Big Block 454: 1973 Chevrolet Corvette

As can be seen here on Craigslist, this 1973 Chevrolet Corvette is for sale in Cleveland, Ohio and the seller says he will consider bids north of $20,000. The car is equipped with its factory LS4 454 cubic inch V8 engine and 4 speed transmission.

The saddle interior is worn out and missing the driver seat. The seller states that this car was produced on the 20th anniversary of the Corvette and appears to be painted in 25th anniversary Pace Car livery. It has been stored in his garage for the last 25 years and accumulated all types of trash covering the the car so it is hard to see from the pics what you are getting.

The car appears to be nonrunning and the engine compartment shows it is unloved, too. 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 produced 250 hp. This car was equipped with the optional big block LS-4 454 cubic inch V8 engine that produced 275 hp. As a bonus, this car still retains its original M21 4 speed transmission.

For the Corvette, 1973 was a year of change as Chevrolet added radial tires and new body mounts that reduced interior noise by 40%. Most notably, 1973 was also the first year for the urethane front bumper and the only year that had a soft front bumper and rear chrome bumper. So, the seller’s pricing seems pretty aggressive for the shape that this car is in. It would be nice to see some better pictures and I would be hard pressed to buy this one without a thorough inspection. Who thinks I am right and who thinks I am off base?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I don’t have much to say one way or another about the car. But great opening line Bruce. Reminds me of something else I occasionally notice:

    I’ll be in an upscale subdivision when I will see a driveway with two or three nice new-ish vehicles, worth $50k or even $100k. The garage doors are open, and I can see the garage is full of…. junk. Makes no sense to me.

    Like 24
  2. irocrobb

    I have bought and sold a number of cars in my lifetime. I would never respond to a ad like this. Capital letters to not waste his time,gee. I know there is a lot of tire kickers out there but it is easy to sort the buyers out. And yes, I think he is 5 to 10 grand high in price as it will need a lot of work.

    Like 14
    • Arthell64 Member

      Like you I have bought and sold lots of cars and I havé never responded to an ad that said DON’T WASTE MY TIME.

      Like 12
      • Danger Dan

        Or my other fave “DONT WAIST MY TIME”

        Like 11
  3. DayDreamBeliever Member


    Call me with an offer for more than $20K for a car I don’t own that I found in some old dude’s garage, and can’t pull out to clean up and properly assess.

    Great idea.

    Like 23
  4. Socaljoe

    Day dream believer, you may have hit the nail on the head. I would never respond to an ad like this either. Obviously not a car that can be bought for reasonable money. Looks like it will stay a storage shelf for a while more.

    Like 9
  5. Kirk Wolfe

    As a piece of malaise era history, I can return this Corvette to it’s pristine originality. It’s a 1973 with front urethane bumper and rear chrome, the last year for those powerful big block engines and the car appears to have only minor rust from what I can see from the engine bay. But, it’s far from being a good offer. I can pay, at maximum, US$ 10,000. Only with a minor restoration this car can reach the US$ 20,000.

    Like 6
  6. theagent39

    Agreed…..5 – 10K over priced for a car that has been sitting this long. Interior looks OK (from photos) but why was it parked and not driven. We can assume all brakes will need to be rebuild, engine rebuilt, repaint most likely, any body damage (can’t see whole car from photos) and what does the frame look like?

    Yes, asking for “offers” north of 20k with crappy photos and arrogant ad description is a little rich for me

    Like 8
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Great comments all. Another thing is that all of the crap piled on the car WILL scratch the paint, whether it was good or not, especially the box that housed a lawn mower. Even trash like fast food wrappers were left in the car.This could possibly be a contender for the worst listing in BF’s history. Stay safe.

    Like 11
    • Steve P

      Agree with Gaspump!

      Like 1
  8. Kelly Waldrop

    Not the powerful 454 of days gone buy. Even excellent condition 73’s struggle to get even 30 grand at auction. Yet another person who has Barrett Jackson and Mecum disease.

    Like 5
    • brianashe

      > Not the powerful 454 of days gone buy.

