454 And A 4-Speed! 37K Mile 1973 Chevrolet Corvette

What’s not to like about this recent barn find! It is a red 1973 Corvette optioned with the LS-4 454 cubic inch V8 and 4-speed transmission. The car is located in East Islip, New York and can be seen here on eBay. The seller states that this is a 37,000-mile survivor that still has its numbers matching engine and drivetrain components. Although the car is currently not in running condition, it is a fully loaded example with AC, PW, PS, and the original AM/FM stereo.

The dash looks good and the black interior reflects a low mileage car. For the Corvette, 1973 was a year of change and refining this American Icon. Chevrolet added radial tires and new body mounts that reduced interior noise by 40%. 1973 was also the first year for the urethane front bumper and the only year that had a soft front bumper and chrome rear bumper. Beginning in 1973, the flat hood of prior years was replaced with a new cowl induction hood that helped keep the engine compartment cooler and was claimed to help increase power.

The engine does not appear very clean but is reported to be all there. In 1973, there were three engine options. The base L48 350 cubic inch V8 engine produced 190 hp. The optional L82 350 cubic inch V8 engine replaced the LT-1 and produced 250 hp. This car was equipped with the optional big block LS-4 454 cubic inch V8 engine that produced 275 hp. Only 15% of the Corvettes produced in 1973 came with the LS-4 454 cubic inch V8 engine.

OK, now for the negatives. The car has not been on the road since 1973 and the engine is seized. Even though the car has only 37,000 miles, it needs a new urethane front bumper. Matching the paint may be difficult. There are no pictures of the full car or the undercarriage. However, it is bid to $9,600 with 2 days remaining on the auction.


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  1. Jack M.

    Check the ad again Bruce, car has been off the road since 1980. Nice find.

    Like 9
    • Bruce Johnson Bruce Staff

      Jack, you are right. Typo on my part. I guess I get excited about 1973 Corvettes and that date sticks in my head!

      Like 5
  2. Gaspumpchas

    Hmm ill throw in my feeble $.02. Smog vette. New York (long guy land) the rust belt, no pics of the underbelly. stuck engine. “A really nice ‘vette”. up to 10 large and hasn’t hit reserve. talks more about dry rotted tires than he does the car. If it doesn’t sell he’s going to have the engine pulled, and have it cleaned up, shouldn’t need more than that, and if I do this the price will be higher. Think this guy has the BJ syndrome and has no idea whats involved here. Sorry for the negativity. This guy thinks he’s got gold and for a car that was built in the year of the worlds worst American cars were built. If you think you have to have this one, look it over good Good luck i’d guess with the unknowns it would only be worth 10k?? Correct me if I’m wrong. caveat Emptor.

    Like 30
    • Chris M.

      I agree. He’s posturing in order to bait the uninformed readers into urgency. This ad scenario is pretty common. “If it doesn’t sell I’ll do this or that and the price will go up” blah blah blah.

      Like 16
    • Purple sky

      Personally I always felt the 73’s were a confused model. LOL Am I a rubber bumper or a chrome bumper Corvette. Yes, feeble power that got worse every year since 1971. JMHO.. I’d say $7500 since it doesn’t run and who knows how the frame and birdcage are. Low miles doesn’t mean low rust, rust doesn’t sleep no matter how many miles are on it. Unless of course it’s been stored properly which most old cars aren’t. And since Vette’s sit so low, close to the ground chances are greater for rust.

      Like 7
    • schooner

      Agreed except it’s pronounced Lawn Guy Land.

      Like 3

    @Gaspumpchas you’re right, this car need$ more than TLC a 1968 with the 350 is faster than this 454

    Like 14
    • gbvette62

      This is not at all true.

      First off, the 68 came with a 327, not a 350. The base motor was a 327/300, and the optional 327 was 350 horsepower. Secondly, neither 68 327, nor any 69 or later 350 (except the 70-72 LT-1’s), were quicker than the 73 454. A 68 327/350 ran mid 15 second quarter miles, while the 73 454 was good for 15 flat.

      The 73 LS-4 was rated at 275 hp, but was basically the same engine as the 71 LS-5, that was rated at 365 hp. While there were some minor differences internally, the biggest difference between the 71 and 73 454, was how the horsepower was rated. In 1972, GM switched from a gross to net horsepower rating system. This reduced the the horsepower of all GM engines by 30 percent, without making any mechanical changes to the engines.

      Like 16
  4. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    With a stuck motor, it’s a gamble that may be an expensive one. It might be just stuck but if it’s seized, that’s a different story. Overall, it looks like it’s in good shape though it would have been nice to have a better picture of the damaged front end. There’s a similar 454 four speed ‘Vette for sale at Bring a Trailer for $23,250 so I wonder if the reserve on this one is too high, especially considering the problems it has. I guess we’ll see.

    Like 4
  5. redwagon

    Now bid to $11,300 with an unmet reserve. I really like the ’73 styling. For whatever reason I am a fan of the non-chrome front end combined with the C3 chrome rear end. In fact I expected most of the comments to be about how the front end was an abomination and the last good ‘vette design was ’72.

    Regardless, there’s a lot here I dont like and that is the lack of information related to the condition of the engine, front end, underbody and birdcage, plus the attitude of the seller.

    Lovely color btw and I hope it goes to someone who knows what they are doing.

    Like 3
    • mike b

      Agree on styling: I like the lower nose that the soft bumper provides as well as the cowl induction hood & simple side vents in combination with the Kamm tail.

      As far as the engine goes I’m sure the 454 gets you to the gas station quicker.

      Like 4
  6. the one

    Stuck engine. but maybe the WD will loosen it up?
    I’ve seen stranger things..Also, how did he try to turn it? Questions questions…

    Like 2
  7. Comet

    Not that it directly applies to this seller…but, I follow CL postings for motorcycles. There was a seller that stated “If it doesn’t sell this week, the price goes up next week.” Unbelievable!

    Like 5
  8. Bob McK Member

    Sure will be nice when complete. I love red cars.

    Like 1
  9. petemcgee

    Cool car for sure. Why don’t people just run these “as is” barn finds at no reserve and let the market set the price? SMH

    Like 2
  10. TimM

    Looks like it was garaged most of its life but it would be nice to see an underside pic or two!!! One New York winter can ruin a car and cause rust that never sleeps!! Stuck motor too!! The owner should take the plugs out and soak the top of the piston with Marvel Mystery oil and wait a few days then put a hot battery in it and give it hell!!

    Like 2
  11. John Oliveri

    I think it’s a nice car, hitting mid 11s didn’t hitit reserve yet, might cause a no sale and re think, cause it’s a 15,000 car running maybe 20 if no rust

    Like 1
    • David J David J

      I think John Oliveri nailed it, although perhaps he was too kind. :)

      The Corvette is now up to $15,400, reserve not met. Kinda crazy, in my honest opinion….

      Like 1
  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Dec 11, 2019 , 8:30PM
    Current bid:US $15,600.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 51 bids ]

    Like 1
  13. ken gembel

    I bought a 1973 corvette brand new and it was JUNK!! 35 miles crankshaft broke! windshield kept cracking when I went over railroad tracks! the absolute worst vehicle I have ever purchased!! I have had a Vega and Chevette,and they were much better vehicles!!

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