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Old Vette Advice, Please Help

jerry16jerry16 Posts: 22
edited April 2 in Chevrolet
I'm looking to purchase an old corvette, between
the years 75 to 82. The third generation models
with the coke bottle body shape. Any owners or
previous owners please tell me what I should expect
from this car. I've always wanted a vette, but I
assume a car like that isn't quite as refined as
newer cars, even though I'm sure it was ahead of
it's time. Any input is appreciated.-j
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Comments

  • jerry16jerry16 Posts: 22
    Thanks very much.
  • 76vette76vette Posts: 2
    I think Mr_Shiftright covered a lot of the basics, but some other things to look for are whether or not the headlights pop up and retract like they're supposed to - it should be pretty quick. If they go up slowly, you may be looking at a $10 seal to fix, but if one or both are stuck in the up position, you need some headlight actuators at about $90 each.

    Also, check underneath - the floorpans can rust on these, too.

    If you're looking for a driver (like I was), non-originality isn't all bad, but you do need to know for haggling purposes. Mine has a non-original engine, but I wasn't planning on showing her at Bloomington. Also, the brakes had been upgraded to Vette Brakes stainless steel calipers and the rear spindles have been replaced with aftermarket versions that are sturdier than the originals.

    My plans are to get everything back to working condition, but not necessarily original. Upgrading the front springs and rear leaf spring, better stereo (the original is long gone) and whatever else it needs to make this one a fun dependable driver.

    By the way, why is 75 the earliest you listed? The '68s were the first with that body style, and the '74s were the first with no chrome front or back. Just curious.
  • jerry16jerry16 Posts: 22
    I was not aware that the 74 was the first without the chrome. That's why I listed the 75. I know the bodystyle was out earlier, but I don't care much for the chrome. I've been looking for a long time for this car and I'm having a lot of troouble finding one that isn't beat. Any in decent condition seem to be starting at 12-13k around here. I love the car, but that seems a tad high, especially when I just saw a 91 for $10k. That sounds tempting. It's not the first time I've seen one priced there either. Why so cheap a price on that model( early 90's)? I believe these models have much better performance, too. Interesting. How about some thoughts on the early 90's c4's. Man, I do love vettes! Thanks everyone.
  • 76vette76vette Posts: 2
    Where are you shopping? Mine cost about half of that, and while it needed a little work, not too much. Plus, some of the upgrades (stainless steel brakes, for one) were already done. The sharks should be cheaper than the early 90's, vettes, so maybe there's something more to the 91 than you mentioned.

    Have you tried Hemming's Motor News? They have many listings from around the country, and that will give you a better idea of what the price range is. They do tend to have more ads for the good condition, high dollar specimens, though.

    Can't help you on the 90's vettes, never had dealings with one. If the shark is your favorite, I'd keep looking for one. Just my $.02.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    Actually, a '91 should cost more than a 70s early 80s coupe, at least in the book, but they are in fact quite close in the marketplace.

    You need to find someone who really wants to SELL their Vette, not someone who's just fishing for a buyer who wants to pay over book price...a "motivated" seller as we say....and a "mature" motivated seller would even be better...

    MODERATOR

  • jerry16jerry16 Posts: 22
    Thanks, guys. Actually the 90-91's that I saw( more than one) had about 40k on them and all were marked 9999.99. Seems like a good price. Hopefully, I'll find a shark, though. At the grocery store I picked up a mag called corvette trader. Tons of listings, I think I'm on my way now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    Good magazine, the "trader".

    MODERATOR

  • ernesternest Posts: 30
    Jerry, The prices you mentioned are quite high, it seems. What part of the world are you in? The prices in the Washington, DC, Maryland area are much more reasonable.
  • jerry16jerry16 Posts: 22
    I'm in Cleveland, Ohio. You can, in fact, find them for about 7k, but all that I have seen at that price are in poor condition. The search goes on.
  • jtbla1jtbla1 Posts: 6
    Always wanted one too. I've located a '84 with 31K
    white/red leather with all original equipment, straight body, both tops and clean interior (no sun fading on carpet, no splits in dash. Car apparently has all ads except a power passenger seat( were those avail in 84?)...
    Owner asking 11,900 and will replace Gatorbacks..
    Any thoughts?
  • gkorenekgkorenek Posts: 4
    Hi,

    I would go with a '84 (C4?) or later. I believe them to be more "liveable", comfortable, and roomy than the '68-82 models (note '83 model was skipped for Corvette).

