Original 427/4-Speed: 1969 Chevrolet Corvette

The lady standing beside this dusty 1969 Chevrolet Corvette is the original owner’s widow. He spent countless hours creating the vehicle that we see here, but when he passed away, it spent the next 15-years sitting largely forgotten in this garage. That has changed, and this potent classic is set to head to a new home. If you like what you see, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Los Angeles, California, and the bidding has reached $23,300 in a No Reserve auction.

The original owner purchased this Corvette when he returned to Los Angeles after a stint in the military. When it rolled out of the dealership, it was finished in Riverside Gold, but this soon changed. The owner’s first job was with Mickey Thompson in the race engine department, and it was during this time that he transformed the vehicle into the classic that you see today. He drew his inspiration from famous (or infamous?) Baldwin Motion Corvettes, with large fender flares and the distinctive black treatment on the hood. Part of the transformation included a color change to Cortez Silver and bolting on a huge set of U.S. Mags wheels to fill those newly enlarged fenders. The impact would have been dramatic back in the early 1970s, and it is no different today. The paint remains in reasonable condition, although it has accumulated a few chips and marks over the past five decades. There is also some patchiness developing on the hood and rear deck, and only an in-person inspection will determine whether the buyer can address this without the need for a repaint. The fiberglass shows no evidence of cracking or other issues, and the headlights raise and lower as they should. The seller says that the car’s underside is rust-free, which is no surprise when you consider that it is a garage-kept classic that has spent its life in California. The exterior chrome is in good order, while the same appears to be true of the original tinted glass.

While this Corvette’s exterior has undergone a striking transformation, the interior remains as it would’ve looked the day that it rolled off the production line. Not only is it original and unmolested, but it is in remarkable condition for its age. The seats look spotless, with no evidence of physical damage. The same appears to be true of the dash, carpet, and the plastic trim. Even the console seems to have escaped the small chips and marks that can develop in these classics as time passes. If I’m going to find fault, it’s only a small one. The shift boot is showing some deterioration, and given the condition of the rest of the interior, it would be well worth spending $40 on a replacement. Otherwise, the original AM/FM radio remains intact, while power windows and factory air conditioning should make life on the road pretty pleasant.

I would love to have met this Corvette’s original owner because it appears that he was a man with gasoline coursing through his veins. That would help to explain why he ordered this classic with the L36 version of the mighty 427ci V8, a close-ratio M21 transmission, power steering, and power brakes. With 390hp available under the right foot, this was a jet when it was new. I mean, a ¼ mile ET of 13.9 seconds is hardly shabby today. In 1969, that figure would’ve made him a force to be reckoned with. It’s worth noting that this car wasn’t just about those short squirts because it would eventually run out of breath at 137mph. The “M/T” valve covers possibly found their way onto the engine during the late owner’s stint with that company. At the same time, he also added headers and a side exhaust to alert the world to the potential contained within this fiberglass body. The rest of the engine bay has the hallmarks of a classic that has been owned by a meticulous enthusiast who treated his pride and joy with complete respect. The seller has not undertaken any cosmetic work to improve its appearance. His focus was on returning the Corvette to a roadworthy state. As you can tell from this YouTube video, he has been successful. The big-block sounds very crisp, and the car is ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

I don’t doubt that this 1969 Corvette will leave our readers divided. It is a desirable chrome-bumper vehicle with its numbers-matching big-block under the hood. Some readers would see that as grounds for performing a restoration to return it to a factory-fresh state. Others will feel that it is a car that has been created to make a bold statement and that the changes made by its late owner deserve to remain intact. Regular readers will know that I generally lean towards originality, but I would probably make an exception with this Corvette. We’ve all seen vintage hot rods preserved by passionate owners, and they do this because those classics provide a window into a specific time in automotive history. As this Corvette currently stands, it provides the same opportunity for the 1970s custom scene. Many of those cars have disappeared from our roads and will almost certainly never be seen again. That makes this one a rarity, and it is why I believe that it should remain as-is. What do you think?