      No, but it’s the same size as much, much better big blocks that you can buy or build today, and it’s smog-exempt almost everywhere. :D

      Like 1
  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    The seller states ‘Looks good when cleaned up.’ I wonder how they know?

    Like 7
    • Ike Onick

      I heard that about a blind date once. Nope.

      Like 4
  10. Robert White

    1973 Corvettes had really bad frames if one is anywhere near the rust belt states or provinces in Canuckistan.

    If I had a 73 Vette with a 454cid I would cover it up just to protect the 454 from being situated in an old crappy 73 Vette.

    If I owned it I would pull the drivetrain and sell the car to a wrecker before I would invest ten cents in it.

    Bob ‘I can’t stand Corvettes or Corvairs’ White

    Like 1
  11. Ike Onick

    Seller should consider having his head examined. He’s got a $3000 car covered in garbage

    Like 3
  12. DR Member


    oops sorry about all caps :)

    Like 2
  13. Pickin Member

    I bet the inside is nice and STINKY. What a joke…

    Like 1
  14. John Oliveri

    He’s about 10 large over what it’s worth, not counting how bad the body seams are, if that big block isn’t stuck, it’s a crap shoot

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      With the emphasis on “crap”

      Like 1
  15. Richard Van Dyke Sr

    Sounds like the seller is being a jerk to me. Clean the thing up clear the the trash off and air up the flat tires. Then you can ask for north of $20 but don’t be arrogant.

    Like 1
  16. C5 Corvette

    Not to far away for me, but NOPE! just thought I’d give an arrogant nope to match this arrogant ad.

    Like 1
  17. Bob McK Member

    How sad to trash what was once a nice car. It is in Ohio…. A buyer better check the frame, it might be full of rust holes.

    Like 2
  18. Bob C.

    He certainly didn’t “waste” any time cleaning off the junk and making this car halfway presentable for sale.

    Like 3
  19. ruxvette

    “Looks good when cleaned up.” Then clean it up so it looks good to sell.
    “…Big Block Cars are selling…for $35,000 to $85, 000.” Not in that condition they don’t.
    It may have been parked for the last 25 years but it was on the road for 22 years…perhaps in Ohio.
    No telling if it runs and/or moves. $10-12,000 is a good buying price.

    Like 1
  20. Benjy58

    Another dreamer of the Barret-Jackson type. They got 50,000 for a car just like it so I should get 20,000 for this gem NOT. It will cost more money than this car is worth.

  21. ron

    Evidently he has no regard for his Corvette. If it’s only for the $ why didn’t he clean it up. Makes me wonder. Not for me. Just my thoughts. No offence to anyone

  22. moosie moosie

    I’d be willing to overlook the MIA drivers seat if the car was presented in a less cluttered and dumpster lookalike condition , WTF are some people thinking when they are trying to get top dollar for cars they are trying to sell. Clean the car up sonny and lose the attitude. Too expensive for whats offered.

    Like 4
  23. Mike

    I live in Barberton, Ohio. South of Cleveland. Unless there’s another 1973 Corvette painted up like the 25th anniversary Corvette, I saw this car a long time ago, when it was running. As soon as I saw the picture, I remember the 73 vette painted like the 78! I was a young teenager. I remember. They let it go. Bad.

    Like 3
    • Bill

      Hi Mike, I’m the “Arrogant” owner of this car and I’m glad you remember it. I used to take it to car shows around Cleveland and Cedar Point. Do you remember where you saw it? The paint is still in great shape and I was careful with it over the years. I just set a bunch of stuff on it before I took it out of storage because it’s called Barn Finds and I hoped it would get on here. Well, It did but I can’t get over all the BS comments. Just goes to show a lot of people on this site are not Real Car Guys. I bought the car at Corvette Carlisle in 1989 and gave the guy A Real Car Guy, $8500 in cash to hold the car till I got back out there a week later when a buddy of mine flew me out to Harrisburg, Pa. Airport in his Cessna 182 with the rest of the money and to drive it all the way home to Elyria, Ohio and all I had was his signature on a match book cover saying he had my money. My buddies at work couldn’t believe I did that but I said no problem, He’s a Car Guy.

