Waterlogged Sting Ray: 1966 Chevrolet Corvette

My first question: where are the front wheels? Aside from the flood damage that will soon become apparent, what happened to the front wheels for this car? There are many possible explanations, but I’m guessing perhaps it didn’t have the front wheels on when it got waterlogged and this is how it was removed. This 1966 Chevrolet Corvette was clearly very nice before it went for a swim, and the starting bid for it is $23,000. While flood damage can be scary, it is less of a concern on an older vehicle like this. Find it here on Copart in Texas! Thanks to Nicholas T. for sending this one our way.

Based on the water marks on the side of the dash, this car was at least halfway submerged in water at one point. All things considered, the interior has faired well and the condition post-flood makes it even harder to look at, as it was obviously very nice. While the interior will need to be completely redone, because it was nice prior to the water damage it should be a straightforward repair. On a flood vehicle, replacing everything electronic would be wise.

Though it isn’t listed on Copart’s site, if this car has been restored somewhat original this is likely a 327 cubic inch Chevrolet V8. Based on the water line on the interior, it is pretty safe to assume this engine was almost entirely submerged if not submerged completely. I would check fluids first, but most likely a rebuild will be the way to go. Naturally the engine electronics will have to be replaced as well, but fortunately a car of this vintage doesn’t have any fancy computers to get waterlogged. To add to the theory that this was a super nice car is a dirty Wilwood disc brake master cylinder, which suggests this car may have Wilwood disc brakes. Unfortunately, that would probably also need to be replaced if this car sat under water for any period of time.

If you aren’t already convinced as to how deep in the water this car was, the gauges are a testament to sever water damage. All of these will need to be replaced and so will everything electronic behind them. I suspect this car may be a flood victim of Hurricane Harvey given its location. Though the $23,000 is a little steep, restored examples are selling for $60-$70,000 currently and given its condition this car could easily be repaired and resold for a profit. Flood vehicles can be scary, but with a lack of electronics this car could be brought back to life at the hands of the right person!


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  1. Sparkster

    I thought fiberglass floats ?

    • tasker

      IT doesn’t, I assure you!

      • TCOPPS Tyler Member

        Tasker is that a Boss 429 scoop?

      • tasker

        aftermarket glass scoop…..351 powered

  2. Jeffro

    Maybe they were installing Wildwood brakes on front end when hurricane hit.

  3. Vegaman Dan

    A bit pricey for what is essentially a full rebuild, but all the major work is done. This is mostly a full disassembly, clean, and replace electrical, rebuild engine, hydraulics, etc. You’d be doing all that anyways for a restoration, but this is good to start with, and bodywork appears to be fine, no issues there. Could be a very quick restoration.
    If you’re tearing down a car for full restoration anyways, then flood damage doesn’t bother me. But that title will forever be scarred and wreck the value.

  4. Rick

    Stories like this make me want to cry. Not sure how someone could not pay closer attention to a classic like this. Corvette abuse!

    • Steve R


      Many areas in and around Houston that flooded had never done so before. Moving a car doesn’t top the “things to do” list.

      Steve R

  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    TX – NONREPAIRABLE TITLE-FLOOD. Pretty much sums it up for me. To bad, looked like a fun car before the flood. Unsure about the wheels, I do not see any fencing around the lot, maybe no security. I am guessing someone rolled them away, probably be back tonight for the other two.

    • NotchNut

      The flood cars are stored at a drag strip in Texas. They have so many cars, they needed a larger storage space.

      • Steve R

        They also filled up the infield at the old Texas Motor Speedway in collage station Texas.

        Steve R

    • JamestownMike


      • glen

        What if it’s taken out of Texas?

      • whmracer99

        Different states have different laws. Here in GA you don’t have to have a title to register a car more than 25 years old and I’m not aware of any checks in the system that would prevent registering this to drive. There are other states where you can go through a process to get a title even if the vehicle is listed as non-repairable. Obviously the history follows it and effects the value but not sure how much.

  6. 8banger Dave Member

    is that an automatic i spy? if that’s the case, as long as you’re at it….

  7. Big Len

    I’d bring this to higher ground faster than my wife.

    • Rick

      I agree! People have brains and can move themselves out of harms way. This poor car never had a chance!

    • Kevin


  8. Andre

    $20k-ish. Borderline worth it for parts.. Depending on if those are OE knock offs (although I guess a set is kinda important here), sidepipes, ’67 big block hood, etc…

    Trim alone, if nice, is a decent chunk. To note it’s missing front chrome too.. don’t know if they suffered the same fate as the front rollers or it was intentionally modified that way

    A shame regardless.

  9. PebblebeachJudge

    A nightmare pending on so many cars that went underwater. Many, will never be able to be saved. Run the numbers, better start with a runner with NO title problems.

  10. 86 Vette Convertible

    Seems high to me for a 327 automatic regardless of the year. It could be brought back but that title would kill a lot of value on it so unsure if it’s worth it.

    I read where some took cars up into higher parking ramps just to prevent such a calamity.

    Wish whoever gets it well.

  11. flmikey

    Dreamers….these are not exactly “rare”….plus, who wants an automatic in a ‘vette….no thank you…

  12. NotchNut

    I believe Non-repairable means it can not be titled again. Only for parts.

    • JamestownMike

      e x a c t l y ! ! ! !

  13. Dan

    Glad folks have insurance…

  14. Horse Radish

    Water damage … o. k .,
    but what about the front wheels ?
    Did the lug bolts dissolve in the flood water ?
    Or was that the reason they couldn’t (readily) get the car to higher ground ?

    • JamestownMike

      Lol! My guess is they were stolen after the flood OR the tow truck driver took off the front wheels to unlock the front brakes to tow??

