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68 Buying Advice



I'm looking at a 68 convertible for $10,000 that has the following three issues. I only have about $1,500 to put into it for this summer. The question is am I getting in over my head.

(1) Car has headers into non-stock side exhaust. It is too loud and I'm lloking for the least expensive quite fix. Mufflers in existing side pipes? New side pipes? Stock exhaust to rear?

(2) Car has Grant steering wheel on telescopic column, which now does not lock in position. Not sure if it is related, but steering does not go back to center by itself. Not hard but there is some resistance. Steering? Suspension?

(3) Car has some kind of elec. issue where a dash light, and perhaps some other componentdo not turn off, resulting in battery drain. Kill switch has been used as temp. solution.

(4) Last issues are non-functioning wipers and headlights. I don't care so much about wiprers. Can headlights be manually raised?

Body and top are fine, as are brakes, suspension, and frame.

I do not do repairs myself, so I have $1,500 to address these items.




Well-known member
Oct 12, 2000
Amarillo, TX
1981 UL5
pekoe1111 said:
I'm looking at a 68 convertible for $10,000 that has the following three issues. I only have about $1,500 to put into it for this summer. The question is am I getting in over my head.

Body and top are fine, as are brakes, suspension, and frame.

I do not do repairs myself, so I have $1,500 to address these items.


pekoe1111 ~ Welcome to the Corvette Action Center Community ~

Very good question. With all the things you mention, and things that are not on your list that will "pop up" I would say if you can't do most the work your self.. your $1,500 is not going to go very far.. here is Sunny Kalifornia, Corvette Shops (around Modesto area) charge between $78 to $89 per hour, most other shops charge $75 to $80 per hour. Remember this is just labor costs, and most have a 2 hour minimum :J plus parts

Any Electrical problem is NOTHING to ignore.. Electrical problems cause FIRES and FIRES and Corvettes is not a good thing.. :(

Good Luck in your search and Welcome aboard ;)

Dave L.

1968 convertible repairs

I agree with Rare81.$1500 might only get your exhaust system up to snuff.You are talking a-chunk-of-change to pay someone to address those items. It's amaising how fast your money disappears even when YOU are doing the work!Electrical problems can be nightmare.Be care-ful.;)


Welcome Pekoe!

My best advice:
(especially since you won't be doing the mechanical work yourself)
...is to buy the BEST vette you can afford. Mechanical repairs are expensive for almost any vehicle, but it seems Corvettes tend to gobble up even more $!
There are many later C3s in great condition going for around $10k. The chrome bumpers do cost a bit more, and if you have your heart set on a chrome bumper (very beautiful vettes!) for around $10k you will be looking at ones that do have mechanical issues, and they cost $ to repair.
In my 78 the headlights can be raised manually, but I don't know if our systems are the same. There is some kind of release under the headlight that will allow the headlight to be pushed up from underneath until you can catch the lip on top. Also in my 78 is a push/pull toggle under my steering column that allows the headlights to stay up all of the time.
Is this the first one you have looked at? I'd keep looking and keep your options open.
Happy shopping!


OK , lets see.
If this non original side pipes are HOOKER side pipes, you can get the so called reverse flow mufflers to slid inside the side pipes. You will not hear the exhaust anymore. 200 US$ the pair.
For the steering, I must admit, sounds tricky. So you have to force it back to neutral ? Not normal !!
The headlights can be manually raised and kept open as they have a overcenter mechanical lock when open.
Often, it's only a small part causing them not to operate.
I must agree to the others, if you don't do some work yourself, keeping a chrome bumper C3 on the road can become very expensive.
Just ask on how many hours, some forum members fix the car against driving hours.
The elctrical issue can also be tricky, but the battery cutoff switch is a good solution. I have the same on my 68 big block and it also is a insurance against fire when disconnected.
No power, no fire !
10 K sounds very reasonable for a 68 in the condition, you mentioned.
Chrome bumper C3's are just beautifull.
Good luck, whatever you decide.


68 vertte-10k I gotta say that's a great price for that car( if as you say) body,top,engine,drivetrain are in good shape. You will no doubt be spending quite a bit more than $1500 to get her where you want the car to be, but I think you can pull off making her driveable for 1.5k, assuming you do the work yourself for the most part. Tough call. I would have someone who knows C3 vettes take a look. A second pair of eyes can't hurt. I gotta say, I would grab it at that price if all looks good except for the items you listed but it's your money not mine so take your time and define your goals. :w

By the way. 68 vertte in nice shape fetching around 30k at a dealer!


Buy the vette,owners manual,assembly instruction manual,haynes manual,and a 1/2 decent set of craftman tools & fix it...ya gotta learn some time


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2001
Auburndale, Florida
1969 Killer Shark
If you don't have any severe rust problems on the frame, or around the windshield, then go for it. Remember, this is a long term committment, and an investment in fun, not a future return.

If it runs and drives, it sounds like you can spend the $1,500 tracking down the headlight problem, muffler inserts and enjoy the car all summer. Deal with the other issues over the winter.

However, if it is rusty, run....run fast, and very far. Just click on my home page link and click on the photos tab to see what kind of disaster can be hiding under that otherwise healthy looking car.

I am quickly running over the $40K mark, and I got my car for $1,500! (plus I do 99.9% of my own work).

Look at the frame just in front of the rear tires. This seems to be the most prone area to rust. It should be solid. Get a water hose, and run it down the windshield starting about half way up and slosh the stream back and forth over the glass into the side channel.

Look up under the dash, and feel the carpet for it to be running in. If you are getting water running in on the floor under the pedals and passenger dash..........RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You won't be able to tackle these kinds of problems with your budget.

Good luck, and post plenty of pics if you buy it!


If you can't/won't consider learning how to do most of your own work, you would be better off with another car. Like 69MyWay said, this is an investment in fun, not future returns. You will enjoy the car more if you work on it yourself. You will not be able to keep up with mechanical issues that this car is likely to have unless you can do most of the work yourself or you are standing by with a big pile of $$$$$. This is fun only if you can afford it.

Is the steering manual or power??
You can raise the headlights by reaching under the front and pushing them up to the stop where they will catch. But, the unexpected shower could make driving w/o wipers really dangerous......Be careful, be very careful!!!!!!!!

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