Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today is the 4th of July - the U.S. Independence Day- and two hallmarks of the greatness we celebrate on this day are Chevy Corvettes and can-do attitudes. For today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe we’re waving the Stars and Stripes for both with a project ‘Vette that’ll let you get your build on. Of course that’s only if its price isn’t deemed un-American.

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, the first apparently arriving several thousand years ago across the then-open Bering Strait to discover a virgin wilderness resplendent with natural resources, and only like 30 Starbucks. A much later arrival, and one of mixed nationality, was yesterday’s 1989 Volvo 780 Bertone Coupe. And, while there is currently much debate in Congress over the costs of immigration, fully 92% of you felt this stately coupe’s price was well worth its admission.

America is a big place, in fact it takes up most of the Western Hemisphere all by itself. There’s South America, North America, and the sultry and equatorial Central America, and it's all made up of lots of individual sovereign states. Only one of those nations however has usurped the continent’s name for its own. That would be the United States of America, or just America to its friends, and the Great Satan to its many enemies.

Today is the day that we in ‘Murica, celebrate our independence from the tyranny of the British. We do so by spending the day watching parades, grilling tasty animals, and lighting off fireworks in reverence of the rocket’s red glare made famous in Francis Scott Key’s poem detailing the historic attack on Fort McHenry.


We’re not allowed to have fireworks in my town, owing to the age of most of the homes here and the inherent fire danger they pose. Instead, we are relegated by government fiat to create our oohs and ahhs clandestinely by lighting our farts to mimic the bombs bursting in air. It’s not quite the same, and is also of questionable legality, but dammit, they’ll take away my pooter pyrotechnics when they pry my butt cheeks from my crispy, dead hands. And, hopefully extinguish the nose offending flames.

Along with explosions and wanton acts of flag waving, one thing for which the 4th is known here is taking national pride in personal freedom- the NSA data proves it! In honor of today’s festivities our candidate is quite possibly the greatest expression of that national pride and personal freedom, the Chevrolet Corvette convertible.


Oh sure, a tattoo on your chest of Ronald Reagan nuking a terrorist from the back of a bald eagle while savoring a slice of mom’s apple pie and saying “there you blow again” might be a little more representative of this great nation of ours, but compared to a Corvette, not much.

This 1986 C4 Corvette is not only a drop top, but it’s also claimed to be one of 7,264 cars designated as Indy 500 Pace Car replicas. That’s because the convertible was a mid-year introduction and ALL of them were claimed to be Pace Car replicas.

The 1986 model year also saw the change from iron to aluminum heads on the L98 which dropped weight but didn't affect horsepower, which was 230 for the TPI-equipped V8. This one has the 4-speed automatic eating up some of those ponies, but seeing as the interior is half out of the car already, how tough would it be to drop in a proper manual gearbox?


That disassembled interior is one of this particular car’s greatest attributes, that along with the primer-painted bodywork. We all agree that you should never buy someone else’s project, but this drop top Vette isn’t a project yet. And there’s nothing more American than a roll-up-your-sleeves and dive into it project, especially one that involves the restoration of such an iconic symbol of America’s greatness. Booyah!

The body on this C4 looks straight and clean, there being no obvious flaws in either the fiberglass bod or RIM end-caps. I recommend painting it red, white, and blue, in that order. The top has a tear that the seller notes has been temporarily repaired, but which might require replacement. No problem though, you’d drive this bad boy top-down 24/7-365 regardless of the weather because. . . well, freedom.


Maybe it’s the aluminum heads that are the cause of the issue with the engine burning oil, but hey, that’s yet another American tradition, isn’t it? Regardless of that problem, the ad notes that a lot has already gone into making this American legend legendary once again. That includes new headlamp motors (gotta’ love the roll-over lights on these cars) , new window lift motors, and a bunch of ignition parts to ensure the car runs and drives.

There’s much more yet to be done, but I see this as a blank canvas awaiting the expression of a true American artist, you know, Norman Rockwell or Guy Fieri. It does come at price however, as nothing of value is ever gained for free. In the case of this Corvette, that’s $3,000 American.


You now need - before you head out to adorn your Schwinn with patriotic bunting and a card through the spokes - to weigh in on that price for this project Vette. What do you think, is paying three grand for this car, as it’s described, the American thing to do? Or, does that price make this one ugly American?

You decide!


Greenville Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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