  15. AF

    Am I the only one that doesn’t want to look at these flood cars?

  16. Pete

    Hurricane Irma came to Florida I put my 63 Corvette up on jack stands. I did everything in my power to protect her. I don’t get why you wouldn’t do that? I love my Corvette and my girl friend seemed surprised. I was more worried about a car then her. Yeah you got to have your priorities in life. 😉

    • vettnpapaw

      I can appreciate this post. I have been a corvette owner since 1969 and I now own a new z06 and I won’t let my wife touch the door to open it.

  17. CJ

    Why bother? Big bucks to restore this wet Vette……

  18. Mike

    Isn’t that a 427 stinger hood?

    • JamestownMike

      Yes it is. I initially thought it was a high dollar 427 car, which it clearly isn’t!

      • 77vette

        Their were a few production days where the small block vettes got big block hoods. I think it wa a problem with the molds. Not sure if it was 66 or 67. There is a small chance the hood is correct.

  19. Jon Hendrickson

    Living in Louisiana and seeing my share of under water cars I would say walk away.

  20. Melton

    Has anyone noticed this is a convertible AND the hardtop’s there also. Hardtop alone is a chunk of $$ these days!! The teakwood steering wheel too! This is beyond sad.

  21. roundhouse

    $5000 tops.

  22. Bob

    It is a heartache both for the owner and anyone that would attempt to rebuild it. I wouldn’t gamble on it for that much money.

  23. 427vette

    Yep, jack ’em up and get them out of the water. I spent that Saturday night with all the hard rain doing just that with the Corvettes in my driveway. There was no way I was going to lose them without a fight. Unfortunately I couldn’t save the one parked at the end of the driveway closest to the street. It was much more productive than sitting in the house and watching the weather radar.😀

    • Bob

      Why didn’t you drive it up onto the lawn, which seems to be higher ground.

      • 427vette

        The yard was higher for sure, but by the time I thought to look outside and realized my “never flooded before” street was flooding, it was too late. I had to make the decision to save the other two in the driveway and the ones in the garage in case the water hadn’t stopped climbing up the yard. My area was among one of the hardest hit, with 45 inches of rain that weekend. It was pretty surreal.

      • AMCFAN

        Bob, You are a genius? Asking why you didn’t do something after the fact. Like someone cutting their arm off with a saw and asking why didn’t you use the guard? It looks like 427 Vette did all he could do with the time he had and is very lucky to have saved what he did and didn’t loose HIS life in the process.God bless him. I know what he is going through.

  24. 427vette

    Had to get creative with the concrete pavers for this one

  25. 427vette

    This is the one I could not save. The water came up so fast it caught me off guard. If you look behind the Corvette, that is my 1 Ton Chevy parked in the street. Amazingly it survived even though the water was up to the top of the tires.

  26. DR Member

    That’s no 327. If the valve covers are to be believed, that is a Scott Shafiroff built 434 stroker. That engine is money, pushing about 500 horses. Or at least it was…

  27. AMCFAN

    Nothing emotional or get excited about. Unbelievable!! The previous owner “sold” this to the insurance company and most likely made out very well. As an owner you have the option to purchase back for a fraction. Obviously didn’t mean anything to him. Wasn’t worth his time. Why should anyone be worrying? So all the crying and depression must stop it is just a car. So what if it is a Corvette? Those do get damaged too. There are a million others like it. Get over it. Those that are so emotional should pray for the loss of life and the belongings the survivors lost that can never be replaced that the flooding created.

    Those that say they would look out for their car before their own wife shouldn’t be lucky enough to have a wife. Those that are affected by tragedy have little to no time to make a choice or react. Worrying about an in attainment object makes little sense when your own life, family, friends and livelihood are at stake.

    I do not live in a flood prone state. In 2015 a freak storm flooded my driver cars and my house. Never before flooded in the 30 years I have been here. Everything under and around my house floated away. I found my nearly new set of Weld Drag lights two miles away from my house. My mowers power washer ruined. My insurance covered only my autos due to comprehensive coverage.I was lucky. Unlike this guy my cars are my own meant something to me. I bought them back for next to nothing.One was only 3 years old with less then 20K miles. Although fresh flood the sand and silt were everywhere. It took several months to clean and dry out. Water was past the top of the dash. I broke and cleaned all electrical connections. Replaced alternators/a/c compressors, clutch throw out bearings etc etc. I am still driving them and living with the little issues that crop up. I have flood salvage titles now. I pay a higher premium for owning salvage vehicles. Now in case of another claim I have been informed that my car is worth 40% less then a comparable vehicle. So am paying more for less. Is it worth it? NO NO NO.

  28. Tyler

    On May 1, 2010, Nashville had a freak storm & received 10 inches of rain in just a few hours. Places that had never been known to flood, flooded. It happened so fast, cars on the interstate floated away & people couldn’t get out of them. I was watching on tv & saw an 18 wheeler picked up & moved. Thousands of people lost everything, & had no flood insurance because they lived in areas with no history of flooding. As much as they prepared for the hurricane, I doubt anyone in the Houston area ever imagined getting 50 inches of rain that weekend.

  29. Dean

    Someone might buy it just for the VIN tags

  30. AMCFAN

    The vin tags would still be associated with a Texas flood salvage. Wouldn’t make sense.

  31. GEORGE

    buyer beware who wants to clean a flood non repairable title. the vin number will be listed on the nicb website and will be listed as a flood car. you could get a clean title somewhere, but it will still be listed on this site. so if you are trying to buy it and wash the title,, you will be open for a big lawsuit somewhere down the line. and in a lawsuit, you will be liable for triple damages.

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