At first glance, you might think this 1973 custom Corvette wagon is just another kit car.
But according to a current listing on eBay, it’s actually the creation of a former GM designer named Harry Bradley, who also designed 11 of 16 first-edition Hot Wheels cars and taught at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California for 35 years.
The listing calls this car “a work of art,” and we’d tend to agree. However, that doesn’t mean some pieces of art don’t need a little restoration as they age.
And this 1973 Corvette is no exception. It’s suffering from the after-effects of an accident in 1997 and has not been roadworthy since.
The seller admits the car, which is not driveable in its current state and has been stored for more than 20 years, needs a complete front to rear restoration, including the steering, body, and drivetrain.
“With the proper restoration,” the seller claims, “this car will be the museum piece it deserves to be, and could be easily worth six figures.”
If you’re of a certain age, you may remember seeing this car featured in prominent Corvette magazines back in the day, including the front cover of Keepin’ Track of Corvettes Vol. 4, Corvette News Summer Issue 1982, and Petersen Deluxe Corvette an American Classic 1978.
A lot of thought went into the creation of the car, according to the listing, and indeed it took three years to build at a cost of $25,000. The original owner was Mike Betterton, and key people involved with its production, besides Bradley, included California Glass Bending (all the glass work, including quarter windows that wrap up and over the roof to create a bright interior), Bud’s Garage in Torrance, California (electrical work, including the use of the 1971 Thunderbird rear taillight specially modified), and Creative Car Craft (side pipes and bright metal detailing).
In the words of Harry Bradley: “This Corvette Hatchback Coupe was designed and constructed to give the owner a vehicle that was as close to a factory prototype as possible. The intent was to develop a quality special vehicle, not another Corvette custom car.”
Besides the roof design, perhaps the most dramatic feature of the car is the front end that featured six rectangular GM headlights placed in a horizontal bar to create a totally legal light bar. Four of those headlights are still in place, but the car needs serious fiberglass work around them to repair the apparent effects of the crash.
Still, this car is such an unusual piece of Corvette history from the 1970s that it deserves to be restored. Here’s hoping that someone with the necessary financial means will be drawn emotionally to this car and bring it back to life.
Are you that person?
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