Stalled L76 Project: 1964 Corvette Convertible

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

This poor ’64 Corvette has had a rough past couple of decades. It started life as a beautiful car in Daytona Blue with a 365 horsepower 327. At some point, a previous owner decided to start restoring it. They got as far as fully restoring the frame and suspension, but then they lost interest. And that’s where things really took a turn for the worst. More about that below, but if you’d love to give this Corvette a chance at a better life, you can find it here on eBay in Westmont, Illinois with a current bid of $10,089 and no reserve.

So back to the story at hand! After purchasing it, the seller had a tow truck come pick it up. Sadly, the driver thought it would be a good idea to strap down from the body rather than the frame. As a result there’s going to be some fiberglass work to do. It won’t be impossible to fix it, but it definitely adds to the cost and headaches. Truth is though, that’s hardly the worst thing that’s happened to this car.

Once it was at the seller’s shop, they promptly pulled the original L76 327 V8 and sold it to one of their employees. Thankfully the employee still has the engine block and they claim that it was rebuilt a few years ago. Of course there’s a catch, said employee wants $2,000 for it. Oh and did we mention it’s only the short block and there’s no word on where the heads went. But if your willing to give the seller the $16,400 they they think this project is worth, they will make sure the engine block is included. Having the correct engine would definitely increase the car’s value, but you’d be money ahead to let them keep the engine block and use the difference to buy a brand new crate engine.

We always hate when seller’s try to hold the car’s engine hostage. We get that they would have to buy the engine back from their employee, it seems like it would be in their best interest to work out a deal with them so the engine could just be included in the purchase. At the current price, it would be a great buy for anyone wanting to restore a Corvette, but doesn’t want to get into rust repair. So would you pay the engine ransom or find a different engine for it? Perhaps modifying it with a modern LS wouldn’t be such a bad option?

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Comments

  1. gbvette62

    The body’s rough, but I don’t think it’s a bad deal for $16,000. I’ve seen worse for a lot more money.

    I do have my doubts about that car having been a 365 originally though, or that that’s the original engine. 365’s used a large oil pan, which wouldn’t clear the steering stabilizer, but that car has the stabilizer. Chevrolet left the stabilizer off of 365 horse cars, and the stabilizer’s not the kind of thing someone would normally add, when restoring a car.

    Besides the stabilizer, the VIN the seller lists in his ad, does not match the VIN on the block. Actually, the VIN the seller lists, doesn’t look like a 64 VIN at all. I’d like to see a readable picture of the VIN tag.

    It still might be worth looking at, for someone in the market for a mid-year Corvette project.




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    • TriPowerVette

      The 4-wheel drum brakes just take the foam off the beer.

      I’ve never been able to warm to ’63’s or 4’s.

      Guess it’s just me, but I remember when people were getting rid of the center bar on ’63 split windows, to have a usable backlight. Corvettes are about performance, NOT about doing it the way the factory wanted it.

      The 365 horse option goes a long way to making a ’64 warmer, but ol’ @gbvette62 – has it right… there is doubt it was a 365 horse.

      Lot of mods will be necessary to get this thing up to performance standards. Putting it back to the way the factory sent it out, may mean not even the high output option. Not my cup of oil.




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  2. Joe Haska

    Modify it with later engine, have a great driving Corvette and don’t break the bank!




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  3. ruxvette

    My first vette, in 1966, was a twin to this: Daytona Blue 365 two topper.
    Vin looks right: 40867 S and the rest is not legible. Guy talks about throwing the frame away and keep the body. For my money he’s got it backwards. Just a HUGE money pit.




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    • TriPowerVette

      @ruxvette – Perfectly stated. I gave you a thumbs up.




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  4. leiniedude

    Sold the original matching motor? Who is stupid enough to do that during a resto? Maybe it is a 40 + year restoration going on. I understand the Resto-Mod engine swap, but if you have the original engine at least keep it.




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    • Bruce Jackson

      My thought exactly! I have been into cars going back to when this Vette was built, and I am incredulous that someone would sell-off the engine…my thought is that you buy the car with the engine block, and the next thing you know, someone is calling with the heads for another $2 Grand, and then someone else calls with the intake manifold…and on and on…




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      • George

        To Bruce Jackson-totally agree,a rip-off in the making.




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  5. 86 Vette Convertible

    Probably a nice car in it’s day. Looks like doing a restomod is the best course of action for this one and even that could end up being rather pricey.




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  6. RH FACTOR

    365 HP 327 had a large vibration damper and that may be the short block pictured, but he installed flat top pistons which is incorrect for that engine. Domed pistons made for 11:1 compression ratio with 64cc 2.02 cyl heads.




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  7. ccrvtt

    Thanks to gbvette62, rhfactor, & ruxvette for the well-informed comments. I always learn something on this site.

    IMHO the 365 is the primary reason to own this car. Without it it’s just another money pit.




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  8. Maestro1

    Put a 327 back in it and restore the car. Even with all the dumb mistakes the thing has upside to it. Or, wait for something you don’t have to break the bank over.




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  9. Pete Christensen

    Man what Midyear Vette isn’t going to cost a lot of money or break the bank. This Corvette has a highly desirable color and engine tranny combo. I would personally like to start out with this type of car at least you can see what you are getting yourself into. Granted it isn’t for everyone but for me this is the way I like to buy and build them. 16k is a dam good price and asfarasdrum brakes go. I had my 1963 Corvette for 15 years never had a problem stopping. My 1968 Corvette didn’t stop well when rotor and pads get wet. I like this 1964 Corvette. Midyears aren’t getting any cheaper.




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  10. Alan s

    What is it with Americans and strapping cars on trailers / transporters , the number of times I see cars strapped across the bodywork or even strapped through open windows , strap them down underneath and learn what tyre straps are , rant over !

    Great site btw .




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