1970 Chevrolet Corvette - $44,900
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It is loaded with options, including its original, matching-numbers LS5 454 cubic inch V8, factory A/C, power windows, and a leather interior.

There’s a growing awareness throughout the hobby that perfection is over-rated and originality should be cherished. There are some who consider any car that simply exists years after being built as a “survivor” but we think the term should be reserved for cars that have not only survived, but been cherished throughout their lives. Not merely being a rusted hunk of metal that resembles its original form, but a fully operational car wearing factory paint, interior, and running gear. And if you need visual representation of our definition, you need look no further than this wondrous 1970 Chevrolet Corvette. It has been with the same owners since it was purchased new in 1970. It is loaded with options, including its original, matching-numbers LS5 454 cubic inch V8, factory A/C, power windows, and a leather interior. It shows just 58,344 original miles. And aside from basic maintenance, it has never been apart, giving it a feel on the road that few restorations can replicate. In short, if you’re the sort of guy who knows that cosmetic perfection is no longer the only way to own a pedigreed Corvette, this is an extremely special car.

This car has been owned from new by a pair of brothers who bought it upon returning from Vietnam in 1970. It 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. There are no stress cracks in the usual spots around the headlight doors or on the rear deck, and while there are a few nicks and scratches, the finish is quite nice and shows a deep shine that reflects the nicely preserved fiberglass underneath. 1970 Corvettes received slightly larger fender flares to help protect the bodywork from stone chips, and apparently they were effective because it shows very few signs of hard use. Nice chrome bumpers are in excellent shape and the eggcrate grilles up front aren’t cracked or broken. Lenses, glass, and emblems are all similarly well preserved, showing some light signs of age but certainly nothing that warrants replacement. 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 (which wants to work—if you turn the knob it’ll tick for a few minutes suggesting it just needs to be lubricated). Options include factory A/C and power windows, both of which make this Corvette comfortable even in today’s environment, and with the automatic transmission, it suggests that the brothers were as interested in luxury as they were in performance. The AM/FM radio works properly, and even all the fiber-optic indicators on the center console show up bright and clear at night. Nice! The T-tops fit well and don’t rattle, and while we haven’t driven it through a rainstorm, it appears that the seals are still supple enough to be used as-is. 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—you might be shocked by the massive radiator in this car, probably due to the big block V8 and A/C. No worries there, and the hoses are fresh as well. 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!

Vehicle: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $44,900
Stock Number: 116039
Mileage: 58,344
VIN: 194370S406993
Engine: 454 cubic inch LS5 V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.08
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Rally wheels
Tires: 255/60/15 Goodyear radial
Exterior Color: Monza Red
Interior Color: Black leather
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