Packing A 454! 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

It is hard to decide which is worse. Is it completing a project build and then having it damaged by circumstances beyond your control? Or is it to buy a project car, and find that when it has been delivered by the transport company, that they have inflicted thousands of dollars worth of damage to your pride and joy before you even have the chance to lay one finger on it? The latter scenario has been the case for the owner of this 1970 Corvette, and after a lot of legal wrangling, he has decided that enough is enough and no longer has the heart or enthusiasm to undertake the restoration project. However, his loss is your gain with the Corvette, which is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay, and while the BIN has been set at $7,975, there is the option to make an offer.

When I read the story behind this Corvette project, I personally would have given up on it far sooner than the resilient owner finally did. He purchased the originally Laguna Gray Corvette on eBay and organized to have it shipped to his home. The company that he engaged then sub-contracted the transportation of the car. The sub-contractor proceeded to tie the Corvette down to his trailer for transport by stretching steel ratchet-ties across the Corvette’s fiberglass body. You can only imagine the damage that was done. After a lot of legal backward-and-forwards, the sub-contractor went out of business, the statute of limitations on the legal action expired, and the owner was left with the cost of rectifying the damage himself. This he has done, although there will still be some work required to finish off the bonding of panels, etc. The car itself appears to be quite solid underneath, although there are a couple of rust holes visible in the bracket under the core support. Otherwise, the Corvette shows a lot of promise.

Having essentially stalled before it started, the black vinyl interior of the Corvette is going to require a complete restoration. Thankfully, it does appear to be largely complete, and it also doesn’t look like the existing trim or dash have been cut to fit any aftermarket components. However, there are plenty of broken trim and plastic pieces, so it is going to need some work. Thankfully, replacement parts are readily available to return the interior of the Corvette to its best. One bonus is that the Corvette is fitted with factory air conditioning.

Now it’s time for both the good news and the bad news. This Corvette is a numbers-matching car, with a 454ci V8 under the hood. Sending the 454’s 390hp to the rear wheels is a 3-speed automatic transmission. As you can probably guess from the photo, the engine doesn’t currently run. It is here that the news turns bad. The engine is locked solid, and the owner is unsure whether it would be easy to free, or not. It sounds like he hasn’t made a lot of effort on this front, but given what has transpired with the Corvette to this point, I can understand why. The next owner will probably be facing a rebuild of that awesome big-block, but the end results should be well and truly worth the effort.

There is no doubt that the owner of this Corvette has been the recipient of some pretty appalling luck, and I know plenty of people who would’ve thrown in the towel long before he eventually did. A project car is always going to require a level of dedication and enthusiasm if it is going to be completed successfully, and when this enthusiasm is tested so severely at such an early stage, bouncing back from adversity can be incredibly difficult. There is still plenty of work to be completed before the Corvette is ready for the road again, but I hope that someone can buy the car and realize the current owner’s shattered dream.


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  1. rpol35

    Curious that the engine is blue instead of orange, tells me it has been out of the car at least once – no doubt the evidence shows it to be the matching number engine.

    Tough story for this fellow – it’s a good start but is going to need a lot of mechanical work.

    1970 was a low production year, it only went from February (the introduction of the revised C3) until July or August.

    Like 1
  2. Superdessucke

    You have to be careful with car shipping. It can be difficult to get someone to load your car. Tthere’s kind of an auction system where you state the price you’re willing to pay and it’s only enticing to the drivers if you either agree to pay a boat ton of money, or you get lucky and the car’s on a common route to where they can ship it with other cars.

    And you really need to screen them. Some have a hard time doing when their vehicle has been sitting for 10 days at the seller’s home, they’ve raised their offer twice, and the bidder is the only one. And sometimes, they have no reviews, so you have no clue who you’re getting.

    After I failed in trying to get someone to ship a vehicle a few years ago, my new rule is drive the car back myself!

    Like 7
    • Nick P

      Agreed. It’s a nightmare. Tried to ship my wife’s car from New York to Florida a couple Januaries ago so my son could use it for second semester in college. I didn’t ask a certain price. I just requested quotes. Got at least a dozen emails from companies stating their pricing. After choosing one and agreeing to have it picked up the day we flew down ourselves, they never showed up. Day after day we waited in Florida with promises that it will be today. Finally I gave up and had a close friend drive it down for me and spend a few days with us. Lucky it was a long stay for us.

      Like 2
  3. gbvette62

    This car is a real horror. This is one of those cars that some unsuspecting person will buy thinking they’ve scored an easy restoration project. I’m in the parts business, and see it every day.

    It has a hand laid, one piece nose on it, that doesn’t look like it was installed correctly, so the, doors, hood, wiper grill & wiper door don’t fit right. The nose is likely going to need to be reinstalled, to correct the fit issues. The female hood latches are missing, so it has hood pins installed in the hood. The front and rear valance panels are missing, and the rear quarters don’t appear to be installed all that well either. I’d say it still needs about $3K plus worth of body work.

    Nothing in the interior appears to be usable. The gauges, center cluster, radio, console, AC controls, window motors, etc, all look corroded and water damaged, likely the result of sitting somewhere, without a windshield. Surprisingly, in the picture of the VIN tag, the A-pillar looks rust free. Hopefully the rest of the birdcage is rust free too.

    The electrical system in this car must be a mess. The two terminal blocks behind the master cylinder, the one on the AC evaporator box, the wiring going to those terminals, and the two flashers (or relays?) beside the master cylinder, have all been added. None of that is original, and was probably done in an effort to avoid spending $1200-$1500 on new harnesses?

    The rotted out front “V” crossmember is a pretty common problem, and is an easy fix, since it bolts in. But considering the rust in the crossmember, I’d want to have a good look at the rest of the frame.

    Maybe the seller lost heart and enthusiasm for the project, or maybe he just came to the realization that this car is a bottomless pit?

    Like 14

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