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  1. numskal Member

    what’s that chirping noise on the run & drive video?

    Like 1
  2. Steve R

    Gorgeous car.

    Many have tried to recreate “day two” modifications, most fail, miserably. There is no reason to do any cosmetic work on this car, it stands out based on its own merits, any imperfections only add to its character. There are plenty if restored cars at every show, to the point that they blend in to one another. This is the sort of car you would see on the streets and cruises, they were the ones that left a lasting impression on me and my friends. To change it would be to rid it if much of its character. Luckily, a subset of enthusiasts have figuring it out, they are likely to outbid the “it needs to be restored to stock” crowd and keep it as it currently sits.

    Steve R

    Like 63
    • Chris Nicklas Member

      Beautiful words Steve. Your 100% right

      Like 14
    • Frank Sumatra

      @Steve R.- When Barn Finds was searching for additional writers they should have picked you. Nice post and I could not agree more. This Corvette should remain as it is. That would be a true “Tribute” car.

      Like 16
  3. SirRaoulDuke

    This car is much more compelling with the modifications. I agree with Steve, cars like this are the ones that make an impression. I’m a big fan of the C3, and if I had the funds this one would require serious consideration.

    Like 18

    This is pretty sad. The guy loved the car. It looks like it. Very.

    The wife most likely kept it out out of guilt until it couldn’t be cared for anymore. Very likely still worry after its gone. Wondering if she did right by her dead husband who could really care less now because he is in the ground.

    I have met a lot of selfish owners. The ones who think they can somehow take them to the grave. Some actually do. (pathetic)

    I set down with my family and let it be known. I am a cancer survivor for the moment so the end could still come earlier than later. I have had time to think. I love my collection. Don’t get me wrong. It all means nothing compared to my family.

    What I do not want after I am gone is my family to create a museum and try and keep and maintain. That was my dads bla bla bla. That is stupid.

    My son got to choose one vehicle. Think carefully I said. The one that would mean the most to you. When it is my time I want my family to have an auction and throw a party.

    Like 52
  5. Tom

    I normally don’t care for body modifications, but this thing is gorgeous just the way it is. Way too cool to mess with. I would freshen up the mechanicals and drive the wheels off of it!!

    Like 22
    • Bruce71Camino

      I would like to give Tom a ride

      • KDogg

        Me too!

  6. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    What an awesome Vette! I wouldn’t change a thing except the oil and necessary filters.

    Like 16
    • Chris M.

      Thanks for clarifying!

      Like 2
  7. Mike

    I’m really liking the blacked out rear panel.

    Like 12
    • Dave

      For some reason I’m remembering that the Hot Wheels Custom Corvette had the rear panel blacked out. Looks like the owner created his own Custom Corvette.

      Like 7
  8. JoeNYWF64

    I am not a fan of the Chevy styled factory steel wheel & many aftermkt wheels, including these, look a lot better on this gen vette.
    I like that fuel filter. Surprised you could get a/c with this motor.
    This body style & of course the prev look soooo much better than the latest with all those cheap plastic add ons.
    Was that steering wheel avail on 1st or 2nd gen camaros? Are they as likely to crack as plastic wheels? Maybe not.

    “Bought it new at one the of the largest Corvettes dealer at the time, Harry Mann Chevrolet in Los Angeles.”
    I thought Malcolm Konner Chevrolet in Paramus was the largest Vette dealer.

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Konner was until 1996. His was the only dealership that had its own Special Edition. 50 were made. I don’t remember the last time I saw one for sale.

      Like 1
      • JoeNYWF64

        I heard at one time, 1 of the old Corvette prototypes/concepts was on display upstairs in Konner’s vette showroom!
        How often did that happen at ANY dealership?!
        BTW i just found a “new” pic of the ’69 pushmobile “Buick” Century Cruiser, the ultimate fender skirted futuristic looking car – big exposed wheels are not futuristic, IMO …
        Formerly called the Firebird IV at the GM futurama II exhibit at the ’64-65 NY World’s Fair.
        Compare that to today’s ugly gigantic wildshield pillars on 4 door only short hood appliances.
        The future was indeed 50 yrs ago – in car bodies – even on many production cars back then with hidden wipers & headlites.

