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68, 69 or 70 big block??

J

jon81

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Hi all;

I've been bitten by the big block bug and the fever is getting bad. One thing I've decided is it's got to be a 69, 69 or 70 convertible and I'm still wavering between red and black. In my web search so far it looks like the good 68 427's are all over 40K, so I may go with a 69 as they seem to be about 10K cheaper for the same condition. My budget is between 30 - 40K and I'd like to find a good body off restoration in that range. I'm not eliminating the 70 454's but I sure do like those triple carbs under the air cleaner. I'll be using the car for pleasure driving and show.

If you've owned one of these beasts in the past what should I look for as far as problem areas? I'm new to Vette's (first American made car I've ever owned!) so be kind.
 

mxdout165

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Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Messages
109
Location
Soon to be Greeley, CO
Corvette
Not Any More :( - '92 Typhoon #2482
Haven't owned one...

but from all that I've read in books, forums, etc, I would say go with a '69 if you want a 427, or a '70 if you want the 454. Remember 68 was the first year for the new Stingray (Shark) body style and from what I've read, still had a few bugs. Remember, as far as driving experience goes, the newer the better. But of course, that's just opion as I can't speak from actual driving experience. I'm sure someone here will know better than me. :D Hope this helps at least a little. :)

T Jay
 

B/STOCK

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
188
Location
RI USA
Corvette
2000 Magnetic Red Vert & 2015 DSOM Coupe Z51-3LT
Congrats on your first Ameican car. Great Choice. I understand a lot of the parts for a 68 are year specific so they are expensive. The choice of the members seems to be 69. I sure someone more knowledgeable than I will give you some help. Good Luck
 

Tom Bryant

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7,304
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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Big Block Fever

jon81,

Welcome to the Corvette Action Center. Here is a couple cars from the dealer down the road from me.

http://www.proteam-corvette.com/cars/131R.htm

If as represented, it should be a nice original car. The 400 hp engines sell for less than the 435 but you still get the triple carbs.

Here is one that I would lean towards. These Shriner cars were ordered in groups, all identical, with non-Corvette colors. They have been well documented in the NCRS Restorer and are a very collectable car. Plus you won't likely see any other like yours at any show. This one seems well documented and would be worth a look.

http://www.proteam-corvette.com/cars/108S.htm

Tom
 
J

jon81

Guest
Hi Tom;

I've been checking out Proteam for a month or so. They look pretty reputable and I'm going to schedule a trip to visit over the next month. Don't mind buying from a dealer as I bought my 81 from Mershons

http://www.mershons.com
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,304
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Jon,

You will hear a lot of stories about people getting taken by Pro Team and some are true but may not have been intentional. As many cars as they buy it would be almost impossible for them to document that each was as represented to them. There is a lot of counterfiet documentation out there on cars that aren't what they are supposed to be. I'll bet Pro Team could buy a car that is a perfect counterfiet and then sell it without ever realizing what was up. They do seem to want to do right with a customer if a problem arises.

The bottom line is documentation, documentation, documentation....can't have too much. The problem is worse with the 435hp '67s. The 2 that I posted are probably good examples of safe cars to buy. Whatever you buy, check it over thoroughly or have an expert inspect it. The fee might just save you a lot of money.

Tom
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
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Messages
7,304
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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Jon,

Have you joined the L81 Registry? You and Bud have something in common.

www.l81vetteregistry.com

Dave,

I'm not a Shriner expert but I'm sure you have been to parades where you have seen the Tangier Shrine Patrol (Shriners) on horseback, Go karts, mini bikes and practically everything else in the parade. Our local Shriners had matching Stars and Stripes Corvair convertibles in the middle '70s.

Well, as luck would have it, some cities with better healed Shriner organizations bought matching Corvettes for parade and promotional use. Since they bought a group of cars, maybe a dozen or more, they were able to get them painted in a special color not available on other Corvettes.

Many of these cars have been repainted and a couple years ago there was a story in the Restorer about a '60 (I think) that, after being stripped, had a Cadillac blue as it's original paint. Further research verified that it was an original Shriner car.

