James Politino 1969 C3 CORVETTE

GET­TING THE KEYS TO THIS STINGRAY FULFILS A LONG-HELD AM­BI­TION

Unique Cars - - READERS’ RIDES - WORDS  PHO­TOS GUY ALLEN

Ipicked this up fairly re­cently – this year. The pre­vi­ous owner had done a big body-off resto The orig­i­nal colour was yel­low but the car was red when he got it and there was a layer of blue in there some­where as well. It’s been done in a cus­tom vari­ant based on the VZ Club­sport colour, so it’s a lit­tle brighter than the orig­i­nal.

Orig­i­nally it was a 427 big block, man­ual, but it had no hood or en­gine when the pre­vi­ous owner started work! He got a crate 350 stroked out to 383 with mild mods such as lifters and cams, Lon­greach head­ers and a cus­tom stain­less ex­haust sys­tem.

They went all-out on the in­te­rior, with new leather for the seats, fresh roof lin­ing new door cards and a lot of work.

He went for the rally wheels, which was a good choice, and of course you have to have the Goodyear T/A tyres!

Both the wiring and the vac­uum sys­tem were gone over. I’m told the lat­ter can be a has­sle on these things, so it’s good to have a set-up that’s been given the once-over.

The black piece on the hood may not look fa­mil­iar to peo­ple – it’s been cus­tom fab­ri­cated to fit the air cleaner un­der­neath.

These cars have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing dif­fi­cult to re­assem­ble as the fi­bre­glass pan­els can be a pain to re­align. This one’s very good. There’s a hint of rub­bing on one of the doors, but that’s prob­a­bly the best com­pro­mise you could get. It’s pro­tected by tape and it can al­ways be touched up.

When I was in the mar­ket, I par­tic­u­larly wanted a man­ual Why a Stingray? I al­ways wanted a mus­cle car. I’ve owned a few De Lore­ans – as nice and dif­fer­ent as they are, they’re a long way from be­ing mus­cle cars. So I was look­ing at for a C3 chrome bumper, which means 68 to 72, or a 69 Ca­maro or 60s fastback Mus­tang. The fast­backs have gone up a lot and were get­ting be­yond the bud­get. One I looked at was full of rust and had re­pair pan­els pop-riv­et­ted on. It was go­ing to be 30-40 grand to re­pair.

These C3s are re­ally good value. The pre­vi­ous owner of this car had put a lot of ef­fort into it and buy­ing it was as much an in­ter­view as it was a trans­ac­tion. I think I con­vinced them that I would look af­ter it.

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