By now, you’ve probably memorized most of the Corvette story. From Zora Arkus-Duntov to the Mako Shark to the bankruptcy years, each of the car’s seven generations has its own key moments and cast of colorful characters. At this point, the third generation Corvette accounts for the middle section of the brand’s story and, looking back, it’s a remarkably appropriate car to hold that place. With visible nods to both Chevrolet’s heritage and future, examples like this Bloomington Gold certified roadster are finding firm footing in a collector market that will inevitably grow stronger. The subject of complete restoration, this numbers-matching Sting Ray features options like a tri-power 427, a rugged 4-speed transmission and 4-wheel disc brakes that make it both fun to drive and surprisingly capable. There’s never a bad time to buy a good Corvette, so if you’re looking to add a first class C3 to your collection, you’ve come to the right place!
Assembled at GM’s storied St. Louis manufacturing facility on March 18th, 1968, and Bloomington Gold certified on June 29th, 2013, this awesome drop-top is bathed in correct code 978 International Blue two-stage. Under that striking paint, the car’s solid fiberglass body presents well and has a solid feel that conveys a mostly rust and drama-free existence. That body’s panel gaps have been narrowed to better-than-factory standards, creating a smooth finish that, devoid of noteworthy issues, provides a testament to its high quality restoration. And overall, this vintage cruiser is a clean, well-maintained classic that provides a combination of style and reliability not normally found in moody trailer queens or butch barn builds.
With such a cleanly styled body, ornamentation could have ruined the C3’s presence. Thankfully, Chevrolet did a great job of placing form over function and keeping brightwork to a minimum. At the front of the car, chrome-trimmed ‘egg crate’ grilles center small parking lamps between a thin chrome bumper and a subtle chin spoiler. Above that bumper, a cross-flag-branded header draws the eye to a chrome-trimmed hood that anchors bold “427” emblems in front of a vacuum operated cowl. That hood reflects raked glass that’s framed in showroom-quality stainless and capped by a bright white top. At the sides of that glass, 68-exclusive door poppers perfectly complement slick rocker trim and a correct chrome mirror. And at the back of the car, a “CORVETTE” branded valence hangs signature tail lamps and two chrome bumpers between a familiar cross-flag fuel filler and spotless stainless exhaust tips.
Beneath the car''s bright blue hood you’ll find an original, “3916321” branded L68 (IM) which was cast on January (A) 10th, (10) 1968 (8), assembled in Tonawanda, New York (T) on March (03) 11th, (11) 1968 and stamped with a correct 414054 partial VIN. Straight from the factory, this beefy big block utilizes Chevy’s storied Tri-power technology to twist stout 10.25 to 1 compression into an even 400 horsepower! At the peak of the road-ready mill, a polished and decaled air cleaner swirls wind into a Winter aluminum intake via three Holley carburetors. At the sides of that intake, cast iron heads prop stamped and polished valve covers above fully restored exhaust manifolds. And at the back of those heads, a chrome-capped ignition system sequences spark through stainless sleeved plug wires. When fired, the infamous 427 rumbles like an old school stoplight slayer. Its ancillary components are top-notch in every way, with new GM hoses and a rebuilt master cylinder accompanying bright tower clamps and era-correct smog equipment. And an evenly sprayed combination of Chevy Orange engine skin and Satin Black fender framing is interrupted by nothing but clean decals and fresh stainless fluid lines.
Peer under this low-slung roadster and you’ll find a Satin Black chassis that’s straight, solid and ready to pound the pavement. The hot 427 sends power to an original Muncie 4-speed, which hangs a Muncie (P) assembled on March (C) 7th, (07) 1968 (8) build stamp between a correct 3925660 casting number and matching 414054 partial VIN. In front of that transmission, a rebuilt double A-arm suspension is complete with an authentic manual steering rack. Opposite that steering rack, a rebuilt transverse leaf suspension does an excellent job increasing grip. In the middle of the car, an aluminized, true-dual exhaust system pipes spent gases through new, rear-mounted mufflers. At the corners of the car, 4-wheel disc brakes ensure rapid stops and great handling. And all that fully sorted hardware rolls on handsome rally wheels, which spin fresh F70-15 Goodyear Wide Tread whitewalls around dent-free trim rings and turbine center caps.
Slip into this Sting Ray’s correct code 414 Bright Blue interior and settle on one of its pristine vinyl buckets. Those seats are as original, with correct stainless hardware framing their bases. The carpet below them was replaced, even in the cargo area, where you’ll find a surprising amount of storage space. The door panels at the edges of that carpet are, like the rest of the car’s side panels, virtually new in every way. There’s a fresh center console that accommodates a small shifter, cool wheel-style heater controls and a correct Delco AM/FM radio. From the driver’s seat, a 3-spoke steering wheel laps a set of factory gauges that keeps tabs on speed, revs, oil, amps, temp, fuel and time. And all that hardware unites to create a simple, comfortable cockpit that’s befitting of a performance oriented brand like Corvette.
The sale of this refreshing sports car includes a vintage Protect-O-Plate, a vintage owner’s manual, a vintage window sticker, a few pieces of factory literature and a stack of Bloomington Gold paperwork.
As the value of third generation Corvettes continues to grow, well-optioned, numbers matching cars like this International Blue roadster will become serious investment pieces. With a strong color combination, an original drivetrain and an excellent restoration, this C3 is not only a fun car to own, but also a great example of the brand’s evolution. Whether you’re a seasoned Chevy owner or a potential first-time buyer, don’t miss your chance to put this stunning Sting Ray in your garage!