One Owner Barn Find: 1964 Corvette Convertible

Back in 1964, a red Corvette convertible (with a hardtop for winter) was just about as cool as it got, even in car-crazy California! I’m sure this car was the envy of many folks in the Bay area at the time. Now this pretty darned original, matching numbered and documented car is up for sale here on craigslist (!) complete with fuzzy pictures, little detail and not even how many miles are on it. We do know, however, that it’s in San Fransisco, California should you want to go examine it in person (highly recommended). Oh, and they do tell us it’s priced at $39,500. Thanks to Rocco B. for this find!

Apparently this is what the car looked like when it was uncovered. Notice the raised white letter bias-ply tires; that car’s been there for a long time. By 1973, most US manufacturers had standardized on radials and within about 10 years it was unusual to find a bias-ply tire (without going to a specialist such as Coker). Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the car suffered much damage during its storage period.

I know you folks have been waiting for me to mention the graphics. Well–I can’t say I’m a fan. But they are certainly period, and I’ll bet some of you out there like them. The paint is still pretty shiny, and I would be thinking twice before repainting the car, especially if that is the original red paint.

If there’s one thing that would cause me to repaint the car, it’s the blasted luggage rack. Personal pet peeve of mine, and yes, they can be practical, and I even used the one on my 1972 TR6 a lot. But that doesn’t mean I’m a fan. You may love them, though.

There is some mildew on the inside, especially on the door panels. Cleaning up this car would be a pleasure, though. I love the straight forward look of these C2 Corvettes, even though I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to afford one.

With a 327 cubic inch, 300 horsepower V8, I wouldn’t need the big block option. Ok, I’m convinced. Someone give me the money quick, I want to go see this car! With a low NADA retail of $55,330 I don’t think I’d be doing too badly, especially if we were able to negotiate a little off the top. Anyone want to go instead of me (’cause despite wanting to, I won’t be)?




Fast Finds


  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Other than the graphics, I’d like it in my garage. One concern though, I believe (but not sure) that 64’s still had drum brakes. If so, I’d upgrade those to 4 wheel disks. This is assuming things like the birdcage is solid along with the body. One advantage is that is someone is bucks up and want to go whole hog, there are aftermarket frames available that take the C4 suspension components to enhance handling and braking.

    If I did anything to the drivetrain it would have to be reversible though I don’t think I would do anything other than clean it up.

    • JYA!

      Correct on the brakes. Don’t know that you would have to upgrade to C4 level components. That seems excessive in my opinion.

    • dave

      1965 is an important year for Corvette. A long desired and needed upgrade – disc brakes – became standard equipment. The good news is that they appeared on all four corners, not just the front as was a common practice of the day. Racers were particularly happy with this latest development as they had long been suffering from drum brakes. Although special sintered metallic linings had been available, fade under racing conditions was still a problem. Jaguar had been offering four-wheel disc brakes on their more expensive E-Type and it wouldn’t do for the Corvette Stingray to be playing second in any area. The unloved drum brakes were still available as a deletion credit (RPO J61, -$64.50) and 316 1965 Corvette Stingrays were so equipped.

    • dl

      I have a ’64 roadster (for the last 16 years) and the drums are pretty darn good. (last year drums vs first year discs…) I’ve relined the shoes with Porterfield racing compound and suspect they aren’t much weaker than discs (unless it’s in the wet). This car looks pretty original, don’t know about the teak steering wheel as they weren’t available until ’65 but could have been added later. The price is high if it’s not running… my car sat for a couple decades in a home “museum” along side a SWC and despite the low miles (55K) needed the motor freshened up… Still looks like a nice enough car, just a lot of missing info.

  2. gbvette62

    The trim tag indicates that it’s a Riverside Red car, so the paint “could” be original, but with those 60’s graphics added, it doesn’t really matter. The seats have been recovered at some point, but other than that and the luggage rack, it’s a pretty original car. The seller claims it has a teak wheel, but I’m betting when you pull the cover, you’ll find the standard plastic “walnut” wheel.

    I think the price is high, especially for a low horse 64, the least desirable year for mid-years. That NADA number is nuts. There are plenty of restored 65 and 66 convertibles out there for $50,000-$55,000. By the time you paint it, you’ll have $50K tied up in that 64. Some basic mechanical restoration, tires, seat covers, carpet, door panels, a new soft top and you’ll easily be in the $60’s!

    Someone will pay the price though, and they’ll get a decent car, just not one they’ll come out ahead on.

  3. Rock On

    I would enjoy turning those bias-plys into smoke before I changed them out for radials!

    • grant

      I think I’d be afraid of them coming apart and putting the car on the ground.

  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great survivor car. It looks like they have the documents to back up the story. As far as the luggage rack controversy goes. I like them, I don’t have one on my 72 but could have used one at times. I always wondered why they never came up with some kind of quick detach system to put on or remove as needed.

    • John

      They did. My 70 Midget had a rack from the MG Mitten folks that was removable. It left four little chrome bolt heads with rubber washers to seal them off.

  5. GaryC Gary charlton

    Looks like someone is going to have some fun. I’m just finishing this little jewel.
    I recommend going over the entire wiring and electrical system. I just replaced the entire wiring harness on this car.It had melted wires all through the dash and engines harness’.

  6. Steve R

    It’s in Florida, not California.

    It’s a nice car, clean it up, then drive it. Don’t change the paint.

    Steve R

  7. Clay Byant

    I’ll take the luggage rack any day. Had one on my first Corvette(a 65 coupe) and thought I would never see it again but it showed up in Lincoln at a Corvette show 2 years ago. Luggage……….? Not only in the back “seat” but on the rack we would carry a small plywood sheet on the top of the rack(you couldn’t see it under there) and when it came time to refuel it took 15 seconds to set luggage strapped to the plywood off and refuel thru the rack. To make your stomachs turn a little, bought the car in 69(it was absolutely mint) for 2150 bucks.

    • JYA!

      Time to chime in on the Luggage Rack Committee comments- My 1976 had a luggage rack. My wife and I also had a vintage wicker picnic basket. (See where this is going?) Every October, we would take a day mid-week to avoid the leaf-peepers, and drive to one of the Finger Lakes,or Watkins Glen and spend a nice day at the wineries. A slow ride home and the Corvette would be tucked away for winter. Putting the Corvette away was never officially started without the picnic. Enjoy the cars, folks and don’t worry too much about the small details.

  8. Nova Scotian

    OMG,..this is sweet! I love it! Sight unseen,..perfect project!

  9. dave

    Bought this in 74 for 1800.00 from Tracy’s Corvette in Roseville MI.
    67 427 390 power glide car. Chassis was already done.
    See below the finished product.

  10. dave

    3k and 6 months later. Bought a 70 LT1 Vette that hit a truck and no ins. Went through the LT1 and installed a turbo 400 with an L88 torque converter.

    • JYA!

      I would like to give you two thumbs up for the evening wear.

  11. Old car guy

    Black Book CPI
    17625 31500 59850

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