One of the ultimate goals of an automotive restoration is get the subject back to as close to factory condition as possible, and the best way to start that is with a numbers-matching car. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Corvette is said to be just such a numerically-endowed example, but does its price match your expectations?
With its 80% Nice Price win and general fealty garnered, yesterday’s hot Honda-powered 1972 Celica proved that you can teach an old pony new tricks. That electric orange coupe demonstrated just what could be the end result of a vision, some mechanical aptitude, and a fat wallet. On the other hand, today’s 1970 Corvette Stingray is an example of where just such a project just might start.
The Corvette’s 1970 model run was constrained by a labor dispute that postponed its introduction for 4 months, limiting the year’s output to a mere 17,316 cars. Once the model did start rolling out of St Louis, the most noticeable change from the ’69 edition was the switch from four vertical side vents to a single egg crate design trailing a more aggressively flared wheel opening. On the inside, the seats were also redesigned to provide more pompadour room after a complaint from Elvis Presley.
Okay, I don’t know if the King really had anything to do with it, but suffice to say the otherwise flat and awful seats allowed a little more hat room for ‘70. This coupe wears what looks like Marlboro Maroon paint over a biscuit interior which houses a pair those more accommodating seats, again in maroon. There’s also a bunch of crap in there, including what looks to be the car’s cowl.
The detached parts are an indication of this ‘Vette’s status, which is project. The U-Haul trailer upon which it is sitting the ad's snaps is another good indicator. As project Corvettes go, this one sounds like a good candidate. The 1970 model year is about the apogee of C3 desirability, having been far better screwed together than the initial ‘68 model, but still relatively free of most safety, emissions, and fun constraints of the later years.
It’s also claimed to be a numbers-matching car, which is important to both OCD types and Concours judges who actually give a damn and aren't just trying to get out of the sun as soon as possible. Don't ask me how I know this.
Upon just exactly what are those matching numbers stamped? Well, under the hood there’s a 350/350, and behind that there’s a Muncie four-speed, although whether it’s a wide ratio or close ratio box is undisclosed.
The seller says that the engine fires and runs, and that the tranny goes into all gears but reverse. Parts and info for that bit are available on this weird-ass site, so that shouldn't be a deal breaker. The ad also states that the brakes are spongebob, and from the look of the car it probably needs a complete going over before ever again touching tire to pavement.
Considering the originality touted in the ad, it’s surprising how many non-original parts this ‘Vette possesses. There’s a set of latter model alloys that, while complete and at least from the right marque, still don’t look so hot on a chrome bumper car. The engine is also afflicted with Pep Boysia Craposia, suffering cheesy looking chrome accents and a non-stock intake/carb setup. Then there’s the aluminum rear end carrier that’s out of a much later C3, what’s that all about?
Overall, the car seems to be a solid contender for restoration, either of the every nut and bolt variety, or just a simple driveway wrenching and trip to the Earl of Scheib. Either way it doesn’t look like you could go wrong with this as a starting point.
That is of course unless you’re starting with the wrongs price to begin with. The seller is asking $8,700 for the car, and consideration should be given to the fact that it hasn’t had tags since ‘95, meaning back registration fees will also need to be added to the equation.
What do you think about that outlay for this numbers-matching Corvette? Is that a price that could make this a project with a lot of pros? Or, is that price simply a number that doesn’t match?
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