Original 454/4-Speed: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

We’ve seen a few nice C3 Corvettes in recent times here at Barn Finds, but this 1970 example will undoubtedly tick most of the right boxes for genuine enthusiasts. It is a tidy and solid survivor that features its original big-block V8 under the hood. All it needs is a new owner to slip behind the wheel to revel in the power that will be available under their right foot. Barn Finder Pat L spotted the ‘Vette for us, so thank you for that, Pat. It is located in Thomaston, Maine, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the sale price at $30,900, but he indicates that he may consider trades.

If I were going to apply a label to this Corvette, I would describe its condition as a tidy survivor. The seller indicates that a previous owner treated the car to a repaint in its original shade many years ago. Its Monza Red paint shines nicely, and like the fiberglass it covers, there’s no evidence of significant flaws or issues. There is a selection of edge chips and marks on the paint, but the overall presentation is still acceptable. If the buyer seeks perfection, performing a cosmetic refresh would not be difficult or expensive. When we delve below the surface, we discover the frame is rust-free and structurally sound. There’s no evidence of accident repairs or any other issues likely to cause heartburn. The owner says that the side glass is original, but the windshield appears to have been replaced. The previous owner added aftermarket tinting to the side and rear glass. The chrome is in good order, as are the original wheels. For those who’ve had any involvement with these C3 Corvettes, they will probably breathe a sigh of relief when they learn that the headlights and wipers work as they should.

Apart from a recently-installed new carpet set, this Corvette’s interior remains largely original. The factory radio has made way for an aftermarket unit, but there are no other visible additions. The Saddle vinyl trim is in excellent condition for its age. There is no evidence of wear or physical damage, while the remaining upholstered surfaces and dash are equally impressive. Almost everything, including the often troublesome clock, works as it should. One notable exception is the speedometer. The owner has tested the gauge and cable, but it appears that the fault may lay within the transmission. The original owner ordered this ‘Vette with air conditioning, and while the system is complete, it doesn’t blow cold. The seller believes that it may need a recharge, so he includes four cans of Freon in the sale. Otherwise, all seems fine inside this survivor.

It’s always a positive sign to find a high-performance classic that is numbers-matching. That ratchets up a notch or two when the vehicle in question features something special under the hood. Chevrolet didn’t produce what could genuinely be classed as a slow Corvette in 1970, although our feature car stands above the rest. The original owner ticked the box beside “LS5” on the Order Form, equipping this beast with a 454ci big-block that churns out 390hp. He also chose to order it with a four-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power brakes. This combination made the Corvette capable of blitzing the ¼ mile in 13.7 seconds, which remains a respectable figure five decades later. For potential buyers, this car is a turn-key proposition. The owner says it runs and drives well, with no smoke, odd noises, or other problems. It seems that all the buyer will need to do is hand the owner some cash, and they can drive this baby off into the sunset.

A few cars remain staples of the classic car scene, and the chrome-bumper C3 Corvette is firmly entrenched on that list. Values continue to climb steadily, and vehicles like this that feature a numbers-matching big-block under the hood command attention. It isn’t perfect, but it appears to be an excellent driver-quality car with no immediate needs. The seller’s price looks highly competitive, and while it has only been on the market for a couple of days, I won’t be surprised if someone snaps it up pretty quickly.


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  1. gbvette62

    This doesn’t look like a bad car for the asking price….till you read the seller’s ad and realize the car’s is trim tag it’s missing. This is a deal killer for anyone paying top dollar for what should be a matching numbers car. A missing trim tag is just as big a red flag, as the wrong engine. Repro trim tags are available, but they’re easily identifiable. The fact that the paint has been stripped off of the side fender “egg crates”, further raises concerns that this car may have been repainted “resale red”, and not Monza Red.

    I will give the seller credit for being fairly honest with his description of the, and mentioning in the ad that the trim tag is missing, though I’m not sure I buy his claim the brakes are good. The right from tire shows dampness on the back side of it, a sign of a typical early Corvette problem, leaking brake caliper piston seals. Unless the caliper’s have recently been replaced, I would expect the next owner will be replacing the calipers.

    Like 2
  2. Stan

    How often do trim tags go missing on older cars ?

    Like 2
    • gbvette62

      On 68-82 Corvettes trim tags were riveted to the left front door hinge pillar, above the upper hinge and below the A-Pillar. Where they’re at they don’t get caught on things, or are easily removed. You really have to make an effort to remove one, and it requires drilling out the rivets. Sometimes people will remove them when repainting a car, but isn’t necessary. On some years it doesn’t even make sense to remove them when painting a car, since on some year Corvettes, GM installed them before painting the car was.

      The only reason people usually remove a trim tag is to hide something, like a color change.

  3. Papa Bear

    Did this have a luggage rack on it, the paint looks a little funny in that area also.

    Like 2
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Look at image #8 in the Craigslist ad and it does have the luggage rack, installed.

      So maybe its now hiding somewhere, along with the trim tag.

  4. Ed Casala

    That is a pretty original looking car that has not been molested over time. Other than the missing trim tag (wonder if he is thinking build sheet?), only thing I noticed missing was the ignition shielding. Looks like an oil leak over time saved the frame. But that’s just a Corvette marking its territory. Cool old car and would be pretty easy to keep it stock at this point. Hoping the price stays around there as I own a big block 68. This one I would of jumped on had it been closer to San Diego. GLWTS.

  5. George Mattar

    Why anyone would remove a trim tag from any car is stupid. C3 tags are not the easiest to remove. A c2 yes. If the original gas tank is still in the car, may be it has a Corvette Order Copy, the proper name for tank sticker. And I agree the side vents had paint removed. Also stupid. 70 is a very low production year and 454s are rare. I had a 71 LS5 coupe many years ago with 4 speed and 3.08 rear. What a highway car. $30,000 is not insane to ask, but this car needs plenty of sorting out issues. When you look at the 69 Chargers on this site that look like they belong next to the Titantic and they want $25,000, this is a decent deal. Seller appears to be a flipper, but does note the car’s faults.

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