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One Owner L71: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

69 vette 1

One owner cars are fantastic, they often are in good condition, and have a bright and vibrant past that often comes with the car. But we all dream about finding that one really rare car that has only had one owner its entire life. This 1969 Corvette is one of those cars, being a L71 435 horsepower 4 speed dream. This is a very rare opportunity on many different levels. We love the originality of this Corvette, but it is a little rough around the edges. But with a price tag of $23,900 it is cheaper than a restored variant. Find is here on craigslist out of Indianapolis, Indiana.

69 vette 4

The 427 cubic inch heart looks complete and just right with the tri-power set up. The seller has mentioned that he thinks this 427 is equipped with some later style aluminum heads, but that they likely may have been installed at the dealer. You all can debate that possibility. The engine is not listed as a runner, but that it does turn over. This Corvette has been in storage a while. Overall this car looks very promising and looks very original. The exterior looks awesome, but it is in need of some repair. There are some cracks in the body work, but that can be rectified easily. It may be a bit blasphemous, but we rather like the patina on this Corvette. Restoration may be best for this car, but it would be cool to preserve the car as it sits.

69 vette 3

The interior has an even layer of dust showing this Corvette has been sitting a while.  The interior looks remarkably clean and complete. There are some additional aftermarket gauges affixed to the steering column. Also the letters on the driver side door lead us to believe this Corvette may have been raced one way or another.

69 vette 2

This is a grand opportunity for a really cool Corvette at a price that is far more affordable than a restored car. We think this car looks awesome as it sits, but being what it is, we could see a restoration in its future as well. What would you do with this awesome Corvette? Preserve it or restore it?


  1. maserati

    Love it !!

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  2. Jeff V

    This is one of the monumental cars of the “muscle car” era just bc of the engine stats, a rare car. Not really defined as a muscle car bc of 2 seats (highly debated subject) lol. Looks like a great restoration project, imo!

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    • whippeteer

      I’ve never heard of corvettes being referred to as muscle cars, only as sports cars.

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  3. RandyS


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  4. whippeteer

    In the Craigslist ad, the seller does mention that it was Solo raced in the ’70s. As for originality, “The engine block was replaced under warranty with a CE block which is a 512 casting with 4 bolt mains. Cylinder heads are not original to the car and are suspected to have been dealer swapped prior to delivery with 842 GM aluminum heads dated 1968 (these heads were used on L88 and L89 cars only).”

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  5. Mike

    I think the price is a bit high considering the shape of the right front fender. Fiberglass repair is hard to do, even for a seasoned body man, it would in my opinion require a new front fender, which will not be cheap either, you can look in the ball park of 600.00 dollar each side. When there is no guarantee it will fit prefect with out some major trimming, then a repaint.
    Can’t see the left front fender, I wonder if the owner took just a few pictures of the good areas, not to run off possible buyers. I think the interior would require a full resto it looks a little cruddy for my taste.
    I watch Dad rebuild a couple of the early Vettes, but the fiberglass work got to much so he would send them down the road. I have a friend that works at a GM Dealer in St Louis and is a highly rated body man, and even he will tell you that Vettes take a lot of time and money to fix correctly.

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    • dogwater

      O bull Fiberglass is not hard to repair if you know what your doing,that would be a great car to restore at the right price I have been doing for 40 years

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      • Oingo

        I can’t say for sure but we FG’d a cedar strip birch bark canoe that was a garden ornament when I was 13 with my Dad and Uncle without a lick of experience between us and it came out okay. Not sure how long it lasted as my Dad is gone and I don’t know what happened to it but at least 25 years.

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  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Located in Janesville Wisconsin, my birthplace. I have been to there place a couple of times, always cool stuff. Not sure why it is posted on the Indy CL but not in the Janesville or Madison Wisconsin CL. If someone needs a look let me know, I am about 30 miles away.

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    • Jeff V

      I’m in Madison/Fitchburg myself!

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      • DonS

        I’m in Fitchburg as well. We could get some beers and then dream up a plan where we buy this Vette and ride-share it. I think I’ll go grab a beer right now.

