|FLYING CIRCUS |
1976 CHEVROLET CORVETTE
ISCA SHOW CAR
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An advantage to being a small store that actually buys and owns its inventory is that I get to know the people I buy a vehicle from, and take a genuine interest in absorbing the history of not only the car itself, but the previous owners as well.
This particular Chevrolet Corvette has led a VERY interesting life, and I am proud to be a foster parent to it while I help locate the next fortunate owner.
Decoding the VIN and option tag lets me know that this particular 1976 Corvette was built in St Louis with an L-82 V8 in Dark Green exterior with Blue Green leather and an L-82 350 V8 with automatic, air, power steering, T-tops, and a future that would be far removed from stock!
The story surrounding the car is that the original owner was a part of the group that designed the Casey Jr. Circus Train at Disneyland, and that he purchased the car new and drove it sparingly until 1979 when he decided to have it completely customized into an ISCA show-quality street machine. So he did just that!
Every single component on the car was reimagined and redone using the best paint, upholstery, fabrication techniques, and custom components available in that era, and the car was entered into ISCA shows throughout the country and displayed at many other events throughout the U.S. too where it won numerous awards, accolades, and the respect of other builders throughout the early 1980’s.
The car had the frame rails, pans, and chassis components covered in hand-painted circus animals and clowns. I have included a photo of the car from decades ago where it shows the Casey’s Circus logo on the back of it from back then.
Then, the original owner’s priorities shifted, and the car was placed into dry garage storage in 1984, where it stayed untouched for a number of years, when it was purchased by an enthusiast at an Ecklers Corvette Show in the 90’s who completely went through the car mechanically and functionally to make sure it was safe for regular use again. She changed the name and logo on the rear of the car to Susie’s Circus, to match her name, and enjoyed winning more shows and events with the car, including the opportunity to drive it on the Daytona Speedway in March of 1999 during the Speedway Spectacular!
She sold the car to a gentleman that owned it until 2009, and he only amassed 500-600 miles on it, showing it at local events in Central Florida. He removed the Susie’s Circus emblem on the back of the car, clowns on the side roof pillars, and replaced the clown painted on the hood of the car with the original hood that was included in the sale and was finished in matching stripes and color.
He sold the car in 2015 with approximately 11,000 miles showing on the odometer to a Corvette Club member in NE Florida who enjoyed cleaning it, uncovering all the hidden novelties, and servicing it so it would be ready to show regionally at events throughout the Southeast.
He owned the car until January of this year, when life interrupted his plans for the car, and I purchased it, with just over 11,200 miles showing on the odometer.
I have had the car since January of 2017, and have gone through the car completely, including all new fluids, brake line and power steering flush, cooling system flush, new front rotors and brake components, new vacuum lines, complete tune-up, carb cleaning and rebuild, and a full safety check to make sure that it is ready should the next owner actually want to drive it anywhere!
I have gone over every inch of it, and will try to give you the most detailed condition report I can on this truly one of a kind machine.
The car is an absolute time capsule of late 70’s/early 80’s customizing, and from the paint to the chassis, shows incredibly well and substantiates the low original mileage on the car.
The pearl white kandy finish on the car is sight to behold, and a real treat in an era where no actually seems to be able to really lay down color like they did in the old days.
It is miles deep, and the reflectivity of this finish is head and shoulders above the newer store-bought pearls you see on Cadillac and Lexus vehicles today.
The finish is slick and smooth, and really shows even BETTER in person than in the photos I have provided! It is just BEAUTIFUL!
The custom panel paint on the car is just as stunning, and so well-done you will wish you could hire the guy who painted it 30+ years ago do your next car!
Burgundy, sand beige, and earth tones combine to gracefully dance across everything from the sides of the car, roofline scallops, and lower front fascia.
All of the stripes work together to give the visual illusion that the car is moving, even when sitting still, and the custom colors all shows as wet, slick, shiny, and as new as the white pearl on the car does.
