Tangerine Dream: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

While I tend to be drawn to spotlessly original survivors, I will always find a place in my heart for custom creations like this 1970 Corvette. The owner has had an eye for detail with this beauty, and its stunning exterior hides a drivetrain that should provide impressive performance when the driver hits the loud pedal. The decision to part with a car like this will always be tough, but that has what this owner has chosen to do. If you find yourself drawn to this fantastic creation, you will find it located in Worthing, South Dakota, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the sale price at $40,000. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring this Corvette to us.

This Corvette rolled off the production line wearing Ontario Orange paint, but the owner wanted something more distinctive. After ensuring that the panels were perfect and adding a subtle front spoiler lip and a big-block hood, he finished the car in stunning Candy Tangerine paint. The impact is pretty spectacular and should help this ‘Vette to stand out in any crowd. The paint shines beautifully, and it has that magic “candy” quality of changing hue under different lighting. I can’t spot a flaw or problem, while the fiberglass is also perfect. The owner describes the car’s underside as super clean, meaning that the buyer won’t be tackling any rust problems. The chrome is in as-new condition, and the same seems true of the glass. The owner has added the perfect finishing touches to the exterior by fitting an aggressive-looking set of aftermarket wheels and side exhaust. The supplied photos indicate that this Corvette has picked up a few show trophies, and when you consider its overall presentation, it’s easy to see why.

The listing for this Corvette indicates that it started life with the L46 version of the venerable 350ci V8 under the hood. It seems that L46 has now made way for something more potent in the form of a GM Performance Small-Block Crate Engine. The owner quotes a figure of 430hp, which is significantly higher than would’ve been available from the original 350. The radiator, cylinder heads, and intake are all aluminum, and a Holley 750 carburetor is bolted to the top as the crown jewel. Getting the air and fuel into the engine is one thing, but it is essential that the spent gases can find their way out. The cause is helped by the owner’s decision to fit Hooker Headers bolted to the side exhaust. All of those horses are fed to the 3.55 rear end via a Muncie four-speed manual transmission, and I think it would be safe to assume that this classic should go close to posting a sub-13-second ¼-mile ET. In keeping with his philosophy to create the Corvette as a total package, the owner has replaced every suspension component and has upgraded the braking system with parts from the good people at Wilwood. He uses the word “amazing” to describe the driving experience, and I’m having no trouble believing him on that score.

Apart from an aftermarket wheel and upgraded stereo, the Corvette’s interior is as it left the factory. The seats are upholstered in black leather, and these appear to be in excellent condition. There are no issues with the dash, while the plastic trim shows no signs of crumbling or breaking. There is no wear or fading on the carpet, and a tilt wheel should allow the driver to get comfortable before blasting down the road.

If you ignore the custom paint and consider the modifications that the owner has made across most aspects of this 1970 Corvette, they are all sensible. They should combine to offer the buyer a car whose performance is a rung above what might have been expected from a factory fresh example. It would possess plenty of power under the right foot, a drivetrain that should be bulletproof, and a tidy and comfortable interior. Once you factor in that stunning paint, that takes the entire project to a much higher level. There’s a fair chance that you would take this to a show or a Cars & Coffee, and there’d be little chance that you would find an identical car parked beside you. I also believe that its appearance would draw people like moths to a flame. This Corvette has only been on the market for a few days, and while it isn’t the cheapest example on the planet, I believe that the owner will have little trouble finding someone willing to hand over the cash so they can drive away in the car of their dreams. Would you be tempted?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Just right modifications. Not over flashy and well done.

    Like 15
  2. Domenic DAlessandro

    Much nicer than the red one.

    Like 6
  3. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Now that is just stunning! I wouldn’t change a thing except the oil and filter every 3,000 miles.

    Like 12
    • joenywf64

      If you put only 200 miles on the car a year, is that an oil & filter change once every 15 years? Maybe not. lol
      & your head will start spinning on whether to use the latest SP oil, SN oil (may still be able to find), high zinc oil, &/or an additive. There will be arguments for/again each of those choices on the net. I dread thinking of all the time i wasted researching – to no avail.
      Back in the day there were no computers or smart phones to waste your time(ever notice how terribly fast time goes by when you are on the computer?!) .
      & you just put in any SE rated oil from any store
      & you were good to go!
      Same with very high octane hi-test gas back in the day.

  4. markp

    Small block weight and big block power, will handle way better this way.

    Like 6
  5. SMS

    I tend to prefer my cars stock. I can look at this one and in a second see what I would change. Think it would look better with the headlights off. Other than that this thing is perfect. Very impressive

  6. mike b

    Well get me to the church on time!

    Like 2
  7. Steve R

    It looks great at first glance, but the nearly exclusive use of modern speed equipment is a let down. It’s like all of the fake gassers, the attraction is only skin deep. Vintage performance parts won’t negatively effect the driving experience, but will keep it unique.

    Steve R

    Like 1
  8. Charles Sawka

    And here I am , being naive and thinking the old car hobby is about having fun with cars.

    Like 11
  9. bikefixr

    Nice car. I’d lose the cheapo-chrome under the hood and put GM parts onit for the Corvette look. The intake is NOT aluminum or even a performance part..it’s cast iron. The under hood wiring needs some attention. It’s a nice $28K base model car. Non-original on a Corvette is a price killer.

  10. Frank o

    Looks good except those leg burner side pipes. Would look better with stock 1969 side pipes.

  11. ray sebesian

    One of the most beautiful older vettes that I have seen . The only thing I see missing is air conditioning.

  12. Lowell Peterson

    Fabulous hotrod for hotrod money? Nuthin’ could be better. Any cars ‘n coffee will be happy to have it!

    Like 1
  13. Mark

    $40k for a C3? All I can do is laugh.

    Like 1
    • SMS

      Agree $40k is a heck of a lot of money. I happen to like the C3, and when an F150 is over $100k this looks like a lot of fun and eye candy for the money.

      Like 1
      • Mark

        The C3 is my favorite but you can buy a very nice one for $12k….obviously not as nice as this car but comparable.

      • john vititoe

        An F150 could be 20,000 and i would never buy it never waste my money. Owned 3 Fords and had problems with all of them…

    • Frank Sumatra

      Especially when you can buy a 200 HP Trans Am for $89,000.

      Like 1
    • Lowell Peterson

      Hey mark! Next really clean C3 4spd small blck you sed for $12k send it to at fasgglass55.com. I can’g wait to see it.

  14. Richard F

    Ahh…the age old problem of customizing (either big or small) an old car to your personal liking and tastes – and then expecting someone else to like and pay you for it later when you decide its time to sell it. That’s really when you find out just how much folks agree or disagree with your ‘improvements’. I personally like the color, but Ontario Orange wasn’t a color option in ’70 – you could have ordered it in 1971 though. Nice looking car – tough crowd!

    Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Richard F: Yep, the same comment I was going to post: Good luck finding someone to pay 40K for the car of the seller’s dreams.

      Like 2
  15. Gary Rhodes

    Under hood chrome guys, it has a crate motor with center studs to hold down the valve covers. Do they make a adapter to mount vintage covers? It’s a really nice car, quit beating it down because you can’t afford it

    Like 1

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