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  1. #1
    New Member windell1967's Avatar
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    Default 1981 C3 Corvette questions

    I am purchasing a 1981 Corvette with only 25,000 miles on it but it needs paint because it is severely faded from not being properly kept indoors how much do you guys think it will hurt the value of the car if I repaint the car the original color by the way the interior is still like new no rust and still has every original component on the car and in working order thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    I was on the exact same bubble with my 82 until recently. I decided that, despite the car (a bona-fide original owner garage find) being in stock condition, I am not a museum curator so I had a quality paint job done. Same color. I am so glad I did! With new carpet, seats, and newly polished wheels it almost looks like the day it rolled off the showroom floor. You won't believe that it's your car when you get it back. The enjoyment you will get will be more than worth it.
    Last edited by Lakeside49; 02-08-15 at 08:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator bill81vette's Avatar
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    Welcome to CAC!!!
    hope you enjoy the forums!!!
    congrats on the '81!!!!
    what you choose to do to the vette is your decision.
    if your looking to keep it all original then
    you may want to try a quality polish before spending thousand s for a new paint job.
    Adams is very good,which is what I use....
    if not the sky is the limit....
    good luck!!!!
    Bill and Gail...save the wave
    NCRS member 42415
    1981 St.Louis car #2735
    all matching numbers

    born Sept 18,1980
    Cruisefest 2008
    Cruisefestous 2009
    Cruisefest 2010
    Cruisefest 2011
    Cruisefest2012



    Without Trucks......
    You would be Hungry,Homeless and Naked!!!!!!



  4. #4
    New Member windell1967's Avatar
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    Default thanks for the feedback

    the paint is too far gone for any polish but I appreciate the suggestion I do custom paint jobs on motorcycles and have painted a few cars including an 87 IROC that I restored so I'm going to tackle it myself but I am going to use the OEM paint code and paint it back exactly the way it was from the factory hopefully it will not diminish the value because the car is a great find and I found this car on this site in a post in 2003 when it only had twenty thousand three hundred miles so I am fairly certain it is an original 25000 mile car which is awesome for an 81 model.

  5. #5
    Moderator bill81vette's Avatar
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    If it is a St Louis car...it will be an enamel paint
    If it is a Bowling Green car it will be the new er base coat/clear coat..
    the easiest way to tell is if the letter following the "B" is a 'S' its a St Louis car a'5' is a BG car
    Bill and Gail...save the wave
    NCRS member 42415
    1981 St.Louis car #2735
    all matching numbers

    born Sept 18,1980
    Cruisefest 2008
    Cruisefestous 2009
    Cruisefest 2010
    Cruisefest 2011
    Cruisefest2012



    Without Trucks......
    You would be Hungry,Homeless and Naked!!!!!!



  6. #6
    New Member windell1967's Avatar
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    Default thanks Bill

    I've researched the VIN number and it is a Bowling Green Kentucky car completely original autumn red and yes it is definitely base coat clear coat because Bowling Green Kentucky did not use anything but base coat clear coat on their Corvettes for that year model thanks for your reply this is my second Corvette the first one was a white on white C 4 convertible but I believe I am going to like the c3 even better and I'm glad I joined the forum because I believe you guys are great Corvette enthusiasts.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by windell1967 View Post
    I've researched the VIN number and it is a Bowling Green Kentucky car completely original autumn red and yes it is definitely base coat clear coat because Bowling Green Kentucky did not use anything but base coat clear coat on their Corvettes for that year model thanks for your reply this is my second Corvette the first one was a white on white C 4 convertible but I believe I am going to like the c3 even better and I'm glad I joined the forum because I believe you guys are great Corvette enthusiasts.
    You might not, overall (again, overall), like your C3 as much as your C4. You could fall into that 5 percent that doesn't. It won't perform as well. Its not as reliable. It doesn't have as much storage. And, you'll still probably never want to go back to a C4. Especially, if you're adopting your C3 for its character, charm, and legendary looks. And, no matter what, its still a blast - and an `event' to some degree - every time that you take her out. I keep telling my wife that the over-worked smiling muscles in my face may require seeing a doctor some day - they're that bad.. I mean good. My only advise is to do whatever it takes to get your wife on your side with the car, making it as much hers as yours. I won't go into all the reasons but trust me that it pays off.
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  8. #8
    Member Wajulia's Avatar
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    You seem to be curious if you will HURT the value of the car by painting it. I would not think so. The 1981 corvette is not very collectible now, and probably not in the foreseeable future. Right now I do not see the plastic bumper corvettes ever commanding the prices of their chrome bumper cousins, so I do not see "originality" generating any additional value. If someone buys a plastic bumper corvette it is because the like the looks, or they like the smaller price. So I think you would probably be better making it look good than trying to keep it original. It will probably make you feel much better also.

