Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

How much should I offer on a basket case 71 Corvette ?



This car is sitting at a custom audio shop. It's body is straight except for the drivers door. I know paint and body work so I can fix the **** ups that some butcher has done. Vaccum units on the car are screwed, and will need work for the headlights to pop up. Missing the hood. The interior is rough- it is all there but it will need a definite cosmetic makeover. The engine is gone, as is the transmission. I'd say the rearend is "no so good". The front bumper has been dented(tow bar) and car comes with steel wheels. It appears to have been a small block car. This coupe is a very low 4 car.

I have experience with Muscle car restoration, and when I worked during the summer for my boss and friend at his body shop, we restored his big block 1969 Corvette Convertible, so I understand what degree of work will be involved.

One thing I do not know is how much I should offer as not to insult or ruin my chances of getting the car. I've paid what others have told me are ridiculously low prices for cars, so I am a bit jaded. If it were a steel bodied Mopar, like I normally restore- it would be a definite sub-$1k car. However, I recognize this car is a much different animal and may need a much different economic approach. I would very much appreciate your advice.

Thanks for having me.
Welcome to the CACC Mike. There are a ton of shark owners here that I'm sure can give you a good idea on what this car is worth. I would have to say that this car is probably worth 2500-4000. That might be a little high, but Chrome Bumper Sharks seem to be rising in popularity as they get older. But like I said, there are a ton of shark owners that are more educated on this subject than I.:)

Mike, Welcome to the CAC

I agree with Jason from your discription of the car. Chrome bumper cars, like this, that a couple years ago would be looked at as parts cars are now being saved. You will find many good drivers in the mid teens so figure closely what it will take to put it where you want it. If you want a numbers matching correct Corvette you would probably be better off to spend more and get a complete drivable car to begin with. If that isn't important you will probably be able to put this car together fairly reasonably.

Let us know how you come out or if we can help further.

Thanks guys !

That was really what I needed to know. I don't care about numbers matching as I would really like to use this car as a driver. My thinking is that any Corvette of this era is way too valuable for me to risking wrecking or ruining, if it is numbers matching.

I have always loved these cars, especially since getting my doors blown off by them, became almost an enjoyable task. This car would give me an excellent platform from which to work.

I will start out with a cash offer of $2000, and we'll work it out from there. It has been a long time since I have been to a Super Chevy show or a Corvette show, so my perceptions are a bit skewed on what these cars ought to cost.

Thank you for your time, and for having me. Hopefully I will have many more questions to ask.

Welcome to CAC! Sounds like you're going to have lots of fun with the '71. Good thing you can do most of the work yourself, I know it has saved me some major bucks with mine, however, we aren't going to do the body work ourselves and am now finding myself wishing I could!

I used to be a Mopar chick too - until the Vette bug bit me...
Check this thread out: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2301

Have fun and remember to wave once you get it on the road!
Barb :w
Welcome ChargerMike

Here's a Northern Georgia welcome comin' at ya'!
Transplanted, not native...but I'm trying to pick up the accent! ;)

Sounds like this project car will be enjoyable for you, we'd love to see pics of your progress!

Save the wave!:w

Silver & Hubby aka:Heidi & Ken
Couple Things to Check

I know you said it's a fixer upper but be sure to check for rust underneath and on the A-Pillars.

As for the steel wheels, they were the only thing you could get in 71, either with finned hubcaps or rally center caps and trim rings.

The old guys at the NCRS can give you a ton of other clues as to whether its a POS or a diamond in the rough. If it is a good project candidate, enjoy!

Good luck and welcome aboard! :W:
Old guys?

Aging discracefully and proud of it.

Did I say old?

Wait, I think I did. Hey 59Tom, if my math is right (at my young age I'm using that new math) I think my NCRS # is 25 times higher than yours. My guess is you joined when I was, oh lets say uh six years old.:L

But hey, we need someone to keep us in line - you know, a father figure. :L
.02 worth

Just my .02 about your pending adventure.

Because the original engine is gone the car will never reach the "excellent" book value status. Therefore, your future projected value is already thousands less than you might first imagine. Second, as you may remember from helping on that 69 resto, putting one of these jewls back together adds up fast.

If you are going to make a driver with some personal touch, nobody will be critical of you by starting with a pile of junk and no matching numbers.

I feel like $2k is about what it is worth in the present condition considering no engine/trans, body damage, ragged out interior, dented bumper, and missing hood. To replace all those items listed above and do the work yourself will easily run $7,000 or more. That is before you get into the nickle and dime items. That puts you around $10,000 as a finished project. I believe $10,000 is a fair market price for a decent non numbers matching coupe.

In the end, it is up to you. If you really like the car--do it. Even if it is $4,000.

I paid $1,500 plus a used riding lawn mower for my 69 Convertible. Basket case is a nice way to describe what it was at the time. Some people think I got a deal, others that have seen my sweat, tears, blood, and visa bill think I am insane.

You do what works for you. Maybe you can keep your final purchase price a secret and keep us all guessing.


Sounds like you have been there on one of these cars. My question is how do you mow the grass with the Corvette since you traded the mower off?

71 shark
There was an organizational meeting of the Classic Corvette Club in the mid '70s at the Holiday Inn in Fremont IN. The club later became the NCRS. I joined a couple years later but I was at that first meeting. I thought it was going to be mostly a '53-'55 Corvette club and my '59 would be too new. Imagine what my number would have been if I had joined then.

Mowing the lawn

Sometimes I feel a little guilty watching my wife push mow the lawn while I work on the vette.

I get over it though.

Maybe John Deere makes a mower deck that will bolt on the back of a '90 Corvette. :L :L

How 'bout a Vette mower!?

That's a little pet project idea I keep toying with. :L The green craftsman paint on my mower is looking kinda ragged so I was thinking of a frame-off mod. Maybe paint the deck Classic white and finish it off some spare shark trim pieces at home and there are always a ton more at Carlisle. If I ever attempt this I'll be sure to post pix and of course my home address so someone can come shoot me :r (if my wife doesn't first).


Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom