Basement Find: 1968 Chevrolet Corvette 427!

The previous owner of this 1968 Corvette parked it in his basement to commence restoration. Sadly, he passed away before he could really get started. The seller purchased the car from his estate but has now decided to part with it. This is a numbers-matching classic that would have enough power to keep most people happy. It is also rust-free, making it a promising project car. The Corvette is located in Science Hill, Kentucky, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $16,300 in what is a No Reserve auction. That means that someone is about to land themselves a Corvette with a big-block under the hood.

The story behind this Corvette is that it spent the early part of its life in Texas’s dry climes. The previous owner relocated to Kentucky in the 1990s, and it was then that he parked the vehicle in his basement intending to perform a restoration. This stalled before it could get started, but it isn’t bad news for the buyer. The life that it has led means that the Corvette is structurally sound. The owner says that this car holds no hidden surprises, with no rust anywhere. The fiberglass wears an amateur repair on the passenger side front fender, but the rest of the body generally looks to be quite reasonable. The paint is not only tired, but it isn’t original. The Corvette rolled off the production line wearing Maroon paint but has undergone a color change at some point. If I were to buy this car, I would probably reapply Maroon as part of the restoration, as it is a classy looking color. Some trim and chrome will require attention, but the glass seems to be in good condition.

The Corvette’s interior is upholstered in standard Black vinyl, and the first thing that it will need is a deep clean. Some items will require replacement, but I don’t think a complete trim kit will be required. The dash, pad, and door trims all look to be in good order. The seats might benefit from new foam, but I believe that the covers would look pretty respectable if given a clean. A new carpet set will definitely be on the cards, which means getting this interior up to scratch might be a cheap exercise. There are no aftermarket additions, but the Corvette is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, and an AM/FM radio.

Corvette buyers in 1968 were spoiled for choice when it came to engines, but there is no substitute for cubic inches. You get plenty of those here, with a 427ci V8 holding pride of place in the engine bay. This is the L36 version, which pumped out 390hp in its prime. With a 4-speed manual transmission hooked to the back of the big-block, this is a Corvette that would have been capable of storming the ¼ mile in 13.8 seconds. The good news here is that the Corvette is claimed to be numbers-matching. The better news is that the car runs and drives. It is nowhere near roadworthy, but the fact that it moves under its own power is a pretty reasonable start. The previous owner had commenced work on the vehicle by replacing the radiator, some front suspension components, and the axle shafts. The brakes will need attention as they don’t work, and a thorough inspection will be required to determine what other parts might be necessary to return the Corvette to a roadworthy and reliable state.

These early C3 Corvettes are highly-sought cars because they combined aggressive styling with mind-blowing levels of performance. You could buy more potent Corvettes in 1969, but the L36-equipped cars offered impressive bang-for-your-bucks. This one will need some work, but it shows an enormous amount of promise. It has attracted some decent levels of interest since it was listed, and I would love to get a look at the car once it has been restored. I think that it will be something quite special once the work is completed.


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  1. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    At 18K, I’m thinking that it is already overpriced.

    Like 8
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      It’s a no reserve auction so a few people must think it’s worth that much or more.

      Like 12
  2. Steve R

    Matching numbers 427, 4spd, AC, power windows and if it’s to be believed, rust free. This is a very desirable car for enthusiasts, I’d bet the bidding still has a ways to go.

    Steve R

    Like 17
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      It hasn’t moved much and 22 hours left.
      I guess we’ll see.

      C3’s, unless they are in great shape or super rare, don’t bring the money like a beat up Chevelle will. Not sure why because I would take a Vette (designed to be a sorts car from the start) over a Chevelle (designed to be a family car) every time.

      Like 4
  3. Bob

    That corvette has a 427, with A.C., and a stock 4 speed transmission. Looking at the engine bay, it appears nothing has been disturbed. Granted, with the mechanical issues cited already, you can make this car safe and drivable for about $7,000. Toss in $1,600 for a set of new tires, $5000 – $6000 for a paint job that’s going to put this car back to the original color you have a total of $14,000 +/- a thousand getting it up to a respectable car. If it Is a numbers matching corvette, You will have a reasonable shot at selling it for about $40,000 which gives you a good margin of profit of about $8,000 . Your time is worth money too. One option is to do all the stuff I noted, hang onto the car for about 8-10 years, the value will in+erase at about 5% per year then sell.

    Like 7
    • Stan Marks

      Bob, I agree, it could use new paint. That is, if you want to spend another $5-6K.

      Like 2
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Bob, Nice breakdown here of the potential costs.
      Your second option is a compelling one; Keeping it and enjoying the fruits of your labor for 8-10 years.

      Like 7
      • Bob

        370zpp, thanks my experience goes back to when I bought a 1967 corvette in similar shape for $6,250 in 1980, sold it 5 years later for $15,000 and used the money to buy a house in SanDiego, Ca.

        Like 3
    • Phlathead Phil

      You must have been an accountant at one time.

      And, certainly know what a lot of gear heads don’t.

      One must get something for their time and effort.

      I LIKE the idea of making money on this one and the way you think!


  4. Stan Marks

    Not only did this former owner get a chance to start working, on this Vette. He never got around to cleaning his disgusting garage.I would be ashamed to take photos of that basement.
    This Vette has so many possibilities. I have a feeling, it would look a thousand % better, with a wax job & clean interior. Steam cleaning, under the hood, would make a big difference, too. Most of what you see, is dirt. It would present much better & more salable.Not to say it would look perfect. But as I’ve always said, presentation is everything, if you want the big bucks.

    Like 6
  5. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    I don’t know why folks are so hard on other folks: the original owner wound up dying, and you have no way of knowing what sort of debilitations he went through, but I can tell you that he didn’t take the picture. For a change, picture yourself taking a bad fall down a flight of stairs, or off a ladder. My friend stumbled on the 3 stairs in his split level, bumped his forehad on the wall at the bottom, and shook off the family suggestions of getting checked out at the hospital, 4 streets away. He died in his sleep that night, so lighten up, and be kind to others, especially when you have no idea of the whole story.

    Like 25
    • Bob

      Fast Eddie/Old Eddie,
      You couldn’t be more correct, we come from a society that seems to be more critical than helpful, kind words never hurt anybody. I think the pictures provided were sufficient to give the viewer enough information to frame an impression. If those critics feel the images were insufficient, then they should contact the seller. Based on what I saw I would have initiated correspondence to clear up any questions. I sure wish I had a few more $$ because what images you did provide really excited me!
      Sincerely, Bob

      Like 11
    • Stan Marks

      You’re correct. My apologies. I should have known better.

      Like 12
  6. PB

    I believe the original color was Corvette Bronze, or code 992 on the trim tag and not maroon, there was a code 988 for 68 Corvettes or known as Cordovan Maroon.

    Of course you could paint it whatever color you like. Still a pretty good deal if you did all of the work yourself. Will be interesting to see what it sells for.

  7. 8banger dave Member

    All said, clutter or not, it wasn’t in a pole barn up to its arse…

    Like 4
  8. Capt RD

    It looks to be a T-Top, Targa style too??

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      All non-convertible C3 Corvettes are T-Tops.

      Like 2
  9. Stan Marks

    Check out this garage. See anything you like??
    Open in full screen.

    Like 2
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thanks Stan. Who says it does not pay to sell used cars?

      Like 1
      • Stan Marks

        Especially when the buyer comes to you & says, please, take my money.

        Like 2
  10. dogwater

    It looks like a great project for someone that wants to fix it and drive it.

  11. Gibson

    went for 24K!

    Like 2

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