      Thanks So much for remembering my car. Look below for the comment that starts with “GEE, I thought the name of this site was BARN FINDS” and you will see what I wrote to all the Non Believers. Thanks again Bill

      Like 1
      • ruxvette

        “Hi Mike, I’m the “Arrogant” owner of this car”. That’s about the only honest comment you have made. “I staged the car to look crappy…my buddy has a Cessna…I have a half mil house…I’m a Real Car Guy.
        I am duly impressed.

        Like 1
  24. Marc

    Is the lawnmower included???

  25. Angrymike

    Anyone even thinking about buying this better get a good look at the frame and birdcage. North East Ohio cars that sit, will rust rather quickly. The moisture in garages is something terrible. The temperature changes here start at 46° and warm to 70° within 5-8 hrs, like yesterday. My mustang GT actually gets soaking wet if not pulled out and let dry.
    Think about that over thirty years.

    Like 1
  26. Raymond Hurst Member

    Seller says he has seen these cars for sale from 35 to 85 grand?!?!?! In this condition? I don’t think so. Car needs at least 40 grand for a decent restoration job. Paint job alone is 10 to 15 grand. Total outlay for this car would be at least 60 to 70 grand. Grand old car at a grand old price.

  27. TimM

    Maybe the owner should spend some time cleaning off his car and picking the dirty tissues up off the passenger side floor!!! I don’t think that would be a waste of time!!!

    Like 1
  28. Jim in FL

    Some lazy sellers….have NO shame!

  29. Bill

    GEE, I thought the name of this site was BARN FINDS. I’ve seen some listings on here where you couldn’t even make out that there was a car under all that junk. YES I’M THAT ARROGANT OWNER of this 73 Big Block. I thought REAL CAR GUYS would really get a kick out of pix where hidden treasures were under a bunch of junk. You see, I’m a REAL CAR GUY who has bought and sold hundreds of vehicles and other things including Real Estate where some people come and spend hours him-hawing around trying to decide if they want to buy or not. YOU KNOW WASTING MY TIME. Hell I bought my house, worth half a Mil. in an hour with a hand written agreement and a grand in cash as a down payment. And I just went there to rent a garage for my 63 Split window.
    Since apparently the name BARN FINDS is just a bunch of BS If you would like to see 27 pix I have taken since I lightly cleaned it up you can E-mail me at and I will send them to you. The car is Very Correct, doors and hood lines are straight. NO RUST, never hit, the only bodily problem is that the rubber front bumper is brittle and disintegrating. The engine turns free. If you’re REALLY interested, We’ll talk, if not, I’m 75 years old and there’s not enough time in my life for Wishy Washy people who can’t make up their minds, so REMEMBER, “Don’t Waste My Time”.

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Glad you found this, Bill, and I do see your point.

      So here is mine: You WASTED YOUR OWN TIME with the CL post. Better to have waited until you had it cleaned up, posted the pics you now say you have available, and included the info bits you mention here about condition. That way potential buyers would better be able to discern whether it was worth THEIR TIME to pursue purchasing the car.

      Since you appear to be doing a minimum-effort flip, you don’t need to ultimately care about what it will take to bring the car back to even driving condition. But a potential buyer should care, A LOT about that, and want/need to be cautious before plunking down hard-earned money, which will be only a down payment in the long run.

      Sure, be parsimonious with your time, it makes sense, and I’m not much younger than you. I really do get that. But be respectful of the person across the transaction’s time too. Tire kickers, we’ve all seen them. Cautious buyers, who can’t afford to make financial errors, will need more than your word that it is a great car and worth your ask. Not all of us who enjoy the car hobby buy and sell “hundreds of cars”. If I had to guess, the majority have just a few, that they keep a very long while.

      Like 2
      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        Typing this because I have to leave a comment with a photo….

    • DayDreamBeliever Member


      Very Nice update to the CL ad. Those photos show much better the condition of the car, and what a buyer might get for the $.

