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Old 08-25-2011, 01:07 AM   #1
medic1555
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Default Can you guys look over a '72 I'm thinking of getting?

Hello all (again),
I've been in the market for a C3 Vette for a few months now. Problem was that I needed to sell a Harley i had before I could move forward. I found a guy nearby who wants to trade his 1972 for my bike and I was wondering if you guys could look over the pics and description and guide me through this. The book value of my bike is in the $18,000 range but they realistically sell in the $15,000 range. He wants to do an even trade. From what research I've done, the steel bumper cars are usually in the $15,000 + range depending on condition. I read the post about how to buy your first Corvette and one of the suggestions was to take someone along who had no emotional attachment to the car. I'm hoping you guys can be my initial "no attachment" reviewers. Do I need more pics? Do I need to ask any more questions?

Thanking you all in advance!

Sellers description: 1972 Corvette
-Its an auto, 350 w holly carb has 91k on it, I've done nothing major to it and previous owner says he didn't do anything. He had it for 18 years, my cousin says he thinks it has a shift kit in it but i don't even know what that does.

-The car has no apparent rust, i know it has been garaged for at least the last 20 years but would guess the twenty before as well based on the condition.

-Interior his very good, seats and carpet have been redone, has a new steering wheel on it but still have the original, have matching black floor mats with blue stingray written on them. dash looks good. Again needs a radio and new speakers.

-One nice thing that I bought was folding vinyl t-tops ($500 new) so that you can drive without the hard ones and not worry about rain.

-replaced waterpump, igintion coil, turn signal switch about 6 months ago.

-has big block hood for looks but also have original hood

-horn doesn't work, have the part to fix it but need compression tool to get to it and I don't have one, never needed the horn so it wasn't a concern of mine.

-hood has paint bubble about the size of a 50 cent piece, is the same size as when I got it and it hasn't cracked so I never fixed it. if it ever cracked I was thinking about putting a racing stripe down the middle. I get bored.

-Has small antifreeze leak. As with all the old vetts the interior gets really hot from engine heat after running it for 30 mins or so, so the previous owner had put a valve in to stop the flow of the antifreeze to the heating coil, it leaks, but not bad.

-Dash lights don't work, think the ground wire needs to be replaced asll all are out, was going to get to that when I decided to do the radio but never got around to it. I think I've only driven the care once at night so it never concerned me.

-I also replaced the thermostat when the waterpump was replaced.
Battery is brand new too.

Pictures he sent to me:

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Old 08-25-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
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My reaction to the pictures..

- Blue doesn't look like the correct trim tag blue to me -- however, some owners of blue 72's should weigh in on that. Maybe it's just the picture.

- Clearly not the original wheel & tire for that year

- Ignition shielding missing; wrong valve covers.

- Would want to validate the status of the drivetrain (ie: is it the original engine or NOM; correctness of dates.

- Interior. Wood around the shifter indicates deluxe interior. Would want to ensure that the door panels had the wood too. Also, the carpet should be cut pile -- rather than loop.

- Steering wheel not the original. Same for the radio.

- Seats look original at first glance but then I noticed the lack of the trim piece. Are those corvette seats? (someone jump in on this)

With respect to the $15k, given the 91k miles, potentially wrong blue, not sure about drivetrain.. to me it's a $12 - $13k car
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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These pictures appeal to emotions and they say "Buy IT" she's beautiful.
But you have to get past that and get some pic's of the front and rear bushings. Look at the frame for rust, look at the mounting bushings.
Some close ups of the engine so we can see what else is missing or not correct.

Electrical problems are rarely easy, the horn should have been fixed with the turn signal repair.

Antifreeze leak! From where? Could be a hose or a cracked block-need to check that out.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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These pictures appeal to emotions and they say "Buy IT" she's beautiful.
Yep, that's why I need impartial opinions. I'm a sucker for a blue Vette.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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The owner says he has done nothing to it, but it sure has a long list of things that have been done to it.
And the minor things broke could turn into a major headache, Just a ground wire problem with the dash lights?
get that one in writing!
Small water leak, then he should have fixed it.
Basiclly don't listen to the owner and have someone who knows something about vettes look at it.
Right now your harleys is real enjoyable riding verses a broke down vette sitting in the garage,
Check Ebay for real car prices, what they sell for on that site is what they are worth.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #6
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The blue definitely does not seem correct to me. Briar Blue is much lighter and Targa Blue is a bit deeper and not as bright (see pic of my Targa Blue 72). But with that said, it is still a VERY pretty ride. If you are more interested in a driver rather than an NCRS show car, then the shade of blue should not be a deal killer (hell, my car was originally Briar Blue, but the po repainted it Targa Blue).