There are MAYBE a handful or two minor blemishes on the entire painted surface of the car, and that is being generous. It is a SHOW CAR in every regards, and you can tell by looking at the finish on the car that the estimated 11K odd miles are probably legitimate, and that it has spent the majority of its life in careful indoor storage with consistent care and detailing.
Fit, finish, and gaps on the car are exceptionally good, especially for a Corvette of this generation! T-tops fit exceptionally tight, doors close with a simple push and click and do not sag or droop, and the hood fit is among the best I have seen on a C3.
The car has massive chrome side-pipes on it, and they show so well you would swear they just left the plating facility!!!!
A 1980 ECKLERS rear tail panel was glassed right into the body, as was the ECKLERS front spoiler system with recessed headlamps, smoked covers, and custom made color-matched caps.
The fiberglass work is incredibly well-done, and has survived 38 years without showing a crack or stress fracture!
The glass on the car is in exceptional condition all the way around, and has no cracks, chips, or divots in it anywhere. There is a decal on the driver side of the windshield from when the car was a display show vehicle at the 2016 Turkey Rod Run in Daytona Beach, FL, and another on the passenger side of the windshield from the ISCA membership period of the cars life. I did not want to remove either, as they are part of the cars growing history.
Rear gold finished luggage rack is in very good condition, with all end cap covers intact and in great shape too. It has about 6-7 little marks and nicks in it that you could touch up if you wanted to.
Fuel door lid opens and closes without rubbing the rack, and the CORVETTE emblem on it shows wonderfully.
Door handles and lock cylinders show like new, and the antenna has very light patina on it but is original to the car.
Side mirrors are in excellent condition and work like they should.
Side marker lights, head lights, tail lamps, and driving lights all work like they should, and show to be damage and issue free.
The car rolls on very unique rims, and from the photos I have from the past, they appear to be the original ones on the car from when it was customized, with only the change evident being the switch from a spinner center cap cover to a more traditional cap somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd owners.
They almost appear to be Trans-Am style wheels, but they are just different enough that you can tell they clearly are not. They look like new though, and have no signs of curb damage or issues. I had the lips and bright areas, plus the lugs and center caps, professionally polished, and they gleam as bright in the sunlight as they do under the boulevards fluorescent glow.
They are wrapped in recently installed Goodyear EAGLE NASCAR raised white letter radials which give a period correct look with all the refinement, handling prowess, ride comfort and safety of a modern tire.
Corvette emblems, L-82 badging, and even the front vanity Vette plate all look wonderful, and dress up the car nicely.
Overall, the outside of the car presents better than most freshly restored models of its vintage, and the originality of its components, fit and finish, paint, and presentation are simply an added bonus.
Lift the hood, and you are met with an exceptionally clean engine bay, and an original L-82 motor that was performance built for the car by the original owner, and has been extensively serviced and refreshed for the next owner.
Prior owner’s paperwork indicates that the car was built up to 425hp with a mild cam, intake upgrade, carburetor upgrade, exhaust and muffler system upgrade, and other little things done to the car. Seat of the pants driving feel leads me to believe that those power claims are probably true, as the car has a nice lopey idle, and a large amount of power on hand at any given moment for overtaking another car, or simply hooligan-style shenanigans. Under a full launch, the car will easily catch 2nd gear and chirp the tires, and almost gets third too.
The engine bay itself is clean and tidy, and you can see where the A-Arms were removed and painted in matching pearl white when the car was first customized, although they do have a few nicks and chips on them today.
Chrome is liberally sprinkled throughout the engine bay, including the alternator, radiator support clamps, Edelbrock air cleaner, Edelbrock valve covers, brake master cover, and more.
The smoothed intake is in beautiful condition, and if you took the time to polish it I am sure it would gleam as bright as the rest of the chrome on the car! The carb looks like new after it was cleaned and professionally rebuilt by Southwest Florida’s legendary Carburetor John, who all my carb work and restoration!
New plugs and wires were installed, taking care to use the same brand and color wiring for nostalgias sake.
