Incredible survivor! 58,344 original miles, one owner from new, numbers-matching LS5 454/390, auto, factory A/C, power windows, original leather interior. Maintained but never restored. What a find, great car!
This car has always been a cherished machine, never a daily driver, which explains the beautifully preserved code 974 Monza Red paint and exceptionally nice fiberglass bodywork. It is not perfect, because 50 years of life always takes a toll, but it has never been repainted, touched-up, or in an accident, so it has a consistent all-of-a-piece look that is the hallmark of great survivors. It offers a fantastic shine, exemplary factory fit and finish (not perfect, mind you, because that’s not what GM was delivering in 1970), and all of its original parts just where they installed them in St. Louis in early 1970. Nice chrome bumpers are in excellent shape and the eggcrate grilles up front aren’t cracked or broken. It’s easy to fall in love with a car that looks like this.
Likewise, that’s the original code 403 black leather interior, which was a $158 option. The factory seat covers show some modest age and wear, but no splits, tears, or thin spots so it remains inviting rather than looking deteriorated. It seems quite appropriate on a vintage ‘Vette that’s pure USA pride. Original carpets are in surprisingly good shape with just some light fading, and they’ve been protected with aftermarket mats for many years which certainly helped. Gauges are bright and clear, day or night, and all of the work except the clock. Options include factory A/C and power windows, both of which make this Corvette comfortable to drive. The AM/FM radio works properly, and even all the fiber-optic indicators on the center console show up bright and clear at night. And if you have any questions about this car’s cleanliness, just look at the door jambs, which look almost new.
This awesome survivor is powered by its original, numbers-matching LS5 454 cubic inch V8, which was rated at 390 horsepower and a towering 500 pounds of torque. It was the top engine in 1970 (the LS6 was not available in the Corvette for some reason), and thanks to hydraulic lifters and a modest cam, it’s docile enough for luxury upgrades like A/C, power steering, and power brakes, making it very easy for anyone to drive. The stamping pad carries a correct CGW suffix code, indicating 390 horsepower 454 for automatic transmission, as well as a partial VIN that matches the windshield tag. It is also a correct 3963512 casting. Factory-applied Chevy Orange paint still clings to the block and aside from service parts like belts, hoses, tune-up parts, and the R134a refrigerant in the A/C system, it’s pretty much original. The water pump has been replaced at some point and we had the original radiator re-cored in May 2019, so it runs nice and cool. Even the ignition shielding is 100% intact, including the braided plug wires. Turn the key and it springs to life easily and idles well, and with all that torque on tap, it remains ferociously fast. However, thanks to the LS5’s split personality, it’s also comfortable, unobtrusive, and eager to eat up miles of highway without disturbing its occupants.
The chassis is obviously not detailed for show, because original cars never looked like most restored cars do. Instead, you get a totally solid frame, matching-numbers TH400 3-speed automatic transmission, and a beefy rear end with surprisingly tall 3.08 gears that make this a fantastic highway car. There are signs of regular maintenance, including newer front brake calipers, new brake lines, fresh sway bar links, and newer exhaust components, all of which mean it runs and drives properly. The critical areas ahead of the rear wheels on the frame kick-up are totally solid and there’s still factory-applied Monza Red overspray on the floors. The exhaust system is mellow enough that this car is all-day comfortable and for a C3 Corvette, the ride is decent, although you shouldn’t expect it to feel like a luxury car. Factory 8-inch Rally wheels look great and carry fat 255/60/15 Goodyears that totally fill the fenders.
From the moment we first saw this Corvette, we knew it was special. It isn’t for everyone and if you like perfection, well, it isn’t for you. But we can guarantee that if you take this car to any Corvette meet in the country, it’s going to attract more attention than any restored car can. That’s the magic of survivors like this. They drive better, they have great stories to tell, and ultimately, they’re more usable because you don’t have to worry about a stray stone or raindrop ruining your day. And that is true freedom in an old car. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
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