Friday, April 10, 2020

1968 Corvette 427 Rescue of a Legend

Building and roof falling in on Corvette so it must be moved to save it from further damage.

The Urban Legend Lives On. 
Every town has a mystical car story from which urban legends are born. We tracked one down, uncovered the story and actually saw the car! It was (and still is) a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette (that story here) with a fat 427 and a 4-speed. Here are the Cliffnotes:

Young man does these things...

  • buys his dream 1968 Corvette convertible.
  • dominates the streets in his hometown.
  • encounters local law enforcement.
  • eludes a major citation, as well as several more he had coming.
  • stashes the car for 33 years.

1968 Corvette must be moved to keep it safe. The old barn/garage was in need of repairs.

Fast forward a few decades
Family helps Big Block Mike move his Vette from the once enjoyed seclusion. Mainly due to the threat of the now dilapidated garage coming down on the poor car. Junkyard Life was invited to witness the grand move. How could we turn that invitation down? A 427 Corvette? This is the ultimate in automotive excavation! We had to be there, join us!   

Rear wheels and tires are locked up and slide through the mud.
Tires slide through the mud as the 1968 Corvette dragged out of barn by a yellow tow strap.

The Corvette Virus

Now, extracting an automobile from where it has been sitting for three or four decades is not without its challenges. The Polyglass tires refused to hold air. Of course they wouldn’t. None of us thought they would. The period correct Cragar mags declined our request to leave the car. So a combination of, our buddy, Chris Sanderson’s temper and a large sledge hammer persuaded the stubborn tires to change places. Three 15-inch Rally wheels and one GM steely we had in the Junkyard Life stash served rolling stock duty for the relocation. The loading went surprisingly well after that, despite a few more expected problems. Nothing these guys couldn’t handle.

A removable hardtop and Camaro bucket seats were added in the 1970s. Sidepipes once roared beneath the doors.

Stubborn Clutch-Release Thyself!

No. It will not. I even said “please” several times. The heavy duty 1970’s era clutches made a work out of just a small commute. This one decided to stay in place and the 4:11 positraction rear did it’s job well and would not under any circumstances let those rear tires move. It has been in that position for 33 years-why unlock now? The original 4-speed took the side of the clutch and it too refused to move. No shifty business going on between those seats. What happened to common courtesy and southern manners? I said, “please!”

The one car wooden garage is close to caving in on the car. Moving it was the only option.
Don't look back! The Corvette is finally pulled out into the daylight.

Need help moving a car? Tell them it's a Big Block Corvette. Chris and Daryl go under to find a mounting point for winch.

Rear deck of the 1968 Corvette covered in animal waste and debris from decades in storage.
Footprints and debris from critters, such as possum, were found on the Corvette.

You Force my Hand-and my Tow Strap-and my 1968 Mustang

What? You lost me at “hand”*. You read correct. The solution to our locked up 1968 Corvette was a tow strap locked onto the chassis of a 1968 Mustang. Hey, it was there, we needed it, we used it, we were in Ford country! What can we say? So if you strap a Corvette to a Mustang, you can then pull the trailer from underneath it. Thus, freeing the Corvette. I know you Ford guys have some metaphors and phrases , so go ahead and hit us with them. We knew the job was dangerous when we took it.

Un-Locking the Rat Junkyard Life Style

It isn’t everyday we get to take the spark plugs out of a Vette and spray a ton of anti-seize penetrating oil into the massive bores of the 427. So we took advantage of that opportunity as well. Is that Junkyard Life style or what?  So stay tuned as we let this beast sit for a couple of days and let the magic oil do what it can, so maybe… just maybe, we can turn the motor by hand and see if it will budge. If it does, then a whole new line of fun begins! Stay tuned!

Ron Kidd

— Junkyard Life

* Editor’s Note: According to Junkyard Life staffer Ron Kidd, the phrase “You lost me at hand” was the first unsuccessful phrase before the “You had me at ‘hello’” slogan became popular.

Tag date is 1987.

Unloading required strapping the Corvette to a 1968 Mustang.

A 1968 Mustang, hidden in shadow of garage, helped hold the Corvette as trailer pulled away. Wheels, brakes and/or transmission on the Corvette are froze up.

No options under here. Manual steering, manual brakes, no A/C.
A look at the Fat motor 427 under the hood of the 1968 Corvette.

Street racers ran and hid from cars with these emblems back in the day.

Original wood wheels bring $500 in good shape.
Aftermarket steering wheel was cool. Now, not so much.

A set of borrowed Rally wheels and tires used to transport the Vette. Instantly the car looked better.

Will it turn over? To be continued...
Chris, Daryl, and Ron take a look at the engine. Will it turn over? To be continued...

Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at or Ron Kidd at


Anonymous said...

The car is no way worth a restoration!! You would have way more in it than it will ever be worth! At least in our lifetime!! It’s a 390hp no big deal!! I bought one that needed a restoration for 4000.00!

Anonymous said...

I made a race car out of it! Not worth a restoration!!

ClassicMuscles4EverGWM said...

Give it some fresh fluids, loving, muscle wrenching, shine it up and fire her up. Love the one you're with. I'd be proud to drive this legendary survivor-street fighter as is.

Anonymous said...

Believe me !! It ant that fast!! It’s a 390hp not a 435 hp! You guys can’t see anything but 427!!! Kids!! Lol

Anonymous said...

I’ve owned them all !!!

Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of bill and ted, Dont eat yellow snow dude!

Anonymous said...

I would restore its beauty!

Anonymous said...

so many stupid comments,the haters on here probably have a revoked license and drive a 10 spped bicycle lol

Stephanos said...

Oh my goodness! I only had the pleasure of seeing one of these old Corvettes in the flesh once when I was road tripping through New York. But as a kid this Corvette model was my favorite Hotwheels toy and was even the same color. I got a guy Eric coming to take my old Volkswagen from Victoria to a scrap yard in Langford next week and if I get enough cash for my scrap car I might look into investing into one of these Corvettes. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I now know what my favorite car of all time is, and I'm beyond jealous of your work.