'77 Corvette

I'm going to look at a '77 that I know is going to need a lot of cosmetic work, as the car spent a lot of time in the sun. Is there anything in particular that I should look for
as far as mechanical or other issues that are particular to this year? The price I'm hearing is $2500, as the guy just wants to sell it and not be bothered with it. It was his recently passed father's car. This will be my 1st 'vette.
Thanks for any replies.
Ken
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"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." -- Cornelius Tacitus
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Just about everything. This sounds like a project car.
Look close at the rear swing arms , the frame at the rear end., brake and fuel lines. Mainly frame rot. Check body panels for alignment. Check body mounts. Drive it and have somebody follow to see if it goes down the road straight.
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Thanks. All sounds very logical.
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I would be curious as to the bird cage area- the cowling around the windshield ,firewall and to the frame. I understand this is a problem on some cars. My 79 is fine but for some reason I have heard of many that need to be replaced. A VERY expensive operation. Make sure you have this area checked out.
Other than that , there are tons of C-3's in the $2500 range, and few in the $10-15k range.
Suspension is a major concern. http://www.vbandp.com/ is your friend here Motor and power issues are also less than desireable. Crate motors, rebuilds and LS options are fun to do. They are great cars but have yet to come into the classic vette price range, wether buyin or selling. So plan on enjoying your car, not making money or investing for a return other than smiles per mile
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I would be curious as to the bird cage area- the cowling around the windshield ,firewall and to the frame. I understand this is a problem on some cars. My 79 is fine but for some reason I have heard of many that need to be replaced. A VERY expensive operation. Make sure you have this area checked out.
Other than that , there are tons of C-3's in the $2500 range, and few in the $10-15k range.
Suspension is a major concern. http://www.vbandp.com/ is your friend here Motor and power issues are also less than desireable. Crate motors, rebuilds and LS options are fun to do. They are great cars but have yet to come into the classic vette price range, wether buyin or selling. So plan on enjoying your car, not making money or investing for a return other than smiles per mile
Thanks for pointing this stuff out. I'm going to be kind of on my own with looking at this car. It's quite a ways out from any mechanics that would likely have much Corvette experience, so getting it to one of them isn't a likely option. I do plan on it being a mainly a driver, and only secondly a longer-term investment. I would hate to have to do a bunch of major work just to use it. May as well save my pennies and buy something that is more likely to have fewer problems, but I won't know unless I look at it. Hope to do so in the next couple of days.
Ken
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Snip

pointed out but don't forget the belly pan. In 1975 when they went to catalytic converters they also put in a metal belly pan. If you find rust in any of those places I'd let it go, you're not talking quick fixes for any of those problems.
Also if it has sat outside for a very long time it's like starting from scratch and it will be next year and many $$$$ before you get to drive it. There are rare cases where you can blow up the tires, new battery, pour in some fresh gas, a little oil in the cylinders, and fire it up.
Any of the forums for Corvette will have detailed advice about known problems and how to bring one out of long term storage. Do your home work and save some time and money.
Good luck
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Here's a thought for ya. Especially since you are pretty much on your own.
Join the Corvette Forum here: http://forums.corvetteforum.com/index.php It doesn't cost anything. Go to the C-3 forum, post where the car is and ask if anybody who lives in the area would mind looking at it with you. We do that all the time in the C-6 forum.
There is a ton of info as well as some real knowledgeable folks there..
Roy
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I used to be a regular at the CorvetteForum but not for a very long time. I got a 2 MONTH suspension for making a harmless comment that some moderators are sometimes a bit overzealous in suspending users and deleting posts that do not meet the forums guidelines. I won't ever buy anything again from any vendor that sponsors them, and only go back to see who their sponsors are before making a Corvette related purchase. They are a private organization and rely on sponsers to keep them in business and can supsend or ban anyone for any reason. I have that right too, so I've permanantly suspended their sponsors from getting any more of my money.
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Doesn't take away from the fact that there is a bunch of info one can obtained there.
Gotta remember that it is a private forum and as such as rules, as objectionable as they may be ya gotta play by them.
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You don't say where you are, where the car has lived or how it was taken care of. If it is in the north-northeast where they use salt as a primary road base it could be very bad but, if it came for the south- southwest it could be a deal. If the car is driveable, has no MAJOR cosmetic problems and you like it -- go for it. It could be a great place to start ownership of a great automobile brand. I've had '63, '64, '72', '79 and '94 and they have all been great in their own way. The '63 had 262,000 miles when I sold it and the buyer drove it non- stop from Dallas to Seattle with no problems. A car that has been maintained can do a lot for you.
PDDeen Lifetime Member, Corvette Club of Texas Founding Member, National Corvette Museum
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You don't say where you are, where the car has lived or how it was taken care of. If it is in the north-northeast where they use salt as a primary road base it could be very bad but, if it came for the south- southwest it could be a deal. If the car is driveable, has no MAJOR cosmetic problems and you like it -- go for it. It could be a great place to start ownership of a great automobile brand. I've had '63, '64, '72', '79 and '94 and they have all been great in their own way. The '63 had 262,000 miles when I sold it and the buyer drove it non- stop from Dallas to Seattle with no problems. A car that has been maintained can do a lot for you.
PDDeen Lifetime Member, Corvette Club of Texas Founding Member, National Corvette Museum
I'm in South-Central Michigan, and yes, salt is used on the roads here. I guess what will matter is how much salt exposure it has had. Most Corvette owners I've known here don't drive them in the winter and it's rare to see one on the road during the 'salt season'. I guess my only loss in looking at it will be about a 90 mile round trip from my house to this car and back.
I'd like to thank and compliment all who have replied. All good, straight-forward answers with lots of information and none of the snarkyness that is way too common on Usenet. This is a good group and even if I don't get this car or any other 'Vette right away I'll be reading here to increase my knowledge on these great cars.
Ken
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border. Let me know if you want someone to ride along, may be able to fit it in.
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Ken, if at all possible take him up on this generous offer. Dad is one of the most knowledgeable people on Corvettes you'll find anywhere.
AJM '93 40th Anniversary coupe, 6 sp (both tops)
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I just got out of the hospital after a 3 day stay for acute pancreatitis. I really appreciate your generous offer. If we can work something out it would be great.
Ken
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I finally got to see this car. It seems to be solid enough in the frame (as far as I could tell), but the interior is tore up. It would need a new pretty much a whole new interior. The seals on the doors are bad. Somebody has done a bit of hacking on the wiring under the hood. The wheels aren't original. If I had more time and money it might be one to consider, but I don't need another big project right now.
Ken
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