d cross a girl who don’t care. May B that’d make some don’t care trouble…

    Like 0
  29. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    Reserve Not Met at $10,100.00
    If someone actually wanted to pay that much for it, the seller should have let it go.

    Like 0
  30. Avatar photo Kenn

    I’m with Darryl, who nailed it! And V8 roller too. Admittedly I’m not a Vette snob, and I’m tired of seen Vette after Vette on this site with nothing different about them beyond engine size and the always important “numbers matching” and “original” mileage. I doubt most Vettes get much attention at cars and coffee cruise nights, but this would garner lots of attention, as evidenced by the comments here now. Hooray for imagination, fiberglass skill, courage to be different.

    Like 0
  31. Avatar photo Alec

    Apparently the local Mustang club that shows up to shows with a row of 100% identical over-restored 1965 convertibles showed up to this comment section. This thing is unbelievably rad.

    Like 0
  32. Avatar photo michael h streuly

    Relisted for 15k.

    Like 0
  33. Avatar photo TONY MILOSEK

    Not being a purist I don’t think 15k is unreasonable.

    Like 0

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