Bloomington Gold Survivor: 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

We’ve been fortunate enough to see a few very nice Corvettes pass across the desks here at Barn Finds in recent times, and this 1973 model would appear to be no exception. A recipient of a 2019 Bloomington Gold Survivor Award, it is a car that seems to embody what it is to be classed as a true survivor. However, the owner has made the decision that the time has come for it to move on to a new home. The Corvette is located in Casey, Illinois, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the listing to open at $20,500, but there have been no bids to this point.

The Corvette is finished in Elkhart Green, and the Bloomington scorecard issued in June of this year indicates that the paint is not only completely original but received a perfect score against their judging criteria. It does have a wonderful depth of shine to it, and there are no signs of any obvious cracks or chips. I was a bit worried about the chair that appears to be sitting up on the rear deck in this photo, and if this was my award-winning car, I wouldn’t be doing that to it. The glass looks to be very good, but I noticed that it didn’t receive a perfect score from the judges. This would seem to indicates that some of the glass has been replaced at some point, and this is most likely to be the windshield. The same is true of the wheels, although they do present quite nicely. The 1973 model year marked the introduction of the urethane front bumper to the Corvette, and there are plenty of enthusiasts who feel that this changed the appearance of the Corvette quite substantially. While this might be true, I still don’t mind it on a car that is this clean.

Powering the Corvette is the base L48 version of the 350ci V8 engine. This produces 190hp, while the Stingray also features a Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. This is a numbers-matching car, and while the presentation of the engine bay isn’t perfect, it is certainly within the sort of character that you would expect from an original survivor. The owner says that the car runs and drives well, and has just completed an extended road trip with no issues. The brakes have recently been rebuilt, including new calipers and a new master cylinder. A new battery, new heater core, new spark plugs, and a recent rebuild of the original carburetor are also noted by the owner. Once again, the Corvette scored quite well when measured on the Bloomington scale, with only items such as the replacement calipers, non-original hoses and clamps, and a few minor issues preventing it from scoring more than 80% overall.

For the judges, it would appear that the originality and condition of the interior was one of the highlights when judging the car. It scored 95% overall in this area, and it is easy to see why. The condition is not perfect, but it is still very impressive. The black leather seats are showing some very minor wear on the leading edges of the cushions, but it is nothing that would require immediate attention. Having said that, if I owned the car, was going to drive it on a semi-regular basis, and wanted to protect its originality, I would probably try to locate some nice aftermarket covers to protect the original leather. The rest of the interior trim has survived extremely well, and even the carpet is in remarkable condition for a vehicle of this age. As well as being in good condition, the Stingray does come with some nice factory options. These include air conditioning, power windows, a tilt/telescopic wheel, and an AM/FM radio.

For an enthusiast who is looking for a nice original C3 Corvette Stingray, this looks like it could be a great candidate. The Bloomington Award indicates just how original and clean the car is, and I have to admit to a touch of envy because the next owner is going to find themselves the proud owner of one very special car.


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  1. Greg

    Pull that smogged engine out of it, save it in a crate for “originality” someday, then install a L71 or L89 from a ‘69. 435hp vs 190 hp from the same body style. My how the govt ruined things in just 4 short years

    Like 5
    • doug

      Different engines for sure, but measured by totally different methods. Kind of apples and oranges. Not every car has to be a resto mod or go fast POS.

      Like 6
  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Adam, I believe the chair on the rear deck you’re referring to is an optional illusion-you can believe that if you want to but if you look very closely it isn’t what it appears to be..kinda like an optical illustration!
    Another beautifully kept car-and apparently the real deal, unlike some of the bogus claims (née 20k miles-shredded-1973 Chargers, etc.). No, it’s not going to keep pace with a Hyundai Veloster N but then as fun as that Veloster is to drive it’s not a well kept icon from the last century!

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      And no one will ever write a song about a Hyundai Veloster N.

      Like 6
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        LOL!! Considering what is passed off as new music today, I wouldn’t want to listen to it if they did!! It’d be all about how the car “got in trouble for not doin’ nuthin wrong” and played at 113 dbl..

  3. Greg Prince

    Greg, if you want to do that then pick another car. This should be left alone. True it is no performance machine but to survive in this condition needs to be respected. True these unrestored vettes are usually the lower/base model cars as they were not driven hard, but still a pretty uncommon find. ( now an unrestored excellent condition 427 corvette is truely a rare bird and the best of both worlds, I know because I own one) Cruise in it, enjoy and respect that you have something no restoration shop can duplicate

    Like 2
  4. Bob

    Great color!

    Like 2
    • PatrickM

      I’m not sure about that shade of green. Emerald green, yes. And that black leather interior has to go. It is hot as Hades in the summer, no matter where you are. BTW, where are the batteries on these things?

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        The battery is in a compartment just behind the driver’s seatback.

  5. Kelly Waldrop

    Just one you can drive. Base engine, no HP to speak of. Not rare.

  6. dogwater

    NICE CAR very clean compared to some that I have looked on this site.

    Like 1
  7. Rick D Borstein

    I really Elkhart Green . . . but I have a soft spot for green cars. If this had a manual, I would be really tempted.

  8. TimM

    Paint does look great but it’s an automatic!!!

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