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L-82 Four Speed 1974 Corvette


It really seems to me that C3 Corvettes are a bargain classic at this point. Yes, I know, we’ve discussed this before and C3 veterans complain of excess heat, hard ride and rattles as well as a non-ergonomic driving position. I still think it’s one of the best automotive shapes ever (and I’m a Ford guy) and this one ticks a lot of boxes. It’s available here on eBay with a buy it now of $14,800 and lower offers welcomed. The ‘Vette calls Middletown, New York home for the moment until someone sweeps it away to their garage.


Ok, let’s get one thing out of the way. It’s not the original paint. It’s not even the original color, which was orange. However, the rest of this car has been very carefully preserved after having a lot of money spent on it many years ago. I can’t say I’m a fan of the luggage rack, but it probably made sense at the time (and still would, if you want to get away for a week somewhere). One thing that bothers me a little here is that the end cap has been replaced; 1974 models had a two-piece cap with a seam up the center and didn’t have the little bumper guards below the horizontal crease.


The seller tells us that the pop up headlights can be slow to actuate at times, but they do move and at the moment are working well. This is one car that looks good with raised white letter tires. The seller says there is absolutely no rust underneath and doesn’t think the car has ever seen inclement weather.


The interior is really nice, and yes, that is a third pedal and a manual transmission shift lever you see (although that T-handle would have to go!) But an L-82 four speed! Woo hoo! No air conditioning compressor, unfortunately, but this was an A/C car, so it wouldn’t be that hard to put it back on.


With only 64,820 miles, the 350 cubic inch L-82 V8 has a lot of life left in it. It was rated at 250 horsepower at the time. It’s a shame the cosmetics aren’t as nice under here, but they aren’t totally horrible either. According to this valuation site, the car is priced a little bit low, but I’d be looking at making an offer even lower. Any takers?


  1. DirtyHarry

    C3’s and C4’s are all bargains at the moment. They have awesome aftermarket support from many vendors, so almost any part is available. I own a C4 and it has really been a bargain to maintain. Yes, they rattle, ride rough and lack refinement. They always did. Punch it hard from a stoplight and watch traffic disappear in your rearview mirror. Admit it, you will look good in it.

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  2. Rock On Member

    Replacing the 1974 bumper cap was the best improvement that the seller could have done. There is a reason that it only lasted one year.
    Had the luggage rack on my 1977. Great place to store the T-tops!

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    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I used to camp in my 70 vert – tent, sleeping bags, etc mounted on the luggage rack.

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  3. Kincer Dave

    These C3 Vettes have always been my favorite, I like them all from 68-82, yes they are unrefined and rough riding but they are a blast to drive and they just look great!

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    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Tell me about it. I sold mine 2 summers ago and now want another one. Never thought I would say that, but there’s just something about the look out the windshield and the ass-dragging seating position. Nothing else like it.

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  4. grant

    I’m oddly in agreement with everyone here. For all their flaws, this is the best looking vette ever. Look at those voluptuous hips. It’s like Marilyn Monroe. Gorgeous.

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    • Gnrdude

      Yes Agreed & with the WIDE array of Aftermarket Engines Available now & Most states Being Emissions Exempt after 25 yrs You can pretty much do what you want Performance wise. C-3’s are my Favorite Vette’s. There’s Also a Bargain Price /wise Compared to other Muscle Cars. There REALLy not a Bad Car to Own If their Fixed Resto-moded Right.

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  5. dj

    I like the split rear bumper because it was a one year only thing. If the seller had put the larger rear letters on the bumper, it might have been ok. Take a black can of spray paint and paint the bumperettes would help. It is an A/C car. So rounding up the missing bits won’t be too bad.

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  6. Brian

    Love the luggage rack!

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  7. Dolphin Member

    I’m with DirtyHarry…these are a bargain for someone who wants a vintage open car but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. They have lots of parts support and can be worked on by almost anyone who knows their way around a tool box and has a service manual. They have probably depreciated as far as they are going to go and might start appreciating as people start to want something vintage that they actually drive, instead of something that more resembles a rolling appliance or a smart phone.

    The thing I would be careful about this car is the low mileage claim. The seller says the car was repainted blue instead of the original orange “during an extensive restoration”. I wonder why a car with such low mileage would need to be professionally restored. Check the documents carefully to trace that low mileage.

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  8. GTOjeff

    They’ve ruined the hood with stupid hood pins. Look long and hard at this one. And if it was an extensive restoration, they skimped on things. Also, It’s sat outside long enough that black crap has run out of the drains on the driver’s door from the rain.

