Original 427: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

It was 1969, and Neil Armstrong took that “one small step for man,” changing our world forever. He achieved this by riding atop a Saturn V rocket, the most powerful machine that had been created by humans up to that point. This 1969 Corvette Convertible might not have quite the power of a Saturn V, but it is still an impressive piece of equipment nonetheless. It is an original survivor and is now looking for a new home. Located in Sun City, Arizona, you will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $39,500 for this muscular classic.

Finished in Riverside Gold, this Corvette is a pretty striking car. To me, it is hard to go past the look of the chrome-bumper C3 Corvette. They look tough and purposeful, and it is easy to see why they are a firm favorite amongst purists. The owner says that the car is rust-free, and if it has spent the majority of its life in Arizona, that will undoubtedly have helped its cause. It isn’t clear whether the paint is original, but man, does it look good! It has a great depth of shine to it, and it’s pretty hard to spot any significant flaws or defects. The body looks good, with no signs of any spider-webbing, while the glass, trim, chrome, and the wheels, all look to be in first-class condition. As an added bonus, not only does the Corvette come with a good soft-top, but a factory hardtop finished in the same Riverside Gold is also included.

Given the fact that the engine is one of this Corvette’s strongest selling points, I find it incredible that the owner has not supplied one photo of it. Still, what we know is that it is the L36 version of the mighty 427ci big-block, pumping out 390hp. Backing this engine is a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, while power steering and power 4-wheel disc brakes are all part of the package. This is a combination that provided serious performance when new, with the ¼ mile being blitzed in a mere 14 seconds. The owner states that the Corvette has a genuine 64,000 original miles on the clock, but doesn’t reveal whether he holds any evidence to verify this. What he does say is that the ‘Vette recently received new brake discs and calipers, along with new tires, and an MSD ignition. In his own words, the car runs great!

One thing that I will say about the original owner of this Corvette is that he certainly chose a pretty good color combination. Riverside Gold paint with a Black interior is never going to miss the mark, and this interior looks very nice. It’s pretty hard to find anything much to be critical of, beyond some creasing of the upholstery on the driver’s seat. There could also potentially be some edge wear on the outer edge of the carpet on the driver’s side, but that really is about it. I did notice that someone has replaced the original radio with a radio/cassette player, so if the next owner wants the vehicle to be 100% original, then a replacement will need to be found. One other thing that I will say about the original owner is that I think that his main focus was on going fast. The only luxury item inside the Corvette is a tilt/telescopic wheel.

I would really like to perform a personal inspection on this Corvette Convertible, because in my mind, if it really is as good as the photos and description indicate, then it would seem to be a pretty decent sort of buy. Look at the boxes it ticks; Low-mileage, big-block, numbers-matching, rust-free, and original. That is a great combination, and it is these attributes that lead me to believe that the Corvette will sell very quickly.

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  1. Howard A Member

    After seeing the Saturn V close up at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, it’s truly impressive. The ’69 Corvette? Meh, hardly, but it’s no secret, the astronauts barreled down the beaches in donated Corvettes at 100 mph in 1969. And they all hung out in night clubs in Cocoa Beach, so they weren’t all angels.

    Like 7
    • Dave

      I remember when that Saturn V was outdoors…that seaside Florida air wasn’t doing it any good at all.
      The Corvette was already a cultural icon, and to have a new 1969, 427, 4 speed meant that you pretty much ruled the streets, plus they were ginormous chick magnets!
      The Corvette would stomp the V in 60 foot times and thorough the quarter, but beyond that the V rules.
      The Shuttle was a different story, launching with 3G of force and exceeding 100 mph by the time it cleared the launch tower.

      July 8, 2011 was the last time I was there.

      Like 2
    • Jim in FL

      Living in Cocoa Beach, the corvette culture is still alive and well here. There are two corvette clubs local, and very active in parades and fundraising.

      I worked on the design of the Delaware North exhibit (mechanical engineer) that enclosed the Saturn V. It is a wonderful beast. Glad they moved it inside. Less lucky was the rocket display at Patrick AFB, which was slowly dismantled as the rockets aged.

      The car – C3 corvettes will always be beautiful and hold value. This one is great, but I would prefer a 350 with air and a four speed. Either way, this is a great color combo and something that will never lose value. I hope they stay as drivers. I’m worried that we will see fewer and fewer on the roads as the value rises. My first was a light blue 78 with t tops that was simply too beat to enjoy.

      Rocket fans, all that’s old is new again. We see several launches a month.

      Like 4
    • JoeNYWF64

      Wonder if they stopped in Teasers on A1A for “very good” $5 “dances”. I saw space shuttle fly right over me not too far up! on a 747 at cocoa beach pier. Could never find my blah all-look-alike rental car in parkin lots. Not sure if you could EVER RENT a vette.
      Above vette has optional (adjustable?) headrests – a plus!
      I don’t think the car has a/c.

  2. Classic Steel

    You had me drooling until i saw the dreaded A U T O M A T I C
    Transmission. What a downer to see classic muscle with the clutchless cancer type weakness bolted to a 427 😕

    I would pull it and put a manual trans and swap rear gears. Then crate the original parts and put in storage.

    Like 7
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Remember anyone doing any serious racing would typically run an automatic for 2 reasons. One is you can run more consistently than with a manual. The second and more important reason is the drivetrain isn’t shocked as much if running sticky tires with an automatic vs. a manual transmission, less broken parts. I expect anything with a 427 and a manual tranny would typically be a street car, not a strip one.
      My thoughts.

      Like 9
      • Classic Steel

        I understand your thoughts but this is a weekend warrior to play with versus drag strips. If this was to race the engine would get pulled to avoid a rod throwing and loosing value.