Braided stainless hoses and lines are found throughout the engine bay, and even the chrome hood spring assemblies are chromes!
Also of note, and not just found in the engine bay, are over 100 individually custom made aluminum nut/bolt covers found almost everywhere on the car to keep things looking finished. These were made for the car back in a time before you just clicked on a few websites and waited for the UPS driver to show up with them.
A few have been lost to time and driving, but I would say at least 90% of them are intact, and show nicely on the Vette.
Radiator was replaced with a NOS unit in 2013, and shows wonderfully while never letting the car run close to high in temperature.
A/C compressor was upgraded on the car along with the evaporator, drier, and lines, and it works exceptionally well to keep the car icy cold, while also allowing heat and defrost functionality too.
Everything underneath the hood is clean and presents itself wonderfully when at a car show or event. If you took the time to REALLY go after cleaning the nooks and crannies on the car, I imagine the finished product would be mind-blowing!
Power gets to the rear of the car via a TH400 transmission with a mild shift kit. It shifts cleanly and crisply through each gear, and under hard acceleration will easily catch tire in 2nd and almost get it in 3rd. Around town, and with a light touch on the gas pedal, the car shifts nicely and will not jerk your passengers head around under normal cruising.
Factory rear end transmits power to the rear wheels via a purple coated driveshaft and chrome plated half-shafts that the original builder had customized with $.50 cent pieces. The chrome is starting to pit and patina in spots, but certainly still looks good when viewed with the included show mirrors.
In addition to the axles, the entire 7-spring GYMKHANA rear spring was chrome plated, as are the shocks and chrome trailing arms, all of which show quite well, and would detail up even better when you have the car cleaned.
Just like the engine bay, almost every nut on the underside of the car has a custom made aluminum cover, which is quite a thing when you consider this was done in a time before you just ordered a bag full from Amazon.
Custom tinwork is evident around the sides and rear end, where metal was shaped and formed to bring an overall show-car feel to folks peeking underneath.
A chrome plated cover runs across the center of the car, and it looks fantastic, especially when viewed with the included show mirrors!
Chrome and show polished aluminum also found a home on the transmission pan, oil pan, and other assorted covers.
The undercarriage pans are finished in medium black, and show signs of road debris, dirt, and general grunge from being driven a bit more than trailered the last few years of its life, but nothing that constitutes damage, disrepair, or requires attention. It will look quite a bit better if you take the time to get it on a lift, pressure wash it, and wipe down all the nooks and crannies.
The highlight of the chassis has to be the multiple hand-painted clowns, circus animals, and emblems found almost everywhere you look on the car! They have held up well to time, and seeing the look on the faces of children and adults when they first see them in the mirrors at a show is priceless!
Chassis itself has been sorted out and serviced, and the car rides so nice you will think it is 1976 all over again! It tracks straight, and the ride is smooth and pliable but without any undue roll or wallow when cornering or changing lanes.
Steering is crisp and clean, with a positive centerline feel, and easy lock-to-lock thanks to power steering. There is no excess slop in the wheel, and it handles as well at speed on the freeway as it does in a parking lot.
There are no rattles, clangs, or other odd sounds from the suspension or steering components, and it drives like you would expect a car with 11,200 miles to drive.
I have driven the car at speed on the freeway, and had it up to a GPS matched 100mph without any issues, awkwardness, or concern.
Speedo is just about 1.5 mph off from GPS at all speeds.
At 70mph, the cars tachometer shows 2,900rpm, and it is NOT taxing the motor at freeway legal speeds.
Power comes on smoothly at all speeds, and you have a nice reserve on hand to allow you to pass slower cars without even downshifting when cruising the Interstate.
It does not run hot, and I took it to the last cruise night on Fort Myers Beach right in the middle of SPRING BREAK TRAFFIC where I idled for 40 minutes creeping along six inches at a time, and even with the A/C churning away, it never went over 200 degrees.
Overall, the chassis and powertrain on this car are in very good condition, and the only thing left for you to do is spend some time cleaning and detailing all of it to make it look even better.
