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?