        I am older now but back in the day used-to run manual trans over automatics and did very very well. I had an in-line four speed with the race clutch etc. the tunnel and shatter shields.
        I had the kill switch tach but used to listen to shift ..i think the fastest street machine i had was a 69
        Camaro that pegged 140 many times being young and stupid.

        Like 1
      • Jim22

        I was always told that no matter how good you think you are, you will lose half a car length on every shift with a standard car. Drag an automatic racing is the way go. Also, didn’t Corvettes suffer from IRS squatting on launches.

        Like 1
    • Jack

      While I would love a stick, a buddy of mine, equally as tall, stated he would have rather had an automatic in his C3. The clutch pedal just crowds the space. 427 would give plenty of power to that AUTO Trans.

      Like 4
  3. On and On On and On Member

    Fastest I ever went in a car was in a 1969 Corvette 427/4speed with a low rear end. My buddy was at the wheel and the car was his older brothers who was a Navy fighter pilot deployed to Viet Nam at the time. 1969 and we were heading north on US 395 out of San Diego at midnight. It pulled like a 20 mule team and the last I looked it was 120mph with my buddy taking a hit off a home roll. Mercy.

    Like 12
    • SMDA

      High performance car at twice the posted speed and all doped up. Nice call. Please tell me, with judgement like that, why are you still here?

      Like 3
      • Chillywind

        He said he wasnt driving
        And no good story ever starts with

        Well we were eating a salad and then decided to go for a drive!

        Like 31
      • Howard A Member

        Looks like someone missed out on the ’70’s. :)

        Like 17
      • On and On On and On Member

        SMDA, I ask myself the same question every morning.

        Like 4
      • SG

        I have one or two (dozen) stories like the one On & On told. I wonder how I am still here too, but I am grateful I am!
        I’m not even 50 yet, and have had a full life! The stories I will be able to tell my grandchildren…once they are old enough lol.

        Like 5
      • Mr.BZ

        Because, SMDA, like many of us, he was lucky, and he probably loves cars. Why are you still here?

        Like 6
    • Troy s

      Know that stretch of highway, now Interstate 15 is there and once north of Escondido speeds were nearly 100, the flow of traffic has always been fast there despite the hiding CHP’s. Great to read stories about stuff like that.

      Like 5
      • On and On On and On Member

        Yep Troy, and I was just back out there last week, driving from San Diego to Death Valley. That stretch of road is now like 12 lanes wide and if you’re not going 80 you are in the way.

        Like 2
    • Steve Member

      Made in from San Clemente to Anaheim in twenty minutes on the 405 in the early hours in my ’69 E-Type back in 1986. Fun days.

      Like 3
      • Will Irby

        I drove a friend’s ’70 Camaro from Memphis back home to Jackson, MS because he had consumed a few too many adult beverages (and possibly an illegal substance or two) after a CSN&Y concert at the Liberty Bowl in ’73 (or maybe ’74?) He slept most of the way, and I just put it on the floor most of the way. We left Memphis a little after midnight, and made it back in an hour and 50 minutes. That’s about a 106 mph average for you non-math majors. Yes, it’s amazing we all survived those days.

        Like 3
  4. Gaspumpchas

    40 large, no pics of the mill, and this guy has it on craigslist. Well, gee honey, I listed it but nobody would buy it. Nice as it is, serious buyers will check it over good,frame and birdcage especialy. In this ol grey hair’s opinion I cant think for the life of me why you would put a slushbox in a ‘vette, unless you couldn’t drive it. Anyhoo, if its Really nice and you want it, go for it, nobodys getting any younger here!

    Like 2
  5. A-body Fan

    A 4-speed is preferred but an automatic is easy to appreciate when coupled with horsepower, in this case 427cu.in worth. Plus it lets you enjoy steering and control when you let it all hang out.

    Like 1
  6. Troy s

    Remember one like this in the movie “Billy Jack”. Unfortunately it got drove into a lake….it was either that or a broken elbow, odd movie.
    Anything with a 427 big block Chevy is hot stuff, but in the Corvette it was dynamite. The storied L88 is stuff of legends, insanely quick and fast, the tri power 427, L72. More than enough torque and higher spinning than a 454. Sweet.

    Like 4
  7. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    While I never raced on a track, I did my fair share of street and highway racing. I’ve had a 428 PI, 429 PI, 396, 351 Cleveland and a 400 Pontiac and all had automatics. I did pretty well at the stoplights but preferred the high-speed highway stuff. The big block Fords were the best for the high-speed runs, they were pretty much unbeatable from 70mph and up. I preferred the automatics and a few I did some performance mods to so as to get the most out of them. Can’t miss a shift and blow an engine with an auto trans, either. So I’m not in the “too bad it’s an automatic” crowd. More than a few 4-speed cars I ran against saw my taillights, especially on the highways. So to me, I’d pick this ‘Vette with the auto trans over a 4-speed any day.

    Like 2
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    nice and not too pricey……..

  9. John Oliveri

    What can you say bad about this car, even me who does not like the color, or the manual windows, and no A/C would love this car, just because it’s pure muscle

    Like 2
  10. TimM

    I’ll never understand why someone buys a sports car and takes all the sport out of it by getting an automatic!! If this was an original 4 speed car it would be in the $50k range for sure!!!

    Like 1
  11. cmarv

    Maybe the original owner had a 427/435 three pedal car and he bought this to give to his wife . IDK. I wouldn’t kick this out of my garage for eating crackers .
    I think it appears to be a nice car at a very fair price . JMO.

    Like 2
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Seven glorious photos – seven!

    I sold my Vette on Craigslist in a week for asking price, wrote a nice story and supplied the maximum amount of photos.

    I did the same thing delling my wife’s Beetle convertible.
    It’s not that much work.

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