Bargain-Priced Early C3 Convertible Has Flash, But Lacks Original Engine

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This car would be a fun cruiser for someone, but it’s missing 54 cubic inches.

This past weekend’s Memorial Day celebrations, filled with parades, cookouts, and tributes to fallen soldiers, has us feeling even more patriotic than usual. We took to Craigslist in an effort to find the most bald-eagle-flyin’, flag-wavin’, baseball-playin’, apple-pie-munchin’ Corvette we could.

This 1970 Corvette Stingray for sale in Akron, Ohio, is a¬† strong contender for that title. It’s got everything: a big-cube V8, a four-speed manual, side pipes, and massive Torque Thrust-style wheels. Best of all, it’s a droptop.

The glossy black paint offers the perfect contrast for the chrome bumpers, wheels, and side pipes. The silver wraparound rear stripe, something we usually see on Mopar muscle cars, seems to work here, tying the whole package together.

There’s some custom fiberglass work up front, with lovers over the front wheels. It’s subtle enough that we almost didn’t notice. While it’s not a modification we would have chosen, we don’t mind them.

Unfortunately, this Corvette hides a dark secret. While it was originally equipped with a 454 cubic inch big block, that engine is long gone. Now, a 400 cubic inch small block V8 resides beneath the hood. We’re sure it’s a potent powerplant in its own right, but there really is no replacement for displacement.

With all of that said, this car is somewhat bargain-priced at $18,500. There’s absolutely no way you could touch a big-block, four-speed early C3 convertible for anywhere near that.

Despite the language in the ad, this particular car’s status as a “future collectible” is in serious doubt. However, it should make for a great driver. With some work to set it back to stock, it could see its value increase. However, without the numbers-matching original engine, it will likely never see the sort of stratospheric pricing of an all-original car.

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Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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