We came across this gem on the internet and it is currently for sale in Milpitas, California, by NBS Auto Showroom. If you think you’ve seen this basic design before, you may be right.
The popularity of C3 Corvette Sportwagon conversions is nothing new. They were quite popular back in the day, when these cars weren’t garnering five- and six-figure pricing in pristine condition. Several companies made kits available to convert your C3 into what became known as a Corvette Sportwagon.
There is some contention as to who built the best Sportwagon, but many agree on who built the first one. Chuck Miller is reportedly the first to lay additional layers of fiberglass over the tail-side of a C3 in search for more storage space. As the story goes, he was an avid customizer in the Detroit area. The idea for the Sportwagon was formulated when a rock band drummer came to him and wanted him to add enough storage to his Corvette so he could haul his drum set to gigs in his C3 Corvette. A lofty aspiration, indeed!
Miller spent some time to design the body style and worked with Eckler’s to build the body panels en masse. John Greenwood also offered a Corvette Sportwagon for those C3 Corvette owners looking to haul in more ways than one.
To get the additional space behind the seats, (you know, for a drum set or two), the floor was modified as part of the kit to allow for a much flatter surface for storage. That meant the factory fuel tank had to go. Of course, if you’re cutting off the upper quarter of the rear of your Corvette, swapping gas tanks is likely the least of your concerns. There was also a roof rack added for additional storage area, should you ever need to carry the band’s guitars and amplifiers at some point.
As you can see, raising the roof on this particular Corvette was only the beginning. Modifications flow so numerous and seamlessly, that it may be hard to distinguish what the car wore when it actually left the factory. The sidepipes make their presence known, whether when carelessly exiting the car, or viewing it from any angle other than directly from the front or rear.
Up front, the bodywork continues under the bumper with Mako Shark-esque grills and front spoiler. The hood is augmented with numerous openings to alleviate engine heat. The serious wow-factor is carried over in the choice of eye-searing orange paint with yellow flames, for good measure.
While the car is for sale on NBS’ website, there isn’t much information available, other than being listed as a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Station Wagon with 47,000 miles on the odometer. Reportedly, the car has won numerous awards, which it can haul home easily, thanks to the additional space and its 327 V8 and four-speed transmission.
While there will be some who wince at the thought of modifying any Corvette, we kinda dig the mods made to this Shark. Although, we’d likely not put on the snorkel gear to “go deep” and get any loose change that rolls toward the back of the storage area, due to the limited access from a lack of a rear opening. At least, we’d wait until it had time to accumulate enough change to make the trip worthwhile.
Either way, this Corvette stands as a testament to a time when resale value took a back seat to personalization and utility. It definitely stands out in a crowd, and for the time being, it resides in a collection of cars in California that are all looking for a new home. Perhaps yours?