Designer’s Car: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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Some classic cars appear on the market and you understand that they are simple and uncomplicated survivors. Others will pop up from time to time, and you know that these are vehicles that will have a great backstory. That would appear to be the case with this 1969 Corvette Stingray, because not only is its original owner now 95-years of age, but he was also working in the GM Design Studio and was one of the minds behind the design of the C3 Corvette. The decision has been made for him to part with his beloved Corvette, which is located in Troy, Michigan. Therefore, it has been listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding has now reached $17,575, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The seller, who is acting as the owner’s representative, in this case, plays it a bit coy when it comes to the identity of the owner. However, he does reveal that not only was he a member of the C3 Corvette’s Design Team, but his handiwork is there for all to see. One change that occurred for the 1969 Corvette model year was a revision to the design of the vehicle’s exterior door handles. The redesign saw the previous model’s release button eliminated, with a finger plate now serving in that role. This redesign was said to have been the work of this particular individual. Obviously, this wasn’t his only claim to fame, but it is the single most visible item on this particular car that can be solely attributed to him. It would appear that he was pretty good at his job because he remained employed at GM for 40-years, and only left when he retired as the Head of Design Staff at the GM Tech Center in 1983. He took delivery of the Riverside Gold Corvette from a dealership in Warren, Michigan, in October of 1969. Under his stewardship, this is a classic that has led a fairly sheltered existence. It has always been stored in his home garage, so full points on that. However, his garage would be one of the very rare ones that is carpeted. That is a bit of a quirk that I always thought was reserved for my late grandfather and his beloved Chrysler! Anyway, the Corvette has benefitted from this sort of care, because while there is some minor scaling on the frame, the vehicle remains solid and rust-free. It is by no means perfect because the paint does wear plenty of the sorts of minor chips and marks that you might expect from a 51-year-old survivor. It would be very tempting to treat the Corvette to a light cosmetic restoration, but a big part of me would be inclined to leave it as an untouched survivor. The chrome and trim are in good condition for a driver-quality classic, while the Soft Ray glass has no obvious flaw or problems.

Mechanically, this Corvette comes equipped with the 300hp version of the 350ci V8, a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, and power steering. Given this particular car’s heritage, it is no surprise to learn that it is a full numbers-matching vehicle. It has also covered a genuine 43,000 miles, and given the level of documentation that is included with the vehicle, I suspect that this is a claim that can be verified. Even in his later years, the owner would take the Corvette out for a bit of a jaunt on occasions to keep the fluids flowing and everything nice and fresh. The car is said to run and drive nicely, and as you can hear in the video clip at the bottom of this article, that 350 sounds really sweet. The only fault that the seller identifies is the fact that the mufflers will need to be replaced fairly soon. Otherwise, it would seem that this is a fit and healthy Corvette that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

If the Corvette has a single highlight, then it is probably the condition of the black vinyl interior. The upholstery on the driver’s seat is slightly stretched and there is some minor fading on the carpet, but otherwise, it is in very nice condition. I admit that it is by no means loaded down with optional extras because it would seem that an AM/FM radio is about it. However, everything inside the vehicle, including the fiber-optics and the clock, is said to work as it should. Included with the vehicle are the original Owner’s Manual, Protect-O-Plate, the instructions for the radio, and even the visor wrap that explains the operation of the Ignition Lock System and the engine starting procedure.

The documentation that is included with this Corvette should make it pretty easy to verify the claims made about its original owner, and while it probably doesn’t add anything to the overall value of the vehicle, it does afford the buyer the opportunity to own a car with an interesting story behind it. Even without that story, it would still be a nice and original classic to own. The backstory makes it that bit more interesting, and when it comes to classic cars, they can never be too interesting.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. ruxvette

    Very nice car. If I was buying it I would want to get a picture of the original owner with his fingers in the door handle and something signed. Just for the heck of it.

    Like 8
    • TomMember

      ruxvette, I think that would be a “must happen” “deal breaker” if they want some money / value for this, documentation even some documented history of this tale provided would be good & necessary.

      Other than that, they lost me a “automatic trans”.

      Like 4
  2. dirtyharry

    In Apollo 13, Ken Mattingly drove a gold Corvette, but I believe his was a 1970. There is something about a Corvette, in this color, that ‘kind of works’ and brings you right back to the 70’s. I didn’t like it then, but things change.

