454 V8 Project: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette

The third generation of the Chevy Corvette would enjoy a lengthy run from 1968-82 and continued to be the only sports car made in the USA. The 1974 model year would be the last for the 454 cubic-inch big-block which found its way into fewer than 10% of all Corvettes built that year. This coupe is said to run well but will need cosmetic attention inside and out. Located in Inglewood, California, this ’74 ‘Vette is available here on craigslist for $5,500. Another lead compliments of Barn Finder rex m!

1973 saw the first rubber bumper on a Corvette, but 1974 models ended up with both a front and rear urethane bumper, making them easier to identify. The Turbo-Hydramatic transmission was no longer an extra cost option and found its way into about two-thirds of all Corvettes that year, including the seller’s coupe. Speaking of coupes, they would dominate production at 85% of the 37,502 built overall. Of that total, only 3,494 units came with the LS4, 270 hp, 454 V8, also like the seller’s car.

This Sting Ray is a running project with a reported 68,000 miles on the odometer. We’re told it’s a good runner, so perhaps most of the attention needs are probably with how it looks. The burgundy paint is mostly gone on the back half of the car (maybe from exposure to the elements). And the rear Tupperware bumper is wearing a decent coat of grey primer. The black leather seats are said to be good, but the door panels have been removed and will need replacements. The buyer will also need to order a new carpet set.

According to Hagerty, a ’74 ‘Vette in Fair condition is an $8,000 car. But that’s with a 350 V8 and the 454 is probably worth a few dollars more. If the fiberglass on the seller’s car doesn’t need any serious reworking, then this could be a decent project. The upside potential maybe north of $30,000.


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  1. Steve Clinton

    The only positive I can see is at least they filled in the seam in the rear bumper.

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      I wonder how long that will last if and when the car gets driven.

      Like 3
    • chuck

      It might be a fiberglass replacement.

      Like 1
  2. Emmet

    Decent priced project car as in California, pre 75 is smog exempt. You can put whatever you want under the hood and its all legal. Or keep it original as it will retain value due to the factory big block.

    Like 3
  3. Frank

    1974 had a split rear bumper. So new rear or new bondo? Another jack up the radiator cap and put a new car under it. These car have not increased enough to dump your life savings into it.

    Like 1
    • Emmet

      I thought the last split bumper in the rear was 73, From 74 on, all plastic bumpers which have mostly rotted away or warped badly and had to be replaced.

      Like 1
      • Blyndgesser

        The ‘74 had a one year only, two piece urethane bumper with an unsightly vertical seam. This one doesn’t have the seam.

        Like 3
    • Ememt

      I misunderstood, I thought your meant the chrome rear bumpers. I stand corrected.

  4. george mattar

    30 large for any 74 is too generous. I own a 73 4 speed coupe. The best one in the world is only worth maybe $25,000. GM has said the technology to make a one piece rear bumper for the 74 was not available until the 75 came out. Whatever the story, those bumpers were junk new. The front bumper cover on my 73 literally fell apart in junks as I drove it. I bought a very good fiberglass replacement. Fits far better than the factory junk ever did and won’t shrink and fall apart. Good project, big blocks are rare, but the automatic kills it for me. I had a 1971 454. Passed everything but a gas station with the 4 speed and 3.08 rear.

    Like 2
    • douglas hunt

      yep, a 4speed would be killer…..

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