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Burning Barn Find

Old 11-07-2018, 09:53 AM
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Dave0870
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I am new here and want to start off by saying this forum is amazing and has so much info on it that has already helped me enormously. In October I purchased a 75 Coupe that had been sitting for 14 years . I have been looking for a project and always wanted a C3 Corvette because of the beautiful lines of the car. I finally found her on Craigslist and met the guy selling it at a barn on his bosses property. Unfortunately it was outside the barn and boy was she rough. I talked the guy down to $1000, got a title and had the tow truck drop her off at the house. First thing I wanted to do was gut the interior since the floors were rotten and it had that wonderful aroma to it. When I removed the driver side pillar next to the window, the vin plate fell off revealing another vin plate that was below it. My first thought was I just bought a HOT car. I immediately went to the license branch and found out the title was for a 75 Nova and the name on the title did not match the actual vin number to the car. I called the Sherrif’s office to have them check to see if it was stolen and surprisingly it came back clean. After a lot of research I managed to find out who she was last titled to and his address. I found his phone number on the internet and gave him a call. I said “I believe I am restoring a car you use to own and wanted to get some history on it”. I told him it was a 75 Corvette and he said “I still own that car”. Great, it was stolen. I ended up meeting the guy (68 year old from Orlando) for lunch so I could figure out how to get his car back to him. We talked for over an hour and he told me that 14 years ago he gave the car to his nephew to see if he could be responsible. Apparently he wasn’t cause shortly after he went to prison and is still there. He went on and told me stories about the car and what he had done to it when he had it. He always wondered what happened to the car and ended up giving it to me because he wanted someone that would appreciate it to have her and get her back on the road. I left with the actual title to her and made a new friend that I send updates to on a regular basis so he can see how she is coming along.


Since then, I have welded in new floor pans and moved on to the engine. I wanted to see if I could get her started so I did all of the regular things before trying. Replaced all of the fluids, drained the tank, put in new wires and plugs, ignition switch, rebuilt the Edelbrock carb that the PO and his father put on it and fixed the fusible link at the starter. I turned the key and she purrs like a kitten. Gotta love those old 350’s. I am currently working on the brakes, replacing all the lines, calipers, rotors and pads so I can take her for a spin around the block to see how she rolls. I will add more photos as she is coming along but it will take a while for sure. Thanks for reading my story!



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Old 11-07-2018, 10:09 AM
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What a great story. Welcome to the Forum.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:10 AM
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Welcome

I lived in orlando 46 years now out in eustis so who knows we might cross paths at a show or swap meet, ill be the weird sasquatch looking fellow with tankgirl.

Cool car very cool story, i have a few tales but none that good,
I was just thinking whoever you gave 1k to wasnt the legal owner and sold you a car he didnt own with a tampered vin and bogus title,
I would think he could get a trip to the greybar hotel for that stunt,
Do you plan to suggest he return your $$$ ?

The next person he does this to might not get as lucky as you did.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:18 AM
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I actually reached back out to the Sherrif that helped me out so much and here was his take. Before I got the title there was nothing I could do since it wasn’t my car at that time. The original owner could report it stolen but it was in my possession so it wouldn’t be that good for me. Since I have the title now, its not a stolen car so couldn’t do anything to him now either. the only thing I could do is bring the guy to court. I reached out to the guy that took the $1000 but after I told him it was stolen and I wanted my money back, he stopped answering my calls and texts.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:28 AM
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what a cool story!!!

welcome to the family, looks like you've got your work cut out for you, but at least it's a big block!!! that's worth the 1,000 right there!

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Old 11-07-2018, 10:29 AM
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What a great background story! Glad it worked out for you in the end. Looking forward to watching your progress on the car and welcome to the forum!!
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave0870 View Post
I actually reached back out to the Sherrif that helped me out so much and here was his take. Before I got the title there was nothing I could do since it wasn’t my car at that time. The original owner could report it stolen but it was in my possession so it wouldn’t be that good for me. Since I have the title now, its not a stolen car so couldn’t do anything to him now either. the only thing I could do is bring the guy to court. I reached out to the guy that took the $1000 but after I told him it was stolen and I wanted my money back, he stopped answering my calls and texts.
I cant say im surprised that he stopped replying,
I am very shocked that even after all the rigamaroo that a person can tamper with a vin, add a title that doesnt go with the cars actual vin take a persons money for it and get off Scott free with the o town sheriff basically saying he cant or wont do anything.

So hum, this cat that took your 1000 i am betting a donut his name isnt the one on the title,
So being court fees would likely be more than 1k you loose a grand to conman, a 68 yo doesnt get the 1k he should have gotren, and a conman is thrilled he found his mark,
I dont like this ending one bit...but like they say i dont have a horse in this race unless im thr next cat he cheats....
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by naramlee View Post
what a cool story!!!

welcome to the family, looks like you've got your work cut out for you, but at least it's a big block!!! that's worth the 1,000 right there!
Huh, he said 350
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:36 AM
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Next time I am in Orlando, I need to bring you to Dunkin Donuts. The funny thing is, I offered the original owner to buy it off of him and he wouldn’t take any money. All he wanted was to see it back on the road again. Ok course when it’s done, he will be going for a ride in it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:39 AM
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Yep, it’s a small block. It will definitely not be a show car but something to take out on the weekends. I’m also turning the interior to black but staying original on the exterior color.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:49 PM
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Other than the part about a pos bad guy getting away I like this story. Well played sir!

Are you sure it isn’t a 1976? That looks to be a 76 “Vega” steering wheel. I thought 75 was the last year for fiberglass floors. My 75 has glass floors.

Last edited by Kie; 11-07-2018 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:42 PM
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Great story, I love a happy ending. You ended up with the car, and made a lifelong friend. So the con man made off with a grand, Karma will deal with him. you learned a valuable lesson and now have a Corvette. Congratulations and best of luck with your 75.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:24 PM
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Glad it all worked out for you Dave. That will be a great project.
I have to agree with Kie, I think the car pictured is a 1976 rather than a '75. I can't see the rear deck to confirm no astro-ventilation but what looked like a 1975 "Dark Red" car might be 1976 "Mahogany" car.
What is the 6th number in your VIN?
Best, Greg
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:59 PM
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I believe the steering wheel was not original. The 6th digit is a 5. I was also told by the local Corvette shop that some 75s had metal floors. I apparently was one of the unlucky ones...lol.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:06 PM
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Neat story! Looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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Got it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:25 PM
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Unexpected twist: There is a third VIN plate, showing that the car is a 76, and had been previously stolen.

Seriously, that is a heckuva story. I'm glad you are in a position to rescue this car and enjoy it as intended!
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:14 PM
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Way too funny Bikespace. But if anyone is interested, I have a 75 Nova up for grabs, you just have to find the car...lol.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:27 PM
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Some 1975 models had steel floors you say? Had not heard that before. However I have learned in my short time as a 1975 C3 caretaker that basically anything is possible and there are no or at least very few “absolutes”.

Does this car have the astroventy gizmos on the rear deck behind the rear glass?
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:49 PM
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Nothing on the rear deck. Just very bad looking paint.
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