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454 Equipped: 1975 Chevy Corvette

This 1975 Chevrolet Corvette is a captivating project, certainly more so than most Corvettes of this vintage we feature. This example has a modern 454 engine swapped in, paired to a manual transmission. The seller says it’s a “fun car” which I have to assume means it runs and drives, despite being parked here on a trailer. Said to have a fairly crappy paint job, it still looks like a blast to drive and the price is right with bidding under $5K here on eBay and no reserve.

Aside from the rear spoiler, you might assume this is a stock ’75 – but then you see the air cleaner jutting out of the hood. Just the other day, I was stuck watching one of those horrendous “reality” shows documenting a modern hot rod shop’s customer projects. Every other word out of the idiot host’s mouth was “LS swap it,” or “Let’s drop an LS” in it,” or even “I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I think the best course of action is an LS swap.” Jeez-louise, is this really all audiences want to hear? Regardless, I’m happy to report that this Corvette does not have an LS-series engine under the hood.

And yes, the LS engine has its many benefits, from fuel injection to lighter weight, but a 454 is way more period-correct, and getting it tuned right requires the touch of an old-school hot rodder, which is the kind of person you want working on a car like this anyway. The engine presentation is quite nice, and I like the painted valve cover and Hillborn-style air scoop. It looks like a clean swap with no messy wiring or really any crudeness to report.

The interior is even better, with nicely preserved bucket seats and console, unmarred door panels, and what looks like a crack-free dash. The steering wheel is an aftermarket affair that I’d get rid of, but the best feature to me is that manual gearbox. With a solid birdcage and sound fiberglass body that just needs a higher-quality repaint, this 454-swapped Corvette project looks like a lot of fun for the money.


  1. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    Wow. Bug-catchers are so 70s! Looks like it might have a vacuum leak along with a stiff brake pedal tho…

    Like 7
  2. Kurt Member

    Looks like A LOT of fun, nice interior, too bad it’s so far away, like the price so far.

    Like 5
  3. Fossil

    Yeah, the price looks just fine to me also.
    My 1977 C3 cost a bucket load more than this one, but it is in Australia and with fresh paint. Seen above just waiting for a new exhaust.
    If it sells for under US$6k that represents great value IMHO.

    Like 5
  4. Del

    When mechanicals are not discussed I always wonder if there are problems ?

    Like 2
  5. Karl

    Anybody who puts something like this on top a carb, I mean JUST a carb makes me wonder, but then to cut a hole in the hood of the car to have THIS sticking out crosses the line to ridiculous. First thing to do here I’d get an air cleaner on the carb and throw that abomination in the garbage the fix the hood.

    Like 8
  6. v

    take that heavy 454 engine out of there and put a blown iron duke 1000 HP 4 banger in it. then there could be real fun times. wonder what it would do in the 1/4 then. do this and you have a real light weight car. of course you have to cut more hood for it to fit. oh well in for a penny in for a pound . love to see this one do a wheely

    Like 0
  7. rod444

    I’d like to drive a 454 just to compare to my 350 Vette. I’d imagine the torque would be rather satisfying.

    Only concern would be the extra front weight.

    When I bought my Vette I went around my first fast corner, cranked the wheel to the right, punched the throttle and scared the shiz outta myself as I slid across the oncoming lane and nearly plowed into the curb.

    Turns out those old tires and suspension were no match for all that engine weight – went straight to a tire shop and signed up for more grip and less slip. And a new pair of pants.

    Like 7
  8. Troy s

    Only LS that seems appropriate for this plastic fantastic would be the LS-6 454, although an engine like that requires some really good fuel.
    Lose the bug catcher wannabe air cleaner repair whatever is needed and drive it like you stole it….

    Like 1

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