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Thread: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

  1. #1

    Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Just an idea the wife and I are kicking around for after we get everything settled with the house. We would both really love to own a first gen Corvette, but despite my experience with the C5 I dont know what to expect from a C1.

    So, any of you guys have any experience with them?
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    Just an idea the wife and I are kicking around for after we get everything settled with the house. We would both really love to own a first gen Corvette, but despite my experience with the C5 I dont know what to expect from a C1.

    So, any of you guys have any experience with them?
    You mean a mid-50s 'Vette? These look cool - but they are crude - and underpowered, too. I doubt you would like them much....

  3. #3
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    Just an idea the wife and I are kicking around for after we get everything settled with the house. We would both really love to own a first gen Corvette, but despite my experience with the C5 I dont know what to expect from a C1.

    So, any of you guys have any experience with them?


    If you like performance then you want a '56 or later. These are called sports cars but compared to others, then and now, they aren't really. They have their quirks. Some of the straight axle jobs handled okay but they were the ater ones.If you just want a neat car to cruise in, they are great for that. Just be prepared for differences between it and other Chevies of the same year. The very early ones like the '54-55 are just not a very comfortable car for larger or more portly people.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    I'm actually thinking a '62 with the 327 v-8
    none of the I-6 ones

    think of it as a cruiser, as opposed to a performance car (we've already got penty of those lol)

    and size isnt a problem, I'm 5'7 and weigh 125lbs lol
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Dad had a mid-50's Corvette.

    He says it was basically bog-standard passenger car suspension wrapped in a sexy body.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    I'm actually thinking a '62 with the 327 v-8
    none of the I-6 ones

    think of it as a cruiser, as opposed to a performance car (we've already got penty of those lol)

    and size isnt a problem, I'm 5'7 and weigh 125lbs lol
    These are beautiful - and very collectible - cars. But a few points to consider:


    * They are simple compared with modern cars but more finicky and maintenance intensive. If you can work on carburetors and old-timey ignition systems, etc. you can make the routine adjustments necessary to keep such a car running well yourself. Otherwise, you will need to find a mechanic who can do these things for you - and it won't be a dealership.

    * These cars are much less forgiving (and harder to drive) than anything you are probably used to. Absolute shit brakes, for openers. And while the handling was ok for a '60s-era car, you will be shocked by how poorly these things handle; how low the limits are.

    * Easy to get ripped off. Do not buy a classic-era muscle car (or classic car, period) without the assistance of a very knowledgeable friend/assistant. With a 30-40 year old car there is much that can be wrong - and hidden. You are too young to have had any direct experience with these cars, so you should find someone who does know them to help you shop.

    * If you want a cruiser - steer clear of the hi-perf versions with solid lifter cams and high compression. These are very balky cars by modern standards; choppy idle, tend to overheat, don't pull much vacuum at low engine speed. None of the 'Vettes of this era had hydraulic assist clutches, either - so lotsa leg effort to operate the clutch. And no overdrive gearing, either - so they generally suck on the highway. Remember also that those equipped with automatics will only have two-speed (Powerglide) or three speed (THM400) boxes.... the later THM 400 is much preferable to the earlier Powerglide....













  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Dad had a mid-50's Corvette.

    He says it was basically bog-standard passenger car suspension wrapped in a sexy body.

    Chip H.
    It was actually more like a truck suspension on the first cars... solid axle and leafs!

  8. #8

    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    they still have leafs :P

    good input guys, I appreciate it
    not the least bit dissuaded lol, but we'll see how we feel after we finish the house crazyness.
    My dad was a mechanic in a previous life, and is very into old cars (even used to race SCCA in the family Corvair back in the day), so I'd have him check anything over before I buy - lol but I tend to do that anyhow
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    they still have leafs :P

    good input guys, I appreciate it
    not the least bit dissuaded lol, but we'll see how we feel after we finish the house crazyness.
    My dad was a mechanic in a previous life, and is very into old cars (even used to race SCCA in the family Corvair back in the day), so I'd have him check anything over before I buy - lol but I tend to do that anyhow
    A Corvair? Cool!


    I used to have a '64 Monza 110 coupe with a 4-speed... wish I still did....

  10. #10
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone own (or owned) a 1st gen Corvette?

    Ain't gonna find a Turbo Hydramatic in a 1962 or earlier Chevrolet, unless it's been retrofitted. I think '65 was the first year.

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