Long Stored Drag Car: 1973 Chevrolet Corvette

Old drag racers rarely disappoint when it comes to stirring the imagination as to what its true potential must be like. The combination of wild colors, wide tires, and engines that protrude from hoods just seem to point to a wilder time in our enthusiast history when raw speed was the only concern, without a hoot given towards fuel economy or hybridized powerplants. This 1973 Chevrolet Corvette is clearly a much larger shadow of its former itself, especially with that tunnel ram setup sticking out of a custom opening in the hood. Find the modified Corvette here on craigslist with an asking price of $30,000 and the seller open to a variety of trades.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. These period drag cars usually leave more questions than they answer, especially about its specific history, like who built it and where did it race? These cars are rolling time capsules, revealing both the trends in automotive styling and in-period modifications for more horsepower. Perhaps what’s a tad disappointing is how hard it sometimes is to find out which tracks it raced on or who the original builder was; those details seemingly get lost to the sands of time, especially given old drag cars tend to change hands a few times and end up with more than one flashy paint job. I always ask the question with cars like this as to whether anyone remembers seeing it racing back in the 70s or 80s? Let us know in the comments below.

Perhaps disappointing for some purists is learning that this was a factory big block / four speed car, which is a bummer when you consider how many less desirable Corvettes of this generation are running around. Now it has a heavily modified drivetrain, described as “….BB 496, auto 3500 stall, two Holley 750 center squirters, dual fuel regulators, heavy duty axles, and built factory rear end.”  The seller reports that this setup was good enough to help the Corvette record a quarter mile run in the nines back in its racing days, which is seriously quick by almost any standard. The seller also notes that the Corvette is anything but quiet, and that your neighbors will know all of your comings and goings.

The colors are, of course, quite patriotic, and a Corvette wearing the red, white, and blue with a monster motor under the hood is right up there with apple pie and baseball in terms of the Americana factor. The seller claims the Corvette has a history as a “showpiece” and that it was stored for most of its life. It’s been out of the DMV system since 2012, so someone clearly decided the Corvette’s racing days were behind it. I don’t love the rear wheel setup in the picture – seems like too low of an offset to sit more flush with the fenders – but that’s a minor complaint. Would you pay $30,000 for a hot rod of unknown provenance but oozing with period style and enhancements?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    It’s more show car than race car. Most of the performance parts aren’t what you typically find on race cars, there doesn’t appear to be any roll cage, certainly not one that would be legal to run in the 9”s. In many ways I think the sellers ad is blowing smoke trying to find someone gullible enough to bite.

    Steve R

    Like 13
  2. Tony Primo

    The world is full of suckers, the seller probably won’t have to wait too long.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke

      People seem to be trying to get rid of their money lately. Maybe they’re smarter than all of us we will learn that. Or not. It figures I don’t have a car to sell right now, LOL!

      Anyway, I find the story a little dubious. The paint looks awfully nice and fresh for a 40 year old livery, and it’s got a full factory interior it looks like, which no dedicated drag car back then would have had, especially one that supposedly ran in the nines. That was among the first things they ditched to save weight.

      • Steve R

        You are wrong about “race” cars having gutted interiors. Many cars which are used almost exclusively for bracket racing, but occasionally venture out in the street still have a factory interior. Go to your local track some time and see for yourself. There are a couple of dozen cars at my local track that race every week 30-50 times a year that run between mid-11’s and low-10’s that have stock looking interiors. Many have nicer paint than this car without the tacky stripes. No casual onlooker at a show would know they spent the majority of their time on the track.

        Steve R

        Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        Of course it’s possible. But I find it difficult to believe that somebody serious enough to build a 9-second car would leave the interior in and not put a roll cage in and lighten it. This is something I would want an explanation for.

        Like 1
      • Steve R

        Most bracket racers set their up their cars to run low-10’s. Costs increase substantially once you start running in the 9’s or over 135. Once that happens you need a significantly more the intricate roll cage and almost all safety equipment then needs to be recertification every few years, the driver also need a specific competition license. If you remember Pinks All Out, more often than not they had a 10.0 floor, cars that ran faster were ruled out when it came time to run for the money on TV.

        Steve R

        Like 2
      • Paul Constantine

        I am the owner of the car. I got it from a dirt track racer that picked it up in 2012 . The car was raced the 80s and 90s I was told in Colorado and California. It is originally a California car. When I received the car , it had one racing seat the battery was in the passenger seat side. There was no alternator also a fire suppression system is still in the car.. I since then put two Corvette seats , the battery was relocated in the back and an alternator was installed to make it streetable at least to have fun with. I do not know the full history of the car I’ve been trying to find out the only reason I was selling it was because I really don’t have a place for it. I’m trying to retrieve some info from the owner from the early 2000s I’m just waiting on a reply. people always speculate until they are there to examine the vehicle and hear it run. As far as being the condition of the paint the car was mostly stored as an eye piece.the original color of the car is yellow which you can see where picking on the bottom of the door jambs.there was a roll cage in it the previous owner cut it out his intentions were to restore the car to its original state as much as he can it is a original big block for speed car but as things in life happen he decided to sell it which I obtained it . If it doesn’t sell it doesn’t matter I can’t lose this car is such a historic fact one you don’t see everyday!

        Like 1
  3. George Mattar

    In have a totally stock 73 coupe that I enjoy driving as much as possible. This is a disgrace of a Corvette. But good for those of us who like our cars OEM. 73s get no respect, but the truth is 73s are the best to drive of the C3s and mine rides 100 times better than my 71 454 coupe.

    Like 1
  4. Desert Rat

    I wouldn’t call this a disgrace it’s just not your cup of tea. Back in the day we would build race cars out of what we liked or what we had. This dude wanted a Corvette drag car and that’s what he built no disgrace in that. I don’t think it will sell for anywhere near the asking price, even though it might have a lot of money in the build, guys would built a race car and when it came time to sell they were luckily to get 50 cents on the dollar, or at least that’s the way it went for this ex-racer.

    Like 7
  5. Bigbird

    Just had a price drop to 20K. It maybe hard to get this back on the street. The compresson could be too high for todays gas. It looks period correct, and would look great at car shows. Very nice….

    Like 1
  6. ACZ

    Just because someone put a lot of money in it doesn’t mean it’s worth a lot. Bad decisions are made that way.

    Like 5
  7. Al

    Not too sad for purists. The ’73 was the most produced of the ’68-73 styles, ridding the front chrome bumper for the future of plastic front & rear the following year. Console surrounds & POV instrumentation also went the el cheapo plasticized route as well. All downhill from there on.

    Like 2
  8. Stan Marks

    Wanna piss off your neighbors?? Park it in your driveway & start it up early in the morning. Better yet, after midnight.

    Like 2

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