Would You Even Dream of Buying an Automatic C1/C2 Corvette?

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C2 Corvette

Buying an automatic Corvette used to be a no go for most. But there are some valid reasons for making the switch.

In the old days, car guys would never dream of owning/driving an automatic muscle or sports car. Unless said car was used strictly for drag racing, that is. Otherwise, slushboxes were terrible, slow-shifting, performance-killing things. Today, of course, that’s changed to the point where many automatics are lightning quick and way better at shifting than we humans. But Corvette Forum member gjhinc was wondering recently – is anyone “crazy” enough to buy an old Corvette with an automatic?

“Would you buy a C1/C2 Corvette with an automatic transmission? I asked this question deep in the bowels of another thread. Maybe it’ll get a little more response here. I am interested in the results.”

C1 Corvette

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this topic is that there’s been a major shift in opinions over the years. Many who would never have dreamed of buying an auto have changed their tune. Whether it be due to bargain pricing or medical reasons.

“I certainly would if the price was right,” said dr914. “But not if I did not already own a four-speed. No real mechanical problems with the automatic, and it makes a non-power brake, non-power steering car easier to drive. No one these days drives old Corvettes for the handling, especially with bias ply gold wall tires like mine has. So downshifting into curves, heal-toe around the race track is just a thing of the past for these old beauties.”

“I voted no, but that comes with an exception,” admitted 68hemi. “If I had a medical reason for not being able to drive a manual then I would buy an automatic.”

“I’m a 4-speed guy as well, and I’m not interested in two-speed automatic sports cars,” said GTOguy. “That said, if I had a medical issue, if the price was right, etc. I would buy one. One thing I’ve noticed on pretty much all performance cars with automatics over the decades is that they are almost always cream puffs compared to their stickshift brothers. They tend to be much less abused and tend to still have their original drivetrains.”

C2 Corvette

All valid points, of course. But there are still plenty of folks who would never even dream of driving some slushbox classic Corvette.

“I once bought a 300 hp ’67 convertible with a Powerglide thinking it might somehow be cool,” said LouieM. “It wasn’t. I was appalled at how doggy it was and I sold it before long.”

“I can still drive a stick, so I voted NO,” added dahogan.

“No,” said Skid Row Joe. “I made the mistake of buying a new C3 L82 with an automatic transmission 43 years ago because it was a great deal. Lesson learned.”

So while it appears that the manual transmission still holds a special place in the hearts of many Corvette drivers, there are valid reasons for ditching the stick for an automatic. But we want to know what you think. Head over here and tell us if you’d consider buying an auto C1 or C2, and why or why not!

Join the Corvette forums today!

Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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