Advice on buying an old Corvette - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 07-09-2009
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Advice on buying an old Corvette

While this is an SLK forum, I'm not in other forums. I feel I won't get flamed as much as going into another forum and advice for advice on this. So I saw this ad for this 1977 Corvette. It's $7,200, I haven't gone to seen it in person (or in car) but it's the owest price I've seen without being messed up.



Am I out of my depth here? Is it a money bon fire? Any advice is appreciated.
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#2 Old 07-09-2009
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Seems way high for a 1977. Corvetteforums.com is an excellent source for all things Corvette. I purchased a new 1977 factory ordered Corvette back June 1977. I always wanted one but once I had it, I wasn't impressed. I'm not into old cars and the 1977 was the year prior to a major design change with the rear window. I'd pass.
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#3 Old 07-09-2009
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I've seen them even higher, people don't know what they have. They think this is Barret Jackson or something. I haven't seen one lower than 12,500 in months. I have even seen a '72 trying to sell for 28k. Most 80-82 are getting listed at 12k. 68-72s no lower than 15k. All of them with the 250 engine.

These people are people are dreaming:

http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UD...nuncio=1212201

http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UD...nuncio=1183051

http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UD...nuncio=1191753

http://www.clasificadosonline.com/UD...nuncio=1195459

I'm also considering this '82 white one:



I think it would make good contrast with my black SLK. The main idea behind the vette is having something to share with my dad. He always wanted one and never could have one. Now he's sick and I don't want him to go without having the things he really wanted to have in life.

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#4 Old 07-09-2009
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I had a 1971 Convertible, but 72 was the last year for front and rear metal bumpers, 73 front rubber, rear metal. 77 is not the most desirable year in the run. For my money you may want to go with the 80-82 or 68-72. The 77 was a pretty low rated HP engine. Look for rust under the windshield trim and cowl area. Make sure everything electrical works. The heater/ac controls can be an issue.
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#5 Old 07-09-2009
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Thanks Sulley that's great advice. I have been looking at more and more 80 -82. They seem to be the most comfortable and my dad is a big fellow. Also they seem to be in better condition. Even if it's only 350 on an automatic transmission it would be the best for him to drive. the 68-72 always seem to be over 20 grand.
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#6 Old 07-09-2009
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I had a factory ordered 1979 Vette, Blk on Blk, that I drove for 13 years. '77 not an overly great year, base engine was ~165 hp. '68-72 are up in price because you could still get big blocks or LT1 small block and they were pre-emission regs so still had decent compression ratios and HP.
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#7 Old 07-09-2009
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I would definetely try to get a sheap 68-72 but I am not looking to get into a project. So I think 80-82 is the way to go, I think I can get one in the $7000-$7500 range.
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#8 Old 07-09-2009
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The 80-82 is a nice car IMO. Good lines and a nice ride.
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#9 Old 07-13-2009
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Small updates, saw 2 today and they are torn to shreds. Horrible salesmen too. I drove 2 hours. And they were beat up. A white 82, was crashed on the back. The glass t-top was broken. the interiors were rotted. And it had rust on the doors. The guy kept saying that 82 was the valuable year. He was delusional. All the corners were chipped off. He wouldn't go lower than 10k and I wasn't even offering. I wouldn't take it free. The other one was the 1980, interiors were better but it had rust and the paint was horrible, blotchy, missing, fixed on the cheap. no radio, the center console was held together with twist ties. Wanted 9,500, I didn't even make an offer. Are people going crazy nowadays?
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#10 Old 07-13-2009
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The 80-82 is a nice car IMO. Good lines and a nice ride.
Yes, I sat in the 80 and the seat felt very comfortable, even better than the SLK.
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#11 Old 07-14-2009
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66/67 factory race prepped 427, the only way to go!
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#12 Old 07-14-2009
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Seems like there's a lot of love here for this classic american roadster! I'm happy I brought it up. Going to see a couple more tomorrow.
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#13 Old 07-14-2009
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I almost bought an L-88 for 4 grand back in the early 90's. Unfortunatly it drove like a truck, so I didn't. Later on I found out about the rarity of those vettes.
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#14 Old 07-14-2009
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I almost bought an L-88 for 4 grand back in the early 90's. Unfortunatly it drove like a truck, so I didn't. Later on I found out about the rarity of those vettes.
Ouch! I would be kicking myself everyday for that! There was a time where you could get good deals on old cars. Nowadays it seems like everyone thinks they have Barret-Jackson rotting away in their garage.
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#15 Old 07-14-2009
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Well, here is my thought!

