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  1. #1
    thierrysf
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    Default seek 69 or 70 convertible 4 speed

    Hi there,

    I am looking for my first vintage C3 Corvette. Must be a convertible and a 4-speed. Ideally it would be a 69 or 70, color red, yellow or black.
    I am NOT obsessed with number matching or big block engines.
    Condition must be #2 or #3.
    Anybody can help me? (I have looked on ebay and everything seems overpriced).

    Thierry

  2. #2
    seek 69 or 70 convertible 4 speed gooney0's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    Corvette(s)
    1972 Coupe ZZ4 / 4 Speed
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    I'm wondering why you are looking for a 69 or 70 as they are a little different. Most people look for 68-69, or 70-72, or maybe even 68-72.

    For instance, I don't know how to tell a 71 from a 70. Likewise a 72 (like mine) is 99% identical to a 70/71 the differences:

    Front parking lamps are amber not clear.
    No fibre optics in the console.
    Standard Car alarm. (optional on 70-71)
    Gauges have white letters not green. (i can't really tell the difference)

    One big advantage to the 72 over the others.... they are priced a little lower. Why? because a 1972 is rated in "net" horsepower not gross horsepower like previous years.

    IE:

    A 1971 base motor = 270 Gross Horsepower
    A 1972 base motor(same engine) = 200 Net horsepower.


    270hp sounds a lot better than 200hp but its not. It gets even crazier when you get into the optional engines.

    Now.. between a 69 and 70:

    On a 70-72:

    The front grills are "ice cube tray", or egg crate style
    The front parking lamps are more square, not round
    The fenders front and rear are flarred in the back to avoid mud getting on the car.
    The exaust tips are rectangular instead of rounded.
    The engines are 350,350 LT-1, and 454. Instead of 350/427? (i'm not sure about the small block size)


    -Gooney0

  3. #3
    thierrysf
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    Thank you for your wisdom. I must admit that I am still a rookie in the game of Corvette hunting.

    Back to the HP rating conundrum, I must say that I was at first utterly confused by the abysmal drop in HP from say 1970 to 1971-72. I know now that it was partly due to the adoption of the S.A.E. system. Having said that, how much more sluggish is a 1972 SB compared to a 1969-70 SB?
    I have driven a 350/350 HP 1970 corvette last week and was less than impressed with the off-the-line performance (i.e. 0-30 mph) of this vette. So I can imagine how bad a 1972 SB could be. I do not want to buy an awesome looking hardcore sportscar like a C3 corvette and get poorer acceleration than say a $23,000 Honda with a 4 cylinder or even my very first car, a 68 dodge dart with a wicked (stock) V8 engine.
    Would a 454 Corvette 1972 be a solution to my woes? Or should I resign myself to spending $5,000+ on crankshaft, heads, exhaust, rear gear...to get "decent" performance?

    Thank you for your input

    Is there

  4. #4
    seek 69 or 70 convertible 4 speed gooney0's Avatar
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    Default speed or lake of

    well... here are some numbers for you which you may not like:


    72 base motor does 0-60 in 7.6 (brand new)

    My little sisters Escort zx2 does 0-60 in 7.6 seconds (brand new)

    1/4 mile is mid to high 15's...

    Not great but it gets worse!

    If you read some old Motor Trends and Road and Tracks you'll find similar numbers for the older engines as well as the big blocks!

    Except for very rare, very expensive cars i haven't seen one that does 0-60 in less than 7 seconds. (with the original motor) The faster the car was stock, the more $$ its worth too.

    I don't know what you're looking for performance wise, but you'll probably be disappointed with stock C3's if you compare them to late model cars.

    My thinking is this... If you want a fast car, buy a fast car. You'll save a ton of money and heartache!

    For instance:

    I'm not going for a "fast" car but I did have a ZZ4 put in my 72 coupe. The car is very powerful and a blast to drive. The problem? It doesn't beat a stock 98 Trans Am.

    The car is still very low tech in spite of the 355hp motor. The Muncie four speed has a long hard throw, and the car is hard to launch properly. Too much gas and you lose control, too little and you bog down. After that its a blast!

    My Trans-am owning friend only has to floor his car when the light turns green. (he has an auto) Unless the pavement is slick, his car hooks up and goes everytime.

    As for your question about slugish 72's... no its not much different than a 70. Real horsepower difference is slight. A 454 or LT-1 would have more power but would cost you several thousand dollars too. 255hp (net) for the LT-1. 270hp for the big block + 300lbs or so. On the plus side the LT-1 and 454 are more collectable than the base engine.

    I guess you'll have to test drive them and see. All the above engines still don't get you below 14.5 in the quarter mile.

    To me a C3 is a classic sports car, with "classic" being the key word. Any year Corvette is the best performing GM car of its time.

    Like I said, if you want to go fast you'd be better off with a Trans-am, Mustang, or late model Corvette. For that matter if you racing in a straight line, I don't think the Corvette is the best car for that. You'd be better off with a late model Camaro. You could spend the extra $$ on parts.

    -Gooney0

  5. #5
    SwaveDave
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    There are early C3 vettes out there for sale whose motors have already been built up ;take your time and youll find one that performs to your expectations. 'Going fast' is a relative term to people...and only YOU can be the judge of that. When i bought my 1970 BB, it had to have the 454 motor in it cause i wanted something that was sort of rare and a good investment. Going fast on occasion was important too...but its condition was more important. Youll be surprised at how little time you spend 'going fast' as compared to going slow . Going fast accounts for about 5% of my normal driving habits..but its nice to have the passing power when you need it.

    Look in Chevy and Corvette Trader mag. and youll see some nice ones often ; also in Hemmings . Take your time and youll find one that suits y our taste.

    Happy shopping...and, rumpity rump.

    Dave

  6. #6
    SwaveDave
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    P.S. Email me at : Fast1970vette@webtv.net and ill send you a very very good checklist for looking at C3's.

    Dave

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