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Corvette C1 & Corvette C2 1953 through 1967

Advice on 1964 purchase

  #1  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:52 PM
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Default Advice on 1964 purchase

I have always loved the C2 Vettes butI have never owned or even shopped for one. I have a great deal of experience restoring older Mopars but know very little about older Vettes.

Recently, a lady at work told me her hubby is going to sell his 1964 convertible for $15,000 and will give me first crack at it if I want it. I have done some research and this price seems to be in line with other project cars I've found. I spoke to the guy briefly and made arrangments to examine it this coming weekend. According to the seller, he claims he was once a mechanic and used to work on this car in the late 60's and early 70's. The owner at that time decided to sell it in 1974 and he picked it up. He let his (then) wife drive it a couple years and burned up the clutch. He put it in covered storage and it has been there for about 31 years. His intention was to someday restore it but you know how that story goes. Apparently all enthusiam for the car has been stomped out of him by his current wife and it must go. The guy said that the main problems with the car are mechanical and not cosmetic. That suits me fine since I am far better with mechanical matters than body work.

The car is originally silver blue with black interior but he claims it was repainted red before he bought it. He claims the paint doesn't look bad and the only body damage is a crack in the lower panel between the exaust tips. He says all rubber strips are shot but I would expect that.

He warned me that he does not know if the original engine is still there but he is sure it's a 327. I don't know much about Chevy's but I always thought you couldn't tell small blocks apart from just looking at them. The fact that he says he "isn't sure" makes me think he is sure it is not original. No idea which HP rating the car was built with.

The car is a 4 speed with A/C but the compressor is gone. The car comes with the removable hardtop but he says the soft top is gone. (Is the soft top that easily removed?)

I am not sure which options the car has just yet. I am told the car has aftermarket aluminum wheels from the 60's.

So...my questions are as follows:

How can I determine if the engine is orginal? Is the VIN stamped on the block? Where can I find it and can it be done without removing parts? Does the VIN tag specify which engine rating the car was built with or is that something the build sheeys would state?

Mopars have a fender tag clearly listing most significant equipment installed from the factory including engine ratings. Can I find a tag like this on the Vette? I have some codes I printed out showing the options available that year. I was hoping to know which options the car came with.

If the other parts and trim aren't missing, is the missing soft top and A/C compressor something to worry about?

I read somewhere to check the radiator support for rust and that will be a good indicator about the rest of the cars body. Is this true and can anyone offer other useful tips for me to check?

Are there certain thingsI should look for that would make buying it on the spot a possibility? I know if it was a Mopar and had a Hemi, I would grab it. Aside from fuel injection (which I know it doesn't have), what could make this car a "must have." Not knowing anything about Vettes, I was going to rely on overall condition andmileage (which probably is original).

The seller tells me he has all of the original paperwork but his definition of that term may differ from mine. I doubt I would be lucky enough that he still has the window sticker. If I get this car and restore it, will I find build sheets under the carpeting like Mopars?

I am really excited about this car but I don't want to make stupid mistakes like I have in the past. Any good, quick advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 07-03-2007, 11:12 PM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

If the engine is original the last 6 digits of the VIN should match the last 6 digits of the left number on the engine pad. The pad is located on the front passenger side top of the engine near the top of the water pump.
The last two letters of the right number on the engine pad will tell you the size of the engine as well as the type of transmission and whether or not the AC came with it.

Make sure that the VIN has a 6 in the 4th digit indicating that it really is a convertible and not a tag from another car.

If he has the original sticker that'd be great! It'll make the car more valuable too if everything is original. If he doesn't have it you can still hope that the gas tank sticker is still there, but you have to dissaemble some to get at it.

Sounds like a good deal so far, but always take note of what he doesn't say or claims he "not sure of." Good luck.

