Welcome To The
New Mexico Corvette Association

New Mexico Corvette Association Picture

Nice Nice Nice



Latest Updates To This Site


EVENTS updated- 1/24/16
NEWSLETTER / MINUTES added - 1/24/16
STORY added - 1/31/16
FOR SALE updated - 1/17/16
PHOTOS OR VIDEO added - 10/25/15



Each week see a new home page photo - see them all in Photos section



The C3 Buyers Guide - Part 5 of 7



This is article five in a series of seven.
Model Years 1968-1972
These models are the holy grail of the C3 production run. They have undiluted Mako Shark show-car styling, no emission controls or safety bumpers, and came from the factory with motors ranging from mild small-blocks to hairy, tri-power big blocks. They are the last of the golden era of Detroit muscle and are coveted by collectors.



Corvettes between 1968-'69 cars can be distinguished by four vertical vents on the front fenders, no fender flares and round exhaust tips. Model years 1970-1972 are distinguished by cross-hatch fender vents, fender flares and rectangular exhaust cutouts.



The late 1960's saw engine displacement as a badge of honor and Corvette kept up the pace. In 1970, the 327 CID jumped to 350 CID and big block motors increased from 427 CI to 454 CI. Horsepower reached a zenith of 460 horsepower from the big rat motors during these years, but by 1972, the government required power ratings to be rated installed in the car, not with motor on dyno with open headers and no parasitic accessories attached.

Big blocks, L88's, L89's and LT1 small block V-8's bring big money but a 300 horsepower small block car is a great driver and can still be had by mere mortals. Factory side exhaust, hardtops, and P02 full wheels covers add value as well. The C3 was a big hit in the marketplace and sold more than 130,000 units in its first five-year run. The best-selling year goes to the 1969, over 37,000 units sold.

Source: Corvette Online - By Dave Cruikshank

Submitted by Phil Ellison
1/31/16



The C3 Buyers Guide - Part 4 of 7



This is article four in a series of seven.
HERE'S A CHEAT SHEET OF THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A C3 CORVETTE FRAME RUST - Corvette bodies don't rust but that doesn't mean their steel frames don't. Always insist that any car you're interested is lifted up on a hoist so you can poke around under the body and check for corrosion. Now is the time to check for damage as well as frame integrity. Be sure and check where the trailing arms of the rear suspension connect at frame kick-up. They can gather dirt and debris are prone to rust. While the car is up in the air, also do a visual check on the internal side of body panels, too.



BIRDCAGE RUST - The new for 1968 Corvette Coupe continued the use of a steel sub structure nick named the "Birdcage," which looks like a steel windshield frame married to a roll bar. The new coupe had revolutionary T-tops with a center bar replacing cross braces at the windows. The roadster makes due with a metal windshield and cowling braces. Make sure you know the condition of this steel substructure, especially at the bottom of windshield posts. T-TOP ISSUES - Inspect latches and weather-stripping of T-Top equipped cars. They can be fussy, leak and creak. A weather strip kit from a myriad of aftermarket suppliers and tweaking latch tightness will solve most problems. Glass tops on later models can be prone to cracking.



HIDDEN HEADLIGHTS - The C3 utilizes vacuum operated headlight doors and on early models, windshield wiper cover. This system is susceptible to leaks and other maladies. When working, it is fairly reliable however, relies on a labyrinth of hoses, valves and actuators.



DISC BRAKES - C3's use four-wheel disc brakes inherited from the C2. The system is prone to corrosion in the lines and calipers, which led to an aftermarket niche to replace susceptible parts with stainless steel components. Make sure you check out the brake system as it is expensive to correct.

CHECK BONDING STRIPS - Corvettes are made like a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces connected by lengths of fiberglass called bonding strips. If a car has been repaired you can easily see where the damaged material was removed. Also look for smoother finished interior panels as a sign that the car has been in an accident. Not really a deal breaker, but more important, that the damage was repaired correctly.

INDEPENDENT REAR SUSPENSION - The C3 carried over the independent rear suspension from the C2 and brought along similar complexity and maintenance issues. There are U-joints, half-shafts and trailing arms that need to be tweaked, aligned, and looked after to function properly and to last under hard driving (which most Corvettes have seen in their lifetime).

CHECK ALIGNMENT OF DOORS, HOOD, TRUNK AND BUMPERS, WINDSHIELD WIPER AND HEADLIGHT DOORS - Wide or uneven gaps in body panels, misaligned bumpers, and mismatched paint are signs a car has been repaired. Again, not the end of the world, but to fix a car that was repaired improperly can be expensive. The 1968-1972 models have a vacuum-operated cover over the windshield wipers that can be tricky to align.

