10 January 2017

eBay Find of the Week: Winter Blues

A V-8, manual transmission, removable tops, voluptuous styling and heritage for a relatively bargain price? At first glance, third-generation Corvettes tick all the right boxes, this 1971 Mulsanne Blue example, in particular. Additionally, C3s (1968-82) have forever seemed like performance bargains. Even the slowest C3s (mid-‘70s) performed well in comparison to other period cars and sold accordingly. But early C3s like this one are the most desirable because their powertrains aren’t choked by EPA regs and oil embargo considerations.

Their visual appeal including chrome bumpers and the original Kamm tail doesn’t hurt either. Hence the price: $25,999.

This blue-on-blue eBay find is an apparently well-restored, mostly original 1971 example with correct transmission, factory air, great colors, original interior and low miles. The bad? It features a non-numbers-matching engine. Still, the Buy-it-Now price sits between Hagerty’s #2 and #3 values for this model year. According to the seller, Brad, “this Corvette Stingray is very solid, straight, mechanically sound and drives great. The paint is beautiful with great gaps. It is a very correct car and detailed to the hilt. The undercarriage is as clean as the top of the car.” He also claims that, “If the car is not everything I said it was you may have your refund [sic] back in full.”

Your call – does a period-correct but non-original engine trump high-quality paint and a well-detailed restoration?


10 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Boris Rosemont Ontario January 11, 2017 at 16:16
    Seems somewhat over priced given non original engine; maybe 22k
  • 2
    Bruce Morel McKinney, Tx 75070 January 11, 2017 at 18:05
    NICE, BUT a little to rich for my budget. Would $19,000 do anything for you?
  • 3
    Steve Hodgman Huntington Beach, Ca. January 11, 2017 at 20:50
    Looks nice, but does not have factory air.
  • 4
    Rocky Moors Ontario January 11, 2017 at 22:08
    So where is this car located,and how much ?
  • 5
    Don NJ January 11, 2017 at 22:15
    Depends. If you're planning on selling it down the road the engine is a big deal. I own a driver C2 with the wrong engine that my father bought that way almost 40 years ago. When they were still reasonably priced, like mid-4 figures. My sons and I could care less that it's not the correct motor as we have no intention of ever selling.
  • 6
    T Southwest January 12, 2017 at 13:51
    Numbers correct, is of course a nice thing to have, and doesn't personally improve my experience of owning a car. As long as the lump is period correct and stock, I'm OK with a replacement. I like the idea of getting a discount price on Corvettes because of some combination of numbers I will likely only look at once. Also I don't have to worry about losing value if a rod goes through the block.
  • 7
    jerry Northern California January 12, 2017 at 08:19
    This car looks clean I don't think a replacement engine as long as its the same year should hurt the value many corvettes had engines replaced as a warranty issue
  • 8
    TAT-2 NJ January 12, 2017 at 22:24
    Previously owned a 58,68,70,76,78,85,90,Just bought a 93 Ruby Red 40th Aniv/Vert/6spd/LT1 with a tad over 42k miles,NOM'S ,that depends on your plans for the car IMHO.If ya want a Vette just to drive & save some $ thats the way to go.The biggest problems on the C3's is the trailing arm bearings,bird cage.#2 body mounts & a few other things.If you find 1 ya want,take somebody with you who knows Vettes.Dont let your emotions be a factor in your decision. I can go on & on etc. Save the wave ! ... TAT ...
  • 9
    Gary Homer Glen ,Il January 12, 2017 at 12:57
    Owing a 69 Lemans Blue Corvette for 35 years (23 of witch were sitting on jack stands in the back of my garage without brakes) I can appreciate this find. When my son and I got it back on the road in 2008 upgrading the 350/350 with the 30-30 solid lifter cam ,Edelbrock intake,and a Holley 750.It was fun teaching my son and daughters to drive the 4 speed, I don't have any plans on selling the car anytime soon just cruising with it
  • 10
    Jack Concord, Ca January 13, 2017 at 13:31
    I'm a long-time Vette, Chevelle, Camaro, and Tri-five enthusiast currently with six Vettes in my garage. The focus on numbers-matching has ruined the car hobby in many ways....for example (1) the subject car is "worthless" to NCRS kooks without the original engine (or paint color); (2) I would love to take my '68 427-435 hp or '64 FI numbers roadsters to the drags, but I fear blowing an engine and destroying their value; (3) The focus of having a numbers-matching drivetrain has pushed the value of some cars out of reach for many enthusiasts, and at the same time devalued (in NCRS eyes) many, many beautiful machines. People forget that 40 years ago we commonly blew engines, transmissions, and rear ends, and replaced them without a second thought as to losing value. It's a little crazy now. If you like the car, buy it. So you get a better deal because it doesn't have the original engine. Cool. Then you can enjoy the car more than I enjoy mine. Take it to the strip or autocross it. Or just cruise and relish in being able to hammer the gas pedal once in a while without the worry of blowing the original engine. I'm going to sell my 435 hp roadster (original engine, but "OMG, it's the wrong color!!!") and buy something I can enjoy to a greater degree. Life is short...so short that I need to get off my soap box....I could go on and on about this subject....

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