Opening the doors on the car reveals an interior that is so cool, so retro, and so incredibly well-preserved it should have its own Facebook page.
Red crushed velvet and velour work together with brass buttons and hand-sewn tufting to create an interior that truly has to be seen in person to be appreciated!
EVERY SINGLE PART OF THE INTERIOR has been treated to custom fabricated panels and covered in the richest red velvet and velour you have ever seen!!!
Seats show wonderfully, and have only the slightest light wear from being used over the years.
Center console is completely covered in the red stuff, and the lid opens to display a lined storage cubby.
E-Brake handle is in good condition, as are the functional window switches.
Faux wood factory console trim panel verifies the L-82 factory motor, and shows quite well.
Shifter looks great, and the selector functions as it should as well.
Ashtray lid opens and closes as it should, and has a function CIGAR lighter intact.
Factory heating and AIR CONDITIONING control panel works as it should, and the car has fully function heat, defrost, and A/C.
An aftermarket CORVETTE logo digitally tuned radio was installed two owners ago, along with a rear mounted speaker sound bar direct from the ECKLERS catalog! It works like it should, and lets your favorite 70’s hit wash over you as you cruise the boulevard.
Above it, a full selection of factory gauges all work as they should, including CLOCK, FUEL LEVEL, WATER TEMP, BATTERY, and OIL PRESSURE. The wood trim surrounding them is in great condition as well.
A/C vents and wiper washer controls are intact above that, and are functional as well.
Factory tach and speedo live on the left side of the dash, along with functional headlamp switch.
Round A/C vents on each side of the dash work and adjust as they should.
Tilt column works perfectly, as does the turn signal stalk. Column is topped with a chrome and wood rimmed wheel which shows wonderfully.
The red trim ring between the wheel itself and the column has a bit of wear, but I am sure you could paint it if it bothered you. I didn’t really want to mess with much on the car, as it is so original.
The entire dash, gauge surround, dash front, and passenger dash lower panel are all covered in luxurious velvet and velour, hand stitched and fitted to the car almost 40 years ago! It all shows extraordinarily well, and is a testament to the quality and level of build the car was back then.
The red continues on the kick panels, A-pillars, B-pillars, T-top lining, and even the ROCKER kick plates!!! It is incredible how well done it is, and how great it all still looks!!!
Door panels are treated to the same finish as the seats, and they look amazing, with bright and shiny chrome handles, lock knobs, and trim too!
The entire rear panel is treated to the red velvet, except for the storage lids and cargo floor, which have rich, red carpeting just like the front of the car does.
All lids open to useable storage bins, and even the rear window trim band is wrapped in velvet!
Heck, they were SO fastidious in the placement of the velvet, they even put it on the TOP part of the T-TOP area, so when you had the tops off at a show, it wasn’t just boring old painted metal! AMAZING!!!!
Carpeting up front looks great, and is protected during normal life by a set of red CORVETTE mats, but when it is show time, you install the custom made floor mats with the same button tufting and stitching as the seats and door panels! TOO COOL!!!!
After all that cool stuff, it seems boring to talk about seals and weather stripping, but we have to! All of the door seals, window seals, T-TOP seals, and rubber weather stripping on the car are in very good condition, and show rot, crumbling, or issues. They are soft and pliable to the touch, and when we washed the outside of the car, we did not see any water intrusion to the interior.
It is hands down one of the coolest interiors you will see, and it shows even nicer in person than in the pics. I could NOT capture the vibrancy of the red on my iPhone. Make sure to check the video too!
It has been safety checked, and we have performed an alignment on the car as well. It is ready for you to fly in and drive home wherever you want to take it should you like!
I think that is about all I can tell you about the car, but if you have questions PLEASE CALL ME at 941-286-0889!!! I don’t get onto eBay to read messages but once a day, but my phone is ALWAYS with me.
I am open to all offers to end the auction early with a BUY IT NOW price, so let me know what works for you, and I will try to make it work for me.