I would definitely look at the mechanicals and as everyone says, check the frame and birdcage for rust. Trust me, you will get tons of advice on here which is invaluable, HOWEVER one thing you have to take with a grain of salt is when people talk price. When I was looking for a chrome bumper C3 I was told I should find a good driver for around the $12-13k area. Well I looked at a bunch around this price point and let me just say everything I looked at was a very rough driver at best. Not to say that there are a few good deals out there for that price, but I could not find one. I did pay a bit more than people on here would say I should have for my 72, but in the end it is YOUR money and the key is to come to a deal that you are happy with.

Just my 2 cents! Good Luck!


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Old 08-25-2011, 08:58 AM   #7
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I see a nice car, but I do not see $15K nice. Are you comfortable with the idea of the swap?

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:58 AM   #8
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Doesn't seem like a 15k car to me. I always laugh when the owner says they haven't done anything to the car yet there is a long list of repairs. i also always laugh even harder when the owner says he doesn't know something about the car ("my cousin says he thinks it has a shift kit in it but i don't even know what that does"), yet they are able to describe other repairs and possibly have done them themselves. If you get and own a 72, its almost a guarantee that you know a significant amount about cars or will learn very quickly....so all this BS I hear from sellers about not knowing their car...well....BS

I agree with the other member....just from the description, the things you will have to attend to and from what I've personally seen over the past few months...its a 12k car.

Do yourself a favor and check the frame, birdcage, etc.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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"Apparently no rust".... What does that mean? You looked at the outside and the interior and didn't see any rust? A car that has just sat for 20 years is NOT rust-free. Get your @ss under the car and LOOK AT IT. Open the doors and check around the sides of the windshield for bubbling of paint/rust/discoloration.

Just reading your posts, you definitely have the "gleam of the paint" in your eyes....so much that you aren't looking at the IMPORTANT stuff.

If the car will start, run it and drive it to check out all the operating systems: brakes, tranny, steering, suspension, engine operation, wipers, lights, everything! For each major system that is going to need repair of any kind, knock $1000 off the asking price. If you still want it when you REALLY check it out, make an offer per above method. If the owner is shocked and asks how you came up with something that low, tell him your method and inform him that if he wants to fix all that stuff, you will reconsider his $12K price...cause that's what it's worth if ALL THAT STUFF ACTUALLY WORKS LIKE IT SHOULD!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacecoast View Post
The blue definitely does not seem correct to me. Briar Blue is much lighter and Targa Blue is a bit deeper and not as bright (see pic of my Targa Blue 72). But with that said, it is still a VERY pretty ride. If you are more interested in a driver rather than an NCRS show car, then the shade of blue should not be a deal killer (hell, my car was originally Briar Blue, but the po repainted it Targa Blue).

I would definitely look at the mechanicals and as everyone says, check the frame and birdcage for rust. Trust me, you will get tons of advice on here which is invaluable, HOWEVER one thing you have to take with a grain of salt is when people talk price. When I was looking for a chrome bumper C3 I was told I should find a good driver for around the $12-13k area. Well I looked at a bunch around this price point and let me just say everything I looked at was a very rough driver at best. Not to say that there are a few good deals out there for that price, but I could not find one.
Ditto here. The steel bumper cars seem to be listed anyway for around $15,000 and up. I don't know for sure what they actually sell for though. I've looked on eBay which I believe to be a good tool to gauge national prices. Right now there are 18 1972's for sale, least expensive at $10,000 and 3 days to go. The 'Buy it Now' or Classified ads start at $20,000. I checked CraaigsList in my tri-state area and the least expensive is $14,500 with most starting in the $20,000 range.

