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Woe is me!



Well my search for a Vette is getting very messy. I'm going through that stage of "What do I really want?" and the "Ooooh, I'd look good in that one!" Is this normal?? :crazy

My problem is that I'm looking to the future of a project car. Eventually, whichever shark I decide on will be retrofitted with a newer fuel injected motor (LT1 or LS1). I'm split between a 70-72 chrome bumper or an 80/81 long nose.

If I get a 70-72, GM markets a LS1 performance crate engine with wiring harness, ECM, and fuel injection. I wouldn't have to worry about emissions equipment, unfortunately the chrome bumper is a cost prohibitive model to purchase. I'd have to buy from the dealer because frankly I don't have 10,000 in cash just laying around. Of course the dealerships all want 16,000 and up for these years.

If I get a 80-81, GM does not market a performance crate engine fuel injected that will meet emissions equipment standards for these years. This leaves me with converting an LT1 probably from a wrecked Corvette and transferring over the entire system. Either way the project's going to cost in the long run. But I can purchase an 80-81 cash right now. I just don't know how feasible this is going to be for my project.

Anyone want to throw ideas at me?
If I had a Shark, I would prefer a chrome-bumper Shark, preferably '68 or '69. :cool
KK1727 said:
.. .. ...Anyone want to throw ideas at me?

KK1727 ~ Just a couple of questions ;)
  1. Do you presently own a Corvette?
  2. Have you every owned a Corvette?

The reason for my questions is this.. If you have not had a Corvette before I would suggest finding a Corvette that you can drive daily and go to Corvette Events with. Do a few shows and even some auto cross racing. Then settle into a project Corvette. The SHARKS are nice, but there is a lot to be said about the C4.... performance and handle and ride .. Guess my idea would be have a Corvette to enjoy and meet some great people along the way... and you may even find that 70~72 or 80~81 your looking for when you least expect it :D

What ever you decided be sure to post pictures and the story here too.. ;) Good Luck... the search is as much fun and sometimes more fun than finding the car... ;)
It's simple

I have two sugestions, and they are 1) Listen to what Bud said, and 2) Leave it stock. Contrary to what some people believe, a shark is a very fun, and usually, plenty fast, even with an old stock 350. My personal feeling is, if you want to change a lot of things, try to find one that is pretty much trashed. They are, usually cheaper, and why buy a "numbers matching" when you are going to change everything anyway..........Steve
my opinion


I agree with Bud and Steve. The easiest way to loose interest in the Corvette hobby is to have a long term project around that you don't have the time or finances to finish. That's why you see so many Corvette (and street rod, muscle car ect.) projects for sale. Believe me, I know. My '59 has been apart since '71, through several moves, 2 familys and even in storage for a couple years. It's very hard to get interested again in a project that old.

By all means get the '80/'81 that you have the money for. You will get instant satisfaction and be right in the middle of all the fun. I really enjoy the '81. It is a dream to drive, rides well, always looks cool (never get tired of the styling), and it will handle better than I am likely to ever need on the street without having to post bond. Even though the horsepower figures aren't so big, these engines are built for torque and feel like a rocket when you stand on it. Especially if your regular daily driver is a 4 banger or Mack CH.

Shop around. There are many fine examples of these years for sale. Have it inspected by a knowledgable Corvette guy before purchase and you will be a happy Corvette owner. :J


I have to agree with everything, everyone else has said. Go with what you can afford now and enjoy driving now! Get to know the corvette if you haven't previously owned one. A long term project can be very disheartening. Have fun! :w
I just bought a 74. It was a good runner but had it's defects. I bought it at a project car for me and my son to work on and right now all the other chores get put off. Had a paint job put on it first, then redid the interior. Gonna redo the transmission to a 700r4, then save for a new crate engine and front suspension. It is unbelieveable how much car parts have went up, I figured out that I have to do this thing in stages, but want it running as much as possible for FUN! It's a numbers matching car, but I think I can do everything and still have the original stuff hanging around. I don't think I'd ever sell the thing anyway.

Wamp '74
I can appreciate everyone's opinions. Myself, I'm not a 'stock' kind of guy. I think that it's a good thing to mate new technology with the old styles. I love both the steel bumper and the long nose styling. The C3 has the most beautiful lines around. Whatever I decide on, I'll be driving it stock... but not for long. I currently drive a '93 Camaro 275 hp LT1 with the T-56 6-speed. And I want more horsepower out of this. I'm looking to the future of what can be done, not necessarily right away. I can appreciate a stock car for it's own beauty. Still the advances in automotive engineering would give any older vehicle better handling, braking, fuel efficiency, and all-around driveability. Case in point my friend drives a 72 Chevy pickup. about the only thing left stock is the body parts, and they are mixtures between the '68 grille and '70 hood with a 72 Cab and '70 bed. He bought a completely redesigned tubular chassis with independent suspension on air bags for lowering. It drives like a dream and is a excellent improvement over the stock vehicle. I'm not worried losing money in the value of a Vette if it is modified. I've always wanted a C3, so the one I get will be never be sold. That being said I'm going to spend the money to buy a good running decently maintained Vette so I can drive now and decide what I really want to do with it later.
Another idea...

If I get a 70-72, GM markets a LS1 performance crate engine with wiring harness, ECM, and fuel injection. I wouldn't have to worry about emissions equipment, unfortunately the chrome bumper is a cost prohibitive model to purchase. I'd have to buy from the dealer because frankly I don't have 10,000 in cash just laying around.

I started saving up for my chrome-bumper shark thinking it would be a while before I found the one I wanted. Amazingly, my dream car surfaced within 6 months, which left me wondering, where can I get the $$ from (it was with a private owner)? Because these sharks are collector cars, banks and credit unions are more than willing to give you a loan for them (and they understand the value of the vehicles). I got a 4 year, $14,000 loan for my 1971 in 1997. But now she's paid off and she's mine, all mine!

Good luck and happy hunting!
I got bitten by the shark while looking for a street rod project for me and my 13 year old son to work on. We looked at old hemi's, Nova's, small pickups etc. We both like F1 & WRC so we distressed at only having straight ahead speed. We picked up the 78 Vette for $2700 and drove it 4.5 hours home. The body was intact as was the interior, wheels etc. Just a real tired car.
The body off mechanical resto is complete with the only nasty surprise having to sazall off and replace the body mounting points. All that's left is some minor body massaging and paint.
Including the price of the car, all in will be about $15k.
The point is that these cars are a great value right now and will only go up. Why?
1)They are Corvettes
2)They are almost 25 years old and therefor for most States don't require emissions inspection enabling the radical modifications that make street rods so much fun for occaisional use
3)Classic/Street Rod insurance is cheap
4)Parts are readily available and reasonable
5)They handle
6)Fiberglass enables you to drive the car while you complete the bodywork
7)They are simple to work on

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