Big Block C3 Corvette Barn Find is a Curious Case

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C3 Corvette

With a fresh paint job and ratty interior and engine bay, this 454-equipped C3 Corvette comes with lots of questions.

These days, low-mile survivor Corvettes are coming out of the woodwork at a record pace. With folks finally beginning to grasp things like patina and rat turds, it’s easy to see why. But there’s just one little problem with all of these incredible finds that are suddenly emerging from decades of storage. And that’s the fact that you just don’t know whether to believe these incredibly low mileage claims. Which is why we’ve got the urge to cry uncle on this big block C3 Corvette.

The ’73 model emerged recently from both a barn and eBay. According to the seller, the car was driven 24,000 miles, placed on blocks in 1986, and never started again. Interestingly, they also note that it was repainted at some point. Which is one of many red flags here, ones that would probably have us thinking twice about overpaying for an otherwise intriguing car.

C3 Corvette

For starters, the condition of the engine bay and interior read more like 124,000 miles than 24,000. Both are in pretty dire shape and in need of some serious tidying up. It just seems like excessive wear and tear for the claimed number of miles. And yet, the repaint looks fairly recent. Why would someone go to the trouble of painting a car only to have it sit in storage for decades? More likely, the seller had it done to entice potential buyers.

C3 Corvette

Of course, this is nothing more than speculation. But we’ve yet to see a 20k mile car with such a tired-looking interior and engine bay. Regardless, for the right price, this C3 Corvette is a pretty cool score. Its 454 V8 might not be the most powerful big block in Corvette history, but 390 lb-ft of twist undoubtedly makes it fun to drive. Just be warned, this seller doesn’t know if it runs, either, so even that might prove to be an issue!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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