    Somewhere roughly in the '80-82 timeframe, Corvette manufacture moved from St Louis to Bowling Green. If I recall correctly, the '84 models had paint quality problems, but by now those should have been corrected.

    I had a '68 (first year) Mako. It was a rolling, rattling, and "hot" (interior temperature-wise) ride. It had no storage space. The interior was cramped. The "T" tops leaked when it rained. I was shocked it could be so poor a car. But man it was fast! In '73 Cheverolet started making the car more of a comfortable cruising type of car.

    The '82 Limited Edition at least has a operable rear hatch, something standard on all Corvettes
    '84 and later. A nice thing that makes the car usable.

    My advice: The C4 ('84-??) is the most livable and usable. Might not be as sexy looking as a shark car, but IMHO much more livable and functional.
  • Take it from a guy who knows I had a 71 vett for a wile and it was awalys a gas sucking problem wateing to happen. Not to say it wasn't fun as hell. but if you use it every day get the c-4
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    Your observations are well supported by the marketplace...many late 70s and early 80s Vettes are available at rock-bottom prices, because the enthusiasts don't like them (a few exceptions, like Pace Cars, etc.).

    I wouldn't say the C4 is the paragon of build quality either. You'll probably have to live with rattles and pieces falling off and a pretty hard ride. But I agree, a much better car than some of the earlier ones.

    MODERATOR

  • Hi, i am a sooty spoot spoot beaver wanting to know who much a 1957 cherry red mint condition w/ original white wall, original engine , and tan leather seats would cost. I would also like to be a convertible.

    Please if you know tell me, i am dying to know!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    The value of such a car would depend greatly, enormously, on the quality and accuracy of the restoration. Prime examples of perfectly restored cars can bring $50,000, but cars of this quality are rare, despite the claims of owners and their advertisements...but a very very VERY nice driving car in great condition should bring around $35,000 in the marketplace no problemo.

    The '57 Chevy convertible is not, interestingly, a particularly rare car by collector car standards, with over 47,000 of them having been made. But they are highly desired, so that, rather than rarity, keeps the price way up.

    MODERATOR

  • Hi spooty beaver,

    Are you for real?

    This is a "Vette" topic.
  • Thanks everyone, I know I haven't checked back in a while. I'm now pretty set on a '92-94 vette. I just can't find a decent older vette. Plus, I don't think I could live with it dialy. I do want to drive the car as much as I can, which around here is problably 8months out of the year.
  • I'VE OWNED MY 76 FOR OVER 5 YRS. DUE TO NOT REALLY KNOWING WHAT TO LOOK FOR, I OVERPAID, BUT I WANTED A VETTE SO IFORKED OVER $7K. IT HAD A BEAUTIFUL BLK LACQUER REPAINT,BLK LEATHER INT.PRETTY WELL LOADED.IN THAT TIME I'VE REPLACED THE CORE SUPPORT (RUSTED),WATER PUMP,FRONT SUSPEN-SION,SHOCKS,HOSES,BELTS,REAR SPINDLES,REAR LEAF,HD
    REAR END COVER.I'VE DETAILED THE ENGINE COMPART-MENT,INSTALLED P255-60'S ALL THE WAY AROUND,HAD A
    REPUTABLE SHOP HERE IN DAYTON,OH GIVE IT A 4-WHEEL
    ALIGNMENT.THIS CAR IS A PLEASURE TO DRIVE AND IT TURNS HEADS!IT'S NOT FAST LIKE WHAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH VETTES,BUT IT'S A REALLY COOL BLVD CRUISER.
    WHEN YOU SHOP FOR VETTES AROUND THIS YEAR, TAKE THE TO CHECK THE THINGS I MENTIONED ABOVE.THESE CARS DO RUST FROM UNDERNEATH SO FIND ONE THATS BEEN GARAGED AND KEEP IT GARAGED WHEN YOU GET IT.
    MINE IS FINALLY TO THE POINT WHERE IT DOESN'T ACTU
    ALLY "NEED" ANYTHING.IT NOW HAS 108K MILES ON ITS ORIGINAL MOTOR AND DRIVETRAIN,BUT ITS BEEN WELL MAINTAINED OVER THE YEARS AND SHOWS IT. I WOULDN'T HESITATE TO DRIVE TO CAL. AND BACK!THESE CARS ARE PRETTY EASY TO WORK ON COMPARED TO 84-AND-UP VETTES,AND THE STYLING BEATS THE NEWER ONES
    HANDS DOWN! EVEN WITH ALL THE WORK AND EFFORT PUT INTO MINE TO KEEP IT SHARP AND DRIVABLE,I DON'T
    THINK I WOULD ASK ANY MORE THAN $9K FOR IT,AND IT IS FOR SALE!EVEN THOUGH I LOVE MY STINGRAY,I WANT TO SELL IT TO MOVE UP TO A MID TO LATE 60'S.BY THE WAY, DID YOU KNOW THAT '76 WAS THE LAST YEAR FOR THE ""STINGRAY"" NAMEPLATE?HOPE I DIDN'T BORE
    YOU TO DEATH! SAVE THE WAVE!
    JERRY M.
    CHESKI1@AOL.COM
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    Hi Jerry,

