Fresh Out Of The Barn: 1973 Corvette L82

1973 Corvette L82

This Corvette just came out of a barn in Wisconsin a couple of days ago! The seller bought it from the original owner and believes the 31,570 miles showing on the odometer are correct. By the looks of it, it has been parked for a some time, so it’s possible that it is a low mileage car. Of course, it could have been driven hard early in life and then left to rust away. It is an L-82, the LT-1’s replacement in ’73, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this car was put through its paces on a regular basis! If you’d like to take a closer look for yourself, find it here on eBay with a BIN of $8,500.

1973 Corvette L82 Engine

The L-82 isn’t nearly the powerhouse that the LT-1 is, with just 250 horsepower on tap. It’s still a great engine and offered decent performance, plus you have to remember power ratings changed from gross to net. While the LS4 454 offers more horsepower and torque, the 350 L-82 is lighter and makes the car a much more balanced package.

1973 Corvette L82 Barn Find

I have a feeling that this car is actually going to clean up nicely, we at least the outside will. The body looks to be in decent shape, although I do see some damaged fiberglass here and there. I’m a bit curious about the hood, which has an LT-1 badge on it. From what I’ve been able to find, even though the LT-1 engine was no longer available, L-82s could be fitted with the same hood as the LT-1. Does that mean they left the LT-1 badge on the hood or were they still calling these LT-1s?

1973 Corvette

This Vette is going to need a lot of work to just make it a driver, but it would be a fun project. I just wish it had a manual gearbox! As long as the engine isn’t seized, I think this would be a worth while project or at the very least a good parts donor. Of course at $8,500, it would be hard to justify parting it out. What do you think?


  1. Howard A Member

    I guess I’ll be the 1st to say it again. You have GOT to be kidding. This is worse than the Cuda from the other day. I don’t want to get a reputation here as being the ultimate nay-sayer, but come on. I just can’t sit idly by, and listen to these claims of “original low mileage” and see stuff like, holes in frames, wood holding the car up because of broken springs, and judging by the rest of the cars condition, I’m sure everything is shot. I realize this site is to promote the sales of these cars, and perhaps the writers are obligated to print low mileage claims, but even the most novice of car nuts can tell this isn’t a low mileage car.

    • Josh Staff

      Howard, I never said that I thought this car’s mileage is 31k, I said it was possible. I even said that it’s possible that the car was driven hard early in it’s life, as in it could have seen 131k miles before being parked. Figuring out which it is is the fun part! Also, never base your evaluation of mileage off of rust. I’ve seen low mileage cars in Florida with rust holes the size of your head and high mileage cars here in Idaho without a speck of rust.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Josh, I apologize, it was the seller that claimed original mileage. I like the site, I really do. It’s just I’d hate to see it go down, because it has a reputation of featuring rusted hulks as low mileage cars, whoever makes the claim. I realize, mileage is the single most attraction when selling a car and some folks must think everybody is stupid except them. There’s like a billion Corvettes out there( my brother has one similar to this, in very good shape, and I’m sure he’d sell it tomorrow if he could get $8,500). I think perhaps I’ll just keep my big mouth shut from now on. :(

      • Josh Staff

        No offense taken Howard, I just wanted to point out that I didn’t make the claim. I’ve been trying to stay away from rusted out hulks, but sometimes I see something that just interests me and I can’t resist. I would never pay $8,500 for this car, I wouldn’t pay that much for a nice one of this generation though, but I like the color and I thought it would be fun to research the L82 and that LT-1 hood! I seriously want to know what the story is with that hood. No need to keep your mouth shut!

      • Glen

        It’s your site, publish what ever you please!

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks Josh. I know we’re suppose to have fun here, and generally I do. I don’t want to bum anybody out. I’m just afraid someone, who doesn’t know anything about cars, and wants a certain model, might go for it, and find out what a mess it is. I just want to help people make an informed decision.

    • Barzini

      I agree with Howard and bravo for calling the mileage into question. There is absolutely nothing to suggest this car has 31K original miles.

      • Jeff

        I love the work you guys do. I’d like to share my experience with you guys. I auto shop teacher back in the 80’s had 9 Corvairs. Growing up with VW bugs made me love the fact I had such a cool teacher. I was always fascinated with the claims of what the mileage of each car and why they where so low. 3 of them where stored in our shop class and I fell in love with the 1965 two door. 22 years later he’s became my second father and great friend. When I reconnected with him I asked about the cars and he still had them all, I was so excited to see them. Two weeks later we went to look at them and about crapped myself to see the 65 I had dreamed about as a teen. What the hell happened? The school closed the auto shop shortly after I graduated so he had to find storage. He bought 2 semi trailers to store them in. He had power ran and had them vented and heated. Time was not kind and the cars still nice but sad all at the same time. He had pictures as they entered and I have pictures as I took them out. The 65 that I know own with 17,000 original miles look so sad one would think 117,000 hard miles. Time caught up and he tried to do the best he could at the time. So with out the whole story I can see how the car sometimes does not match the looks or the miles. We all need to keep an open mind because some of us have lived it. So again I say “Great Job” and keep up the good work.

  2. Blueprint

    1973 is an odd year, with the soft nose up front (missing here) and chrome bumpers in the back.

    • Josh Staff

      It really is weird. I don’t mind the rubber front bumpers on them, but it just looks weird with the chrome one out back. I guess they were just trying to make it work until they did the redesign in ’75.

