1976 Chevrolet Corvette - $17,900
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If you don’t tell your buddies how affordable this ‘Vette is, they’ll never guess.

We often hear complaints that collector cars have become too expensive for the average guy to own. The only “affordable” cars are patched-up wrecks or cars with limited appeal that nobody wants anyway. Well, guess again, because not only does this bright red 1976 Chevrolet Corvette have a ton of eye appeal, it also has a matching-numbers pedigree, 65,376 original miles, a long list of options including ice cold A/C, and it remains very affordably priced. There still aren’t many better ways to have fun in a car than a bright red ‘Vette with the T-tops off and the small block V8 rumbling.

This pretty Corvette has been freshened over the years but never restored, so it’s in first-rate condition throughout. The bright red paint is recent and looks far better than you’d expect on a car costing the same as a 3-year-old Honda. It’s Torch Red from a late-model C5, so it’s a shade or two brighter than the original code 72 Red that it wore in 1976, but I don’t think anybody will care simply because it looks right. Finish quality is quite good, with very good gaps throughout, headlight doors that fit flush, and no signs of accident damage or previous trauma. Obviously fiberglass doesn’t rust, but with so few miles it’s clear that someone treated this car as something special and not just an ordinary car. Both the front and rear bumper covers fit better than new and match the paint, something the factory never quite mastered. Original style emblems were reinstalled on the nose and tail, and aside from a few minor signs of use, mostly on the nose, this car presents extremely well. If you don’t tell your buddies how affordable this ‘Vette is, they’ll never guess. It’s really nice.

The interior has been recently and extensively freshened, including new black leather seat covers, carpets, door panels, and door panels, so it feels quite fresh inside. The gauges are bright with clear lenses and they’re all fully operational except the clock. The woodgrained appliques on the console and door panels remain bright and even the original information plaque for the L-48 engine remains in place. The factory radio is gone, replaced by a digital AM/FM head unit with a CD changer tucked into the rear cargo area, and the design helps it blend in seamlessly with the rest of the vintage Corvette décor (the original radio is included with the car). Options include factory A/C, rear defroster, and a tilt steering column, so it remains a very usable car in any climate. The T-tops seal up well and don’t rattle, and they tuck neatly into the carpeted cargo bay behind the seats. Look again at how beautifully finished this interior is, then look again at the price. This car gets the important stuff right.

Horsepower wasn’t really on the menu in 1976, but we’ll admit that the matching-numbers 350 cubic inch L48 engine is still a lot of fun to drive. After all, it’s a small block Chevy, so that means a nice hit of low-end torque, great sounds, and bulletproof reliability. It is a correct CKX block with a partial VIN, confirming it is the car’s original engine. This one remains almost completely stock, from the air cleaner to the exhaust manifolds, so that means it hasn’t been raced or abused and maintenance is easy. The engine is nicely detailed with correct Chevy Orange paint, an original air cleaner assembly with cold air intake, and even the ignition shields are still in place. Finishes and hardware are largely correct, and you could really take it up a notch with some reproduction decals and correct hose clamps, but for a driver it’s just fine the way it is. It starts quickly and easily, idles well (it’s a little grumpy on the choke, but it only lasts about 15 seconds), and it pulls the lightweight ‘Vette around with vigor. It’s not a 700 horsepower tire-scorcher, but it’s plenty quick! You’ll also note a new alternator, fresh master cylinder, and numerous other service parts that all combine to make it look and drive great.

Underneath, you’ll find more confirmation that this is a clean, unabused car that never saw rain or snow. The undercarriage is extremely clean, wearing a light coat of satin black paint but nothing is hidden or disguised. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission shifts crisply and feeds highway-friendly 2.73 gears, giving this Corvette some very long legs indeed. There are a lot of new parts under here, as well, including the power steering cylinder and hoses, brake calipers and hoses, and a new stainless exhaust system that eliminates the catalytic converter—surely that’s good for a few extra horsepower. There are also new shocks at the corners, fresh bushings on the sway bars and springs so it has a new car ride, and it has no signs of rust on the frame just ahead of the wheels where these cars always have problems. Factory Rallye wheels look right and feature correct Corvette center caps as well as a set of fat 225/70/15 Goodyear Eagle radials.

Look at the quality that’s evident throughout this car, then think again about price. A fast, fun vintage ‘Vette with tons of charisma shouldn’t be this affordable, yet here it is. Take advantage of this opportunity and get into the game—sitting on the sidelines is just no fun. Call today!

Vehicle: 1976 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $17,900
Stock Number: 115138
Mileage: 65,376
VIN: 1Z37L6S419055
Engine: 350 cubic inch L48 V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.73
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Rally wheels
Tires: 225/70/15 Goodyear radial
Exterior Color: Torch Red
Interior Color: Black leather
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