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I'm thinking of buying.. HELP!!!!

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Old 12-15-2017, 01:25 PM   #1
Just1More
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Default I'm thinking of buying.. HELP!!!!

I found a 1979 black on black 350/auto. It needs work, needs a re-paint. It was supposed to be a father son project but the dad died and the son wants it gone. I have not seen the car in person yet but the son is pulling the kick panels and getting me pics of the bird cage, says it's clean. As well as the vin # so I can research it.
The dad pulled the engine to fix a cracked flex plate, clean and paint the engine compartment so the engine is out of the car. Son says he's not mechanic enough to do anything.
I can get this thing for about $2500.... Seems like a steal to me but i'm gun shy and know very little about Corvettes.
I am very mechanically inclined. I've built street rods back in the late '70's and early '80s.
'67 Camaro w/454
'69 Camaro full frame w/427
1915 "T" bucket w/427
and helped friends with several others.

I was really focusing on finding a 1980 Vette when I came across this '79... Whats the big differences between the 1979 and 1980 Vette's? I see most '79's with no rear spoiler, this one has one.
So tell me... what should I be scared of at that price? My plan would be to be build it as a modest fat tire good handling touring car to cruise with my buddys Factory Five Cobra... SO, updated performance suspension, complete new interior and seats, and of course, engine mods.

by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:29 PM   #2
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BE forewarned... If I buy this thing, i'll be on here asking a million stupid questions.. lol
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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Only thing I could see a person "afraid of" buying a non-rusted frame/bird cage '79 for $2500, is their own ambition.
Paint can be expensive.
Sounds like a good project, good luck.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:37 PM   #4
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If the frame isn't rusting "in half" or isn't "bent" from an accident.....you are getting a Deal. Sounds like you are going to make it "into your car" anyway.

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Old 12-15-2017, 01:52 PM   #5
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Make sure you read this first - 10 Rules for Buying Your First C3 Corvette Lots of good information.

You will find a ton of good information on this forum - lots of good folks willing to help. No such thing as dumb/stupid questions. We all were newbies with these cars at one time.

Rear bumper was added on. Very common modification. The Corvette has its little differences but you already have the wrenching skills to handle it.

If the frame and birdcage are solid - it is a steal and will be a very fun project making it yours.

Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post
...Whats the big differences between the 1979 and 1980 Vette's?...
Visible difference is the 80-82 front and rear bumper covers. The 80-82s are also about 300 pounds lighter and have the batwing differential mount.

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...I see most '79's with no rear spoiler, this one has one...
The 78 Pace Car spoilers were optional for the 79s.

Good luck.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:13 PM   #7
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most 2500 buck C3 vettes are trashed. this one looks pretty good from that 1 pic. read the 10 rules. sounds like you are good to go on several of them. like "can you actually fix a car?" the rust thing. if the birdcage and frame are OK, the car is a steal. well, none of them are steals. they are all time and money pits and we would be much better off with a different hobby. but...we are addicts. so go ahead. jam that needle in and push the plunger... and if you pass on it, tell us where it is so we can go get it!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:04 PM   #8
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BE forewarned... If I buy this thing, i'll be on here asking a million stupid questions.. lol
It's only a stupid question if you know the answer.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #9
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Looks like a great car at a great price to me.
See you at the parts store......
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #10
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as everyone else says, rust........ windshield, chasis frame, body mounts, birdacage (which is the passenger compartment , the t top frame and what the doors and windshield are attached to) All these are checkable but some require partial disassembly of interior trim. If this guy wants it gone, he shouldnt mind and give you few minutes with a screw driver and a floor jack

Everything else is what you already know except for the headlight vacuum system. That is common sense and there is a thousand posts and lots of info and schematics on that. Good luck. Keep posting pics nad updates

Last edited by Rescue Rogers; 12-16-2017 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 12-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I think the seller has saved me from myself as he will not return my calls or texts now and the craigslist add is gone.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I think the seller has saved me from myself as he will not return my calls or texts now and the craigslist add is gone.
Think of it as a cooling off period

Derek had it right when he described it as a money pit. Not picking on this car, they all are. I think the price is about right. Objectively, it's a project car with the motor out. You'll have to tow it home, haul the motor and parts, put it all back together and THEN see if it actually runs as advertised. If all goes well, you still need to paint it. If the guy decides he underpriced it and realists, I'd look elsewhere.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I think the seller has saved me from myself as he will not return my calls or texts now and the craigslist add is gone.
I had a similar experience: The seller received an offer/canceled the ad/but the sale never "went through"/a week later the car was listed for sale again/I bought it.

You never know
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:40 PM   #14
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I'm leaning a little more towards putting up more money up front for something I can jump in and drive and tinker with as I go.
Found a '74 L82/4spd convertible for $10,500 that looks pretty decent
by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, on Flickr

Last edited by Just1More; 12-19-2017 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:43 PM   #15
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I dont know why it posts a double picture like that.. Sorry
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I dont know why it posts a double picture like that.. Sorry
Buy them both. One to drive and one to tinker with
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:47 PM   #17
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Id buy the 74
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Old 12-19-2017, 02:45 PM   #18
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makes me want to re-think doing chrome conversion on my 75 vert. OK I thought about it. NAAH... That is a nice looking car there. Bigger outlay, but worth that much more than a 79.
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #19
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A nice convertible C3 of any year for that price is getting hard to find, especially a 4 speed car.

The 74 is a nice year. It has the clean front bumper, no bumperettes. I put a 73/74 front bumper on my 75 Vert. I can see someone put an 80/82 rear bumper on it also. This is what I've done with my 75 also. Mine is also black, so this car is looking pretty good to me.

As others have said, read the 10 rules of buying a C3. Rust is the biggest enemy of these cars. Even on a car that seems to look and drive good, it can have hidden problems. It is 43 model years old, so expect that anything rubber is shot, unless it's been replaced. Engine, trans, differential, clutch, etc... could all be worn and soon need rebuilding, but that's just part of the deal with old cars.

If it checks out and you buy it, it will be fun to drive and fun making it your car.

Mike
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Old 12-19-2017, 03:08 PM   #20
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Whats a "Vert"?
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