      Too bad that you felt you had to stage the car by stacking stuff on it. The trick worked to get it featured, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the crappy photos indicating an uncared-for and poorly stored Corvette are what drew so much criticism. Add in the verbiage in the CL post, and well, you got what you got. Much easier to just put it on BF (with the better pictures) in the classifieds section, and see what kind of action you would have received.

      A question: The “CAR GUY” from 1989…. Did he make you stand back 15 feet from the rear quarters of the car, have all kinds of crap stacked on it, have it in non-running condition, and ask Top Dollar for it? No? Then why would you? Because that’s what your original CL advertisement represented. Plenty of Car Guys here. Some pretty market-savvy ones too. Any car is worth whatever a buyer and seller agree upon, not just what a seller thinks it is, but you know that already.

      RE: The bikes in the garage… 80’s Magnas? Running, or not? FS?

      Nice coach, BTW. Love that mode of travel myself.

      • Bill

        I’ve tried 5 times to put some more comments on here but they won’t post them. They allow the Author of this Barn Finds Post start the attacks on me with his opening statement and I quote
        “Would you like to meet a guy who treats his Corvette like a storage shelf? Here is your chance!.” END Quote. And they won’t allow me to retaliate. Thanks, Barn Finds

      • Bill

        They let me get a short one on so let’s try again.

        The guy I bought it from in 89 wasn’t on a site named Barn Finds. If he was, I look at what I can do with the car and not what is piled on it. As for the bikes I have 74 and 75 Kawasaki 900 Z1’s. A Honda V45 Magna, Honda CL360, and a Kawasaki 350 Big Horn. All have also been in storage for 25 years. At 75 I’m starting to sell some of my 32 vehicles and parts. I have Flathead parts, Vette parts. and tons more.

      • Bill

        I’ve commented several times since your last post but they keep taking them down. It is OK for the Author of the B/F article to CUT ME in the first paragraph when he said “Would you like to meet a guy who treats his Corvette like a storage shelf? Here is your chance!” and then solicit more trashy comments when he finished with ” Who thinks I am right and who thinks I am off base?” That’s OK but I’m not permitted to retaliate.

      • Bill

        Well, I pulled up the post 3 times this morning and my comments from yesterday didn’t come up so I wrote a similar one this morning only to find the other 2 appeared on the 4th try. Below is one they would’t post that I wrote right after your 5/10 post. I cleaned it up a bit:

        Hi Day Dream Believer. Thanks for your semi-partial-maybe-just-about approval of my so called Arrogance. I started buying and selling vehicles when I was about 10 years old and that was 65 years ago when I would buy old bicycles for $5 fix them up and sell them for $25 and in 6 months had saved enough money to buy my first motorcycle, an NSU. So I have dealt with WAY TOO MANY wishy-washy jerks who Wasted my time even way back then and wound up not buying anything. When I go to buy something, I have the cash and the decision is made within 15 minutes. I either like it or I don’t and I’m out of your hair. So many people over the years have come back several time and wanted to take it for another drive or whatever and it has gotten me to the point where I tell them to leave. When I was 25 years old I was selling a Yamaha 750 Shaft drive motorcycle. An Old guy, 75 years old, (what I am now), wanted to buy it with a check. I said, I don’t accept checks, ONLY GREEN PICTURES OF PRESIDENTS, and he told ma a long story about his age and he had never screwed anyone so I broke down and took his check. IT BOUNCED!!!!! Sorry but my experience over my life has hardened me. I am fair but NO NONSENSE. Funny how some of the Light-weights who have commented on here said they wouldn’t like to deal with me. Well, I would rather deal with a No Nonsense Seller than one who tries to hide things from me.

        My arrogance, Total Lack of Patience and Quick Decision Making all benefited me in my career. I spent 42 years in the Most Stressful job in the world. I was an Air Traffic Controller at some of the busiest facilities in the world. I made thousands of LIFE SAVING split second decisions per hour.
        Now you know why I say “Don’t Waste my time”

  30. Jasper

    I’d sooner buy the junk on the car for 20 G’s than the car.

  31. Kelly Waldrop

    Really not interested in your life story. Read a sentence and like you. Don’t waste my time.

  32. Mike D

    Well, that was fun.

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