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Matching Numbers 454! 1973 Chevrolet Corvette

Anyone else have a soft spot for the 1973 Corvette? While I still prefer the earlier C3s, the 1973 offers the appeal of a similar, but one-year only, look at a (typically) more affordable price than the 68-72 cars. This 1973 Chevrolet Corvette was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Cincinnati, Ohio. With 20 bids tendered the current high bid is $30,500, but the reserve has not been met.

The 1973 Corvette sported a refreshed look, now equipped with a federally mandated 5-MPH “rubber” bumper. The rear chrome bumper carried over from 1972, making 1973 the only model year with this look. With 30,464 sold, the 1973 Corvette wasn’t unpopular. Less popular, however, were those that opted for the 454 cubic-inch powerplant. It was a $250 option, but only 4,412 buyers chose it. This is one of those 4,412 cars.

The seller tells us this is a southern car that has been “very well cared for.” The Classic White paint appears to be in good shape as does the body. Raised white letter tires are wrapped around rally wheels. I believe the trunk-mounted luggage rack looks proper on the C3, especially with this color combo, giving it more of a touring car feel.

A Classic White exterior could be ordered with any of the 5 offered interior colors. I’m not usually a fan of Saddle interior, but it looks right here. The leather seats are in great shape, the carpet looks a little dirty but free of major wear, and the dash and door panels appear to be in good condition. The huge speedometer and tach divided by that 3-spoke steering wheel is a timeless look. This one is equipped with factory A/C, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and power windows.

A 275HP 454 cubic-inch V8 powers this Corvette. That power is sent to the rear wheels by a console-shifted automatic transmission. For those interested in authenticity and correctness, this is a numbers-matching car. It is equipped with power steering and power 4-wheel disc brakes. The seller tells us it “runs and drives tight” and has been “very well kept and maintained.”

As mentioned, I have a soft spot for the 1973 Corvette. This is one that I wouldn’t be afraid to drive as it isn’t ultra-low mileage or over-restored. However, that 454 adds a ton of value and puts it out of my price range. Are you simple like me and ok with a small block version? Or would you go for the gusto and spring for the 454?


  1. Todd

    Nice car but it seems people are over paying for a 1973.

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      Yep. Each to his own, but I would take a 2012 Grand Sport coupe for my $30,000.

      Like 4
  2. DavidH

    How much difference was there in performance between the 454 and top rated 350? Was there a manual transmission in ‘73? I like Corvettes in general but this ‘73 is a nice car.

    Like 3
    • AW

      73 was the first year of the 250 horse L82 350, replacing the LT-1 of 70-72. And 4 speeds were still available. The 454 had more torque than the L82, but the L82 (obviously) weighed less & there wasn’t that much of a power drop between the engines, so the L82 made a better overall package far as performance & handling. But, “there’s no replacement for displacement”. Very nice Vette.

      Like 4
    • Steve Akker

      Base engine was 190 hp. The L83 350 was 250 hp. My neighbor has a 73 with the base engine with a 4 spd. 3 owner car with 18k. Original miles.

      Like 1
  3. Car Crazy Troy

    I have proudly owned 13 Vettes in my life, but will never pay this kind of money for a 73…

    Like 4
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      13 Vettes? There must be some good stories behind that.

      Like 1
      • Ed Jennings

        I can count sixteen Vettes that have been in my garage. C1-4, including one fuelie. C2-4, C3-3, C4-2,C5-2, C6-1, a six speed convertible that we still have.

  4. Frank Armstrong

    This one has been very well kept. Rare to see one that still has the stainless steel wrapped ignition wires. Current bid seems high, but it’s hard to find one this nice.

    Like 2
  5. Macfly

    This is a pretty shocking price. But the 73 is known to be the most refined of the chrome bumper cars and it was all downhill form there for several years.

    Like 2
  6. C5 Corvette

    this brings back memories for me. Our 2nd Corvette was a C3 in White w/ red interior. it was powered by a 350 AT. Loved that car. Current Corvette is a 98 LS1, 345 hp, all black w/ chrome wagon wheels. Love this one too!

  7. Jcs

    This does appear to be an awfully nice (That sounds funny) 73 but as someone else mentioned $30K is up there, maybe if it was a 4 speed but still.

    Went RNM @$39.5K this afternoon and was immediately relisted. Seller has several cars listed, that good looking silver over red 77, 78, and 79 Frankenstein Trans Am from here on Barn Finds the other day is his too. Way too proud on that one as well.

    Back to the Vette, makes me think of my buddy that we lost late last year. Danny was a Chevy guy and collector for decades and he always had at least one Corvette in his collection. He once told me that he had owned 31 Corvettes during his life and that he never lost money on a single one. Not one.

    That’s pretty amazing, as was the man.

    Merry Christmas my Barn Finds friends.

    Like 3
    • Jcs

      Typo, RNM @ $30.5K.

  8. Jcs

    Typo, RNM @ $30.5K.

  9. Stan Marks

    The sale ended yesterday, at $30.5K. Reserve wasn’t met.

    • Frank Sumatra

      A fool and the money will never be united. $30.5K is absolutely all the money that car will ever bring. Huge mistake.

      Like 2
      • Kenneth Hodges

        Most likely a ‘shill’ bid trying to get bids up there in his hopelessy ‘high’ range. 23 k tops.

        Like 2

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