Despite its mostly carry-over chassis, the C3 Corvette was delayed a full year from its originally planned '67 premiere. This Nice Price or Crack Pipe convertible represents from that '68 debut year, and rocks a rare bottom-basement 3-speed stick. Does that and its price make it worth checking out without delay?
I called yesterday's 1985 VW Quantum Syncro wagon a car that time had allowed to fade from our collective memory. White noise with a longroof as it were. Contrasting to my opinion, you all thought it was worth remembering, and fully 79% of you also felt it was worth its tmodest asking price. I won't soon forget that.
The C3 Corvette generally falls into two distinct generations. There's the early, chrome bumper cars that were driven by astronauts and when equipped with a big block could literally shake the air like rising rocket. Then there was the later rubber bumper cars. Emasculated by emissions controls and fuel economy demands, they were favored not by spacemen but by fading porn stars and mid-life crises sufferers.
Fortunately this 1968 Corvette convertible is, like Tang, the choice of spacemen. Well, maybe an astronaut would have spec'd the car a little differently, as this one is said to be one of only 326 '68 'Vettes to have been built with the car's base drivetrain, featuring a 300-horse 327 and an all-synchro Saginaw 3-speed. Yup, a Corvette with a 3-speed stick, now you've seen everything.
Now, if you have a yappy little engine that's all about the revs then you're going to want a whole basket-full of ratios in your gearbox with which to play. If however, your mill offers decent torque - like this recently rebuilt 327's 360 lb-ft - then you can make do with a lot fewer. Also, think of the effort you'd save not having to shift into fourth!
The car was originally painted International Blue, and the ad says it was one of only 28 cars so hued with the 3-speed. It's now brown and would probably require a respray to make it original. Or, you could just leave it as-is because, well, it's brown.
Painting it blue might require a new soft top as the current one is a rather unfortunate, and chinzy-looking, brown vinyl affair that appears to have been taken from someone's '60s kitchen breakfast table in Tacky Town.
Fortunately, there is a hardtop that comes along, so conceivably the soft unit wouldn't have to ever see the light of day. What will however are the car's side pipes which seem to be de rigueur for these 'Vettes and look awesome.
The rest of the car shows its age, but looks perfectly serviceable for car meet duty if not the concours d'elegance. These '68 models have a lot of unique this-year-only features, including pushbutton external door latches, a dash-mounted ignition switch, black-painted grilles in front, and a lack of a Stingray script on the side. These also had a rep when new for manufacturing issues, but those should have been sorted out on this car long ago.
The seller is asking $22,000 for the car, although there's another ad - a dealer ad - that has it priced at $24,995. Screw that, we're going for the Craigslist price. What do you think about this C3 with a 3-speed for $22,000? Is that a deal, or is this an astronaut car with a price that'll scrub its launch?
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