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Highly Optioned L82: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Ask a Corvette enthusiast what the 1974 model is most remembered for and, more often than not, you’ll probably hear it was the last year a 454 could be had under the hood, certainly a noteworthy observation as this was the end of the big block era for the C3.  But the LS4 was down to 270 horsepower by that point, and the 350 customers who opted for the L82 upgrade still got 250 HP, not too shabby for the time period.  That’s how this 1974 Chevrolet Corvette here on eBay is equipped, so if you like the small block cars it’s probably worth looking into.  This one’s in Foxboro, Massachusetts, with bidding up to $9,156 and the reserve not met, or it can be yours today for the buy-it-now price of $16,995.

There’s some well-documented history here that reveals the original buyer only kept the ‘Vette for 4 years, then sold it to the second owner in 1978, who drove it until 1982 when he sold the car to a friend.  Fast-forward to 2019, and the second owner bought it back from his friend 37 years and 90,000 miles later!

I get that it would be fun to see an LS4 residing under the hood, but finding an L48 would mean you’d have less than 200 horses, so the higher-performance L82 made the 350 the best it could be for the ’74 model, plus that’s the numbers-matching original powerplant still in the bay.  The seller says the car runs great but the factory carburetor tends to act up every so often, so a rebuild of the 4-barrel is probably in order to get the gas flowing freely again.

Another change in the styling area for 1974 was the elimination of the rear chrome bumpers, which were replaced by a two-piece redesigned rear panel, though it only lasted a year before the gap in the center was eliminated.  The seller says both the front and rear urethane pieces are new and also mentions the Corvette got one repaint back in the seventies, but now is in need of another respray.  The car also comes with both the original hardtop and a soft top, with the canvas covering said to be in excellent condition.

Inside, things are described as original but tired, with some upholstery work and door panel replacement in store for the next owner.  But this one does have some niceties such as power windows, a tilt and telescopic steering column, power steering, power brakes, and A/C.  More good news is the seller says both the birdcage and frame are in excellent shape, and while there is some surface rust visible underneath it does appear structurally sound on the bottom side.  I realize this one needs a paint job and some interior attention, but with the born-with L82 still in there, I’m thinking $17k isn’t an unreasonable amount to be asking here.  What do you think?


  1. ClassicP

    My dad came home with one in this color but it was a 75’ 4-speed manual. He asked me if I wanted to drive it lol give me a minute I yelled down to him you know you have to get rid of the shirt and tie a bandana on …. I was 16 years old. He comes with me and I asked him if he was nervous and he said no you’re the one who should be nervous

    Like 11
  2. George Mattar

    L82 is a far better engine than the boat anchor 454. Too bad it isn’t an M21 behind it, which would come with the L82. I have a 73 4 speed coupe. Love it.

    Like 3
  3. KH

    The rear bumper has a strange split. ?

    Like 4
    • Frank Sumatra

      1974 was the only year with a two-piece rear bumper. That is the worst installation and gap I have ever seen on a 1974. The trailer hitch is also scary in my opinion.

      Like 11
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        The hitch is for the little trailer used for carrying your race tires/wheels to the local autocross.

        Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        A trailer hitch on a Corvette is a total non-starter in my book.

        Like 0
    • Steven Tate

      Unique to the ’74 model. By ’75, it was a one piece rear bumper.

      Like 3
    • Sean

      The 74 is the only year the rear bumper had a 2 piece design, the split looks a little wide, but the rubberized rear bumper was subject to warping, especially after all these years.
      I had a 74 years ago, under powered but cool looking!

      Like 1
  4. Woody

    Nope! These Vettes are just not appealing to me. Butt ugly rear body styling, and what’s with the two piece rear panel ?

    Like 2
  5. AndyinMA

    That rear end is tragic

    Like 5
  6. PRA4SNW

    Frame looks good in the areas where northeast salt would ruin them.

    At the current 10.5K, this is good buy (reserve not met) – the repaint will cost you, though. But it has what appears to be nice bones.

    Let’s see what the next day of bidding brings it to.

    Like 3
  7. Moparman Moparman Member

    I absolutely despise those luggage racks; I understand using them to carry your removed T-tops, but this is a roadster!

    Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      I used the luggage rack on my ’70 convertible. Back when it was just a fun car, we used to go camping with it. That rack came in very handy because when the top is down, there is very very little storage space. Actually, you probably need one on a convertible more than in a coupe.

      Now when I see a C3, they look naked to me without the rack.

      Like 4
      • Frank Sumatra

        PRA4SNW- I’m sure I have mentioned our annual ritual here in the Finger Lakes with our 1976 with the luggage rack: We would pick a nice mid-week day in the fall to load up a wicker picnic basket, strap it to the rack and head to a Watkins Glen or Hammondsport winery. That ride would signal the end of driving season. There is no rack on the 1995, but the wineries and now craft breweries are still there.

        Like 0
      • PRA4SNW

        Sounds really nice, Frank. We had a family reunion on a Finger Lake back in the 90’s – such a beautiful area.

        Like 1
  8. Frank Sumatra

    And don’t forget the back bumper cover C-O-R-V-E-T-T-E is made up of eight single letters. Not a full nameplate.

    Top that for Corvette trivia!

    Like 1

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