Dealer Serviced Survivor: 1975 Corvette

If I was going to buy a Corvette today, I might give this one a long, hard look. While this generation ‘Vette isn’t exactly hard to find, it usually takes some extra searching to weed through the tired project cars cluttering craigslist. This 1975 model has a low 81,000 miles, and being equipped with a 4-speed makes it even more special. Plus, it has been lovingly maintained since new. Find it here on craigslist for $18,900. 

Now, that may seem like a chunk of change for a Vette like this. But this could be a case of the age-old argument to buy the best you can afford. According to the seller, this example was bought new in Wisconsin at Curley Chevrolet, where it was serviced until 2000 when the dealership closed. From there, it continued to be dealer-serviced at nearby Brenengen Chevrolet. The best part? All the records are included with the sale, documenting both the mileage and the maintenance.

Shortly after the year 2000, the Corvette was put into climate-controlled storage where it remained ever since, driven less than 3,300 miles since that time. On occasion, well-preserved cars suffer from lack of use, leading to weak hoses and corroded lines. But with this L-48 equipped model, you’re getting a car that’s been both preserved and maintained. The seller bought the Corvette from the original owner, and has since detailed it to NCRS standards.

Original spare tire, never used after 81,000 miles! That doesn’t happen often. Since the car now wears California plates, it’s obvious the Vette left its longtime Wisconsin home when the current owner acquired it. The asking price doesn’t seem out of line for a car that seemingly has no issues, and provided it drives as nice as it looks, I don’t think you’d lose any money if mileage and condition don’t change too much from its current state.


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  1. Stephen

    But the luggage rack, ugggghhh.

    • Squanto

      I’m pretty sure they are not welded on. Also it was a dealer-installed option and results in a point deduction when being judged at an NCRS meet. I report, you decide.

      • 70kingswood

        how could you weld it on with a fiberglass body?

      • dm

        They were held on with those rubber plugs that expand in the hole when the mounting screws are tightened. They could be a dealer-added option and the Make Ready Department could put them on in under half an hour. Drilling holes in the back deck of a brand-new Corvette was always an experience. Had to be sure that the fuel door would open between the ribs.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      There’s nothing wrong with an accessory that is very useful. I used the one on my ’70 convertible when the car was a lot younger and used for things like camping.
      And if you don’t like the look, it comes off and you can fill the holes. But in the Corvette world where originality rules, that borders on sacrilege.

      Like 1
  2. 70kingswood

    it look very nice. four speed is a bonus. but if I was buying a vette from this era I would want one I could modify and drive, not one I would need to preserve in order to protect an iffy investment. others may not agree! :)

    • Mr. Bond

      Nailed it! This needs to go on ice for a few more years. And hopefully the boomer bubble doesn’t burst before then.

  3. Alfie

    Almost 20k for a ’73+ Corvette? Sigh.

  4. Squanto

    Owner should know it is worth $12,500 without the L-82 engine option and optional suspension upgrade. “A” for effort but the asking price puts it right in the 1990-91 ZR-1 with comparable mileage neighborhood which gets you 375 hp from a hand-built, bullet-proof engine (Many ZR-1s on the road with >200,000 miles), six-speed, and 180 MPH top speed (I’ll bring the diapers). Any questions on the pricing and high-mileage LT-5 engines, refer to the ZR-1 Net Registry website

  5. Joe Haska

    I totally agree with all your comments on this car. Corvettes have never really been my thing, especially this era, however a real nice car makes all the difference, “Always by the best car you can, you make it up on the other side.”

    • Squanto

      And I agree with your comments. This would be a beautiful driver at a fair price. It will never be able to recover the current asking price should the next owner have a change of heart.

  6. JW454

    I like this one. The third pedal makes it more interesting too. Now the “IFs” start.
    1. “If” I had the money…
    2. “If” I had a place to keep it…
    3. “If” I had a use for it…
    4. “If” I win the lottery…

  7. DRV

    NCRS would want the air to at least look like it works. I would think this is one the least desirable Corvettes in the great original shape. Certainly one of the hundreds of well preserved, few years later, pace cars would suffice at this price.
    I would wonder if service at the dealer would even know how to deal with this in the 90s.

