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No Reserve: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

If you study the classic market over the past decade, early C3 Corvettes are among the strongest performers. It is easy to understand why. They look good, sound good, and with the right engine under the hood, they lack nothing in a straight line. This 1969 Convertible proves the point. It is over five decades old, but it would still command as much attention and respect today as it would have when its original owner drove it off the lot. It isn’t perfect, but it is a tidy driver needing a new home. The seller has listed it here on eBay in Miami Beach, Florida. Bidding has raced to $16,208, and if you already feel tempted, their decision to list it with No Reserve could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Chevrolet offered buyers a choice of ten paint colors to cloak their 1969 Corvette, with this car’s original owner selecting LeMans Blue. While some shades are more dazzling and others are pretty conservative, I think this color walks an effective middle ground. It is unclear whether there has been any previous restoration work, but this ‘Vette presents well for its age. The paint retains a consistent shine, with no checking or other problems. The fiberglass is crack-free, and the seller states the frame is solid. The Convertible features a Black soft-top that fits tightly and has no rips or tears. The sparkling chrome offers a striking contrast and is in good order. The tinted glass is free from cracks and scratches, while the Rally wheels and their associated “bling” show no evidence of physical damage.

If considered purely as a driver-grade classic, this Corvette’s interior needs nothing. The upholstered surfaces are in good order, with no wear or physical damage. The carpet is faded in spots, but the lack of significant wear means that only a new owner seeking perfection would replace it. The dash is in good order, and the gauges have clear lenses and crisp markings. However, there are shortcomings that the buyer may choose to address to lift the overall presentation. The fit between the console and the area below the radio is odd, although I’m unable to determine why. The ashtray lid and selector indicator are scratched, but with reproduction items readily available, addressing the problem won’t break the bank. It also appears that there is an odd screw driven into the center gauge bezel above the radio. There is no explanation for this, and it seems strange that the seller didn’t remove it to make the issue less obvious. Removing and repairing the damaged section with a plastic filler before coating the bezel with a matching plastic paint is possible. That would be the most cost-effective solution. If the buyer lacks confidence, reproduction bezels retail for under $150. Otherwise, this interior needs nothing.

One mystery surrounding this Corvette rests in its engine bay. It is undeniably powered by a small-block V8, but the seller fails to confirm whether it is the original 350 or its specifications. Assuming it is the entry-level ZQ3, it would send 300hp to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission. If that is correct, the journey through the ¼-mile should take 15 seconds. However, this engine sports aftermarket headers, and there may also be an upgraded intake and carburetor. The changes would unlock extra power, which would reduce the ET. The seller claims the car has 68,000 original miles on the clock but fails to mention supporting evidence. Potential bidders will be reassured by the claim it runs and drives well. The engine is strong, the transmission is smooth, and the brakes work perfectly.

If anything surprises me about this 1969 Corvette Convertible, it is that it has “only” received nineteen bids. I expected the action to be more intense, although there is plenty of time for the situation to change dramatically…and I think it will. If I were in the market for a car like this, I wouldn’t bid until the last moment. There’s no point in showing your hand early and giving others a chance to trump you. I will be unsurprised if the price nudges $25,000 before the hammer falls. If it sells for less, it could be one of the great buys of 2023.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Beautiful car. I love the “just get in it and drive” about it. Lots of fun to be had here.

    Like 9
  2. Stingray Baby …

    Nice looking car even though automatic .
    The color is nice too.

    I am confused on write up..
    “It also appears that there is an odd screw driven into the center gauge bezel above the radio. There is no explanation for this, and it seems strange that the seller didn’t remove it to make the issue less obvious. Removing and repairing the damaged section with a plastic filler before coating the bezel with a matching plastic paint is possible. ”

    Adam are you referencing the factory clock adjuster stem below the lil clock?
    Its the only item that stands out to me.

    Goid luck on sale !

    Like 10
  3. Howie

    The seller has 3 other Vettes listed, all No Reserve!!

    Like 3
    • GuernseyPagoda

      This guy always has Vettes listed on eBay, and they are always no reserve…..

      Like 3
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I guess I’ll keep repeating myself because Mr. Clarke keeps featuring this EBay shyster.

    In the Corvette Community, this seller has a less than stellar reputation for piecing together Vettes that look okay, but are all pieces of crap.

    A reader here on BF got sucked in and has a boatload of work ahead of him that he did not count on.


    There are so many other honest Vettes for sale that it just surprises me very time this seller is featured here on BF. Mr. Clarke is just being lazy, IMO, and has this guys EBay store bookmarked.

    Like 12
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Don’t blame it on Adam. I handle assignments and this guy must move a ton of Corvettes because they show up on our radar all the time.

      Like 3
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Jesse, I appreciate all of the effort that you guys put in, and I have been a BF daily reader for many many years.

        It’s just that I don’t like it when this seller with a very sketchy business practice keeps getting featured here. There is one reader here (Erik, I think his name is) that bought a car from this seller based on it being featured here. He ended up with a ton more work then he ever intended.

        Not only that, but there are several similar stories about unhappy buyers on the Corvette Forum that further highlight this seller’s less-than-honest business practices.

        This seller knows how to polish a turd and make it look like a buyer is getting a great deal. Unfortunately, looks aren’t everything, and it is upsetting to know that a BF reader could potentially fall victim (again) to this practice.

        So, if you keep posting items from this seller, then I hope you don’t mind that I keep posting my opinion.

        Like 10
  5. hugh crawford

    That engine compartment looks way too clean and fresh for having been driven at all with that engine, especially considering the lack of an oil breather. The engine looks consistent with being a junkyard pull with a rattle an of orange and some cheap dress up items applied. No mention of the new paint but lots of paint where it does not belong including the door latches that are painted over on the striking surface and show no signs of wear.

    It might be a great car, but it presents like a refurbished taxicab.

    Like 6
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Hugh, good eye. That is exactly what you are getting. A cobbled together mess, just good enough to pass the casual eye.

      Like 8
    • ACZ

      Not only lack of a breather, there is no PCV system on that engine at all. Where is the crankcase pressure going?

      Like 4
      • TDJ

        On the driveway.

        Like 0
  6. Ed Herndon

    Can only imagine the past feeling it would have to drive this car, had one in ‘72

    Like 1
  7. Greg K Member

    Rattle can restoration. Based on his location I wonder how many of these have been flooded or partially flooded cars. The engine thrown together, wrong
    HEI distributor, no shielding, Bubba type throttle cable attachment, spark plug wires routed wrong and zip tied together, no radiator overflow aluminum tank, poor interior fit….and this is just the visual from pics. Do not buy a classic car without inspecting it first!
    There are so many things that could be not working, needs repair etc that you won’t see in pictures.

    Like 2
  8. Calcaterra

    How do you bid???? The site doesn’t say. Is it a secret????

    Like 0

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