Nicely Optioned Survivor: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

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A C3 Corvette Convertible is unlikely to blend into the background under normal circumstances. When its first owner selected Bright Yellow as its paint color, it stands out like a beacon. This 1974 Corvette is a tidy classic featuring some desirable options. There is also a mountain of documentation tracing much of its history. It is a turnkey proposition, and its next journey could be to a new home. The seller has listed the ‘Vette here on Craigslist in Farmingdale, New York. It could be yours for $21,500, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Mitchell G. for spotting this beauty.

The styling evolution of the C3 Corvette was almost complete by 1974. Chevrolet added small fender flares in 1970, and the chrome front bumper disappeared in 1973. The original rear bumper made way for a new unit in 1974 to comply with legislative requirements. A fastback-style rear window was the final major piece of the puzzle in 1978. There would be further minor tweaks, but the Corvette’s body would ride out the remaining years essentially unchanged. This 1974 Convertible makes a bold visual statement in Bright Yellow. Its presentation is impressive for its age, although it is unclear whether it has undergone repairs or restoration. A close inspection reveals a few minor chips and marks, but the rich shine means preservation is a viable option for enthusiasts seeking a driver-grade classic. The fiberglass shows no problems, and the underside shots reveal a rock-solid frame with only the occasional spot of light and dry surface corrosion. The ‘Vette features a Saddle soft-top that is in good order, and the trim and badges are intact. The car rolls on its original Rally wheels, free from damage and stains.

The original owner spent much of their cash on the interior of this Corvette. They equipped it with Saddle leather trim, air conditioning, power windows, and a tilt/telescopic wheel. The timber wheel and radio/cassette player were later additions, but the inside of this classic is otherwise untouched. Its condition is comfortably acceptable for a survivor, with no significant wear or signs of abuse. The outer seat edges are spotless, the dash is excellent, and there is no visible cracked plastic. The seller indicates the tachometer is inoperative, but the remaining features function as they should.

The low point for some will be this Corvette’s drivetrain. There are no identified mechanical faults or problems, but the car is no longer numbers-matching. That is a consideration for those assessing the long-term investment potential but less of an issue for potential buyers looking for a classic they can drive and enjoy. The engine bay houses a 350ci V8, which feeds its power to a Posi rear end via a four-speed manual transmission. The first owner didn’t specify power brakes, but the assisted steering should make driving an effortless affair. There are contradictions surrounding the engine specifications, with the console decal indicating it is the L48 version and the air cleaner suggesting it is the more potent L-82. The driver will have at least 195hp and 275 ft/lbs of torque at their disposal, although those figures could rise to 250hp and 285 ft/lbs if it is the L-82. The seller is approachable and might be able to shed light on that question. One thing that isn’t in doubt is the car’s mechanical health. It runs and drives perfectly, making it a turnkey proposition for the buyer. The icing on the cake could be the mountain of documentation that appears to trace much of the Corvette’s history back to Day One.

This 1974 Corvette Convertible is a striking car that can’t help but attract attention. The paint shade ensures that, while the list of factory options virtually guarantees an enjoyable classic motoring experience. The seller’s price might be slightly optimistic, but much of the doubt hinges on which V8 occupies the engine bay. It may also explain why it is still listed on the market after over two weeks. However, for someone seeking a turnkey classic, it offers a lot. Summer is coming, and hitting the road in this drop-top could be an excellent way to occupy your leisure time. Are you tempted?

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  1. Big Bird

    I have owned two 74 convertibles in past.

    One chocolate 4 speed original with 36,000 miles and a silver 68,000 mikes. They both had original hardtops and in great shape.

    The yellow looks good on this vette.

    I think 21 is a decent price in today’s market.
    The engine non original is a prob for some but this not a deal breaker at this price.


    Like 2
  2. GuernseyPagoda

    Looks like a 75 rear valance, as 74 was split into two parts.

    Like 7
    • ruxvette

      Head scratcher because it does not have the ‘pads’ that the ’75 bumper has.
      The oil filter has been on there since 12-20-2012???

      Like 0
      • TimS

        What, you never heard of the Overextended -Life oil filter?

        Like 2
      • Acton Thomas

        The rear valance is most likely a fiberglass replacement without the seam or the seam was filled in. This is a nice car, 4 speed roadster with A/C, the price may be a little tall, but the car appears very complete and solid. The inspection and test drive will help to determine if this one is a good value.

        Like 1
    • gary

      1 piece fiberglass rear bumer cover ?

      Like 0

      I had a ’75 and a ’77 … that rear is definitly not a ’74, which had a split down the middle … one of the easier of later Corvettes to recognize …

      Like 0
  3. Corvette

    The bumpers were notorious for crumbling and getting a replacement with a cut or slash down he middle. I’ve seen folks make the line on bumper replacement

    Like 1
  4. ACZ

    I’d trust the console plate. Anyone can buy an air cleaner sticker and those cheap chrome valve covers are not the finned aluminum ones on an L82.

    Like 1

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