 
  #3  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:09 AM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

Hi beekeeper and welcome to the forum.
Sounds like a purchase that's worth considering. The soft top frame attatches with just a few bolts and can be found, new or used.
The A/C a/c compressor is easy.
Radiator support on C-2 or C-3 is prone to rust and not a big deal. They were designed in such a way that they collect water and are prone to rust much more that the rest of the car.
Do like scroffers65 says and get us the vin and block #'s, then you can tell if the motor and car were built together.
You say you can do mechanical so most of the rest will be easy.
The crack in the lower rear will not be a big deal.
The 64's came with drum brakes but that is not a big deal either.
Most C-2's would cost a lot more and it's a car that you can have a lot of fun with. It will cost you a few bucks to get it back to 100% but the C-2's can sell for much more so you have a chance to get your money back. I would consider going foward with the purchase. Keep us posted. Hope you get it, PG.
 
  #4  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:54 AM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

15K seems like you probably can't go wrong. That's what a '64 pile will go for.

If you close on it, putdown your wrenches, and pick up your books (or your mouse).Even if your not gonna' do a 'correct resto', ya gotta know what will and won't work.
 
  #5  
Old 07-04-2007, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

Thanks for the advice. I should be seeing it Sat. or Sun. He understands that I won't be closing the deal for at least a few days so that should give me a chance to chk out whatI find. I'll update this thread with what I find out so hopefully you guys won't mind giving me your opinions one more time. The info on the engine numbers should help alot. Thx
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-2007, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

So what did you find out? Just curious :-)
 
  #7  
Old 07-10-2007, 01:17 AM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

Okay,

I checked the car out Sunday and found quite a few things for good and bad.

The body seems to be in good condition with no evidence or ever having been in an accident. The car was repainted from silver blue to red and it seems I might be able to strip away the dust and buff out the paint. Of course, it would only look mediocre and would eventually need new paint but this way I could at least drive it.

It seems that the car has 58551 original miles. The seats are original and still in good condition. The car overall needs tons of TLC, bumpers replated and so on but I was stoked to see such low miles.

The guy told me it hada/c but after inspecting it, it is clearly a non a/c car. (probably better that way anyhow)

I checked the engine and found what appears to be the following stamped onto the tab by the water pump:944611 ER IC. I might be wrong on a letter or number, it was hard to see in there plus the stamps were not very good. So I guess this means it is not the original engine (bummer)

The engine is a small block and after wiping off the grime on the rocker covers, I found no evidence of old stickers so I am guessing the entire engine was swiped. It seems strange that the engine would disappear in a low milage car but when I was younger, I remember lots of different guys always bragging how they had a "Vette" motor in thier car. I suppose it makes sense now.

According to the trim plates under the glove box, I found the following:

Style trim STD D9 64 864 Another tag read 3920 912AA Body paint. The VIN is 40867s106696.

I could find no other tags to show what options the car was built with. The only part I can decipher is the 912 means Silver blue and the trim style STD means black vinyl which it has. I saw the original radio in it butI didn't notice if it was AM/FM or AM only. The engine is missing all the shielding.

The other let down was the guy told me before that he had all the original paperwork. Now it seems, he can't find it. The pink slip is missing but he found an old registration card so he says he will apply for a new title. Hopefully, he won't have to trade in the old black plates. Who knows, maybe he will find the other paperwork someday.

Price is 15K and it seems like a decent deal to me just in that it hasn't been wracked up.

Anyone know how I can decipher these codes?
 
  #8  
Old 07-10-2007, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

Look for the Vin # on a plate welded to the right side hinge pillar cross brace under the glove box.
The last 6 digits of the Vin # are stamped on the block next to the engine #.
Vin # should be 194676S100001 thru 194676S127720.
Does this help? PG
 
  #9  
Old 07-10-2007, 03:04 PM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

Those numbers I gave you were for a 1966.
1964 numbers are40867S100001 thru 40867S122229.
Now see if your# 106696 is of the block. PG
 
  #10  
Old 07-11-2007, 11:33 AM
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Default RE: Advice on 1964 purchase

So the VIN you saw was "40867s106696"
and the engine pad had "944611 ER IC"
This means that it is not the original engine and, even more, it doesn't look like a mid-year engine. I can't be sure though if you're not sure about the letters.

The car was put together in December of 1963 according to the VIN.
 

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