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    • Gus G

      I’ll go, I’m in Delavan-less then 20 miles away (and I love Corvettes)

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      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hey,I hope you cats were not involved in the explosion. You guys want to get together and talk old cars and have a beer? Be cool to meet a couple of BF Brothers. Maybe meet at Joes Firehouse or the Great Dane. Anchor Club in Oregon. I live a little north of Albany. Or meet by Gus at the Gentlemen’s Club. E-mail me at canoe@tds.net. Take care, Mike.

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  7. craZee

    Get ready to burn the back of your legs getting out of that car LOL

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    • Jeff V

      Like the old Cobras huh? lol

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      • scooter8

        off topic abit. sitting with a burned calf. again!!!!!! think i’d learn? harley owner.

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  8. RayT Member

    Would love to restore this — definitely keeping it Daytona Yellow! — and then drive the tires off it! Which wouldn’t take long….

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  9. RandyS

    I like the trailer tie down eyelets drilled into the front control arms. Neat oil pan too. Transistor ignition, 4:11 gears, no PB or AC but PS. This car was bought solely to autocross. As someone who owns a ’69 and used to autocross a Miata extensively I can only imagine this was a handful!!

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  10. Bob Hess

    Got a lot of time repairing Corvette glass and I will tell you that repair is easier than full panel replacement and minimizes the follow up body work required. Having passed on buying a ’67 for $13K not too long ago this car looks like it would make a great replacement for it if I wasn’t up to my gills in too many race cars…

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  11. Rock On Member

    Screaming yellow zonkers come to mind.

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  12. Dolphin Member

    Recent median auction prices paid for these have been about $76K, so at $24K this could be a pretty decent buy. The experts would have to say whether the engine block and head replacements are a big deal. My guess is that it’s a small deal if the paperwork that the seller describes shows the changes by the dealer.

    It will need some major and lots of minor ‘glas work at various points around the body, but get an expert on these bodies to do it and it will be worth the cost.

    But I can’t feel too good about a couple of things, which would not be dealbreakers but sure are headshakers.

    #1 is the trailer hitch, which looks like it depends a lot on the rear bumper.

    #2 are the hold-down eyes added onto the front suspension. My gosh, other then mounting them on the ‘glas bodywork, that would be the last place I would mount hold-downs. It’s the suspension. You just don’t put stuff that generates big sideways pulls, like tie downs, right in the middle of suspension arms.

    Those raise questions about the thinking that went on with this car way back when, and it would make me pay up good for a N.C.R.S. expert to give the car a detailed look before handing over that $24K.

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    • RayT Member

      Wouldn’t you be just as careful with ANY ex-racer, Dolphin? I’ve seen plenty that originally had — or later collected — some dubious “engineering” solutions. Without knowing for sure, I think I’d just replace the front control arms right away, and would definitely lose the hitch, while looking hard at the areas where they were mounted.

      Agree completely about having an expert give it the once- (or twice-) over. Even though the “value” vis-a-vis matching numbers, replacement blocks and so forth is no big deal for me. When you’re driving it, you can’t see the numbers on the block!

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    • Alan (Michigan)

      #1. That trailer hitch was likely used only to tow a small flatbed, just big enough to hold competition tires. Fears that it was used for anything more weighty are likely unfounded. The relationship this car had to a big trailer was not pulling one, it was riding on one. See #2.

      #2. While crude, the tie-down hooks are a simple/cheap solution to a period trailer-transport challenge. I’ve trailered cars for 35 years, using various forms and systems for holding them in place. The setup on this Corvette is not at all likely to cause any undue stress on the front suspension, particularly if the attachment tension directions were primarily towards the front corners of the car. If you can for a minute imagine the forces acting on all of the suspension components during any normal street driving, and then jack those numbers way up for competition periods…
      Truly, unless there was some extreme event like an accident while the car was tied down, there is no way that the strap loads could ever duplicate those generated by racing. Yep, kinda “red neck engineering”, but not dangerous to the health of the car, as long as the hooks are strong enough to resist bending or breaking while in use.
      IMO, of course!

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  13. Angrymike

    The L68 was the tripower version of1969 Corvette I had one in my 67 Chevelle…..