CALL J.J. AT 941-286-0889 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Dealers can purchase the car on a wholesale order and are welcomed to contact me directly.
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Sale Information and Warranty information
THIS VEHICLE IS AVAILABLE FOR RETAIL SALE AT OUR FORT MYERS, FL LOCATION, AND I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO END THE AUCTION AT ANY TIME SHOULD THE VEHICLE BE SOLD.
THE VEHICLE IS SOLD IN AS-IS / WHERE-IS CONDITION WITH FULL RIGHT TO INSPECT PRIOR TO BIDDING ON THE AUCTION.
THE VEHICLE HAS BEEN DESCRIBED TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, HONESTLY, AND OBJECTIVELY.
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE LISTING IS CULLED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: VISUAL INSPECTION, PRIVATE PARTY INSPECTION, RECEIPTS OR RECORDS INCLUDED WITH THE VEHICLE, INORMATION SUPPLIED BY THE PRIOR OWNER, AND PERSONAL DRIVE TIME WITH THE VEHICLE. IF GEAR RATIOS, ENGINE INTERNAL SPECIFICS, TRANSMISSION INTERNAL SPECIFICS, AND ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT ARE NOT APPARENT IN THE PHOTOS SHOWN ARE LISTED, THAT IS BASED ON THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY PRIOR OWNER, ASWE DO NOT BREAK OPEN ENGINES, TRANSMISSIONS, REAR ENDS, ETC., SO WE ARE SIMPLY OFFERING IT TO YOU IN THE SAME GOOD FAITH THAT IT WAS OFFERED TO US. WHEN IN DOUBT, COME HERE AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF, ORHIRE AN INSPECTION SERVICE.
MILEAGE STATED IN LISTING IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF THE LISTING, BUT CAN INCREASE DUE TO TEST DRIVES, TAKING THE VEHICLES TO CAR SHOWS, AND MOVING THEM BETWEEN OUR WAREHOUSES. MILEAGE WILL NO EXCEED THE AMOUNT STATED BY MORE THAN 300 MILES.
IF A VEHICLE WAS A TRADE-IN AT OUR DEALERSHIP AND HAD A LOAN/LEASE PAYOFF, THERE MAY BE A TITLE DELAY AS THE TITLE COULD BE IN TRANSIT FROM THE LENDER. WE AGREE TO SUPPLY CLEAN, CLEAR, AND VALID TITLE TO THE VEHICLE WITHIN 25 DAYS OF YOUR PURCHASE.
PURCHASER AGREE'S THAT ANY AN ALL ARBITRATION, LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, OR UNRESOLVED COMPLAINTS SURROUNDING THE VEHICLE, THIS AUCTION, OR OUR DEALERSHIP, WILL BE PURSUED THROUGH LEE COUNTY, FL SMALL CLAIMS COURT AND NO OTHER STATE, COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY, OR FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM.
PURCHASER FURTHER AGREES THAT BY BIDDING ON THIS AUCTION, HE AGREES TO COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION AS STATED IN THE LISTING/. IF FOR ANY REASON AT ALL THE PURCHASER ELECTS TO NOT COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION, PURCHASER WILL REMIT $500.00 usd TO COVER DAMAGES ACCRUED BY THE SELLER. IN THE EVENT THAT THE $500.00 usd IS NOT PAID WITHIN 10 DAYS OF AUCTION END, WINNING BIDDER AGREES TO ALSO REIMBURSE THE SELLER FOR ANY AND ALL REASONABLE FEE'S IN COLLECTING THE DEBT INCURRED, INCLUDING COURT COSTS, COLLECTION FEES, and WAGES LOST IN SEEKING FULFILLMENT OF THE SAID OBLIGATION. ***********************************************************************************************************
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ARE SUBJECT TO A
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OVER AND ABOVE
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PLEASE be prepared to pay the initial NON REFUNDABLE $250.00 deposit via PAYPAL within 24 hours ofwinning the auction, and pay the balance in full within 7 daysof auction end date.
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