    With that said, the car cannot justify a $10k paint job. You will never get it back out of the sale of the car BUT When all is said and done, it is YOUR car, make it what you want, If you can afford a $10k Paint job and it is what you want to see in the garage -- go for it.
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  9. #9
    New Member windell1967's Avatar
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    Default thanks Wajulia

    Only paid $7500 for it and it is all original with only 27,300 miles
    and I see a lot of the nice C3 81 models still selling for around 12 to 17 thousand and up when they're low mileage and all original so maybe I didn't do too bad.😆
    Windell 81

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    Member sjcea's Avatar
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    12-17 k for an 81 C3 is highway robbery ? They should sell all day for the 5-8 k range in good condition. These are not collectable cars as far as Vettes go as they are drastically underpowered .
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  11. #11
    New Member windell1967's Avatar
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    Default I love proving people like you wrong

    The value of an item is solely in the eye of the beholder and I love proving guys like you wrong. This post is for C3 enthusiast not for haters and people looking to down talk cars that have meaning way beyond $$$$$. And HP.
    Go troll somewhere else.
    Windell 81

  12. #12
    Member Jon S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjcea View Post
    12-17 k for an 81 C3 is highway robbery ? They should sell all day for the 5-8 k range in good condition. These are not collectable cars as far as Vettes go as they are drastically underpowered .
    Your numbers are totally incorrect! Haggerty's Guide lists a basket case for $5,200, a Number 1 for $27,300 and 12 to 17 in between. I've seen some in the $30,000 to $33,000 price range.

  13. #13
    Member sjcea's Avatar
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    Show me 1 selling for the prices you mention ! Not being a hater at all. I love all Vettes. But I have bought and sold more of these over the years than probably any of you and most combined
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  14. #14
    Member Jon S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjcea View Post
    Show me 1 selling for the prices you mention ! Not being a hater at all. I love all Vettes. But I have bought and sold more of these over the years than probably any of you and most combined
    Pro Team - .1981 Corvette T-Top, 350-190 hp, 4 speed, numbers match, 47,804 actual miles. Beige/Dark Bronze paint with Camel (Tan) interior. Very low mile original car in excellent condition and an excellent candidate for NCRS or Bloomington judging. Optioned with factory air, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power door locks, power antenna, tilt-n-telescopic, shoulder harness, T-10 transmission, SS brakes, AM/FM stereo cassette, rear window defog, Gymkhana suspension, sport mirrors, glass tops, tinted glass, alloys, and raised white lettered radials. Most all factory correct type components including the spare, jack, jack tools, T-Top bags, seat belts, washer system, shifter, shielding, air cleaner, owners manual, and sales brochure. Documented with most all factory and dealer paperwork. Looks, runs, and drives excellent. CC:1 $19,998.00 SOLD

  15. #15
    Member sjcea's Avatar
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    Show me when it sells for that amount. You can ask anything you want. Doesn't mean you will get it. 1 on ebay asking $31,000 , all others under 10k for an all original unrestored car. I've sold 30 of these easy over the past 3 years
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