Friday, December 25, 2015

The Chase: Finding my C3 Corvette

On February 16, 2014 I ran across an ad for a 1976 Corvette Stingray for sale in Orlando. It looked good and original, so I emailed the seller to get a little more info about the car.


WHY A 1976 CORVETTE?

Because I love C3s. That's why!

In my opinion the third generation Corvette was one of the best designs to come out of Chevrolet's Corvette designers. And while I agree that mid-years are good looking cars, it all boils down to personal preference and your age, I guess if you are a late baby boomer, your Corvette preferences will be aligned with mine.

This one is the sixth C3 I've owned over the years, and my second 1976 Vette. The first C3 I owned when I was 19, and it was a 1968 with a 350 motor. Shortly thereafter I owned two 1971s and then, in 1982, my first 1976.


It had the regular 350/185 HP mill under the hood, so like most cars of the era, it was a dog. The auto transmission did not help. But it was a fun, great-looking car.

I also owned a 1975 Stingray for a few months. It was a true project car, so I am glad I sold it before sinking ungodly amounts of money into it.

Like any other true C3 Corvette lover, I looked at several chrome-bumper candidates, but asking prices kept me from buying one. Plus most of the ones I looked at were nothing more than expensive project cars. Actually that's usually the case with most Corvettes.

So, when I ran across my '76, it fulfilled my list of requirements to a tee and I made the purchase.

Here's a picture of my new (to me) 1976 Corvette Stingray the day I brought it home.


The car only had 44k documented miles when I bought it, but over the years, the 2nd owner (the guy I bought it from), had made several changes. Some I liked, some I would need to change.

The car left the assembly line painted Silver Metallic (paint code 13), but he had it repainted this nice shade of dark red when he first got the car. Also, as you can see, he had the rims painted to match, something I did not care for.

Other than that, the car was pretty much all original, except for a new carpet, an extra set of glass T-tops, and new leather seat covers.

It ran well and the 4-speed tranny operated smoothly. Of course the A/C did not work and it is one of those projects that I will address eventually, by replacing the OEM system with new components.

I should've started this blog the day I got the car, but life and work always get in the way. But my plan is to dig through my notes and forum posts and update this blog regularly, so I can have a record of all the changes and upgrades I have done—and plan to make—to my 1976 Corvette Stingray.

Thanks for reading.