Older Restoration: 1962 Chevrolet Corvette

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This 1962 Corvette has been part of the same family since the late-1970s, and they treated it to a restoration in the 1980s. It has had little use since, but its tired paint suggests it could do with some attention to rediscover its lost youth. It has spent its life in a dry climate, meaning the new owner won’t face any rust issues. If you feel up for the challenge, you will find the ‘Vette listed here on Craigslist in Fountain Valley, California. The seller set their price at $49,500 OBO, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for spotting it.

The history of this Corvette post-restoration is unclear, but the seller indicates it has seen little use since the work ended. That makes the condition of its Roman Red paint surprising because I expected it to present better. However, it is what it is, and the buyer must develop an approach that suits their taste. The lack of significant fiberglass flaws means a cosmetic refresh may not be difficult or expensive. A confident individual could tackle that task in a home workshop without breaking the bank. The seller states it has spent its life in California, and while they don’t mention frame rust, that state’s climate is excellent for preserving classic steel. The hardtop is in good order, as is the glass. I think most of the trim would respond positively to some old-fashioned elbow grease and a high-quality product. The Cragar wheels aren’t original, and whether they stay or go will depend on personal taste and the buyer’s vision for this Corvette.

No aspect of this Corvette could be deemed show quality, but the interior is acceptable for a driver-grade classic. It features Black vinyl upholstery that shows no evidence of wear or physical damage, with the same true of the carpet. The radio speaker bezel has warped, but with replacements selling for under $60.00, addressing this flaw won’t break the bank. There are no aftermarket additions beyond the shifter, and I believe a deep clean would have this interior sparkling.

We’ve reached the point with this Corvette where we are delving into the unknown. The seller states the 327ci V8 under the hood isn’t original, but they provide no information on its specifications. This could negatively impact the car’s potential value, but they believe they might have the original engine block squirreled away in storage. If they locate it, they will happily include it in the deal. Shifting duties fall to a four-speed manual transmission, and although the engine bay presentation isn’t first-rate, there are no signs of long-term fluid leaks or other problems. The listing indicates the Corvette has covered a mere 5,400 miles since the 1980s restoration, suggesting nobody has tried to wear it out. It rolls on relatively new BF Goodrich tires, but this classic has another unknown. The seller doesn’t indicate whether the vehicle runs or is roadworthy. Those are questions worth asking, but reviving the beast may not require much time or effort if it doesn’t run.

The potential loss of this Corvette’s numbers-matching motor means the buyer may face a faithful refurbishment rather than a genuine restoration. If the seller successfully locates the original engine block, it might change the game. If that doesn’t happen, the new owner could follow several paths on their build. Apart from the faithful approach, it would make an excellent candidate for a restomod project because there are many options when selecting what they could bolt under the hood. Alternatively, they could retain the car as-is and enjoy all it currently offers. If you found it in your garage, what would be your approach?

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  1. Jerry Bramlett

    Ugh. Another seller with a bad attitude.

    “These cars pull very high value when restomoded.”

    “I believe I have the original block also in storage but would need to find if wanted.”

    “No trades no time wasters please cash in hand talk to the wife and dog before contacting please.”

    “Clean Cali title og [original gangster?] black plates.”

    It’s overpriced, and dealing with the arrogant owner is going to be a test of your patience. Pass.

    Like 25
  2. Jack

    Selling for the $$ of a restored car.

    Like 9
  3. Johnny Major

    $50K for a non-original ‘62 with many question marks? Does it start/stop, has it been hit (how many times), what does the frame look like, needs paint and carpet replaced. My major pet peeve is someone selling a car clearly above realistic market value with minimal irrelevant redundant photos and listing many “small” issues that need to be addressed by “buyer”.

    Like 14
  4. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    Where were you in 62? was the tag line for the movie Grease. From what I glean from this ad It appears to me the seller doesn’t really want to sell the car but is being forced to by his wife, perhaps a divorce situation. This car has a lot of potential but like others have said price is to high for condition. Good luck to anyone trying to make a deal here, it’s going to be a battle.

    God Bless America

    Like 7
    • Jerry Bramlett

      John, I believe that was an advertising line for “American Graffiti”. The one I remember for Grease is “Grease is the word”.

      Like 8
  5. Rick

    Last night a gorgeous ‘63 perfectly restored to original condition (or better) sold at the Mecum Kissimmee auction for $55,000. Using that as a guide to realistic value of these cars, this one is way overpriced.

    Like 12
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      @Rick – Please share the link.

      Like 0
  6. 64 Bonneville

    “Where were you in 62?” I believe that was a tag line on the movie poster for American Graffiti . Regardless the car in its current condition is maybe in the high teens or very low $20K area. To many unknows plus the cost to transport would be very easy to be upside down in it, even doing all or as much of the work yourself. A condition #4 would, maybe on the high side be about $38K, but with the unknowns makes it a #5 so about $19K max.

    Like 5
  7. Frank Sumatra

    If I am attempting to sell a $50,000 Corvette, I would make the small effort of finding a place that doesn’t look like the local “Chop Shop” to take a few nicer images. This has all the earmarks of an extremely dis-interested seller or maybe, just maybe a scam.

    Like 5
  8. jim

    Well I talked to the dog and he said no

    Like 13
    • Jerry Bramlett

      Best post of the week.

      Like 5
    • Frank Sumatra

      Good dog!!!!!

      Like 7
    • Dan H

      Yeah, mine said for that money he thought it looked “ruff”.

      Like 5
  9. tadah23Member

    I’m looking for a ’62 Vette and this one isn’t it. Pass, unless the seller said “Okay, I’ll take 20 K for it”.

    Like 0
  10. ruxvette

    With all the moisture running down the windows it must smell like an old pair of gym socksI was getting my finances in order until I read ” Only part I believe missing is the glove box door.” Yup, that’s a deal breaker. They are impossible to find.

    Like 2

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