Don't take a new ZO6 for a ride! Its a monster! Gotta love it!!! If GM ever gets the interiors to look like a $75K Sports Car than they would sell very well against the Euro Sporties!
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#16 Old 07-15-2009
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Originally Posted by Eduardo View Post
Seems like there's a lot of love here for this classic american roadster! I'm happy I brought it up. Going to see a couple more tomorrow.
My very first memory of a sports car was a 1969 corvette (427, 4spd... I didn't know that at the time). I was probably 9 or 10 (about 1983)

The story goes like this.....

Neighbor across the street had a party one night. Him and one of his friends decided they were going to go riding around the neighborhood on the minibikes he had bought. The neighbor's friend ended up wiping out and hit his head on a curb.....he died.

He had this corvette in his garage which was in the middle of an engine rebuild. His wife brought it to my Dad to finish off so she could sell it. I still remember begging my Dad to buy it.

Anyway... once he had the engine finished he took it out for a test cruise (or maybe 2 ). All I remember is fishtailing, the sound and smell of spinning tires and speed. I've been hooked on cars ever since.

I would tend to go for the 80-82 vette as well. The older ones are nice, but if you're price conscious you'll be hard pressed to find a pre-72 car for cheap without it being a "project".

I also feel ya with the barrett-jackson fever. However, there's not much you can do when they own the car other than wait.
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#17 Old 07-15-2009
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Originally Posted by Soelas View Post
My very first memory of a sports car was a 1969 corvette (427, 4spd... I didn't know that at the time). I was probably 9 or 10 (about 1983)

The story goes like this.....

Neighbor across the street had a party one night. Him and one of his friends decided they were going to go riding around the neighborhood on the minibikes he had bought. The neighbor's friend ended up wiping out and hit his head on a curb.....he died.

He had this corvette in his garage which was in the middle of an engine rebuild. His wife brought it to my Dad to finish off so she could sell it. I still remember begging my Dad to buy it.

Anyway... once he had the engine finished he took it out for a test cruise (or maybe 2 ). All I remember is fishtailing, the sound and smell of spinning tires and speed. I've been hooked on cars ever since.

I would tend to go for the 80-82 vette as well. The older ones are nice, but if you're price conscious you'll be hard pressed to find a pre-72 car for cheap without it being a "project".

I also feel ya with the barrett-jackson fever. However, there's not much you can do when they own the car other than wait.
Good story. The white 1982 Corvette was in ridiculous condition. He had smashed into it with a lawnmower in the back bumper. Broken t-top obvious water damage inside, all carpets rotted and the door full of rust. He wanted $10k and I wouldn't take it free. He kept saying over and over "this is an '82 this is the valuable one" like over and over. I was on the verge of being rude to him but I udnerstand I gain nothing from it and neither does he. I just say "I'll call you later" and walk away. I just called a guy today with 66 Corvette which by his own admission on the ad "is not in good condition" he wanted $45k for it. I said "thank you" and hung up.
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#18 Old 07-20-2009
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Well another pdate I saw an 80 Corvette today it was in decent condition. The guy asked 6k, but it's not matching numbers. I really don't know if i should walk away. I wanted to have a nice Corvette to drive here and there but I dunno about the engine.
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#19 Old 07-21-2009
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$6000 doesn't sound too bad. Especially if it's negotiable. Did you get a Carfax report?

The numbers matching doesn't really mean a whole lot unless you're wanting it to be a collectors item some day. IIRC, you're not too concerned about that.

As far as the engine goes, you can do a compression check (or have someone do it for you) while you're doing a mechanical inspection. You could also pull an oil sample and send it in. It won't tell you everything, but it can help rule out any major problems (Major wear, coolant leaks).
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#20 Old 07-21-2009
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So my first car was a '67.5 Mustang fastback - was a project car for me and my dad (my dad, mostly) and we had a ball rebuilding the car and getting it into a drivable condition.

One thing I learned is that you need to be a mechanic or have deep pockets if you want to keep a classic running. They are the simplest things to learn on, and you rapidly find out that an investment in good tools is key. Time, space and patience are helpful as well - we spent the better part of a year before the car was even drivable, and then an additional 6 months finishing it off.



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