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Roadside Sighting: Hatchback C3 Corvette

Reader Kenny C recently spotted a rather interesting Corvette parked near a road in Tennessee. An abandoned Corvette is always a cool sight, but there’s something odd about this one. From Kenny C – I saw this Corvette today while coming back from the Forbidden Caverns in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I’ve never seen the back of a Corvette like this. Well, Kenny, there’s a reason why you’ve never seen one like this before! If you know your Corvette history, then you know the C3 didn’t receive a hatchback window until 1982. This one appears to be a mid-70s model that was converted to a hatchback and it actually looks pretty good.

Our thanks to Kenny for sharing his sighting with us, it really is an interesting one! If you spot something unique parked by the side of the road, snap some photos and send them to mail@barnfinds.com so that we can share them. Oh and please feel free to discuss the looks of this custom Corvette in the comments below!


  1. J Paul Member

    Just guessing here, but that looks to be a Chevy Monza hatch with the metal bottom section shortened.

    Like 16
    • Topdown73cat

      From what I recall from the old catalog ads, you are correct. The ad stated all parts included except a Monza hatch lid you had to procure on your own. Find one in a local junkyard, and “poof” you have a hatchback Corvette..

      Like 8
    • Scott Member

      Wow, good eye

      Like 7
  2. Rustowner

    Looks like an Ecklers Hatchback kit. Some had the cap in the hatch and some had them in the rear fascia. Personally, I like the look of these compared to the stock back window, plus it make the car more versatile. Cool find and a shame to see it sitting.

    Like 14
  3. Will Fox

    At a quick glance, I thought, “Huh! This almost has a factory prototype look to it.” Then getting to look closer, and I have to agree with JPaul: a `76-`79 Monza hatchback lid is probably the likely donor. Awful B-pillar blind spots, but interesting nontheless.

    Like 6
  4. James M Jacobs

    So who is buying it?

    Like 2
  5. JC

    Yeah, that looks pretty good… you can’t see me shaking my head and rolling my eyes…

    Like 4
  6. Jim Bradshaw

    OMG, this could be my old car!!! In 78 I bought a wreck and put on an Eckler’s hatch kit and yes, it was a Monza rear glass. I sold it to a friend in Texas and was asked if I wanted it back before he sold it to a moving van driver in Tennessee. When I had it painted it was in the two tone style of the 78. It had a tan bottom and white top. Found an old pic. Wow. I’m sad!!!

    Like 31
    • CanuckCarGuy

      @Jim, not to make you feel sadder…but that is a great looking Vette; the two-tone paint in that colour combination, looks awesome.

      Like 12
    • Derek

      Gorgeous car.

      Like 4
    • paul teichler sr

      I have a 1977 with the same kit

      Like 0
  7. Nonya Bidness

    Ecklers offered an optional remote control kit to open and close the hatch. Pretty fancy for the ’70’s. Google images has a very nice yellow custom car with the hatch kit installed. It looked like you had to open the hatch to get to the fuel cap, at least on that particular car.

    Like 5
    • Jim Bradshaw

      The earliest version had the cap through the back “bumper”. Then was the hidden one and then this one. I’m the guy that may have been the builder of this one!!! I’m horrified as I know that mine ended up in Tennessee in the mid 90’s!

      Like 6
      • KevinR

        Maybe not. This one is wearing Virginia plates.

        Like 3
      • Jim Bradshaw

        Article says location is in Tennessee. BTW, it also looks like one version of Michigan plates! I can’t see the top well enough to be sure. I sure hope that it isn’t mine but someone, somewhere would be sick over this! It was a LOT of work and a specialty Vette shop paint job. Vette Customs in Lansing, MI. No County name at the bottom like Tennessee and Mich. doesn’t use hyphens. You are probably right.

        Like 4
      • scottymac

        So, I was wondering how the interior was finished? Did you cut out the rear deck so you had a useful area, or just stack stuff against the fuel filler?

        Like 1
      • Jim Bradshaw

        scottymac – there was a full deck to within a couple of inches of the rear of the hatch then it rose 6″ or so. In that were two solenoid activated latches and it bumped forward around the gas filler and cap. Very clean set up and it did not stink of gas in the cockpit. There was a seal all around the entire hatch. I wish that I had taken more pics as I was building it.

        Like 3
  8. mg

    Corvonza 2+2-2

    Like 5
  9. Frank Sumatra

    What a shame if that was a Pace Car.

    Like 0
  10. Chinga-Trailer

    Does anyone else hear the twin dueling banjos playing??

    Like 6
  11. Bob N

    In my opinion, the addition of a hatch back on a C3 Vette was a big mistake. I’ve had two Corvettes, a 1966 Convertible 4 speed with a 427. Then later I bought a 1969 coupe. Never liked the hatch back look.

    Like 0
  12. Hoghead426

    I don’t think it’s the same car.The blue one has T-tops,the white two tone doesn’t have T-tops.

    Like 3
    • Jim Bradshaw

      The white is mine and it had t-tops. The ones on the blue car are the smoked see through glass ones and stick out a little, right from the factory. The image that is used is a phone photo of a matte snapshot – not very good.

      Like 1

    Leave that piece of junk to die in peace.

    Like 0
    • Ike Onick

      Too late

      Like 0
  14. Derek

    I’ve never seen or heard of these but I like it.

    Like 4
  15. Charlie Gilg

    Not to nit-pick, but you said there wasn’t a hatchback till 1982. 82 was still C3, there was no 83, so to my knowledge the C4 in 84 was the first hatchback, like my 92 is.

    Like 1
    • SamM

      The ‘82 had the hatchback. This was the original intent of the designers when the curved glass came out in ‘78. But the bean counters nixed it.

      Like 2
    • Tjod

      The 1982 hatchback
      Was only on the anniversary edition

      Like 3
    • John Smith

      Wrong. 82 was the only C3 with hinged rear glass.
      A 3 second Google search would clear that up

      Like 0
    • John Smith

      I’ll just leave this here

      Like 5
      • Charlie Gilg

        To all of you guys, I thank you very much. I appreciate the info and the pics. Beautiful car, right?

        Like 1
  16. scottymac

    Poor man’s idea of a Mako Shark paint job.


    Like 0
  17. Bruce Fischer

    Kenny, Forbiden caverns is right down the road from me and that’s Sevierville T.N. not Pigeon Forge. I am surprised I have never seen it. Bruce.

    Like 0
  18. Suttree

    I like this look better than the stock 1978-1982 models rear window.
    I don’t like this or the 1978-1982 rear window as well as the look of the 1968-1977 models.

    Like 0

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