    • Squanto

      If you mean “air conditioning” there is none on this car.If memory serves, the compressor mounted on the passenger-side of the engine towards the front.The vent controls on the console might be another clue. It does have the AIR smog stuff on it which is pretty rare (Being left on the car is pretty rare. Most of the smog stuff got tossed as soon as possible).

      • DRV

        So is it a smog pump or airconditioning compressor…passenger side of the engine toward the front as you stated?
        Allegedly no smog pump on a 1975.

      • Tirefriar

        I believe it’s a smog pump. A/C compressors have clutch pulleys on them plus this appears to be too small to be an A/C compressor. I don’t see an a/c compressor but this car is in San Francisco Bay Area where temperatures are cool, even in the summer.

      • racer99

        Yup, it’s a smog pump. Bad about the bearings going out and it was easy enough to cut the belt like has been done here. Nice that the parts are still in place if you want a concourse style vehicle in complete stock configuration.

  8. Stang1968

    In spite of being a lack-luster year and having uninspired performance, this is a beautiful well preserved example. It’s obvious it was loved from day one.

    • Squanto

      Absolutely. Looks like the real deal. The price will come down unless someone has a very sentimental reason to want this car.

  9. RandyS

    A buyers market right now for C3’s. Far to much asking for a L48 @ 81k miles. As you said there are many many on CL and ebay and I bet with 5 minutes of searching I could find the equivalent or better for less than $10k….. actual 5 seconds….

    • Jeff Staff

      To be fair, that one is not nearly as nicely preserved as this example. If preservation isn’t your thing, by all means – buy the black one. But for someone who likes knowing everything about their car since Day 1, the white one will scratch that itch nicely.

    • 68 custom

      black one isn’t even close in terms of condition, god what a terrible job on the eyes noooooo…

      • ACZ

        Covers are easy to replace and that’s an L82.

  10. grant

    Personally I love C3’s. Pure ’70’s sex on wheels. Just look at those hips!

    • Squanto

      Interesting take on ’70’s Corvettes.

      • grant

        Lol I just can’t be the only one who sees that.

      • DRV

        If you have driven one you can see ( or not be able to see) what a problem the coke bottle shape is…..skinny cockpit and vision seriously cut into for fast corner cutting.
        The shape is extreme and that’s the attraction for many.

    • 68 custom

      I prefer chrome bumper C3s.

  11. Rock On Member

    RandyS- you can’t really compare the big back window Vette to the small back window Vette. Totally different driving sensation.

  12. Steve

    My oldest brother had a 75 Stingray back in the mid 80’s. Chocolate brown originally, with medium brown interior. L48 automatic. Ran like a 3 legged dog. About the time it hit the mileage this one has on it, it started using oil (I am sure it was not as well taken care of as this one.) My other brother had a L48 out of a 69 Camaro SS (What a difference a couple of compression points make) that he swapped out while rebuilding the original L48. It got a .030 overbore with flat top pistons, an Edelbrock Performer intake, Comp Cams 268H and a set of headers. What a difference in power, but it would cook your feet (even with the stock manifolds)!

    • Steve

      My brother had the stock plastic front and rear nose pieces removed and grafted on newer fiberglass nose pieces and wheels like an 80 vette and car painted gold and black, like a 78 pace car. He entered it in a Super Chevy show one time and a guy in a corvette cap and t shirt asked him why he had an 80 model in the modified class. He told him it was for a few reasons… Notice the rear window… not 1980. Paint… not 1980. Fiberglass nose and tail molded in…not 1980.

  13. Woodie Man

    Now if this was a C2……………..

  14. Rustytech Member

    This is a nice gen 3 Vette if your into them, The last year that held interest to me was the 1973. This one though is over priced by about $10k.

  15. Frozenbird

    I don’t really see the point of buying a low HP ’75 with the L-48 which was a small step away from a 305. If it was a roadster with the same options then at least it would look cool. But if it’s a C3 you need hold out for a reasonably priced ’72 or ’73 and maybe even a 454!

  16. troyce

    No belt on the AC compressor. “Just needs a charge.”