Fortunately some of these cars have survived intact with all of their documation. One would be a very interesting car to show and enjoy. I like the color combo on the one at Pro Team. Wish I had room for a show car amongst my vast collection of parts that will someday be a '59 Corvette and a custom '69 C/10 stepside.


Oh...and one other thought. In reguards to Pro Team or any other old Corvette dealer. They are, after all, used car salesmen. It may be our favorite toy they are dealing in but used car dealers are just that, used car dealers.

Let the buyer beware.

Tom
 

maxrevs85

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Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
709
Location
Eaton Rapids, Mich
Corvette
!985 ,blue coupe, 4+3 Z51
Thanks Tom .I guess I didnt get the connection right off. But I also didnt know of this either.
I bought my Vette from a dealer that specializes in Vettes and muscle cars. I've know them for a long time and are pretty square I'd say. But its true that they realy dont know the history of many of the cars that come thru. Most of them that do make the claims about a car are pretty sure of the authenticiy or aleast have got enough docu. for them to make the claim. Oh yea , the place I buy mine at is called www.holtautosales.com They are in holt michigan near Lansing. They have acouple big barns full of them that are not all represented on thier website.
 
R

RalleyRed

Guest
As an owner of a 68 I can tell you that any well restored 68 will be as well built as any other Corvette.

It is true some parts are 68 only, and that does make part's more expensive.

One thing you want to think about with the big blocks is the parts used to build them, The 390hp and 400 hp were both 2 bolt main blocks, I'm pretty sure I read that the crank was cast in both too, maybe even the piston's and rods
The 435hp L71 and the L88 both got the forged parts and 4 bolt mains.

I'm confused by your statement that the 68's seem to be 10k more than the 69's. The 69 has always been more desireable, check some price guides or talk to someone in the know.

Welcome to the group and have fun with your 1st American toy.

Rick
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Holt Auto Sales

Dave,

I'm familiar with Holt Auto Sales and they do have some nice cars. I need to go take a look sometime. Older members will recall our extensive adventures in the '53-'62 Forum with a '62 purchased there by our friends from Cleveland, Rick and Donna (Solid62).
Page back to the early posts by Solid62 in the '53-'62 forum for a good education on getting a solid axle that had spent too much time setting back to roadworthy condition.

Tom
 

maxrevs85

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Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
709
Location
Eaton Rapids, Mich
Corvette
!985 ,blue coupe, 4+3 Z51
Man what a deal!!!.......I felt sorry for them. But I admire their spirited approach. I think it helped :). I guess you really never know until you gettem home. I happy to see they are slowly getting it together though. I do remember looking at that car . It was about the time I was starting to look for a car and before I decided on the Vette. The excellance of the club shown brightly with that experience. I'm going thru somewhat of the same with my 85. But , its mostly because I'm too picky when it comes to the mechanicals so most of my findings are typical of a car that is all original and has had decent care and high milage. Bushings bearings steering and oil leaks. Thanks for sending me on that adventure . I have to admit ,it brought back some of my old days of working on the hotrods of yesterday :D:D Great time.
 
S

Solid62

Guest
Holt Auto Sales

Hi, Tom, thanks for stirring me out of my coma! We have had a busy year and the 62 is currently sitting in the Garage, waiting for spring.

As for Holt Auto Sales, I'd say they were pretty much honest, though the sales pitch for the '62 wasn't competely square. They were well aware of the problems she had, Timing chain slippage, bad rearend, etc, but gave us the "She's just had abour $5,000 grand in mechanicals done and the poor previous owner is in debt" pitch.

Also, the odometer reads about 32,000 miles. Of course we got the "we aren't sure, but she sure looks good so maybe they are actual. However in Michigan, we have to give you an EXEMPT on the actual miles as it is the law" pitch also.

Since we were new to Solid Axles, it was a great learning experience.

The car is running great now that we have worked on it, but still needs a new paint job, new bottom end on the block, and some tweaking...


BTW, we traded the 74 for a bigger piece of fiberglass ( an nice boat) and got a really good return on our investment there. so were are happy so far!


Anyway, my advice is to be really careful and involve someone who really knows the C class you are looking for. This would have saved us a couple of thousand on the 62, if I had known what I was really looking at.


Save the Wave!

Rick
 

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