Live Auctions

Needs Some Love: 1978 Chevrolet Corvette


This 1978 Chevrolet Corvette has a lot of issues. Over and above the non-stock components, such as the hood, fender vents (that don’t vents per the seller), wheels and rear spoiler, the seller adds that it has a leaky head gasket, broken side window, and that it’s not running. You can see more pictures of the car at here on eBay where the opening bid is $1,500 without a reserve. If you want to go see it in person, the car is in Spanish Fort, Alabama. There are some rust holes in the floor pan and that leaky engine isn’t the original one. BUT this could be a chance to own America’s Sports Car with unique styling features for possibly less than $2,000! What do you think, could this patient be brought back to life?


  1. Doug M. (West) Member

    Refreshingly honest review in ad by seller! However, as inexpensive as these are, I would be inclined to chip in a bit more and get one with a better future. But then, as you stated, for under $2k?? maybe.

  2. Peter

    Wow…I’d pass.

    I spent a lot of time on this forum, and learned a LOT:

    And I think if one was truly interested in this car, it would be time well-spent to sign up (free) and run it by the experts there.

    I suspect they will say that, with the amount of floor pan rust showing, there very well could be incurable/vastly expensive rust in the “birdcage” (the area involving the cowl/winshield frame, etc…) and frame.

    You can get running and driving C-3’s for not too much more, as was mentioned.

    Having said that, the aftermarket hood/fenders MAY be of some value, as there was a bodykit manufacturer (that I THINK was called “Greenwood,” but am not sure) that made some desirable parts–and while I don’t know much about them, I suspect this car is NOT one of those. Here is a link to some vintage literature, but again, I’m not even sure this link is to the fairly-desirable, vintage kits I’m describing:

    All that said, the leaky head gasket, not running, outside storage, etc…, all say “pass” to me–and not as in “passing” slower cars. LOL

    The guys at the above Corvette forum know this stuff COLD, however. I suspect, if one posted it over there (if it’s not already being discussed) someone will quickly link you to C-3’s that are for sale, running and driving, for not too much more money, and CERTAINLY WAY less than this one would take, to fix.

    Plus, this isn’t even a “Flat Window” C-3 (which ended in 1977)–this 1978 is the first year of the “bubble back” window. Personally, I LOVE the “flying buttresses” of the “Flat Window” C-3’s, and dislike these “bubble back” jobs–a lot. (But others feel otherwise, of course–though I believe the “Flat Windows” are generally more popular/valuable, barring special editions, etc…).

    Plus, IIRC, only the last C-3 (1982–and then, ONLY the “Collector’s Edition”) had a rear window that was actually an opening hatch). IOW:

    1. No C-3’s had a trunk–but at least the pre-1978 “Flat Windows” LOOK cooler, and are generally worth more (again, some special editions aside).

    2. The only “Bubble Back” window that actually opened was the 1982 “Collector’s Edition,” as described here:
    “In 1982, a fuel-injected engine returned, and a final C3 tribute Collectors Edition featured an exclusive, opening rear window hatch.[13]”

    For my money, if I had to be stuck with the (to me) unattractive “Bubble Back,” at least let it open up and be (somewhat) useful! LOL

    I read enough about C-3’s, over six months, to get over (for now, anyway) being serious about them, though I still think the pre-1978’s are one of the sexiest cars around–and still very affordable, the farther you go into the “smogged up” 1970’s. (There’s just a lot of compromises that would need to be remedied, to really enjoy one, IMHO–just one example being–no manual trans overdrive).

    But there’s upgrade$ for everything, if one never hopes to get their money out of them.

    Again, I firmly believe there are running examples that will cost FAR less than what this will, to reanimate.

    Just my (lengthy) .02.


  3. George

    If you want to build a track car, this is for you. Start cheap and have fun. There are 2 or 3 on Craig’s list around here that might be better candidates, but this would work if you could day trip it home on a trailer. GC

  4. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Funny, I just came back from Spanish Fort, I traded a 1988 Porsche 944 for a 04 Chrylser Crossfire, and Spanish Fort was halfway between us. I had a 78 Vette, it was a fun car, this one looks a little rusty, but if cheap enough could be a fun driver.

  5. Rick

    Run. Far away. Unless you’re looking for a parts car for the fiberglass, the rust has probably eaten it’s way into the bird cage making for a very unsafe car.

  6. dj

    I would be more worried about the frame near the trailing arms. They are prone to rust completely in two pieces on each side. I even saw a 63 that looked great. We raised it on the rack and the rear section with the rear end fell off.

  7. Macario Gallardo

    I found a 76 Greenwood Gt corvette for sale. It has no engine. What’s the value on a car like this???
    This one has more details than other ones I have seen on the internet.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Sweet! If you decide to sell it, please consider listing it here on the site.

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