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Discussion Starter #1
I am a long time novice enthusiast of the corvette c3's. I hope to soon join the elite group of owners, but wanted to see if anyone could offer some purchasing advice. I really like the 68-72 convertibles, and would like to know if there are significant pros/cons to look out for. Ex: Am I to assume that all the bugs were worked out by 1972 vs the 1968? I am not looking to spend a ton of money up front, as this would be a "work in progress" vehicle. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!
 

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DC Crew
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1968 - Received a completely redesigned exterior and interior. No longer called the "Sting Ray," and not yet called the "Stingray." Coupe featured a removable rear window and removable roof panels referred to as "T-Tops." Hidden headlights were vacuum operated. British Green was the top selling color choice chosen by 57 more buyers than the second place color choice, LeMans Blue. A new three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was introduced.

1969 - Now called the Stingray. First year for newly designed optional side-mounted exhausts. A 350ci engine was introduced. Wheel width was 8".

1970 - Fender flairs were increased. Front fender louvers were redesigned. Optional engine displacement was increased to 454ci. The LT1 350ci option utilized solid lifters and produced 370hp. A special purpose engine package, built around the LT1 engine, was designated RPO (ZR1).

1971 - Low lead fuels required the lowering of engine compression ratios. The LS6 454 engine option was rated at 425 HP.

1972 - Little external differences distinguished the '71 and '72 Corvettes. Beginning in 1972 horsepower would be measured as "net horsepower," whereas previously it had been measured in "gross horsepower." The exterior color choice of Pewter Silver was only offered in 1972.

1968: 28,566 Coupes: 9,936 Convts: 18,630

1969: 38,762 Coupes: 22,129 Convts: 16,633

1970: 17,316 Coupes: 10,668 Convts: 6,648

1971: 21,801 Coupes: 14,680 Convts: 7,121

1972: 27,004 Coupes: 20,496 Convts: 6,508
 

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You assume right. I have been told by a number of people that the 68 and 69's have some peculiar "one of" characteristics that can tax your patience getting parts etc. My 72 is easy to get parts for and is not too awful bad to wrench on.
 

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DC Crew
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As you can see from the production stats, it's easier to find a '68 or '69 convertible.

If you aren't looking to do numbers matching restoration, any of these years would be a dream to own.

If you want original, I'd try for a '69 or newer to get the 350. But, they fattened up the car in '70... and I like that too.

Tough call.

But, any of these are great starting points to make your own custom cruiser.

What are your goals with the car? Show winner? Daily driver? Toy?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies!! Alot of knowledge out there! My game plan is to find a car in good condition (especially mechanically), as I am pretty good with the cosmetic end. I will use the car as weekend cruiser/toy. Something to be seen and heard in while driving. I am sick of the family SUV and need to feel and hear the roar of a chevy!
 

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:smokin: There's nothing like cruising in a C3:cheers:

BTW, we visited Savanah last spring. Very nice:cheers:
 

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My first Corvette was a '72 roadster, which I still have. Quality was OK, factory paint was terrible. The reason I bought it (in '72) was that I turned 25 that year and could afford the insurance.

But, from an investment and stock performance standpoint, the car is less desirable than the earlier C3s. It was the first year with peanut plugs and 8.5 :1 compression, so the car was a slug. Did a quarter mile in 16.20 - just a little slower than a stock '04 Corolla. Plus, the coupe does not have the removable rear window from the older models.

I solved the paint problem by repainting it with 25 coats of candy apple red and the engine problem with a balanced, blueprinted stroker motor using the original block (so the numbers still match). The only thing I'd still like to do is replace the TH 400 trans with a four-speed automatic from the '82.

If I were buying another, I would look for a '69 - 71 big block.

Just make sure you buy it more as a looker than a driver. I find it really tough to take it instead of my C5 other than to club events, shows, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you LoyalSince72. I was born in 71, so I am somewhat partial to this year, but want to make sure that my decision is the right one. Thanks for the input!

AlwaysWave - Savannah is great. Born and raised here, and spend alot of time in the historic district as well as the beach area. A convertible would be perfect.
 

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This is my first Vette and so far I love it!!!
I made a list of things I had to have... a complete car that was Red, convertible, 4 speed with A/C and in my price range..... i looked at cars in Florida, Georgia and Alabama for 4 months before I bought mine. To me the year ('68-'73) was not as important as getting a good foundation for the car i'd be driving for years to come
Good luck in your search!!!:cheers:
 

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LoyalSince72. The coupe does have the removable rear window....but that's beside the point, Stingraze wants a convertable.

I guess the bottom line is (as always) when you see the Vette that matches your wants and wallet, you'll buy. My advice is buy one you feel comfortable with driving in the rain. My 72 is a cross country car. No numbers matching, and the smiles never cease.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello JCSwm - Sounds like your search was primarily in the SouthEast. Any tips on where you looked? Yours is a '73?


Quick call LoyalSince72. I would consider T-Tops if I could find a mechanically acceptable vette in my price range. (I won't budge on the side pipes):agree:
 

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There were several in Tampa and Atlanta 6 months ago CARS.com has the listings from all the papers that's how I found mine..... in Pencacola Fl.
I will be adding sidepipes to mine in the very near future!!
For now mine is a bone stock, numbers matching '73
 

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I have a 70 Cpe so I am somewhat prejudiced.

The pluses+++
T-Top and removable rear window make it just like a convertible with a roll bar.
Body is more stable than a vert. Tops on will keep you warmer than a vert.
Last year before detuning and pollution controls robbed HP. 68-70s really go.
Fender flares keep stone chips to a minimum.
Engine choices from 350 to 454.
CHROME BUMPERS-front and rear
Most parts common to 70-79's easy to find.(68's had many 1 year only parts. Some for only part of the production run)
The minuses----
Strike shortened production year. Only 17,000 built. Harder to find.
If you are over 6'2" headroom could be an issue.

My advice is to buy the most car you can afford in the best condition. Then drive it and enjoy it. A fixer upper will be a money pit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks red70vette - I tend to agree with you on the money pit route, but I definately am not in the "show class" market.

I was leaning towards the 1971, but you threw a wrench in that plan with the pollution control theory. How much does that affect the HP? As far as cubic inches, am I looking for the biggest engine I can find, or is that not necessarily a "bigger is better" application?
 

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Concerning the pollution stuff. Everything is off my 72 except the PCV. (Which is a good thing:) ) I pass the sniffer test by a broad margin. Matter of fact, the test numbers are real close to my 97 T-Bird with all the stuff on it.

Personnaly, I think the big block car doesn't handle as well as the small block.
 

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WOW.... Timing is everything ...... I just looked again, not much listed now .... If you don't find what u want.... wait.... you'll be glad you did!!!
 
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