        Like 2
      • Frank Sumatra

        @Joe- Joe, Google Malcom Konner and be amazed at what they had in their display area. He got amazing access to all things Corvette because he generated $$$ for GM.

        Like 1
  9. Gary

    Never understood the side pipes. They are a burnt leg just waiting to happen.

    Like 7
  10. Derrick Stikeleather

    LOVE this ‘vette. The wheels, the color, the flares. I’m not big on BBC’s or side pipes, but I do believe I would leave it as is. I desire this car…

    Like 8
  11. wuzjeepnowsaab

    No Reserve. Wow, the bidding on this should get pretty wild. What a nice example of a bb vette

    Like 6
  12. Mayhem

    The M/T valve covers are engraved with the words “Hi Performance 435 HP”.

    Like 2
  13. Ed Casala

    As a Vette owner, I love the mods done to this. If I was in the market, I would bid on it. Good luck with the sale and someone is getting a new set of wheels.

    Like 6
    • Ike Onick

      A new set of “Hot Wheels” !

  14. Russ Ashley

    About the only mod that I think can improve a Corvette appearance is flares like this car has, with matching width wheels. I like this one just like it is. To try to restore this one to original would require the removal of the flares and a complete expensive paint job back to it’s original gold color. That would be expensive and ,IMO, foolish.

    Like 7
  15. Karl

    I am not one to stray to far from factory appearance, engine and drive train is another story! But I really like the appearance of the C3 minus the side pipes. Great engine, 4 speed manual it’s got a whole lot going for it in my eyes!

    Like 4
  16. Steve Clinton

    1969 Chevrolet Corvette Numbers Matching 427ci L36 4 Speed Factory A/C…this Vette deserves to reach 6 figures.

    Like 3
  17. Randy L Welch

    The biggest difference between the owner of this car and my wife after I pass will be that the time it goes up for sale will be measured in nano seconds.

    Like 6
  18. jerry z

    This is what I classify as a perfect ‘day 2’ car. The body mods, paint job, wheels, and side pipes. Just looking at it makes me smile!

    Like 7
  19. Kevin Mackall

    Love it. I had an 01 Z06 and loved it. A C3 like this is next on my list. Very interested in this one. I’m 64 and and love everything about a day 2 vehicle.

    Like 3
  20. moosie moosie

    This Corvette puts a smile on my face too. I’d love to own it , the only thing I’d do is to get an A/C compressor belt and a new fiber-optic lens for the rear on the console. I like the hidden antenna, I did that to a ‘ 70 Convertible I once owned.

    Like 2
  21. C5 Corvette

    I love the look of the side pipes, but not the loudness. I had them on my 69. Burnt our legs more than once too. That being said, I would not change a thing on this car. Just polish and detail the engine bay and interior.

    Like 3
  22. DayDreamBeliever Member

    That the widow kept the car for so long shows me how much she respected the passion which her husband had for it.

    To me, the car is a great example of a personalized performance machine. Has me wondering if the owner used it for autocross or some other competition, or just enjoyed it as a street performer/canyon carver/stoplight terror. What a great Corvette!

    Like 1
  23. ruxvette

    A very nice car and a great history. I hope the purchaser would have the opportunity to go through the file cabinets in the garage…surely there are records galore stashed around the garage somewhere.

  24. Tom

    What exactly do you mean?

  25. Steve R

    Sold for a high bid of $40,300, with 114 bids spread out among 40 bidders.

    Steve R

    Like 1
  26. Paul S

    Sound great, looks great and love the flares and the meat on the back wheels. If only I had the money. I would not change anything.

  27. Paul S

    OMG it sold, over asking

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