The Chase: Finding my C3 Corvette

On February 16, 2015, I ran across an ad for a 1976 Corvette Stingray for sale in Orlando. It looked good and original, so I emailed the seller to get a little more info about the car.


Because I love C3s. That's why!

In my opinion, the third-generation Corvette was one of the best designs to come out of Chevrolet's Corvette design studio.

And while I agree that mid-years are good-looking cars, it all boils down to personal preference and your age, I guess if you are a late baby boomer, your Corvette preferences will be aligned with mine.

This one is the sixth C3 I've owned over the years and my second 1976 Vette. The first C3 I owned when I was 19, and it was a 1968 model with a 327 engine.

Shortly thereafter I owned two 1971s and then, in 1982, my first 1976.

It had the regular 350/185 HP engine under the hood, so like most cars of the era, it was a dog. The auto transmission did not help. But it was a fun, great-looking car.

I also owned a 1975 Stingray for a few months. It was a project car, so I am glad I sold it before sinking ungodly amounts of money into it.

Like any other true C3 Corvette lover, I looked at several chrome-bumper candidates, but prices kept me from buying one.

Plus most of the ones I looked at were nothing more than expensive project cars. Actually, that's usually the case with most Corvettes.

So, when I ran across my '76, it fulfilled my list of requirements to a tee and I made the purchase.

Here's a picture of my new (to me) 1976 Corvette Stingray the day I brought it home.

The car had 44k documented miles when I bought it, but over the years, the 2nd owner (the guy I bought it from), had made several changes. Some I liked, some I would need to change.

The car left the assembly line painted Silver Metallic (paint code 13), but he had it repainted a beautiful shade of "Lipstick Red" when he first got the car.

Also, as you can see, he had the rims painted to match, something I did not care for.

Other than that, the car was pretty much all original, except for a new carpet, an extra set of glass T-tops, and new leather seat covers.

It ran well and the 4-speed tranny operated smoothly. Of course, the A/C did not work and it is one of those projects that I will address eventually, by replacing the OEM system with new components.

I should've started this blog the day I got the car, but life and work always get in the way. But my plan is to dig through my notes and forum posts and update this blog regularly, so I can have a record of all the changes and upgrades I have done—and plan to make—to my 1976 Corvette Stingray.

Thanks for reading!

Product Links... (#sponsored)

How to Restore Your C3 Corvette: 1968-1982
1968-1982 Corvette Restoration Guide, 2nd Edition
Corvette Black Book | 1953-2019
1976 Corvette Service & Overhaul Manual
1976 Corvette Service & Overhaul Manual CD-ROM
1976 Corvette Dealer Sales Brochure | GM-Licensed Reprint
1976 Corvette Stingray Owner's Manual | GM-Licensed Reprint
1976 Corvette Assembly Manual