    thanks for the interesting comments. Next time you visit, release the CAPS button, it looks like you're shouting at us!

    best from Your Host.

    MODERATOR

  • breenebreene Posts: 1
    Am considering an early Corvette for vintage events, including the California Mille. Cars must be 56 or earlier to compete. When was V8 first available, what about 4-speed, or am I stuck with 3 speed w/overdrive? Also, anyone know prices for a good driver, nice but not a trailer queen?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    The first V-8s were 1955, but the first 4-speeds were 1957. There are some rare '56 cars with a RPO 449, a special hi-lift camshaft, but most have the RPO 469 (2-4 barrel carbs, 225HP). So of 3,080 cars with 2-4V carbs, about 1,570 have a 3-speed manual trans......so that's your target...1,570 possible cars to choose from unless you can live with an automatoic

    So realistically for 1956 you will probably find a V-8, no problem but no 4-speeds that are stock.

    Price for a nice driver, around $30-35K.

    You know, you could buy one heckuva beautiful '56 Alfa Spyder for less than half that...fun to drive, too.

    MODERATOR

  • In reference to post 16, what is a sooty spoot spoot beaver? Is this a good thing to call yourself?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Only if you're four years old.
  • massbobmassbob Posts: 2
    I'm looking for a nice Category 2 1962 Vette. I'll be looking at one this weekend and it is supposed to have matching numbers. In an earlier posting, one of the users posted the VIN range for a particular year and also indicated the code ID to indicate the engine/transmission combination. Can someone tell me how to obtain this information for the 1962 year. In addition, can someone tell me where on the engine I will find the "matching number." Also, does anyone know if the VIN is coded to tell me what the original color was? Thanks for the help.
  • haak1haak1 Posts: 1
    I'm looking at a 69. I like it a lot, but don't know jack about old vettes. What should I look for? Is there a resource out there that I should know about? Someone please help...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    Yeah, order a copy of

    "Corvette Buyer's Guide" through Amazon.com

    It's $17.95 and it's a good beginner's guide to purchasing a Corvette.

    Also, check the market prices carefully...the 68-69 models are not highly collected (for various reasons related to the car's reputation when it first came out), so don't overpay...it will take time for them to increase in value. They are best driven and enjoyed on a daily basis.

    MODERATOR

  • I just got a 78 corvette and i was wondering where to buy the best replacement/performance parts? im running a 350sb fully stock other than a k&n airfilter if u could send me info to help me out i would be vary thankful

    thanx
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,539
    I think I would surf the web for the regional owner's club nearest your area, read their directory and call one of the people who run the club. This way you get firsthand info that might be more reliable than what you read on BBS boards. However, there is a Corvette topic in our own Town Hall > board that seems to be visited by very knowlegable folks. So try over there...it's called "Let's Talk about the C5 Corvette", but some of the people own other 'Vettes and know the networks pretty well it seems.

    MODERATOR

  • Looking for vettes have had three. Look on www.proteamcorvette.com got everything you can imagine. All you need is the cash.
  • connonconnon Posts: 52
    With minimal searching you should be able to find at least a dozen outfits that do just Vettes.Ecklers, MidAmerica,Vette Brakes and products, Paragon,Zip products are just a few that come to mind.Pick up a copy of Corvette Fever or Vette magazine and the ads are all throughout each issue.Personally, I find Ecklers to have excellent service and usually all will provide a catalog on request.my money pit is a 76 L82.Love it.Not a muscle monster , but drives real nice and still turns heads.just turned 65000 and passed NJ inspection with no tampering.
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