I'm New Here
Nov 1, 2012
1974 Stingray
I'm about to buy a 73 Vette. I believe the odometer is in Miles. The seller has shown me a Ontario Safety Certification with the same reading in KM. I'm a vette newbie. Please clarify if possible. Also, its an original 350 with either 108,000 KM or 178,000 miles. Engine looks good and clean. Headers are orginal. Car drove well. I'm concerned about 178,000KM. Should I be?
Is the car all original? Has anything been rebuilt?

I guess it would depend on how much you are going to drive it. If it looks to be in very good condition, I would not worry about it. C3's are pretty easy to work on and you have Manny close by for trusted repairs (Dasilva Motorsports) if anything needs to be fixed. I say if you like it and it's the right price in good condition, go for it... However, maybe some C3 owners can chime in on what to look for before buying it.
The odometer is definitely in miles. If it has exhaust headers, they are NOT original. That car came from the factory with cast iron manifolds.

As for any C3 you consider purchasing, you should check the birdcage for rust. There may be evidence of rust flakes below the windshield at both inside door frames. Also, check the frame behind both seats where it kicks up to go over the rear wheels. Frame problems are common in northern U.S. and Canada.

Good luck.
I looked at a mid-70s C3 a few years ago, and decided to take photos.




I'll leave it to your imagination to calculate the repair costs.
All C3 odomoters are in miles until the 1978 model year in Canada. Check for rust behind the kick panels as well as water likes to accumulate there. Rust around the windshield frame is another common problem. Vacuum leaks in the headlight system can cause idle problems. Check the inside of the rear trailing arms for rust. Check the heater core for signs of leakage (stains on the passenger side carpet). Check the seat tracks for rust (sign of water leaking into the interior). Check the rad supports for rust. Check for cracks in the rear diff cover. If the rear spring is original it's most likely worn out. Check for previous body damage by checking the bonding strips to see if they're original. Check the number of shims in the upper control arms, more than 4 or 5 or a large amount on one side indicate possible frame problems. Check for excess play between the differential and the rear axle shafts indicating worn axle stubs. Check the brakes for leaks around the piston seals. If the car has sat for a while the brakes will need major repairs. Take it to someone who knows old Corvettes well and have it checked over. Worth the money if it saves you thousands of $$$.
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Where are the bonding strips?

Inside the fenders along the edges where the top of the front or back of the car meets the sides. This is where the pieces where bonded together by the factory.
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