1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE L71

WE RECKON ONE OF CHEVROLETíS HERO CARS COULD BE A BETTER BET THAN A LOCALLY-MADE TOY AT THE SAME PRICE

WORDS GUY ALLEN ē PHOTOS ē SUPPLIED

YEAH, YEAH, itís a Corvette, so whatís the big deal? Have a look at the spec.

This would have to be very close to the top of the desirability tree when it comes to these shapely monsters. Up front weíre running an L71 427ci Tripower-equipped V8 with a four-speed manual. The latter, by the way is a Muncie M21, while the diff is a 3.36 Positraction. In short, whoever ordered this thing new handed over the extra cash and ticked all the right boxes.

It is in fact a lesson for anyone buying a new car Ė donít be a cheapskate, get the range-topping performance model. It will always be worth more in the long run and will find a buyer much more readily.

To be fair, your average C3 Corvette with a 350 in the snout isnít exactly a slug, but this car, with its claimed 435 horses, rates as being seriously quick and of international collector interest.

The folk at Australian Muscle Cars Sales in Sydney reckon itís unrestored and remains in original condition.

While the asking price is substantial, it compares pretty favourably with what that same amount would buy in an Aussie classic muscle car. The local option is unlikely to be something of equivalent ranking in the corporate catalogue.

We have a C3 in the family and can say from first-hand experience that you sure as hell get noticed in traffic, so itís not the ideal choice for shy and retiring types.

The technology behind them is pretty simple Ė essentially a fibreglass body on a steel chassis Ė though there are a few little twists such as the vacuum- operated pop-up lights.

Itís the sort of car where youíd be smart to get a Corvette expert to look over it with you, and much the same is true of any high-end classic. Itís a precaution worth taking, so at least you know exactly what youíre getting into.

Apparently this one is showing just 39,000 miles and comes with good documentation. Mercifully, its three owners have resisted the urge to convert it to right-hand drive. Assuming it all checks out, we reckon it would be a pretty safe place to park your money.

1969 CHEVROLET CORVETTE L71

BODY: 2-door Targa top coupe

ENGINE: 7.0lt Tripower pushrod V8

POWER AND TORQUE: 324kW @ 6400rpm, 624Nm @ 5800rpm

TRANSMISSION: 4-speed Muncie manual

SUSPENSION: Independant front & rear

BRAKES: discs front & rear

WHERE: australianmusclecarsales.com.au

HOW MUCH: $139,000