The New 1988 Corvette Donor Car Has Arrived

If you have been following us you will recall we have been planning a build for our 1957 GMC truck project. The truck has been in the family since it was almost new and it has been in California so very little rust. It is still in California and it looks like it will not be ready to ship until mid March so that has left me a lot of time to do planning and parts collecting 🙂

I have decided to build this truck as a pro-touring project which will use a complete front and rear C4 Corvette suspension under the truck using a Flat Out Engineering retrofit kit for just under $2000.00. We also plan to have an LS engine (planning an LS3) with an automatic trans, A/C, power R&P Corvette steering and power brakes. We are leaning towards a Vintage Air compact Front Runner system if we can make it fit. For the interior we will have bucket seats and a tilt steering column.

OK, now that we have all of this planning time on our hands it was time to look for the front and rear suspension parts. In my research I found in the 84 -96 range of Corvette their were two rear differentials, a DANA 36 with gears normally in the mid to high 2’s or a DANA 44 which was in the manual cars and it normally had a better rear gear in the low to mid 3’s.

The going rate for the front and rear DANA 36’s seem to be in the $1200 range and when I can locate a DANA 44 they seem to be in the $1500 to $1900 range just for the rear end alone. I decided to hit craigslist in search of a complete donor car and at first I was going to settle for a DANA 36 so I came across a complete 1986 Corvette minus the engine and trans for only $900. While I was emailing with the seller he notified me someone just arrived with cash in hand so that deal was dead.

I then expanded my craigslist search to a 4 hour drive and I found the car. It was a 1988 Corvette manual car complete running and driving for $2500. Not only did this have a DANA 44 but in 1988 they went to 12 inch brake disks (13 inch in the Z51) so I will also have some better stopping power. I still need to confirm if my car is a Z51 or not. It also had new tires and the engine sounded good but it was physically beat pretty bad. I eventually worked the seller down to $1900 then I was off to my 3.5 hour one way adventure!

I finally got the car off the trailer yesterday and started to put a list of parts together and posted them on Craigslist to help recoup some of my investment. In the first day I sold the motor, harness and computer for $500 and I sold the top, top hoop, rear hatch and rear clip for $425. I am already down to a cost of $975.00 plus some time and fuel for my front and rear suspension and I still have the doors, dash, hood and a bunch of small parts and wheels with new tires to sell. Let the dismantling continue.

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