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  9. rangeroger

    Why does the rear end cap look like it’s been hit by a truck?

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    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Probably because it’s a cheap aftermarket item that didn’t fit properly. Lots of that in the Corvette world.

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  10. JW454

    This is a nice car but, It still needs lots of detail work. I’d lose the “go faster” hood pins and the speed racer “T” shifter handle. Otherwise, it’s not too bad.

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  11. Ryan

    I agree with most. The C 3’s have been “in my opinion” the most beautiful car produced in my
    Life time. Despite their flaws, the lines are beautiful and the look set the standard for the next 3 generations of vettes.

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  12. ccrvtt

    C3s are proof that eventually everything gets old enough to become an antique. The flamboyant styling (thank you Bill Mitchell) is iconic for sure, but not as classic as the C4 (I’m biased – I own a ’95). They ride like trucks with 80 psi in the tires and squeak and rattle, but there’s nothing else quite like them and never will be. Kinda makes me proud to be an American…

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  13. Rick

    Hmm.. everything is suspect. Hood pins would (probably) mean inoperable hood releases. The rear cap is certainly not a high quality aftermarket with the ripple in the plastic (not fiberglass – flexible plastic). What worries me more is the amount of rust behind the window seals on the door. Rust on the access holes in the door frame (birdcage).. and the gunk running out of the door drains tells me that the window scrapers and seals were never changed. I question the ‘professionally restored’…

    12K is nothing for a paint job and to get it running. A buyer needs to look this over very carefully before pulling the trigger. I didn’t on my ’82 and got cooked pretty good.. and after spending what I bought it for to fix what needed fixed, I wouldn’t trade it! Nothing like seeing those front fenders sweeping down the country roads.

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    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I would pull the kick panels on both sides and also the chrome trim on the top to make sure the windshield frame is not swiss cheese. If it is, run fast because so will the rest of the birdcage.

      Yes, I know from experience too. After the repair $$ were spent though, it was a great car.

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  14. pperros

    Replace the blue finish with white and this could be my old ’74 L82 4-speed coupe, owned from 1994 to about ’98. C4s were still new and C2s, as well as steel-bumper C3s, were already commanding big prices. The ’74-77s were unloved and affordable, so that’s what I got to scratch the mid-life Vette itch. It was loud and crude, strong but not quick, and I loved it. When I finally sold it to move on to something else, the first thing the new owner did was replace the split rear urethane cap with a one-piece fiberglass unit.

    I find the styling on these to be stronger now than when they were new. Glad to see them finally get some love.

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  15. Tirefriar

    I missed a very nice ’75 C3 manual on BaT and started to look around for my next whip. The C3 are now becoming increasingly expensive, especially the steel bumper cars.i prefer the coke bottle shape of the C3 and the analog gauge proper layout to that of the C4. However, if the market keeps going on the C3 then a C4 may be an alternative. Having owned a pretty wide variety of cars I would agree with those of us here urging a careful inspection of this car. Boy racer farkles such as hood pins and t-handle really make me wonder about the rest of the contents. Taking a closer look at the pics, the center console on the instrument panel looks messy and the paint on the front hinge pillar appears to be flaking off so question about the quality of the prep for paint and the paint itself. As much as I want a C3 this is one I’d pass on without having an opportunity to inspect it in person.

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  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I bought my 1972 Stingray around 2000 for $8500. I am not sure of the ride complaints, mine rides ok. If she rode and handled like a Caddy I would have got something different. She has needed some upkeep, Fuel pump and stuff like that, nothing my Craftsman tool box could not tackle. I strongly agree with Rick, The view from the drivers seat is something every car person would enjoy. She seems like a fair deal to me. Buy an LT1 hood and get rid of the pins. Stupid for a forward opening hood. Plus you get a third pedal!

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  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This has not had a “professional” restoration. Looks more like a sympathetic owner restore, kind of like what I did. Each year, I would tackle a few items and ended up with something decent. From the quick viewing of the pictures, I see that the driver’s side door switch is missing – not a hard fix, and the middle instrument cluster needs repainting. These are things that would have been done by a professional.

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  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Price now reduced to $ 12,500.

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  19. scott Doherty

    Air filter old and crusty,missing upper part of air cleaner that seals with rubber to bottom of hood. The hood has been hacked using pins to secure so latch assembly missing. one picture tells you it is a fixer upper and not a restoration.

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