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Field Find Project: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette

C3 was the designation for the third generation of the Chevy Corvette, which enjoyed a long run from 1968 to 1982. During that time, the car evolved slowly, with less chrome parts and more Tupperware. The Corvette got hurt like every other car of that era with detuning for greater emissions control. The zippy 350 V-8 was down to as little at 195 hp, although a somewhat subdued 454 could be had for the last time in 1974. The seller’s ‘Vette has been out in a field with a tarp on it for 30 years and last ran in 1995. It’s available through a dealer here on eBay in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania where the no reserve auction is up to $3,125. It’s going to need a lot of work.

The styling of the C3 Corvettes was inspired by the Mako Shark II concept car, technically known as the XP-775. It was developed after the design of the C2 Corvette was locked in for 1963. The C3’s were the first to have removable T-Tops. The look of the C3 changed for the good or bad, depending on your vantage point, for 1973-74. The car gained a 5-mph rear bumper system with a two-piece, tapering urethane bumper cover that replaced the Kamm-tail and chrome bumper blades, and matched the new front design from ‘73. Apparently, more people liked it than not as the ’74 models achieved near-record sales at 37,500 units, with more than 85 percent of them being coupes.

This ’74 Vette was owned locally from 1980 by an older gentleman who moved to Florida and didn’t want to carry it with him. For whatever reason, it was put out to pasture in the early 1990s with a cover over it. The last vehicle inspection sticker is from 1991. The car is going to need a restoration, with the body and engine probably the focus of the buyer’s attention. 68,000 miles is the indicated mileage which could very well be correct.

The front and rear exterior plasticware pieces are missing and the driver’s side front fender has a piece gone, so a fiberglass expert will be needed to facilitate those repairs. On the other hand, the seller says the frame is solid and the interior looks good from what we can see, although it contains multiple parts that go to the car. There is a piece of broken glass, but I can’t make out which it is. The 350 engine and Turbo-Hydramatic are still present, but the car does not run, and the seller doesn’t know what might be required. But it will roll and steer for loading on a hauler for the trip home.

Hagerty estimates $6,200 as the going rate for a ’74 Vette in Fair condition. Once this one is patched up and made to look new, it might be worth $20-30,000. But it begs the question as to how much it will take to get there. If you can get it running and fix the body issues and apply some paint, that might be good enough for Cars & Coffee with your first Corvette.


  1. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    One has to wonder which varmint ate the left front fender, and how it tasted.

    Like 4
    • Ike Onick

      And the varmint(s) had the bumpers for dessert.

      Like 4
  2. Bob R

    I don’t think anyone would pay 20-30k for a rubber bumper Corvette even if it was fully restored. There are plenty of nice examples of these around for under 10k. You’re upside down on this car before you start working on it. Pass on this one.

    Like 8
    • Dave

      Yes, sometimes free would be too much.

      Like 3
  3. Turbo

    This is one of the Corvette lost years

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Agree. Post-1973 models in general are nothing more than used Chevrolets.

      Like 3
  4. Turbo


  5. Frank Sumatra

    “Once this one is patched up and made to look new, it might be worth $20-30,000.” American money? Three base-engine, automatic 1974 Corvettes would be hard-pressed to bring $20,000 -30,000 dollars.

  6. Ike Onick

    Find a new reference for pricing. Hagerty sells insurance. Insurance rates are based on the vehicle’s value. See where I am going with this?

    Like 3
  7. redvet63

    73 didn’t have the rubber rear bumper, just the front the 74 was the first with both front and rear rubber bumpers

    Like 2
  8. Daniel Gavin

    Ike Onick…….good posting! I know I’m 73 years old and prices of everything in my life seem to be nuts but especially classic cars and Ike may be spot on with the insurance company observation. The crap that some people list with just crazy asking prices is bewildering to me. Some of these cars are just junk…plain and simple junk. End of sermon.

    Like 4
  9. Kenn

    Thank you Ike Onick. I was wondering when someone would point out why in the world use Hagerty as the guru of collector car value. The auctions, of course, don’t help either, but most vehicles there are “restored” to better shape than they ever left the factory.

    Like 2
  10. Billy

    Posted to track comments

  11. vintagehotrods

    Sorry, this is a parts car. You can buy nice ones all day long for from $12K to $18K. This car would never be worth $20K to $30K, unless you gold plated it.

    Here’s a nice one with just 60K miles for $12K, plus a few more.

    Like 2
  12. George Mattar

    Hagerty is so full of crap. A car or any other tangible item is only worth what someone is willing to pay. About the only part any good on this POS is the tilt steering column. It is worth more than this entire car. I want it for my 73. They are expensive. I graduated high school when the 74s were new. I am a Corvette nut and have owned 2, but the only good car that year was the Super Duty Trans Am

  13. Frank Farrell

    This car sold for $3,600, but something was really flakey. It sold also about 1 month ago for $2850, but the buyer never picked it up and the dealer just resold it. That makes me think a straw man bidder was used the first time to bump the price, but then over did it. Anyway,I was going to buy it myself for parts since I’ve got a 74 Convertible that needs motor parts and an interior, but I didn’t think the new $3,600 made it worth it. It was worth $3,600 though.

    • Billy

      Frank Farrell

      As low as the sale price of a C-3 is, You are better off buying good used parts.

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