Is this ’69 Corvette a Dream…or a Nightmare?

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Corvette Forum member hopes a basket case ‘Vette can still be saved.

The 1969 Corvette is one of the most iconic and sought after models in the entire brand’s lineage. The early C3, available with a massive big-block V8 and side-pipes, all wrapped in a sleekly sculpted shell, it represents the height of the American muscle car craze. It was also one of the last Corvettes to be built before emissions regulations and the looming gas crisis crippled horsepower and performance.

But just how far would you go to own one of these Corvettes? How much time and money would you be willing to dump into a proper basket case restoration? That is the question on everyone’s mind when it comes to Corvette Forum member Mdonzi’s newest purchase.

A thread was started a few weeks ago about a mostly rotted and rusted 1969 Corvette listed over at Alex Cooper Auctions. Titled “Somebody Save this 69 TriPower Big Block 4sdp, Please!,” the thread quickly turned into a conversation about just how much work was needed to repair this pile of crumbling parts with wheels. Most agree that a restoration is basically impossible, with the only feasible route being swapping the drivetrain into a more solid shell.

But then a small bidding war took place over the car, and a machine that was listed with an estimated sale value of less than $3,000 sold for more than $6,000. Lots of people in the forum were interested, intrigued, excited and concerned about who actually bought the car. Now that Mdonzi has come forward and claimed the car, the conversation has shifted towards the “good idea, bad idea” commentary.

And frankly, it’s pretty easy to see why.


Is this a future dream car for Corvette lovers, or has forum member ‘Mdonzi’ just stumbled into a very specific and expensive circle of hell? 



While most 1969 cars still have reasonable pricing, with decent models available for under $30,000, there are some low mileage and rare iterations with six-figure asking prices. And the prices just seem to keep climbing. But with a car this dilapidated, is it even worth saving? Most everyone understands that a car restoration is most likely a money pit, but this could be more extreme than most, so we are asking you guys to give us your input.

Head over to the thread in the forum and sound off about what you think this car could be worth once it’s restored, and the costs you think it would take to restore it, and more. Obviously, we aren’t looking for anyone to bash Mdonzi for buying a car that some have called “unsaveable,” so please be courteous with your input. The Tri-Power L71 V8 is one of the more sought-after motors, and the manual transmission is also a high point. But mileage is unknown, and several of the VIN stamps and numbered pieces could be unreadable, ruining lots of the potential value here.

Is this a future dream car for Corvette lovers, or has Mdonzi just stumbled into a very specific and expensive circle of hell? Little information has been shared since the car was bought, so maybe this conversation can help get us some fresh information.

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Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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