This 1971 Corvette convertible is badass

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Growing up one of my friends drove a red '69 T-top. Beautiful and practical car, it had a luggage rack.

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Someone is going to buy that, and then wreck it in less than a month.

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A while back I had a friend who owned a Corvette C10. He had me take it on the highway, just down one exit and back, so I could say I’d driven it. The whole way out he complained that I was driving like I was still in my VW Golf (which was about as fun to drive as an econo-compact gets, really), and told me to really stand on it when we were on the on-ramp to get back up to speed.

I only got the accelerator down about half-way maybe, and even with my racing through the gears like a rookie I was getting pressed back in the seat. If you’ve got a track, and tons of training (and a budget for rubber and fuel), I bet they are the best thing in the world for a daily adrenaline rush. Otherwise, IMHO the temptation for ridiculousness/destruction is nearly on par with owning a rocket launcher.


I have this persistent fantasy of buying a corvette from the mid seventies or earlier, ideally for cheap cause the engine is shot, and making it electric. Probably impractical for some reason or other, asides my complete lack of skills, time, and money.


Rolling chassis C3 vettes (68-82) come up on facebook marketplace semi regularly for ‘decent’ prices…C4 (84-96) tend to be quite a bit cheaper, both as rolling chassis and ready to drive. In both cases, but especially the c3, the key is frame/undercarriage health…rust, rubber/seals, etc.

PS. The earlier C3s increase in price, the later C4s increase in price…low ball prices tend to be the '78 to '88 range… For example, I have a 1980 T-Top ‘beater’ vette [C3] that I picked up to 4k (and while it drives fine, it needs a lot of work to be anywhere near a ‘good’ vette) but the exact same vette with the exact same problems except a 1972 build would cost me at least a 50% premium (6k+)…and a 68 might break 8k. Those chrome bumpers really increase cost.

ETA: “a lot of work” for my 1980 equates to about a doubling (and then some) of my purchase price.


I can appreciate sports cars and vintage cars as things of beauty, they are among the best pieces of mass-produced art.

A friend in high school had a vintage Firebird, and it was great fun to drive around in, growling engine, classic rock blasting on the stereo.

But I have no practical use for these cars now. A car is for getting around town. I don’t care if I look like a dork driving a Toyota or Subaru. And I didn’t like having to fix my old VW all the time, even if it was relatively easy to do.

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Anyone willing to drop the cash for a quality restomod 1971 convertible is unlikely to be the type that’ll wreck it so quickly. That can NOT be said for someone willing to put the same $$$ (or even a lot less) this thing’ll go for into a C5 or C6 z06 (bringatrailier price currently @ 20k with 7 days remaining). Speaking as an owner of a 2003 C5 Z06 + bolt on mods fixed roof coupe running >450whp, I could damn near wrap the thing around a tree by sneezing at the wrong time.

PS. I quoted around 8k for a ‘beater’ late 60s C3 in another comment. For the same monies, I have seen multiple options pop up for early C5 non-Z06 targa top / hatchbacks…and 12k buys a LOT of modifications.

Thanks! Good information for my fantasy.

I wanted to want this… but no side pipes, no dice!

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My fave is the 56’ vette. This being said, the stingray from 68-73…mmmhmmm. grabby hands


Not sure about the wheels, but newer and larger wheels may be required to clear what look like bigger brakes.

As the owner of a restomodded 70s car I would hope the owner put some thought into improving the suspension as well.

I got to drive a top of the line Mustang that was on display for a university thing. While driving it from the dealership to the U, I foolishly floored it on a city street just to see what kind of power it had and almost crashed. Unless you know what you are doing, owning something like this that is even more powerful is a one way street to a crash. Having the money for one of these things doesn’t mean a thing when it’s an aging boomer trying to relive his (and it’s ALWAYS his) youth.

Anyone seen pictures of the supercar that the guy crashed a few minutes after he left the dealer?
(I should probably be specific as it’s happened several times…)

It us genuinely amazing how badly designed the single transverse leaf spring rear suspension is in these. They look lovely like only a fiberglass car can though. I would drive it.

T-top or go home. :wink:

And please, no split window Corvettes. They’re rare AND hideous.

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Also true for the MGB- in that case the dynamics are actually a lot worse. Not only are the rubber bumpers heavier than the chrome ones, they had to raise the ride height by an inch for them to be at the correct height for the 5 mph bumper law…

C3 handling is a lot squirrely compared to recent models, but I recommend adding lake pipes and listening to the beautiful mechanical octet in stereo.

‘Badass’ means ‘expensive’, right? I recall Tom Paxton’s review (in SING OUT! magazine?) of Dylan’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE re: the couplet:

Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at

“Where it’s at” means ‘rich’, Paxton noted. Thus kewl gets have money and unkewl luzers are broke. Badass cars cost more than I can afford. Wealthy lives matter. Follow the money.

I met a guy who still has this model as a collector. Hates driving it in the city. This is a beast where you really need to know what you’re doing. So many people take driving for granted but even in the most modest car it’s a lack of skill that costs so many people their lives.

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Not to politicize everything, but Biden has a very similar car. Seriously. Also this clip of him talking about and driving it shows him to be kinda normal.

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