How to Inspect a Corvette For Rust Before You Buy It

This isn’t going to be a huge article that drags on for hours and hours, I will cover the areas that you need to look for rust in 1963-82 corvettes. It will be a basic article designed to help you save money on the purchase of your corvette. A corvette can be a very illusive thing, you think rust, how is that possible it made out of fiber glass, for this article we won’t be talking about the body of the car we’ll be talking about the frame, and a few other areas of America’s sports car. I know you love corvettes, and I do to they are without a doubt a very special car, and considered to be America’s only sports car, but when your buying one what you don’t know can hurt you, and it probably will, so it’s time for me to lend a helping hand.

Obviously the entire car is not fiber glass, the car sits on a frame made of steel, and steel will rust it that can’t be changed, but it can be fixed, so let’s dive in to this article head first, if your thinking of buying a corvette this will help you for sure. First of all let’s start with the windshield of the car, it is fiber glass wrapped around steel, and obviously steel will rust, so lets begin by looking around the frame of the windshield, if it’s rusted badly it may show as fiber glass separating from the post at the bottom of the windshield. Just because you can’t see the rust in this area doesn’t mean that it’s not there, you may need to discover this rust after you have bought the car and have begun to restore it, if these areas are rusted you’ll need to rebuild them, they are a part of the structure of the car.

Corvettes also have heavy steel reinforced doors, to look at the doors of your corvette you’d never know that they have any steel in them at all, the doors in you corvette are actually wrapped around a steel frame, this means that you need to inspect the edges of the doors. You’ll be looking for bubbles in the fiber glass, or areas that appear to be raised, also look for cracks in the fiber glass that rust is creeping through, fiber glass has the inherent problem of stress cracking under pressure, and water can seep in through these cracks, and it will.

Look at the door latch, this can be a very telling area of a corvette because they aren’t hidden, all you have to do is open the door and look at it, also look the hinges, and the hinge mounts for the doors these are also tell tale areas of a corvette. Sometimes rust can hide in a corvette, so don’t get in a hurry, the best thing you can do is to take your time wile inspecting the car, ask the owner if you can take it to you mechanic and have the once over done, use this time to inspect the car. Now we’ll look at the frame it’s self, a floor hoist would be nice here, if you need to go to a shop and rent one for a couple of hours, one of the most common places for the frame of a corvette to rust is just in front of the rear wheel on each side of the car.

Pay very close attention here, make sure that you take notes so you don’t forget what you have found, usually you’ll find the rust that I speak of on the out side of the frame just in front of the rear wheels, in bad cases it will creep down to the bottom of the frame.

As in most cars the corvette will rust in the radiator support area, so pay close attention to this area of the car your looking at inspect this area very carefully, rust can go unseen in here for years, and you don’t want that in your corvette. Look for puffy, or flaking steel in the rear suspension trailing arms on your corvette, this is a very common area for the corvette to hide rust, and as you can imagine you don’t want your rear suspension to give out on you, so pay very close attention here.

I hope this helps you with the purchase of your classic corvette, now you know that they do rust and you’ll more then likely be fixing some rotted areas of your car, don’t let this discourage you, let it be a reason to learn about your corvette.