The fact that the color isn't original is not a deal breaker and I'm mostly looking for a driver that I can tinker with. I just don't want to end up having to sink a ton of $$ into a car. Did that with a couple of boats.

I've had the bike for sale for about 2-1/2 months now. Started it off at $16,000 ($2,000 under book) and my last price drop was at $13,000. I didn't get a single inquiry. Bad economy? Bad time of year to sell a bike? Probably a mixture of both.

So I know to check the frame for serious rust issues. Someone suggested taking a flat blade screwdriver and tapping the frame to see how solid it is. I understand what the birdcage is and that it is prone to rust too. I've seen the pics of the really bad rusted out ones. But how can you really get a good feel for it when it's covered with trim and panels? I read a suggestion to take a white towel and lay it on the floor under the dash and then tap the outside bottom window frame and see if snows rust flakes. Any other tips?

One thing that has raised a red flag for me is this "heat" issue he mentions. Do these cars relally get that hot inside from just driving? He also suggested that if I drive it home from where we are supposed to meet that I should "stop and get some lunch about 1/2 way and let it cool down". This suggests to me a cooling issue, bad thermostat, bad heater core... What do you guys think?
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
"Apparently no rust".... What does that mean? You looked at the outside and the interior and didn't see any rust? A car that has just sat for 20 years is NOT rust-free. Get your @ss under the car and LOOK AT IT. Open the doors and check around the sides of the windshield for bubbling of paint/rust/discoloration.

Just reading your posts, you definitely have the "gleam of the paint" in your eyes....so much that you aren't looking at the IMPORTANT stuff.


There is ALWAYS rust on these cars. The key is to know what you are looking for. I looked at frames that "looked" clean but in the end they were just cleaned up and painted to hide the true rust damage. The 72 I ended up buying definitely didn't have the cleanest frame, but it was rock solid.. Just surface rust and dirt. Don't be afraid to pick at the frame, especially around the trailing arm pockets and kick-up areas.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
"Apparently no rust".... What does that mean? You looked at the outside and the interior and didn't see any rust? A car that has just sat for 20 years is NOT rust-free. Get your @ss under the car and LOOK AT IT. Open the doors and check around the sides of the windshield for bubbling of paint/rust/discoloration.
Don't yell at me...I have feeling too you know...lol!!!
That wasn't me that said "Apparently no rust", that was the seller of the car in an email to me. I haven't actually seen the car yet. The seller and I live 3 hours apart and plan to meet this weekend unless Irene has other plans. Thank you for your advise...although you did scare me a bit.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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if he is serious about the trade...he will pull the kick panels for you (next to your feet) Good view of the bottom of the birdcage and body mounts

see the pile of rust flakes on top of the mount bolt?

Click the image to open in full size.

here is one that is cleaner and in better shape

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Jclgodale3; 08-25-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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My car is targa blue ,and that car is close to it,its a beautiful car,i would offer him a little less for it ,due to the problems it has,but i would buy it if the frame had no rust and the bird cage was rust free.

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Old 08-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #15
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One thing that has raised a red flag for me is this "heat" issue he mentions. Do these cars relally get that hot inside from just driving? He also suggested that if I drive it home from where we are supposed to meet that I should "stop and get some lunch about 1/2 way and let it cool down". This suggests to me a cooling issue, bad thermostat, bad heater core... What do you guys think?
These cars are generally hot inside the cabin, but from my experience it is mostly from the exhausts running under the floor boards. You can actually feel the heat come up from them, which is why many people put insulation under the carpet to help on heat and noise.

Looking at the update from the seller, it sounds like the po put in a shutoff valve to stop the coolant from hitting the heater core and that the leak is coming from that valve. I would definitely get clarification on this.

As for looking behind the kickplates.. One thing you can do is take a digital camera and take a shot of inside the birdcage with the kickplates off. You can usually see if there is significant rust in there from that. In my experience, there always seems to be some surface rust in there for the most part. The big thing to look for is chunks of rust in there that has falled from the upper parts of the cage.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by medic1555 View Post
Ditto here. The steel bumper cars seem to be listed anyway for around $15,000 and up. I don't know for sure what they actually sell for though. I've looked on eBay which I believe to be a good tool to gauge national prices. Right now there are 18 1972's for sale, least expensive at $10,000 and 3 days to go. The 'Buy it Now' or Classified ads start at $20,000. I checked CraaigsList in my tri-state area and the least expensive is $14,500 with most starting in the $20,000 range.

