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Topic: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice

in Forum: C3 General Discussion


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QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (1/13)
 1/7/23 1:23pm
Adam WartellLifetime Member
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Eagleville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
Used to own a 1979 Corvette now owned by JB79


Joined: 11/1/2001
Posts: 17552

What advice would you give someone looking to purchase a C3?



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-Adam Wartell
NCM Lifetime Member #1222
Founder: C3 Vette Registry 
C4 Vette Registry, C6 Vette Registry

My first Vette, now owned by JB79:

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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (2/13)
 1/7/23 1:54pm
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 860

Definitely take someone with them that knows all of the little idiosyncrasies of the particular year they're looking at such as frame rot, non-stock powertrain items, flood damage, etc.



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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (3/13)
 1/7/23 3:25pm
manchestersharkLifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.


Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 2370

Ditto from above, AND if the buyer is not mechanically inclined, Don't buy it!  Get a newer one. These cars need attention, and the computer minded don't usually get their hands dirty. No offense to anyone, just using my son inlaw as an example.



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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (4/13)
 1/7/23 6:52pm
NorskyLifetime Member
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West Burke, VT - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - '70 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - '90 ZR-1 (#682)
SOLD - "Betty" - '28 Ford Model A Tudor
Still have - "BLKBRRD" - '78 Pontiac Trans Am


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 7185

Don't buy a project - unless that is your thing.  Spend a little more money and get a good quality driver.  You'll be money ahead.



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Jim Olson 

"The Toys"...!!!  Save the Wave!

Where I've been in a Corvette...!!!

Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (5/13)
 1/8/23 6:50pm
LUVETELifetime Member
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Fredericksburg, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1981, found 1/18/17 with 13,276.7 orig miles, stored since 1984, L81, 3spd auto, frost beige, doe cloth interior, looks new, drives great! Bowling Green s/n 3052


Joined: 10/10/2017
Posts: 6

Buy the best one you can find! Restoration adds up very quickly if you pay someone else to do it and if you do it yourself, it can drag out for years.

My ‘81 had been sitting in a wet garage since ‘84 when I got it in 2017, and everything mechanical and electrical had to be replaced, EVERYTHING, except the engine and rear end. Luckily everything is available so it still looks stock.

Beside the fact I got it for nothing from my high school buddy who bought it new and got disabled and parked it in 1984, I have a little more in it now than what it’s worth but it’s in almost new condition again and it drives great. I don’t ever intend to sell it so I’m ok with the restoration costs. Luckily he kept the doors and windows closed and except for a musty smell when I first got it, the interior is perfect.

The pictures are how I found it after being stored 33 years.

Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (6/13)
 1/8/23 7:31pm
F4GaryGold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1393

Buy one already restored.....it's cheaper.



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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (7/13)
 1/8/23 10:29pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 318

I agree on not buying a restoration project unless you have the skills to work on it yourself.

When I bought my '75 I was actually looking for a project (and, boy, did I get one!).  After almost 6 years 600 hours of my time, and more money than it will ever be worth, I have a Vette that is in almost pristine condition and a nice driver.  Someday it will probably be my son's.



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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (8/13)
 1/9/23 6:05am
Kentvetteuk
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, - France

Vette(s):
1978 L48 Auto. Red with Oyster Leather interior. Owned since 1990.


Joined: 8/21/2002
Posts: 76

My first advice to prospective buyers is "Read the books!"    I'm amazed at the number of people who go into Corvette ownership without a clue about the cars, or their history. 

When we were planning on buying our '78 I picked up a couple of books and read them cover to cover before we looked in detail.  So, I knew model years, specs and even some of the issues before we took the plunge!

And, I'd say know why you're buying - do you want a project to work on it full time for a few years, or just enjoy the driving with routine maintenance?   

As said, buy the best you can afford!

Oh and, make sure you have somewhere to keep it!   Back in the UK it seemed a lot of people hadn't given adequate storage any consideration, never a good idea in the UK's weather!



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Stephen J Irons
Corvette Club France
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Corvettes of Southern California
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Red Corvettes Have More Fun!
Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (9/13)
 1/10/23 7:25am
sdinino
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Rock Hill, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1977 White/Red


Joined: 8/2/2017
Posts: 59

I’d tell them to be sure they’re viewing the purchase as a hobby/project, not an investment. Trying to keep track of $$ spent vs. the cars value is a great way to suck the fun out of it. 

Of course, that’s not true of every c3… but those are the rare ones. I’m guessing the vast majority are not the high-dollar Top Flight candidates. 



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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (10/13)
 1/11/23 2:57pm
Sledboy
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1973 L82 4speed


Joined: 10/13/2021
Posts: 3

I agree buy a good car. It's very rewarding to restore cars, I have been doing it for 50 years.

But if you're not experienced a c3 is a very awkward car to work on compared to other 60-70s chev muscle cars 

Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (11/13)
 1/11/23 3:18pm
BillHanna
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Cana, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Stingray 71 350 engine Flat top pistons Sniper fuel injection Hyperspark ignition Vintage Air air conditioning Borgeson power steering box


Joined: 7/3/2016
Posts: 318

Sledboy said:

I agree buy a good car. It's very rewarding to restore cars, I have been doing it for 50 years.

But if you're not experienced a c3 is a very awkward car to work on compared to other 60-70s chev muscle cars 

I couldn't agree more -- I've been working on GM cars for 60 years, and was surprised on how awkward getting to things on the C3 was!  (And being a bit older doesn't help either!)




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Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (12/13)
 1/12/24 2:16pm
Jesseb
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Vette(s):
1978 corvette


Joined: 1/6/2024
Posts: 13

My advice is the same others have listed.... know what your getting. Alot can be hidden for you to find down the road. If your restoring it, expect to replace more than you expected.  And also important, keep track of your parts!!!! This guy is pulling his hair out trying to locate the 25th anniversary emblems that came with it, the chrome corvette logos for the sides, and the center caps for the wheels. I know for a fact i had them, after tearing the garage apart 3 times, they have not been located! All in all though, no regrets. 

Re: QOD (Question of the Day) for 1/7/2023: Advice (13/13)
 1/17/24 1:47pm
blu72
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Pasadena, MD - USA

Vette(s):
72 Coupe L48 4 sp Air Tilt Leather


Joined: 6/16/2004
Posts: 285

Wow all this advice is so true. Buy the BEST you can afford at the beginning. Most likely the car has had several owners and each one worked on it sort of. End result can be disasterous. 

I've had mine for 49 years and I am still finding Bubba work each time I get into someting. I like working on them so any cost is worth it. I bought it when I was 21 so what did I know then.....

My rule of thumb is it will take 2 -3 times longer to get it where you want it, 5 times longer to put it back together than you thought, and cost 2 -3 times more than planned. The first trip to the gas station and the looks you'll get will probably be the big reward you anticipated!



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Bruce
72 Coupe L48 4sp
Custom Blue/Silver/Pearl

(Click for a larger pic)

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