CHECK FOR STRESS CRACKS - Fiberglass ages differently than steel, and all Corvettes of this era suffer from stress cracks. Look around windshield posts, panel cut-outs and wheel-well lip areas for tell-tale signs of wear-related stress cracks.

RUBBER BUMPERS - C3's from 1973-1982 pioneered the use of plastic skin bumpers. The technology was embryonic and has a tendency to disintegrate after years of exposure to UV rays. There are replacements available but the process is labor intensive to fit and match paint.

MAKE SURE THE CAR IS COMPLETE AND ORIGINAL AS POSSIBLE - A matching numbers car, i.e. VIN and the engine serial number match, is worth roughly 20 to 30 percent more than an altered car. This number matching standard was birthed by fussy National Corvette Restorers Society judges and has been deemed to be the highest integrity a Corvette can have. We agree, but there might be a good buy with a non-matching number drivetrain out there that could be a great car to own and enjoy, so don't let the matching numbers mandate scare you. The good news is that there is a vast Corvette aftermarket supplier base that would love to help you restore your mid-year Corvette. Also, as a general rule, a color change is a deal-breaker for a lot of folks, so find a car that is painted in a factory color that turns you on.

VERIFY MOTOR AND VIN NUMBERS - This is fairly easy to do. Some research is required to get up to speed on VIN and engine codes, but definitive guides are widely available.

GET A USED CAR CHECK - The Corvette is exotic, but isn't immune from mere mortal system checks. Check fluids, do a compression test, check the cooling and electrical systems, check the brakes, steering linkage, and other common safety items so when you drive home you don't end up in a ditch. If you can do this yourself, great, if not hire a reputable mechanic; preferably one who is familiar with Corvettes. While you're at it, check every single light, knob, blinker, speaker, etc., to see what's working and what isn't. If you really want to be thorough, hire a 'Vette guru who can give you a detailed report card on the car of your dreams. Money well spent, we think.

TEST DRIVE - This is a must. Be careful not to let the owner run a monologue about the car as you drive. Turn off the radio and take the car on side roads and the freeway. Take note of any clunks, smoke, valve train noise, or sloppiness in the steering, transmission, or brakes.

TAKE YOUR TIME - Chevrolet built nearly 500,000 C3 Corvettes! Most have survived. Take your time, look around and don't buy the first car you see.

ANTICIPATE OWNERSHIP COSTS - You've got to store, insure, and maintain a 40-year old automobile. Create a tally of what your monthly costs will be to participate in the Corvette hobby without going broke.

GET EDUCATED -The scope of this article is a broad overview of the C3 Vette model run. We strongly suggest reviewing several Corvette "Bibles" to thoroughly educate yourself on rare options, colors and production numbers.

Source: Corvette Online - By Dave Cruikshank

Submitted by Phil Ellison
1/24/16



The C3 Buyers Guide - Part 3 of 7



This is article three in a series of seven.
They say an icon perfectly mirrors its time in pop culture and the C3 Corvette did just that. Over its 14 year production run, it reflected the best and worst of the automobile industry. From fire breathing early models, to the emission-controlled, luxury GTs they transformed into near the end of their production run, the Corvette exactly reflected the tenor of the times while surviving bean counters, stringent governmental regulations, and foreign competition.



In retrospect, the C3's production run went too long, and by 1982, it was obsolete by modern car standards. This factor, more than anything has been detrimental to the legacy of the C3. If the model run had only been half as long, and replaced by a new model in the mid-'70s, the suddenly long in tooth Shark (even by 1970's standards) would have been spared the embarrassment of aging badly. Commensurately, these later year C3's have become the brunt of jokes from detractors and other Corvette skeptics.



Hindsight has the uncanny ability to clarify perception and now the lowly C3, especially later rubber bumper models, emerge as the last of the Golden Era of Bill Mitchell design and really lend themselves to the resto-rod movement. For example, a 1975 Corvette is old enough to be smog exempt and with a crate motor and suspension upgrades, is an awesome DIY project. C3's are also a great way to enter the Corvette hobby. We love all versions of the C3, and for a lot 'Vette enthusiasts, it's the pinnacle of Corvette cool. A brief overview of this most-produced Corvette generation is daunting, so we have broken it down to four sections, 1968-1972, 1973-1977, 1978-1979, 1980-1982. While all models utilized the carried over the independent rear suspension chassis and disc brakes from the C2. Every Shark shares doors, windshields and T-tops. Where they differ is front and rear end styling tweaks, roof design, fender vent design, and chrome or rubber bumpers. Let's not forget the performance factor, either. From a 427 CI V8 in 1968 to a 305 CI weezer motor in 1980, the C3 has seen every possible combination of Chevy power.