    • ACZ

      Not an AC compressor. That’s a smog pump (Air Injector Reactor). This car does not appear to have AC.

  17. Tirefriar

    I’ve been keeping an eye out for a C3 with manual. The chrome bumpered cars are way up there and the asking price here is for a nice 1st gen C3. Given the fact that it’s a ’75 means no smog requirement in California, a plus. No belt on a/c compressor means $1200 or more for proper conversion to r132 freon system, a minus. If the car checks out, this could be a $10k ride. Prices on C3’s are on the upswing. There’s no point of comparing newer generation Vettes to this car. Every generation brings out something quicker and faster, but it’s all about the nostalgia here….

    A quick note, anything older than ’76 model year does not require smog in California and that fact alone impacts the sale price. It’s akin to buying a two stroke bike in California – if it has current California tags it will be worth extra $2k or more than a non-Cali bike just because it’s almost impossible to register a two stroker here. Yes, it can be done but will cost quite a bit of $$ and stress….

    • Joe64NYWF

      CARB didn’t do their homework. It should be older than ’75 model year. If you take the converter off any ’75 car, the exhaust will be MUCH dirtier than a ’74(that has no conveter)! Odd the ’75-6 Bricklins have no converter, cause the car still had a fiberglass floor, i believe, which would be melted by a converter! How those cars managed to squeak by the feds is a mystery to me, especially in California! I believe the Vette in ’75 switched to a steel floor, BECAUSE of the heat of the 1st year converter.
      I had a ’76 chevette whose cat con heat shield fell off & even through the steel floor singed the carpet inside. I still laugh at that car – passenger window that fell down my itself, gas you can hear sloshing around in the tank!, heat you could not shut off, having to buy a new air CLEANER when the filter was dirty, tho you could not even inspect the filter, horrible brakes, uncomfortable accelerator pedal, etc. Still cute tho, on the front. If your date did not mind the car, she should be your wife! lol

  18. Mark

    The luggage rack is just hideous….no understanding as to why that ever existed. I have never seen any Corvette EVER with luggage strapped onto that ugly ass contraption. Unfortunately, to remove it, you have to completely redo the rear panel. It sits inside rubber grommets, so it is easy to pull off for waxing/detailing purposes, but those grommets leave about a 1/2″ hole in the panel once removed. Big job to try and “patch and fix”. Love the body style though, and white has always been the best color for a ‘Vette! Had a white ’66 Stingray, 427/390HP Tri-Power….fastest car I’ve ever driven, by far!

    • Mark

      I now own a 1973 Trans Am (also white), which though not as break-neck jerking fast as the Stingray, is WAY more fun and comfortable to drive. Plus, I truly believe it is better looking. Just me though….

    • Tirefriar

      You can use rubber plugs. Manufacturers use them all thought the car to cover access holes. You can paint them white to make them less conspicuous at a distance…

  19. Bill

    Luggage Rack can be an asset………
    Adds room when you upgrade to removable rear window.

    Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great move on the rear window Bill! I was scratching my head for a while. I am surprised it was not done more often. I love the sound of the dual exhaust with the window removed. Just curios, did you install the glove box for the window also? Mine does not have the rack, but I like them. Take care, Mike.

      • Bill

        Yep Mike, the window tray is in there too. If you can find all the parts, its an easy reto-fit.
        Have a Great Day,

  20. JC

    Nice car but… why buy it if all you can do is look at it to retain its value?… “as long as the mileage and condition don’t change too much from its current state”?

  21. George mattar

    I own a C3 Corvette and love it. No stupid sensors to go bad and doesn’t cost me $2,000 for tires. Ok you so called experts That is an Air Injection Reactor pump. This car does Not have air conditioning, which was optional in 1975, which cost $490 that year. About 31,000 75 Corvettes had it. Secondly, yes 75 is the first year for catalytic converter and single exhaust. The steel floor pans debuted for 1976 model year. I was the assistant service manager at a Chevy dealer that year and saw these cars inside and out with 2 miles on the odometer. I thoroughly enjoy my 1973 coupe with a 350 and four speed and I paid $10,000 for it 3 years ago. Orig engine, rust free frame and no hit body.

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