Motion Modified? Custom 1968 Chevrolet Corvette

When it came to custom Corvettes in the seventies, you had two options: all show or all go. Usually, it was all show. The independent rear Corvette wasn’t the straight line racer’s first choice. The custom car craze was in full effect though, and the Corvette’s fiberglass body made changes easy compared to working with steel. Body kits from companies such as Eckler’s changed ordinary Corvettes from mild to wild. One company, Baldwin Motion, managed to offer both custom designs and lots of horsepower. Famous for both their professionally built cars and the parts they offered to individuals, Baldwin cars are highly collectible. However, is this 1968 Corvette being sold here on eBay in Macedon, New York a real deal Baldwin car or a collection of Baldwin parts?  With bidding at just $1,975, is the market answering that question for us?

The story of Baldwin Motion and their cars is complicated, and the cars can be divided up into various categories of authenticity. For the purposes of this story, we can boil things down to the simple fact that cars produced by Baldwin Motion that were sold with factory window stickers at Baldwin Chevrolet are obviously the most valuable. Cars that were brought in by customers to Baldwin Motion’s shop were next down on the ladder. Finally, cars built by customers with Baldwin parts and tribute cars finish out the bottom rungs.

According to the seller, this is a car he believes that was converted by the first owner using Baldwin parts. However, the car was sold at a Chevrolet dealer 11 miles from the Baldwin Motion “factory,” so it might be a factory car. Maybe. The car is described to be outfitted to Baldwin Phase III standards. These include the unique slanted back glass, a LeMans gas cap, fender flares, and Motion Phase III headlights. These were later modified with Eckler bucket headlights. Other Eckler parts include a Greenwood hood, top fender vents, and an Eckler’s rear spoiler. Eckler’s, for those of you who are not familiar, was the most famous Corvette parts house and body kit maker of the seventies and eighties. Many of the custom Corvettes you see on this site from time to time wear Eckler’s fiberglass body kits.

The interior is said to need carpeting and door panels. The steering column is also incorrect for a 1968 car. As for the seats, these are not representative of Corvette seats for that year. They must have been custom upholstered by some guy who really likes Oldsmobiles. At least they look soft and comfy!

A look in the rear shows the vast improvement in space that one of these Baldwin Motion back glass setups offers. The area more closely resembles that of a 1963-67 Corvette than any of the cramped Mako Shark cars until they offered the sugar scoop back glass. While it is hard to improve on the spectacular lines of early C3 cars, this modification is certainly not a detriment. The goofy eighties era speaker cover would have to go through.

Sorry, there are no pictures of the engine. There isn’t one. We don’t even have a picture of the engine plate that rests on the center console of these cars. We do have a lot of pictures of the frame and underbody assemblies of this car. All of them show a car that has had very little time on bad roads. Overall, the underside is in much better than average condition for a New York car. The biggest clue of all is that the slight indecision in the description is backed up by the seller’s claim to have restored two Baldwin Motion Corvettes previously. These services are also available to the purchaser if they so choose.

I guess the best way to approach this one is that it is a very good starting point for a seventies style custom Corvette with period parts.  Detroit Speed and Van Steel Corvettes currently offer some wicked new suspension kits for C3 Corvetttes that are tearing up autocross circuits.  Paired with a built up LS engine and finished out with a more modern interior, this could make for a very sweet ride. What would you do with this custom Corvette?

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  1. slickb

    You know, I was liking it until the boat gas filler cap….

    Like 6
  2. Brent

    Bless its heart. Reminds me of when Mom would dress me up in suit,hat and BOW TIE then take me out in public. Looking back it was kinda embarrassing ya know.

    Like 8
  3. Ike Onick

    It has 1971 front grill inserts. I think this is a collection of BM parts flying in close formation. Feel feel to interpret “BM” any how you choose. The seller would have to fill the luggage area with paperwork before trying to pass this off as a Joel Rosen creation.

    Like 7

    LOVE THIS CAR, LS3 and a Tremec 6 and you really have something.

    Like 3
    • Steve S

      Forget that crappy 350 and tremec 6 speed go with the 435 horse tripower 427 and a 4 speed manual with side pipes and put the pop up head lights back on the car also and I don’t know why everyone always wants the 350 there are a lot of other gm engines that are better than the 350

      Like 1
  5. Steve

    They write songs about cars like this… “She’s sweat, wet, got it goin’ like a turbo vette”… LOL Ok, so the song is really about a girl with a big butt, but anyway…

    Like 3
    • Ike Onick

      And there are no “turbo” Corvettes. Other than that, you nailed it. Good game.

      Like 3
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Not sure but I think the co that operates under Baldwin Motion could run the serial numbers and give you an idea if its a real BM car. I heard he might charge you excessively for this. Good luck with this project would have liked to see more pics. Check the frame and bird cage real good.



    Like 4
  7. Dave Member

    Hey Steve – Chek out Mix’s song My Hooptie.

  8. Frank Sumatra

    From this day forward, I command Barn Finds to caption EVERY 1963 -1982 Corvette find with “CHECK THE BIRDCAGE”. Carry On.

    Like 8
  9. Walter

    A couple years or so the Motion people ( not quite sure who “they were”) advertised getting vehicles authenticated from their records for a fee. Don’t know if it still available, but has the potential of being able to quash the hyperbole.

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      Motion was one guy and one guy only- Joel Rosen, who as of 2017 was retired and living in – wait for it- Florida. His PR guy, Marty Schorr has written a book about the Baldwin-Motion era. And you are correct, Mr.Rosen did provide as much information as possible for his purchasers. The story of the EPA basically shutting him down in 1974 is pretty wild. Check it out.

      Like 5
  10. David Rhoces

    why can’t people just leave well enough alone

    Like 1
  11. Comet

    Those are 69 or later doors. The frame looks nice.

    Like 1
  12. Raymond Hurst Member

    If modified at Motion after being purchased elsewhere; it would make a big difference in selling price compared to Joe Blow doing all the mods. The cost to have this verified would be minimal considering what the payback would be. The seller would know this. He hasn’t checked? Hmmmm. Whoever buys this car is buying a custom, modified, Vet, period. Saying that though; I would still think it would be worth 5 to 10 thousand just as a 70’s custom Vet. Verified Motion car without original engine; I would guess 20 to 30 thousand all day long. I am no a Vet expert; so I could be wrong. Apologies if I am.

    Like 3
  13. gbvette62

    None of the modifications done to that car are Baldwin Motion. The hood, fender vents, rear window, wing and square headlight conversion are all right out of the Eckler’s catalog. An Eckler’s label can even be seen on the backside of the front top surround fender louvers, in one of the pictures. Those rear window’s where used by Motion, but not the rest of those parts.

    It just looks like another old Corvette assembled from a pile of parts to me. The grills are 70-72’s, the rockers are 70-77, the doors aren’t 68’s but 69-82, some of the interior parts are 68, but the console and steering column are 77-82. Interestingly, it does look like it may have started life as a big block, since it has big block side axles and a rear sway bar.

    Like 5
  14. Joe

    Hi Jeff,
    Nice article.
    As you stated, it is not a “Baldwin” car. Ad claims that. It is not saying it is a “Motion modified ” car. Ad says it “May” have been modified by them.
    But not documented.
    Car has lots of non-original parts, doors, grills, interior, seats, Eckler parts ect…
    But the cool part are the Motion body parts that it has.
    To bad all the nay-sayers didn’t pay attention to the ad.

    Like 5
  15. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Feb 02, 2019 , 6:51PM
    Current bid:US $8,600.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 47 bids ]

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