Source: Corvette Online - By Dave Cruikshank

Submitted by Phil Ellison
1/17/16



The C3 Buyers Guide - Part 2 of 7



This is article two in a series of seven.
They say an icon perfectly mirrors its time in pop culture and the C3 Corvette did just that. Over its 14 year production run, it reflected the best and worst of the automobile industry. From fire breathing early models, to the emission-controlled, luxury GTs they transformed into near the end of their production run, the Corvette exactly reflected the tenor of the times while surviving bean counters, stringent governmental regulations, and foreign competition.



In retrospect, the C3's production run went too long, and by 1982, it was obsolete by modern car standards. This factor, more than anything has been detrimental to the legacy of the C3. If the model run had only been half as long, and replaced by a new model in the mid-'70s, the suddenly long in tooth Shark (even by 1970's standards) would have been spared the embarrassment of aging badly. Commensurately, these later year C3's have become the brunt of jokes from detractors and other Corvette skeptics.



Hindsight has the uncanny ability to clarify perception and now the lowly C3, especially later rubber bumper models, emerge as the last of the Golden Era of Bill Mitchell design and really lend themselves to the resto-rod movement. For example, a 1975 Corvette is old enough to be smog exempt and with a crate motor and suspension upgrades, is an awesome DIY project. C3's are also a great way to enter the Corvette hobby. We love all versions of the C3, and for a lot 'Vette enthusiasts, it's the pinnacle of Corvette cool. A brief overview of this most-produced Corvette generation is daunting, so we have broken it down to four sections, 1968-1972, 1973-1977, 1978-1979, 1980-1982. While all models utilized the carried over the independent rear suspension chassis and disc brakes from the C2. Every Shark shares doors, windshields and T-tops. Where they differ is front and rear end styling tweaks, roof design, fender vent design, and chrome or rubber bumpers. Let's not forget the performance factor, either. From a 427 CI V8 in 1968 to a 305 CI weezer motor in 1980, the C3 has seen every possible combination of Chevy power.



Source: Corvette Online - By Dave Cruikshank

Submitted by Phil Ellison
1/10/16



The C3 Buyers Guide - Part 1 of 7



This is article one in a series of seven.
The C3 Corvette might be the most controversial model of all the generations Chevrolet has produced. If ever there was a GM show car, with all it's impracticality transitioned to production, it was these late 1960's and '70s Corvettes. The C3 also had the unfortunate task of being released on the heels of the C2 Corvette, and understandably, was a tough act to follow.



The 1968 Stingray (all one word now, as opposed to the C2's Sting Ray,) was based heavily on the Mako Shark II concept car that wowed folks in 1965. It's amazing to think that these show cars are 50 years old!

There were two Mako Sharks, one a functional driver and the other a pusher that was usually featured in Chevrolet publicity material of the day. The paint scheme was blue and gray on top and silver and white along the rocker panels, and the result of GM Styling guru Bill Mitchell's fascination with marine animals. In retrospect, not only was Mitchell a talented visionary, but turns out he was a pioneer of biomimicry in the field of automotive design.



In 1969 the Mako Shark II morphed into the Manta Ray. When viewed today, its clear that it influenced the design of soft-bumpered, production Corvettes that would later debut in the early '70s. The C3 surrendered the comparative practicality of mid-year Corvettes (especially the coupe) for a longer, heavier, model with storage space that would barley accommodate a six-pack of beer and a couple of eight-track tapes.

Regardless, when the sleek new C3 debuted in the fall of 1967, all those shortcomings were overlooked. Low-slung with peaked fenders and a pinched waist that simultaneously evoked a coke bottle, a shark, and the hourglass curves of a woman's body, it has become one of the most enduring automotive designs ever produced and still looks fresh today. It also had concealed headlights and windshield wipers, fiber optic blinking lights, and a sugar-scoop rear window. The new C3 generation also introduced removable roof panels, a modern automatic transmission, and all the heavy duty horsepower Chevrolet could muster.

Source: Corvette Online - By Dave Cruikshank

Submitted by Phil Ellison
1/3/16



Wishing You A Happy & Safe 2016



NMCA wishes all a Happy New Year. May your travels be safe, and may you often find that perfect stretch of dry straight highway where you can "appreciate" your Corvette and put your foot in it, safely of course.



Submitted on behalf of everyone at NMCA
12/27/15

More stories can be viewed using the "News & Stories" link

NMCA, PO Box 91355, Albuquerque, NM 87199 :: info@nmcorvette.org