  3. Chris

    I think everyone here realizes that most cars are going to be presented by their sellers in the best terms possible. Of course most sellers are going to spin fictional tales because that’s what we Americans have come to accept as acceptable marketing. That’s THE GAME. I personally enjoy reading the articles and looking through the pictures to see how much B.S. I can find. It’s almost like I’m negotiating the deal for myself. Visiting Barn Finds is, after all, a form of entertainment, so enjoy the ride and settle in for a good story.

    • Howard A Member

      Thanks Chris, apparently, we have shysters in Wisconsin too.

    • GreaserMatt

      Seller is asking an awful lot of dough for that thing…

  4. Kincer Dave Member

    Wow! This thing is hammered! There is A LOT of work to be done on this one, everything needs redone and who knows how much rot is in the frame. If it is true low mileage this thing had no care what so ever. What a shame

  5. Daren

    I worked at a car dealer for many years during high school and right after doing washing and detailing. I was amazed at cars I would prepare for new sales that would come in a few months later for service work that looked worse than my 10 year old farm truck… Just saying it could be a low mileage for sure with the way some folks “use” their vehicles. I have also seen some with high mileage that look like they rolled off the lot a few months ago. I think it is really tough to determine actual mileage on vehicles such as this just from a picture, from my experience anyhow.

  6. RandyS

    The L82 was actually a low compression replacement for the L46 and not the LT-1. The cam was the same other than timing advanced to give some torque back from lower compression. Adding 64cc heads back on to this engine woke it right up.

    The broken rear springs says this car need a PPI before bidding. 8500 is the absolute limit for an auto ’73 L82 in this condition.

    The “LT-1” decal is just that, a decal.

    • Josh Staff

      I’ve spotted a few with the LT-1 decal on the hood, so I just thought there might be an interesting back story there (like they had extra LT-1 hoods and rather than remove the badges they just left them). If not that’s cool, I was just curious if anyone knew more!

  7. Rick

    231,570 miles maybe?

  8. Justin Gassaway

    That’s not an LT-1 hood. No scoop.

  9. Jay Harris

    Looks like it’s been submerged

  10. Glen

    Looking at the tires, it sunk 7 or 8 inches in the ground. The mud/dirt on the two passenger side tires are in different positions. I’m guessing a brake had seized, but broke free as it was pulled out of the barn. I can see this thing costing quite a bit to repair.

  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Kind of hard to tell but it looks like the rear leaf spring was also damaged during the extraction. Parked in neutral, ignition switch left on. If I needed another I’d buy Howards brothers rig.

  12. Rich

    The hoods were different between the 68-72 Vettes and the 73+ Vettes. The earlier ones which would have possibly had the LT-1 were shorter due to the windshield wiper door. The 73+ Vettes were the longer hood with no windshield wiper door. As someone else stated, it is just a decal. There was no carry-over with hoods between 72 and 73. 73 is considered the “unique” year as it has the rubber front and chrome rear. I have a 73 with 18k original miles.

  13. Rando

    ’73 was an odd year for bumpers. Front bumpers were supposed to withstand a 5mph? bump. So many makers just pushed the existing ’72 bumper out a few inches. I had a 73 Grand Prix and a 73 Vega. The GP had a larger bumper anyway so not as drastic looking change when the 74s came out. The Vega had a big bumper in 74; same with camaros. And the rear bumper didn’t have any change necessary. So this Vette probably had the upcoming 74 front end and the old rear bumper. Lots of cars were a bit awkward in 73.

  14. mat

    Junk. No other words.

  15. Rady W

    Wow, a few comments. Since I have been following a lot (ya sure) barn finds , it looks to me that a lot of these cars are FLOOD cars, Because they claim barn finds every tom, dick and harry trying to take advantage of a good thing. Prices are absolutely insane. Buyers beware of lot of cars especially underneath, could cost thousands to fix these junk cars. Ask yourself twice then if you want to buy, good luck However on the other hand some are exceptional and worth the redo.

  16. TJE

    This is a money sink. I sold a 77 vette that you could actually drive for the price they’re asking – and everything worked. Granted that was 18 years ago, but I’d not pay 8500 for this load of cr*p.

  17. CBD

    I agree…. JUNK!!!!!!!!!! It has clearly been submerged. Not even fit for parts.

  18. Doc

    Corvettes are a hole to pour money in.

  19. Greg Member

    I love these articles and the website! I look forward to them coming every day. Keep up the great work!

  20. phoneman91

    This is a factory 1974 L48/J code. 195 SAE Net horsepower.

    It isn’t a factory L82.

    And the 1974 L82/250 horse is just five horsepower less than the 1971 LT1/ SAE 255 Net horsepower (330 Gross SAE horsepower)–not that much difference in horsepower nor performance.

    And yes–this individual C3 is a yard ornament.

    • phoneman91

      Same specifications for 73 and 74 L82. The 73 L48 has 190 net and the 74 L48 has 195 net. And same VIN code.

  21. RoughDiamond Member

    The founders of Barn Finds do not need to apologize for any vehicle be it 2, 4, 6, 8, etc or no wheels that it features.

  22. Aaron

    Sad to see what was once a pretty nice car in such poor condition. I’ve always liked C3s, especially in a cool color such as this. I’d be surprised if anyone brings this one back to life, however. Way too much work to do.

  23. Prowler

    I think they should have left this one in the barn…..

  24. terry

    Take a look at the carpet in pic 6. That’s all I need to see.

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