Live Auctions

Inexpensive Barn Find: 1973 Corvette Stingray

Pat L does it again, finding an ad here on craigslist for a 1973 barn (warehouse?) find Corvette Stingray. The car is currently waiting for a new owner in Valparaiso, Indiana with an asking price of $8900. With some refurbishing, it looks like it could be driven as is, but you’re going to be tempted to go further, putting some money into paint to make up for some boo-boos, as pictured.

There’s not much information on this Vette, and the owner has gone to his great reward, apparently, as this is also labeled an estate sale, so we can’t appeal to him (or her) for details. What we know is that the mileage reads 63,000 and that the engine turns over but does not start. It has the standard 350-CID powerplant, with an automatic transmission. The 1973 Corvette was part of the C3 (third generation) of the classic sportscar which debuted in 1953 driven by a Blue Flame inline 6-cylinder. This V8 from the factory had a horsepower rating of 190, so not a scary car to drive from a power standpoint.

The condition of the body is good with exceptions. Those would be on the nose, the passenger-side fender, and perhaps elsewhere. The good thing about the fender damage is that it’s on the side you don’t see if you’re the driver, so there’s a chance that you could get some quickie work done and just let it be. It’s no less fun to drive with old paint than with new, after all. The issue is, of course, that these Vettes aren’t all that valuable, though there may be room in the deal to paint it at an outside shop if you buy right. Online price guides have an average retail number of about $23 thousand for this model, which would seem to be a jump from what these traded for a long time.

This t-top Vette, in short, is a car that someone with mechanical aptitude should grab up and put to running, then drive it as is, or sell to someone who’s wanting an entry-level collector. That person will then need to spend further money to tighten up the suspension, do the brakes, no doubt, and get the AC working. But those are not big obstacles. It’s just too bad that the history of the car is gone, assuming the seller doesn’t have information to offer. Looking at the ad, he or she is a person of few words, so we’ll never know who piloted this Mako Shark-inspired sports car, why it was put away, and when.

Comments

  1. Tbone

    Meh. Seems overpriced for what you would have to put into it. Then it’s a disco era vette with an automatic. Transition year for bumpers and can’t remove the back glass. It a horrible car, but not a great deal. You would need to have some connection to the year to justify the expense, in my opinion

    Like 3
    • Tbone

      Correction: it’s NOT a horrible car

      Like 6
  2. Frank Sumatra

    “The issue is, of course, that these Vettes aren’t all that valuable, though there may be room in the deal to paint it at an outside shop if you buy right. Online price guides have an average retail number of about $23 thousand for this model”

    BINGO!!! And that online price guide needs a serious re-calibration.

    Like 7
  3. cidevco Member

    Brian K is correct here…

    This car is for a guy who can wrench on it and bring it back to life with a little love. If the engine turns over, purchase new hoses, carb, belts, plugs and a good flushing of the gas tank it will probably run and set you back around a grand. Fix the AC probably 2 grand converting to R134. A cheap Macco paint job or fender respray maybe 2 grand. So for an investment of 5 grand some free love from you and you have a great driver for that mullet you are still sporting today.

    Yes the selling price seems a little high but don’t you guys negotiate when you by a car or am I the only guy still enjoys haggling for a sweet deal. Ill bet you the seller just wants it out of his garage, he’s done playing with it.

    If any of you buy this and get it to life please post it so we all can kick our selves for not buying our youth back… Rock on!!!

    Like 9
  4. DeBorah & George Mattar

    I own almost an exact duplicate of this car and paid $10,000 in 2015 from the second owner. The front bumper on all 73s falls apart. They were junk new. I replaced mine with a fiberglass piece. Fits better, looks better and most non Corvette folk don’t know the difference. The price here is very fair. The smog equipment is intact. Mine was and still is missing. Costs too much to replace. And after owning a 1971 454 air coupe in the 70s, I can tell you my 73 is a far superior car in every respect. I have it sorted and all the stupid stuff on these cars that DO NOT work, does on my car, like the wipers, headlamps go up and down, all interior lights, speedometer, tachometer, etc. Say what you want about 73s, but they are a one year only design. And I did not buy my car for future investments, that is for idiots. I bought it for what it was intended for, to DRIVE.

    Like 7
  5. joseph a martin

    a Sting Ray without a stick shift four speed is not my idea of a sports car!

  6. JoeNYWF64

    Not many with body side protective molding.
    Are the ’74-81 front bumpers any better than the ’73s?
    Just hope an aftermkt fragile fiberglass bumper doesn’t get bumped!

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