This is the true story of an old 1968 Corvette
convertible that was ridden hard and put away wet back in 1974 and middle
aged Corvette enthuses who thinks he is
Tim the Tool Man Taylor going through a mid life crisis.
It all started back in late June of 1999 when I
received a call from a person in town whose husband passed away early in
1999. She said that her husband had a 1968 convertible with an L-88 engine
in it that she wanted to sell. It had been stored in a barn since 1974
when it was in a wreck. In talking to one of her neighbors they told her
that I was in the local Corvette Club and I might know someone who would
be interested in purchasing it. She
proceeded to look-up my number in the phone directory to call me. With my
heart racing and my head swirling, I called another member of our club
Jeff, who has done a number of Corvette restorations to go look at this
possible diamond in the rough. Remember that there were only 80 of these
made in 1968 and only a few convertibles.
Once there, the car was rough. In fact the front clip
was off, the engine was not original and the front left of the frame was
damaged. But the good new was that most of the parts were there. We’ll
discuss this point again later. Further review found the techs redline was
at 6500 and the hood was from an L-88. But the engine was not original.
This all caused me to have second thought. My partner Jeff was also
interested in the car but his wife told him to “let Jim buy it!” Now I
know why! After a number of visits and pricing discussion, the car went
home with me on the back of a flat bed.
Follow me through the trial and tribulation of a
handyman’s dream to do his first frame-off Corvette restoration.