For many enthusiasts of a certain age out there, including this writer, the C3 Corvette is “our Corvette” since it was the generation of our youth. (We envy the kids now who can someday claim the C8 was the generation of their youth!)
Which brings us to a current barn find on sale on eBay through Sunday night. So far, 11 bids have climbed as high as $4,850 for this very early 1968 convertible with a cool back story.
The seller tells us that this Safari Yellow Corvette carries VIN 901, meaning that it was one of the first 1,000 C3s ever built. Not sure if that really means anything as far as value today, but it’s still crazy to think that the St. Louis factory was just getting its feet wet on a brand new generation when this car was on the assembly line! Just think, C2 Sting Rays were being produced in this same plant just weeks before this ’68 was born.
“VIN number clearly states that this is number 901 on the production line, so she is as early as I have seen one,” he says. “For those of you who know ‘68s, the mirrors are mounted forward, seat latches are low, and expansion tank is dated from 1967.”
According to the seller, the car sat in a barn on a New Jersey soybean farm since 1979, per an inspection sticker, and he saw a cardboard ad for it on the back of a guy’s car at Corvettes at Carlisle in August and called the owner from there. “It took a few months for him to find the keys,” he explains, “but then I bought it.”
In fact, he says, “I bought it from the guy who drove it after high school. His story was that the owner before him was this popular kid at his high school and that the car was a beast with white top always up and these oversized tires on it for daily burnouts in the school parking lot.”
Unfortunately, all those years of being ignored since its glory days weren’t particularly good to the car, but it has an awesome amount of potential, though originality likely won’t be a part of its legacy.
The motor in the car has a pad stamp of CE2496, which the seller explains is an over-the-counter exchange motor, likely a 1969 350. “I have not attempted to turn the engine, but it is not seized,” he says. “As seen in the photo of the heads, she is clean and wet inside. In the days to come, I will hook a battery to it and see what works and if it cranks.”
As for the body, the original fender flares have been cut, and the seller explains that there are typical cracks around headlights, exhaust bezel, and driver side door, with a crack having been repaired at some point between the rear tail lights. The good news is that the frame has only surface rust, and the birdcage and windshield frame are said to be solid.
The wrong hood, a long style unit with no wiper override, is on the car now, but the seller says he has a “very nice” big block hood that is available for an extra $600.
He describes the black interior as having “driver quality” seats with no tears. Seat tracks are described as “good” on the driver side but “rough” on the passenger side (that could be replaced with a set from a 1970 seat the owner has in storage). Seat belts are said to be “rough,” the carpet is gone, and only the middle storage compartment door out of the usual three is still in place. The dash remains in “great shape” with a rare speed minder speedometer that won’t be included unless someone winds up paying more than $6,300 for the car. “I will swap out a working ’69 speedometer depending on outcome,” he says.
The seller concludes his listing by claiming he has been as honest as he can be about this Corvette, “but come see the car for yourself or send someone to do it for you.”
Though the car looks rough now, we can’t help but remember a beautiful red ’69 convertible owned by a neighbor of ours while growing up in the ‘70s.The potential is there for this one to be just as memorable; the question is whether someone is willing to take the chance and spend the dollars necessary. Let’s hope so.
[VIDEO] Family Ties: 1968 Corvette Restoration Creates Memories That Will Last a Lifetime
Corvettes on eBay: Alan Shepard’s 1968 L89 Convertible is Out of this World
[VIDEO] Catching a Ride in the 1968 Astrovette