Saturday, August 13, 2022

Timmy Briseno's 1976 Corvette Stingray

Story and photos by Timmy Briseno @1776corvette

At fifteen years old, I purchased my 1976 Corvette in March of 2010 as my first car. 

I bought it from my neighbor who had purchased it from the original owner in 2002-2003. He only drove it maybe eight hundred miles in twelve years and agreed to sell it to me if I took care of it and fixed it up. 

I agreed and paid him half and worked the other half off at my first job the following summer.



I drove the car for two and a half years with a new crate 350 I installed, replaced the shin-searing side pipes with full Flowmaster 40s, and got the bumpers installed and painted to match (the car came with them unpainted and uninstalled).

Then, 2 weeks after we got it back from painting in October of 2012, I wrecked it leaving the high school parking lot. 



I was devastated! The insurance company totaled it and sold it at auction. 

Around April or May of 2013, I tracked it down and found the guy who bought it at auction and fixed it in his garage over the winter. It had a salvage title but he didn't know about the crate engine. 

I offered him $3,500 for it, but he declined and sold it off. I asked him for the contact info of who he sold it to but he said he forgot or just wouldn't give it to me.


So life went on and I went to college but never forgot about Betsy. I had been paying for several VIN searches for a couple years with no hits (stupid 12-digit VINs) until one day I was at the DMV getting another car registered and asked the lady if she could look up registration details for a vehicle if I was a previous owner and had the VIN number. 

I was skeptical because it is an old 12-digit VIN and not 17 like the current ones, but she was able to give me the first and last name and the city of the registered owner. She said that she wasn’t allowed to, but since I owned it and had proof, she made an exception.

I then searched the White Pages and Facebook and looked up and down until I found the guy who bought it from the man who repaired it in his garage after it was sold at auction. 

I made friends with the owner and told him all about how it was my first car, and he told me whenever he gets around to selling it, that I would be his first call.

After 7 years of bothering him, he agreed to sell it back to me last December.


In April of this year, I was able to ship it up to Washington D.C. and have been working on it ever since. 




I used the 76vette on YouTube guides to repair so much already. I have cleaned and tuned the Quadrajet carburetor, replaced the engine bay insulation, and detailed it. 


Last weekend I took my entire dash apart and fixed ALL of my AC and vent issues, nothing was connected behind the dash.

Everything was cracked and unplugged, I fixed the vents and added foam, installed new instrument cluster lights, swapped out the broken temp gauge, and heat wrapped the center console.

The air conditioner blows ice-cold with force from all the vents now. Wouldn't have been able to do it without you!









Next on the docket is to align the hood and t-top panels, new front grille, new headlights and taillights, an HEI distributor, plus long tube headers wrapped and installed.





Thanks again for all that you do!

Timmy Briseno  @1776corvette
Washington, D.C.