With all the hype surrounding big block Corvettes and their skyrocketing values, it's easy to overlook cars like this matching-numbers L79 1966 roadster, which delivers the same thrilling driving experience and heart-stopping good looks, but without the worries of putting a six-figure hole in your bank account.
Code 988 Milano Maroon was this car's original color, but you can't fault a guy for wanting a bright red Corvette convertible. Unlike Milano Maroon, this car kicks in the door when it shows up and on the Corvette's instantly-recognizable curves, red always looks awesome. The paint is in excellent condition and really lights up in the sun, and if you want to take it to a show it'll fit right in except you don't have to load this one on a trailer to truly enjoy it. Gaps are even, the fiberglass substrate is solid and devoid of cracks, and the way the light moves over the car's Coke-bottle shape reminds us why these are some of the most popular cars ever built. There are a few touch-ups here and there that suggest it's been used and loved, and it would be a crime to not put a car like this on the road, so that's what they did. Add in bright chrome bumpers, correct badges, and shiny rocker trim, and this Corvette looks ready to hit the road immediately.
Inside, fresh black seat covers have been fitted, and the color combination is timeless, elegant, and the archetypal Corvette look. Perhaps it's a link to our motoring past, but the way the twin cockpit Corvette interior invites you to drive is as much a part of the motoring experience as the hum of the engine or rumble of the exhaust. A woodgrained steering wheel feels great, transmitting the front tires' activities directly to your fingertips, and all the gauges show crisp markings that let you keep an eye on the engine's status. A replacement AM/FM radio lives in the center stack, showing off its unique vertical orientation, although the chrome 4-speed shifter arguably provides better entertainment. And if the weather turns, you'll have a black convertible top as well as a removable hardtop, but like most Corvette convertibles designed to play in the sun, the hardtop will stay in the garage and the folding top is only for emergencies.
The engine is the original, numbers-matching L79 327/350, which was the nastiest small block you could buy in 1966. Lots of guys learned to fear them in the lightweight Nova, and in the Corvette, it becomes a scalpel compared to the 396's sledgehammer. Linked to a 4-speed manual transmission, it's ideal for both laid-back motoring and quick canyon carving where your right foot does all the work and you can dance with the clutch and shifter. Rebuilt to stock specifications, it looks the way you want your Corvette to look when you tilt the hood forward, complete with finned valve covers and chrome air cleaner. The alternator is brand new, as is the radiator, and the little stuff like the blue stripe hoses and tower clamps are a nice touch. The chassis is quite clean, with a correct exhaust system, original floors, and 4-wheel disc brakes, which became standard equipment just a few years earlier. It rolls on a set of later Torque Thrust wheels and fat 225/70/15 BFG radials, but the original steel wheels and hubcaps are included with the car.
A lot big block owners will secretly admit that they'd prefer a smooth-running L79 if they were going to drive it every day. With a gorgeous color combination, it's a very attractive 2-seater that's going to be hard to resist every time the sun is shining. Call today!