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  14. Rando

    Lose the hitch and ties downs. Larger tires on the rear to fill up the openings. Clean the interior. Wash it and get the dirt and exhaust stains off as best possible. Polish the chrome bits some. DRIVE the crap out of it. I wouldn’t touch anything else other than to make it stay on the car scurely. I love the look of it just the way it is. Kinda ratty but totally cool. That’s just me. I’d rather enjoy it and let the next owner restore it.

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    • QB3

      I agree Rando. Completely bitchin as it sits. I even like the exhaust stains.

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      Did I mention how much I hate black wheels? Leave it but it’s begging for some SS Cragers

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  15. DRV

    Really, it looks so badass the way it is. Drive as is!
    The motor has a weird past, but it’s the most desirable!

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  16. TRP

    Drive it as is – unapologeticly.

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  17. 427vette

    Now that’s what I’m talking about, you can just call these vettes “The Boss”. Nothing but gobs of tire shredding torque and straight line power. Who needs frilly accessories like PS/PB/AC when you can row through the gears in a tri-power solid lifter 427👍. I have owned the twin to the featured car for almost 20 years and my wife still refuses to drive or ride in it.😁

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  18. Darren

    That’s is awesome ! Leave it just like that , go thru mechanicals and terrorize the neighborhood!

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  19. OhU8one2

    I’d flog that spastic plastic like there was NO tomorrow. It sounds like the car should be pretty darn fast. If ALL numbers matched,it’s a safe bet that it would get a frame off resto,and then kept in controlled air garage,and hardly see the streets again. This car should be made safe and reliable and driven. That’s my big beef with this hobbie. The rare,high dollar cars get meticulous restoration’s and disappear. And that really sucks. Why? Because the noise,smell and character of the car is gone. Hell, it would be nice to see what horsepower and load’s of torque can do to some tire’s. Not to mention the smoke in the air. That’s when the car bug bit me…… Oh,but wait. My behavior could offend someone. Tough $?@&

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  20. RoughDiamond

    How cool it would be to get it running, do the minimal body and suspension work then just drive the hell out of it while scaring a few kids and small animals. Just kidding. It would be cool though to crank that bad boy up at 2:00 AM knowing you probably terrified the neighborhood.

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  21. Bobby

    Two words describe this. Bad ass. I would repair the fenders on the car, repaint them and try and blend the paint to match, remove lettering from driver’s door, clean the interior, and drive it as it was meant to be driven.

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  22. RoughDiamond

    Why do sellers list and picture a car such as in this case where the side exhaust really jumps out at you and you can hear an imaginary rumble through them in your head only to state later in the listing that the side exhaust is not included? Without the side exhaust it changes the whole bad ass slung low to the ground attitude (where are those Fords and Mopars for me to embarass) look of the car.

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    • RollerD

      “This is a real 427/435hp car which is optioned with an M21 4-speed transmission, 4.11 rear axle ratio, power steering, shoulder belts, and factory side exhaust (which is not present)”…I think the ad is stating the factory side exhaust is not present, the side exhaust on the car as shown is aftermarket.

      If I had room I would buy this.

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  23. RoughDiamond

    @RollerD-thank you, that makes perfect sense. I apologize to the Seller for my negativity.

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  24. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I know I’m not real in touch regarding the one owner monster block 4 speed ‘vettes, but how is this still not sold yet??

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  25. RollerD

    Sold. Wonder if I will see it at auction or a dealership after restoration?

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    • Chris Russell

      RollerD, I bought it. Lately I dont restore any of my cars, I fix the mechanical and go as far as I can cosmetically without having to tear it apart to restore it. For some reason a car really looses a lot of personality along with loosing it’s originality when you dismantle it for a nuts and bolts restoration. Hopefully everyone will see it on a few years, not for sale but as an unrestored original that’s still a driver (not a daily driver though, just a REALLY fun driver)!

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  26. GoodoleMike

    I would buy it and just drive. Fix what’s needed and just enjoy the car for it’s worth. I would love this in the driveway.

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  27. Cliff Leibowitz

    I had a fathom green convertible ‘69 L71. Wife hated it. Gas got to about $7 a gallon. Sold it for a C5. Great car and I can go to any gas station. Still miss that L71 though.

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