BigInjun

BigInjun

Member
Aug 12, 2012
19
0
Charlottetown
VetteCoins
500
Car
1979
Just a quick question. Finally picked up my 79, have started figuring out what I need for parts. Can anyone tell me what years if any I can swipe body panels from? A mechanic buddy of mine has a bunch of parts from a 74 that I am hoping to use. Thanks
 
Hiya BI- congrats on getting a '79. As a newbie can't help with your question, but there's some very knowledgeable guys here and I'm sure someone can. There's lots of good pages on the C3's on the web too.

Mason
 
74's are a bit of a unique animal. GM made some changes in '75 that continued on to '79 such as tail lights, marker lights etc. The structure under the bumpers changed in '75 as well. The hood changed in '77 through '79. The rear deck obviously changed in '78.
 
Just a simple question but... What is making you shy away from using the panels on the car? Almost any used panel you pick up I'm sure will require some minor or extensive fibreglass repair work anyhow from my experiences with fibreglass.
 
So... The search continues. From what I'm hearing, the 74 isn't really an option. I have come across a complete 76 body and assorted parts for 400 bucks. Think the driver side fender, door and front would be a match? If you haven't noticed, yes I am a relative newb, so I apologize for what may seem like foolish questions!
 
Well, if your car is a '79 I think those parts would work but looking at the pictures of your car, I think you have a 1980 to 1982 model and GM made the fiberglasss panels thinner in 1980 to save weight. Also, the styling was changed on the front bumper and fenders that year among other parts.
 
Well, the vin on the car says its a 79... Unless a previous owner did a lot of modifications to her or something. I hate being a newb, makes me feel as dumb as dirt!
 
Well, the vin on the car says its a 79... Unless a previous owner did a lot of modifications to her or something. I hate being a newb, makes me feel as dumb as dirt!

Is the sixth digit a 9 or an A? If it's a 9 than it's a 79 with some major body panel changes to look like a 1980 and up. If it's an A, then it's a 1980. And it's great to ask questions; only way to learn.
 
True enough about asking questions. The 6th digit is a 9, so I guess whoever had it running last must have done a fair bit to it. Hopefully once I start tearing her apart I will have a better idea of what I will need to do.
 
Well, the vin on the car says its a 79... Unless a previous owner did a lot of modifications to her or something. I hate being a newb, makes me feel as dumb as dirt!

Part of the fun is learning. Don't sweat asking the simple stuff. We were all there at one point. I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress! Keep it up and don't forget to take pics so we can see what you are doing as we love seeing projects coming along and hearing the successes and frustrations as it makes us doing similar projects feel more normal.
 
Ok... so I have an update on my vette situation... had to take her to a local shop to figure out what is what with it. His opinion is that the frame is not worth saving, and the body is similar. He was impressed with the guts of her though, and suggested I get another car that needs an engine, tranny, etc. I know where I can get a good frame from 1980, and a decent body from a 74... Can these two be married together, and then fill it with my good useable stuff?
Or should I just stick to a body style suited better to the 1980 frame so I can use more of my parts?
 
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63 to 74 frames are pretty much the same. In 75 they widened the rear (5th) crossmember a bit (1 or 2 inches I believe) so the rear frame rails flare out. A 75 frame should fit an 80.
 
Yeah, I am realizing that. Still looking at options. Latest wrinkle in the plan is a cranky wife who seems to want to pull the plug on the whole idea... It's all about being strategic now. It's amazing how many projects you can get done around the house for the sake of saving your vette!
 
Okay, the saga continues...
I now have my wife back on board, so things are moving ahead again. I have located a really good 1980 frame that comes with all new body mounts, and a decent body. My current cars body is good from the doors back. Would I be better off swapping out what is good from my car onto the new frame, and then adding just the front clip from the new body, or should I look at changing out the whole body?
 
I would say to stay with a body made to fit the frame if it is any good. It will likely save you time and money down the road during assembly. Of course anything can be done with time (and money) so it is preference in the end.

Just a little story to help your momentum....

I bought my car 7 summers ago (before I was married) and got a great deal. There were plenty of problems but I fixed here and there to keep it running. I knew one day I wanted to rebuild it myself. Is it economical, no. However I feel that the experience of owning a classic car like a old corvette is not about being economical it is about loving what you do and having fun learning along the way. I almost sold my car in the spring because it wasn't drivable and I didn't have any time or money to do what I wanted. My wife reminded me that even if I sold it and bought another one later when we could afford to again it still wouldn't be that car I bought when I was 21 because I loved it. She is right. Don't get me wrong, I will sell a car to upgrade. But in my opinion (about my car) I don`t think anything can be an upgrade. There is too much sentimental value. So it sat all summer with no action. I still thought about selling it but I knew it was not actually worth what it was worth to me. And then I made a huge decision. (ya ok only like a month ago but hey it is a start) In one weekend the body was off and I started a complete rebuild. Was this a smart decision, only time will tell. But I do not expect to drive it for 5 years, or more because I want to do as much myself as I can. Either way I am learning a ton about these cars, and cars in general. In my opinion owning a old corvette (or any old car) isn`t supposed to be cheap or easy, it is supposed to be fun. So remember, whatever you decide to do make sure it is still fun.

T
 
I would say to stay with a body made to fit the frame if it is any good. It will likely save you time and money down the road during assembly. Of course anything can be done with time (and money) so it is preference in the end.

Just a little story to help your momentum....

I bought my car 7 summers ago (before I was married) and got a great deal. There were plenty of problems but I fixed here and there to keep it running. I knew one day I wanted to rebuild it myself. Is it economical, no. However I feel that the experience of owning a classic car like a old corvette is not about being economical it is about loving what you do and having fun learning along the way. I almost sold my car in the spring because it wasn't drivable and I didn't have any time or money to do what I wanted. My wife reminded me that even if I sold it and bought another one later when we could afford to again it still wouldn't be that car I bought when I was 21 because I loved it. She is right. Don't get me wrong, I will sell a car to upgrade. But in my opinion (about my car) I don`t think anything can be an upgrade. There is too much sentimental value. So it sat all summer with no action. I still thought about selling it but I knew it was not actually worth what it was worth to me. And then I made a huge decision. (ya ok only like a month ago but hey it is a start) In one weekend the body was off and I started a complete rebuild. Was this a smart decision, only time will tell. But I do not expect to drive it for 5 years, or more because I want to do as much myself as I can. Either way I am learning a ton about these cars, and cars in general. In my opinion owning a old corvette (or any old car) isn`t supposed to be cheap or easy, it is supposed to be fun. So remember, whatever you decide to do make sure it is still fun.

T

Amen brother :agree:
 
I have to agree with your sentiments, taylorsk8... What price can you put on a journey? The whole point of this build is to do it with my sons before a) they grow up and leave, or B) I kick the bucket. So as much as i COULD pick up a full car relatively cheap, I want the boys to remember the time and effort it takes to make something special.
Of course that all being said, I still have to figure out what to do!
Thanks for the feedback guys.
 
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