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Beyond Help? 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

There can be no doubt that this 1973 Corvette Coupe is a car that has seen better days. Returning it to its former glory is possible, but it will take a dedicated new owner to achieve this. Its greatest asset is not its condition or relative completeness, but the fact that there is a chance that it might be able to be secured for a reasonably low price. This alone makes it worth a bit of a look. Located in Macomb, Michigan, you will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay. With 4 people pushing the bidding, it has reached a staggering $222, and the reserve hasn’t been met. There is a BIN option, and that has been set at $3,800.

Man, that can’t be good! This is a Corvette with some serious rust issues, and those are the ones that we can actually see. The owner is brutally honest about the fact that the car will require a new frame. I think that it is fair to say that the car has some pretty major structural problems. The hidden sections of the birdcage may also contain some nasty surprises, which would be more bad news for the next owner. The body is essentially complete, although the original Silver paint is looking pretty sad. The front bumper is missing, but the owner seems to be right when he says that the panels themselves appear to be free of significant cracks and issues. All of the glass looks good, but the story is completely different when we look at the external trim and chrome. The tail light lenses are all broken, while there are a significant number of trim pieces that are missing. What is there will probably need some restoration work, and even the wheels wear a significant amount of surface corrosion.

For those of you that were hoping for better news when we popped the hood, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. You don’t have to be Einstein to realize that the Corvette doesn’t run. In fact, in its current state, I doubt that it could even crawl. I never like to see motors with exposed openings like where the distributor fits on this one. If the distributor can come out, foreign bodies can get in. The owner isn’t clear what the engine is, beyond it being a small-block. It should be the 350ci V8, which is hooked to an automatic transmission. Unfortunately, we don’t even know whether the engine turns freely, but with exposed openings and the level of moisture that the car has apparently been exposed to, I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that.

Under all of those parts, a great many of which look like they belong in the engine bay, there is supposed to be a black leather interior. There is no indication about its condition, but the owner does state that the interior is complete. From what we can see, the dash doesn’t look bad, and the pad might be free of cracks. It also looks like the Corvette may be fitted with power windows. The original radio is gone, but what is fitted in its place is a Pioneer radio/cassette player, and by the looks of it, this was the range-topping unit from the mid-1980s.

There is no disputing the fact that this Corvette is not a pretty sight. The owner floats three distinct possibilities for the vehicle, being a start for a restoration, a rolling project, or a parts car. I’ve always said that virtually any car is capable of being restored, given enough time and money. However, with this Corvette, I’m a realist, and firmly believe that the destiny for this one is that it is going to be stripped for parts. Do you agree?


  1. giorgitd

    This is a parts car, nothing more. A shame, but the truth.

    Like 14
  2. jerry z

    Wonder if the birdcage is rotted? I’m guessing yes. Too bad.

    Like 2
  3. ruxvette

    “98% All ORIGINAL”…but only 43.5% there.

    Like 17
  4. TimM

    Ouch!! It hurts my eyes!!! This thing was used in the mid west winter and there will be more unpleasant surprises than pleasant ones!! The rust will not sleep and you won’t either after spending you account on frame and suspension parts to rebuild a not so desirable corvette!!!

    Like 4
  5. Henry mcateer

    How do I buy this car I want to buy this

  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Wouldn’t make any sense to restore this rot box, it’s not like you couldn’t find another ’73 ‘Vette. Definitely a parts car for someone restoring a better one. Probably get it pretty cheap, too.

    Like 2
  7. Dennis

    Hope that reserve is set at no more than $750.00 Even at that? Birdcage is probably shot. 350 base auto? Not..

    Like 2
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Gotta give credit for the amount of pictures. Most EBay sellers won’t even post that many.

    Here, the pictures are a waste of time.

    Like 2
  9. 8banger dave Member

    Ka-pow! Baked, fried, and rotted.

    Like 2
  10. David Harris

    The pictures may have saved someone from waisting there time on this one

    Like 2
  11. victor

    RIP mr. C-3 better days are behind you :(

  12. dogwater

    Might be worth buying the body parts only around $1000.00

  13. Henry

    tell the owner to get with me I want to buy the car

  14. Henry

    I like the car I don’t care about the problem with the car has I want to buy the car

  15. George Mattar

    Frames are available, but you know that birdcage has issues. Easy to check. Remove long Phillips screw at top of each kick panel. Reveals plenty of sins at the body mount. I own a near mint silver 73 coupe and the frame and Bird cage near perfect. Never sat outside and I never get the car wet. Dont wash it. Wipe down with spray wax. This is sad cause I love 73 coupes. But I agree this is a parts car at best. No 4 speed. No air cond. Has tilt wheel. That column alone is worth a ton. At least the seller is honest.

  16. JoeNYWF64

    This might be a good candidate to experiment if 1 can fit an earlier chrome bumper on the front – never seen a ’73 converted as such. Is it that difficult?
    Did the factory not prime & paint the birdcage? If you “knew someone” could you request that when ordering the car?
    Does anyone make a stainless steel or aluminum birdcage?
    Is it that hard to “drop” this good body on another “frame/birdcage”?
    Was factory undercoating avail on these cars? That would have helped underneath.

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