    Like 7
  3. moosie moosie

    In some of the pictures the paint looks like it has a layer of dust on it giving you the impression its a different shade ? it looks like the windshield is delaminating in the lower right corner in another picture but I’d love to call this ’69 mine, it doesn’t have a luggage rack making it much more desirable to me. The interior looks almost virgin, the original owner must have really loved this car, it shows.

    Like 5
  4. Dave Mathers

    I sold those bad boys NEW at the Central Chev High Performance Center in London, Ontario. We were so happy when the door handles dropped the push buttons from the 68s. We were mesmerized by the fiber-optics that showed the condition of each light bulb. I even sold a 1969 L-88 which sold a couple of years ago for almost half a million dollars. Original price – $9,650 and, yes, I still have the bill of sale for it along with a bunch of COPO Camaros, Chevelles AND Novas!!

    Like 1
  5. TimM

    350 with an automatic transmission!!!

    Like 3
    • Raymond HurstMember

      Coming from someone who has obviously never driven or rode in a 350/300 horse Chevy of any body style. NOTHING boring here.

      Like 4
      • John Oliveri

        Friend of mine had a 69 Lemans convertible, Deep green white convertible top white bucket seat interior black console and dash, factory 4 Speed Hurst shifter, and duals, secret to the cars success, had a 350/ I believe 330, or 300 hp 4 barrel, GTOs w 400 motors had 360 hp, but no one saw this Lemans coming, low howl of the duals maybe , put full PMD wheel covers, and the tiniest white letter tires, GT qualifiers. Lee a lotta guys doors off, especially the ones w big blocks that couldn’t shift,

        Like 0
      • TimM

        Sure it’s boring!!! It’s a sports car with an automatic!!! Where’s the sport in that!! Oh and btw my 70 Carmaro with the 396 and Muncie 4 speed definitely qualifies along with my 67 Caprice also with a 396 or my 72 big block corvette!!! When you grow a pair try to insult someone to their face instead of doing it on the computer!!!

        Like 0
    • Raymond HurstMember

      According to Motor trend; a 67 Caprice or Impala, with the 396, would run 17 seconds, stock, and a 70 Corvette would run 16 seconds, stock, with the ”baby block” 300 horse 350. (quarter mile times) I guess you do know something about boring cars. You say you consider your Grandma’s Caprice a sports car; because of the big block I would assume. I could probably drive that to the grocery store without having to grow a pair. I need to get me one of those. That’s as close to ”in your face” as I can get. PS I like big blocks too but some small blocks can kick butt. You just have to wind them a little tighter. Ciao, my Bow Tie friend.

      Like 1
      • TimM

        Never said my grandmas Caprice was a sports car!! Where did I say that??? It’s certainly not a sports car either!! It’s a big cruiser that has a little muscle when you run through the gears!! As for a fiberglass corvette with a small block beating it by a second must make you a genius!! I don’t come on here and insult people about their opinions!!! I certainly don’t hide behind my laptop and do it either!! One other thing!! I’m not your friend!! I don’t associate myself with cowardly people that insult people that they know nothing about!! Get a life!!!

        Like 0
  6. Ike Onick

    So a guy goes to work for 40 years and does his job. How does that impact the value of this car?

    Like 2
    • Dave Mathers

      Read the story. THIS is the guy who got rid of the annoying push buttons on the 68 Vettes.

      Like 6
      • Ike Onick

        I did read the story. Hence the snarky comment. He did what GM was paying him to do. It has NOTHING to do with anything about the car. Perhaps Zora Duntov leaned on the back bumper to tie his shoe one time. Add $5000 to the price. A typical seller trying to build something from nothing to squeeze a few more bucks out of someone.

        Like 0
    • Ruxvette

      How much money is “just for the heck of it” snark man?

      Like 0
  7. John Oliveri

    No air, your gonna die in there

    Like 0
  8. PRA4SNW

    Made it to $25,900 but did not meet reserve.

    It looks like some value was added because of the story.
    Although it is a well kept car, just too common of a configuration to get anything more than that.
    They’ll keep trying.

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      And they will regret not taking $25,900.

      Like 2
  9. George Mattar

    With prices today, yes, he should have taken $25,000. But, that Riverside Gold is my favorite 69 color and is a real GOLD, not the stupid shades they call gold today. And while it is a boring engine, trans combo, at least it is reliable and that engine compartment is bone stock down to the red clamps on the fuel filter. All the shielding is in place, orig. air cleaner, no stupid mods and super nice interior too. Hard to find these cars not torn up after 51 years. I had a 71 454 coupe in the mid 70s and now own a 73 coupe, which I love to drive with its 4 speed transmission.

    Like 2

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