Developing a game plan for the Corvette we bought sight unseen

One of the most important steps in any restoration? Developing a game plan. This is especially true for the C2 Corvette we bought sight unseen.

Follow along as we do an initial inspection of the car, as well as try to decide whether we should do a complete restoration or simply enjoy it as-is.


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tomhargold New Reader
2/22/24 12:41 p.m.

This is a really nice car as is. Do not restore it. There are thousands of restored Corvettes around. How many original '65s do you see? Give it a good clean and mechanical refurbishment to make it reliable and drive it. It doesn't matter if there are a few bites in the paint work. You have the history to back up its condition. One owner cars of that age are extremely rare and should be preserved. The old saying is "they are only original once". If you want a perfect restored car go out and buy one, otherwise leave this original beauty alone. I speak from experience in that I have a '74 MGB that I bought as a young fellow and still have it 50 years on. It is mostly original except for mechanical repairs. The car still has the factory paint and original interior. Even the soft top is original to the car. I am often asked why don't you replace some bit or part with a new one and I reply that then it wouldn't be original.  So long as the part works, looks ok and is serviceable leave it alone. Broken is different. I hope you tidy up the Corvette and keep it as a surviver.

Noddaz PowerDork
2/22/24 2:07 p.m.

What Tom said.  Fix what needs fixed and drive and enjoy!

Raimondo New Reader
2/22/24 2:10 p.m.

While the OCD in me screams "Make everything perfect", do not listen to it! Replace only what would make for safe driving (hoses, belts, gaskets, bushings, pads, etc.,) and leave everything else as it is. I would install the dizzy shield and do something with those plastic seat backs that are broken and falling apart. A gentle, thorough cleaning (and then dry ice on the chassis) is a fabulous idea that would not detract from the survivor-quality state of this goreous time capsule.

The first Vette coupe I ever sat in was a Rally Red/white interior, wheel covered, 4-speed, 300 horse, showroom-fresh 1965 beauty back in the fall of 1964, my Junior year of high school; I have never recovered. There is one just like it for sale at Classic Auto Mall for $89,000; only a modest $84,000 increase in price from 1964! 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher Emeritus
2/22/24 2:54 p.m.

We have decided to just fix and improve and then share with our readers what and how we did it. So far, for well under $1000, we have most of its immediate needs addressed.

We are quickly falling deeply in love with this car. They really nice drivers.

mcloud New Reader
2/22/24 7:30 p.m.

I agree with the 'posters' here in not doing a full restoration,  Already enough of those.  For more information, read the HAGERTY 'Driver's Club' magazine 'Patina' issue.

Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
2/22/24 8:19 p.m.

You really step into semi-retirement in style!  Congratulations on the purchase.

Hey Tom, you're going to need to work an old Corvette into your budget plan this year.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher Emeritus
2/23/24 6:45 a.m.

In reply to Datsun240ZGuy :

Thanks. As we fix a few things we are starting to love this car more and more.

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