The fact that the color isn't original is not a deal breaker and I'm mostly looking for a driver that I can tinker with. I just don't want to end up having to sink a ton of $$ into a car. Did that with a couple of boats.

I've had the bike for sale for about 2-1/2 months now. Started it off at $16,000 ($2,000 under book) and my last price drop was at $13,000. I didn't get a single inquiry. Bad economy? Bad time of year to sell a bike? Probably a mixture of both.

So I know to check the frame for serious rust issues. Someone suggested taking a flat blade screwdriver and tapping the frame to see how solid it is. I understand what the birdcage is and that it is prone to rust too. I've seen the pics of the really bad rusted out ones. But how can you really get a good feel for it when it's covered with trim and panels? I read a suggestion to take a white towel and lay it on the floor under the dash and then tap the outside bottom window frame and see if snows rust flakes. Any other tips?

One thing that has raised a red flag for me is this "heat" issue he mentions. Do these cars relally get that hot inside from just driving? He also suggested that if I drive it home from where we are supposed to meet that I should "stop and get some lunch about 1/2 way and let it cool down". This suggests to me a cooling issue, bad thermostat, bad heater core... What do you guys think?

Based on where you are at with the bike, assuming this car is clean on the paper work and you see no rust issues, and you don't care about originality looks to me as very worth while for you!! Most here are saying 12 or 13 thousand, well your not selling your bike yet for that price range, do it!
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #17
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He also suggested that if I drive it home from where we are supposed to meet that I should "stop and get some lunch about 1/2 way and let it cool down". This suggests to me a cooling issue, bad thermostat, bad heater core... What do you guys think?
DOH!

Why the break? There should be no need for such a thing. Something is wrong that he is not disclosing here. I'd be very leary of this car if I where you.

In addition to the over heating and any possible rust issues, you need to consider any suspension issues. This car could be a money pit.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:45 PM   #18
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DOH!

Why the break? There should be no need for such a thing. Something is wrong that he is not disclosing here. I'd be very leary of this car if I where you.

In addition to the over heating and any possible rust issues, you need to consider any suspension issues. This car could be a money pit.
What do you suppose the problem could be then? He said the water pump and thermostat was replaced so that leaves the heater core and radiator right. What is the worst case senerio and how much would it cost to repair (in parts if I did the work myself)?
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:56 PM   #19
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What do you suppose the problem could be then? He said the water pump and thermostat was replaced so that leaves the heater core and radiator right. What is the worst case senerio and how much would it cost to repair (in parts if I did the work myself)?
So he's replaced the water pump and thermostat and he's telling you to give the car a break half way home to let it cool down. Sounds to me that the car has some serious over heating issues that he's been chasing. IF he allowed the car to overheat in the past, it may have warped heads or worse.

Could need a radiator? Engine flush? Clutch fan? Correct gaskets around radiator? Lower radiator hose could be constricting under suction? Lower valance? Who knows?

The fact that he's been replacing cooling parts and warns you to take a break while driving tells me he's had major issues with overheating. Have a reputable mechanic look this car over. Check the engine and trans for damage from overheating. Check the cooling system. Check the suspension for worn parts. Check the brakes. Check the frame for rust. Check the birdcage and body mounts for rust.

Did I see Maryland plates on it? Do they use roadsalt? Check the frame kickups in front of the rear tires and the corner braces for rust.

This car could be worth $12-$15K if all is right, but like others have said, you could end up putting $5K+ into it if there are problems. Don't let the pretty paint fool you. Kind of like a hot chick with beautiful hair and nice makeup....what's she hiding underneath?
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #20
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What do you suppose the problem could be then? He said the water pump and thermostat was replaced so that leaves the heater core and radiator right. What is the worst case senerio and how much would it cost to repair (in parts if I did the work myself)?
I am wondering if he means that the inside of the compartment will get uncomfortably warm and not speaking about the engine actually overheating. But once again, this is something that you need to discuss and verify cause if it is overheating, that is a big red flag.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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