It’s always been said to “go big or go home.” Supporting that maxim, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Corvette has a big block mill that you can take home or wherever else you want. That is if the price isn’t too big a deal.
The comments on yesterday’s 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant heaped praise on the car but called into question its $19,955 price. In the ad for the car, the seller noted that they were in no hurry at all to move the metal. With the price earning an overwhelming 95 percent No Dice vote in our poll, that seems a sensible attitude for the current owner to have adopted.
Hey, when you think of the Apollo space program what springs immediately to mind? Is it the Moon landings? Maybe it’s Tang, the powdered orange-flavored beverage that the astronauts supposedly downed while in space. Honestly, since you’re reading Jalopnik, I’m going to guess that it’s neither of those two iconic aspects of Project Apollo. What I’m betting is that when you think of Apollo, you also think of the Chevy Corvette. It was, after all, the official sports car of the rocket-riding Apollo crews.
This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette 454 hails from the same year as the Apollo 14 mission, the program’s third successful attempt to land on the Moon. Even by that time, the new had worn off the Moon landings, and I’ll bet that today, most people can’t name the members of the mission’s crew. Not to leave you hanging, that was Alan Shepard, Stuart A. Roosa, and Edgar D. Mitchel. The Apollo 14 mission was the first, and eventually only trip into space for Roosa and Mitchell. It was Shepard’s second, having been feted a decade earlier as America’s first man in space.
Part of that earlier celebration included General Motors gifting Shepard with a white 1962 Corvette, thus setting up GM’s practice of making sure that America’s space heroes drove America’s sports cars.
There’s nothing in its ad to indicate that this Mille Miglia Red over beige convertible was ever owned by anyone notable, much less a spacefarer. What the ad does disclose is that the car is kitted in a way that might make anyone feel like a rocketeer.
That starts with the engine, which is an LS5 big block with 454 cubic inches of displacement and an 8.5:1 compression ratio. As spec’d, that mill pumps out 365 (gross) horsepower and 460 (again, gross) lb-ft of torque. How do I know these facts? Well, it’s noted right there on the console, right behind the shifter for the four-speed Muncie M21 gearbox.
Okay, so you get a hot mill and something for your left leg to do while driving it. What else does this C3 have to offer? Well, there’s that incredible styling, which looks like it was yanked straight off a spinning car show dais and shoved straight into the pleasure centers of our brains. There has perhaps been no more iconic look for the ‘Vette than that of the Mako Shark-aping C3 Stingray.
This one looks to be in damn-good shape with acceptable panel gaps, shiny paint, and bright chrome trim thrown in here and there. Each of the aggressively arched fenders is underpinned by deep-dish steel wheels wearing turbine center caps and bright beauty rings. Fat, raised white letter Goodyears keep the wheels off of the macadam.
The vinyl top, in white, looks like it doesn’t get a lot of air time, but seems serviceable. The only major gaffe on the exterior is a recalcitrant cowl for the windshield wipers that doesn’t seem to want to stay seated. Typically, the cowl raises on springs to let the wipers do their thing. When the wipers are stowed, the panel is held down by engine vacuum. The raised panel here indicates a leak, but that’s usually not that big a deal.
The interior looks completely stock, right down to the AM/FM radio. There’s a little bit of wear evident here, but again, nothing too bad. The worst of it is probably the fiberglass in the door jam that’s showing through where the paint has been abraded by a slight misalignment of the door.
The ad claims the car to rock its original engine and transmission, which is a big deal when you’re playing in this league. The car carries a clean title and, according to the ad, has just seen $3,000 in unspecified repairs. The seller claims the car “Runs and drives excellent” and is “very clean in/out.” The asking price is a cool $37,500.
What do you think about this big block ’Vette and that $37,500 price? Does that feel like a good deal to pretend you just took a trip into space? Or, is that too much despite all the car’s bona fides?
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