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No Reserve: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Decisions, decisions. The next owner of this 1974 Corvette Convertible will have a few to make. Do they drive the classic as it currently stands, or should they make the effort to restore it to its former glory? Restoring it would not be essential, because it is a solid car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately. Of course, there could also be a middle-ground alternative to consider, so that’s something else to think about. The Corvette is located in Boca Raton, Florida, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,304 in what is a No Reserve auction.

The Corvette is finished in Bright Yellow and looking around the vehicle, I believe that I can see evidence that indicates that it may have received at least a partial repaint at some point. It still presents well, and while the owner does float the concept of it being a great candidate for restoration, it really doesn’t seem to have any urgent cosmetic needs. The owner provides some reasonable shots of the Corvette’s underside, and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of anything beyond a light dusting of surface corrosion in a few spots. There certainly doesn’t appear to be any rust to address, while the consistency of the door gaps potentially indicates that the birdcage might also be solid. The headlights go up and down as they are supposed to, while all of the glass looks to be in good condition. The Black soft-top is new, while the factory hardtop, finished in the body’s shade of Bright Yellow, looks to be in really nice condition. Yes, the exterior could definitely be made to really “pop” if it underwent a full restoration, but I have to admit that it would be extremely tempting to address the few spots of surface corrosion on the frame so that they don’t deteriorate any further, treat the paint to a wet sand and a polish, and then leave the rest as it is.

Powering the Corvette is the “base” L48 version of the 350ci V8, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. With 195hp on tap, the Corvette was still a reasonable sort of performer in this guise. It’s 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds when new didn’t see it lagging far behind the more-powerful L82, while even the range-topping LS4 454 could only gap the base engine by less than ½ a second to the same mark. The owner states that this is a numbers-matching car, although the engine has received a few chrome embellishments at some point. Regardless, it is said to run and drive very nicely. Once again, it would appear as though this is another aspect of the Corvette that needs little, and further reinforces the fact that this is a classic that is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

Now we get to the part of the Corvette where I would be inclined to maybe spend some money, but even then, it wouldn’t be a vast sum. The carpet is looking tired, and I would be tempted to replace it. The Saddle leather covers on the seats have some pretty noticeable splits, and they are another item that I would replace. Beyond those few things, the rest of the interior has survived extremely well, with no signs of any significant splits or cracks in any of the plastic, the dash, or the dash pad. The original radio has been replaced at some point, but the rest of the interior looks to be stock and unmodified. Therefore, with a new carpet set costing around $250, and a pair of replacement leather covers for the seats selling for around $650, the interior could potentially be made to really sparkle for little more than some thorough cleaning, and a capital outlay of less than $1,000.


Sure, the next owner could choose to subject the Corvette to a full restoration, and if they did, I wouldn’t be inclined to criticize them for choosing to do so. Fully restored, it would be a car with the potential to catch more than a few eyes when it was out and about. For me, this decision would come back to the question of potential vehicle value. With the L48 version of the 350 under the hood, even fully restored, this is a car that would struggle to push far beyond the $30,000 mark. By merely addressing those few interior issues and having the car thoroughly detailed as I outlined, it should still be capable of pushing over $20,000, and possibly as high as $25,000. Of course, with Summer just around the corner, another idea would be to just drive and enjoy the Corvette as it currently stands while the sun is shining. That gives the next owner plenty of time to make their decision about what path they would like to eventually follow.


  1. Moparman Moparman Member

    Another car ruined by a (IMO) useless luggage rack; no T-Tops to strap to this one! :-)

    Like 2
    • CCFisher

      I think a Corvette like this is one of the few cases where a luggage rack makes sense. It has very limited luggage capacity that can only be accessed by folding the seats forward, the folded top encroaches on that limited space a bit, and there’s no trunk lid, so you don’t need to remove everything from the rack to access the main cargo compartment.

      Like 22
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Amen to that. I have a C4 convertible that’s the same as far as internal space. Wish it had a luggage rack on it.

        Like 9
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Well, you could strap on some luggage and go sightseeing.

    Like 4
  3. Mike D

    In these cars, the top takes up almost all of the trunk space, so if you want to travel and put the top down, the luggage rack is needed.

    Like 10
  4. Jm

    Oh wow,the exact car my old man got when he hit 40.Except for the luggage rack,and he got the white fabric top.Otherwise identical.I think that the car stickered at $6k new.

    Like 6
  5. Classic Steel

    I had two 74 at different times over ten years ago.

    A choc 4 speed vert with 22k and a new paint job with a perfect frame and interior with both tops. It brought 17 k.

    I went a couple years and another one crossed paths . It had one section on frame i had to cut grind a weld back steel.
    A pain in bum and on rear legs. It had 72 k on clock and silver with both tops. A four banger of course. When i got tired of it after two years brought 15 etc.

    Like 2
  6. Frank Sumatra

    Bid $9575. If you get it, drive it all summer. Put it away in November if you live in Snow Country and think about what you want to do with it.

    Like 4
  7. Gaspumpchas

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but 3 things to look at carefully- Frame,birdcage, and frame. Otherwise, if you could bag this for a reasonable price, drive the wheels off it as is. you could warm up the anemic mill if so desired. If you always wanted a vette, here’s your chance. Good luck.

    Like 4
    • JoeNYWF64

      I would imagine a rusty “birdcage” is even more of a safety issue in a vette convertible? If the test drive reveals nothing unusual, can 1 assume the “birdcage” is ok, or has just minimal or surface rust(which would not get worse if it never gets wet again)?

      Like 0
  8. Bob Baird

    Restoration is not in the picture. Unless there is something very rare or special, these years are buy and drive, or buy a low-mileage, original, unrestored example and display. The cost in time and materials to restore something that has limited value regardless of condition exceeds what you could have gotten an untouched A Condition car for.

    Like 4
  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice car. BTW, we own two Bugeye Sprites that don’t have trunk lids. Everything you want to travel with goes through behind the seats. Big pain in the tucas. Half the Bugeyes and Corvettes with the same problem have luggage racks. Had one on our last 356C and it sure made cross country traveling a lot easier. Live with it.

    Like 3
  10. Frank Sumatra

    Dear Experts, Luggage Rackophobes, and Birdcageians- 19 bids. Currently at $10533.

    Like 7
    • Frank Sumatra

      28 bids. $11,800. For that price I’d give the buyer a spare luggage rack.

      Like 3
      • Frank Sumatra

        Listed at $10,900 today. Seller should take the money and run.or good luck when we go into a recession in the next 30 days.

        Like 0
  11. Ricknod Kazooh

    Like the ’63 split window, this too is a rare bird. This was the first year for the tupperware tail and the only year that the tail was split into 2 pieces, so yes this is a rare 1 year only “split tail” vette.

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      “Tupperware” ! Beauty! And GM paid a UAW guy to put the “Corvette” letters on one piece at a time. In 1975 they went to a full nameplate. That must have been a tough negotiation with the Union.

      Like 2
  12. Frank Sumatra

    SOLD!!! @ $15,000! Apparently the buyer said the luggage rack sealed the deal for him. “As soon as I saw that vintage rack, I knew I had to have that car at any cost”. :)

    Like 1
    • Mike

      Congratulations, well worth the purchase price. Love the rack!

      Like 2

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