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Mystery Machine: 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Monza GT

In the Corvette world, the name Ralph Eckler is legendary. For custom enthusiasts, he was considered to be a guru and was able to produce some remarkable vehicles thanks to his fiberglass skills, knowledge, and his eye for detail. When he passed away in 2016, the world lost a true great. Sadly, some of the story behind this 1975 Corvette may have been lost with him. The owner believes that this might be an Eckler-built custom, but it appears that he isn’t sure. After years of ownership, he has decided to part with a restoration project that stalled before it started. The Corvette is located in Blackwood, New Jersey, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding sits at $3,550, and the reserve has been met.

From this angle, the Corvette has all the hallmarks of an Eckler Corvette. In fact, the tilt front is a product that remains available from Eckler’s if you happen to have a lazy $3,140 hiding in your wallet. The recessed quad headlamps are also typical of the brand, but I’m not entirely convinced that this was custom-built by Ralph Eckler. The issue that raises questions for me is the general fit and finish of this panel. With the front closed, the gap between it and the leading edge of the doors is massively inconsistent. Given how meticulous the late Mr. Eckler was, this doesn’t look like his handiwork. Looking beyond this and considering the basics of this car, the frame does have a coating of surface corrosion. This has accumulated from where the Corvette has been sitting on a barn floor for many years. The owner isn’t sure how extensive this is, so the Corvette might need a personal inspection. Thankfully, the owner encourages this with potential buyers.

The rear window treatment on this Corvette is reminiscent of the Eckler’s look, but he usually reserved this style for the liftback conversion. This vehicle is not a liftback, but that doesn’t categorically rule this out. The tail-lights are a different matter. I have done some extensive searching and have not been able to locate an Eckler’s car with this style of panel. Once again, I wouldn’t rule it out as a one-off design, but I can’t be sure. Maybe our knowledgeable Barn Finds readers might be able to shed some light on this for us.

Powering the Corvette is a 350ci V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission. The car isn’t numbers-matching, and some detective work by the owner reveals that the engine started life in a 1969 Camaro. The engine does run, but it does have a tapping noise coming from the passenger-side exhaust. It doesn’t blow any smoke, but the owner hasn’t run it for long because he doesn’t want to risk any damage. The transmission shifts into gear, but the owner says that the Corvette should not be considered a driveable proposition. After years of inactivity, it will probably take some work before it is roadworthy once again.

The person who tackles this Corvette will need plenty of patience when it comes to getting the interior up to scratch. Many pieces are missing, most notably the back sections of the seats. The dash pad is cracked, the door trims are gone, along with several plastic parts. The serious stuff revolves around the electrical system. It seems that someone has attempted to fit an upgraded sound system at some point. It appears that this has left a question mark over what works inside the Corvette and what doesn’t. That will probably require the work of a specialist because the last thing that you would want to see is your pride and joy going up in smoke due to faulty wiring. The same is true of the wiring in the engine bay, so it might be worth searching for a donor car to obtain a replacement wiring harness or even buying a new harness. These are available and would provide the owner with peace of mind. Luxury items include power windows that function and air conditioning that doesn’t.

I quite like this 1975 Corvette, but I would like it a lot more if some of the work had been completed to a higher standard. It isn’t clear whether it is a genuine Eckler-built car, or if it is a car that has been built from Eckler parts. Potential buyers might be facing a fair amount of detective work to determine this one way or the other. Even if it isn’t an Eckler, a competent person could get the Corvette to a presentable state with a bit of time and patience. Are you up to the challenge?



    I never would have dreamed that style and colors of go fast stripes but I can’t keep my eyes off of them.

    Like 4
  2. randys

    I don’t think the glove box showed up until 78 and those seats are 79+ so the conversion happened after 79.

    Just because someone has some ecklers fiberglass pieces on their car doesn’t mean eckler did it himself. Most were diy from the ecklers catalog

    Like 6
    • smokeymotors

      Your right on about the year, all the interior is later then a 75,76 maybe a 1977 looking how the back window would fit on the back would be easier then taking the bubble rear glass off and having to build roof trailing parts, 1967 gills on the front fenders? I still like these old customs!

      Like 5
  3. randys

    The R4 AC compressor also didn’t show up until 78. Are you sure this is not a 79 and not a 75?

    Like 2
  4. Phil

    The taillights look like they are from a Delorean

    Like 6
  5. gbvette62

    I highly doubt that Ralph Eckler had anything to do with this car, except maybe selling someone the body parts.

    Ecklers has made thousands of those tilt front ends over the years, along with flares, spoilers, stock and custom clips, and many other assorted fiberglass parts. Everyone that has an old custom Corvette, wants to believe that it was built by either Ecklers or Greenwood, while in fact very few were. I live relatively close to the seller, and though I don’t know this car, I do know at least 2 other local cars, with the same Ecklers nose. There was a Corvette shop in nearby Waterford Twp NJ that built quite a few custom Corvettes in the 70’s and 80’s, and I suspect this may be one of their creations.

    Though the VIN shown is missing a couple digits, it does appear to be a 75 VIN, but the dash, steering column, seats and console are clearly out of a 79-82 Corvette. Looking at the inside door handles, lock rod location, and armrest mount, the doors are also 78-82’s. Based on the logo on the gauges, I’d say it all came from a 79.

    The car may have a January 69 “618” block, but that hardly identifies it as a 69 Camaro engine. The 618 was used for 302’s, 327’s and 350’s in 68-76 Chevelles, Camaros. Corvettes and full size Chevrolets.

    Like 10
  6. Stephen Miklos

    If I was a GM guy and into Vettes this would be a cool winter project. Think about it. This is really cool looking and the strips also. It’s a Vette from the 70’s that is very different. Come late spring you could be cruising in it. Sounds like a good price for the work that needs to be done. Good luck to the next owner. I just keep smiling looking at it. ☺️

    Like 8
  7. randys

    I live near Titusville Florida and that’s where Eckler’s is HQ’ed.
    I had a c3 75 that I would take to the annual corvette corral at Eckler’s. What great times. I miss the 75 but replaced it with a 2004 ZO6

    Like 1
  9. ACZ

    Looks like someone tried to turn a Corvette into a Datsun. Wish I could un-see that one.

    Like 3
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $4,650.

    At that price, it might be worth the risk for a unique looking project.

    Like 1

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