Not Perfectly Original But Perfect! 1973 Corvette

One of these days I will own a C3 Corvette, if only to see if either the naysayers or enthusiasts are right about these cars. I still think as a general rule they are inexpensive for what they offer, and this one has a lot to offer! It’s listed for sale here on eBay, is in terrific shape and is wearing its original paint, which I happen to think is a gorgeous color! You can find this beautiful verde ‘Vette in Healdsburg, California. Bidding is up to just over $7,400 but the reserve quite correctly hasn’t been met as I write.

This is quite simply a beautiful car. Elkhart Green is the name of the color, and the seller tells us that the car has spent 39 of its 44 years out of the sunlight, which at least partially explains the condition of the paint. Someone still had to take care of it though, as it has been driven 78,249 miles according to the odometer. The seller reports no repairs to the paint and that it is 100% original.

They took pains to photograph the car in such a way that the original bonding lines show through the paint. Apparently this is something you will only see on original paint Corvettes. The seller states that they have over 140 photographs, and if you want a shot of a particular area to just ask.

No, the Nardi wheel isn’t original, but those are my favorite steering wheels in the world, so again, it’s perfect for me. There’s a third pedal in the interior as well, which means a four speed manual transmission.

While the underside may not be perfectly stock either, it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of! We’re told the frame is smooth and rust free, and hasn’t been repainted.

This is the original L82 V8, but it has been rebuilt to a higher specification and even comes with a complete fuel injection unit (I presume modern aftermarket or OEM, not an early mechanical system) if you want to go even faster. Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing, but it wouldn’t be long before the miles would start to pile up. And I’m just fine with that! What would your perfect C3 Corvette be like?

Fast Finds


  1. Curtis

    Certainly appears to be a nice, clean & beautiful car here. Thankfully I’m in Wisconsin if I was in Cali area I’d be shopping hard on this one in this condition.

  2. redwagon

    favorite c3 year. this ticks a lot of boxes.

  3. Mike F.

    This car is gorgeous! It would be a great entry into the Corvette world.

    Having owned a C3 since 1986, it’s fair to say that both the naysayers and enthusiasts are correct. They are unique and exotic while being a production Chevy all at the same time. It’s amazing they exist at all. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great comment Mike F. I took my 1972 out last evening for a cruise. No passenger, no radio on, no worries. Just country roads. Buy one Jamie, I do not think you will be disappointed. You can build them to fit your own taste. I kind of like them stock , but I like the steering wheel also.

  5. Suttree

    This car is a winner. The advice to get the best example possible? This is a best example car for sure.
    I think the buyer will get a bargain and likely spend less than a restoration would cost.

    I’d love to have this car..

  6. Frank

    This car was on BAT about a month ago I believe. Sad it went to a flipper.

    Like 1
  7. 86 Vette Convertible

    Change the fluids and take it out and drive it. Looks like it needs little to nothing expect for probably fluid changes and maintenance items. I hope whoever gets it takes it out and drives it.

  8. Peter R

    @Frank – I looked at the BaT site – it sold for 11,400 +5% buyers premium and now is bid 14K with reserve still unmet. If I read their site properly it is also no longer an “air” car which is a deal breaker for me. Flippers distort the marketplace – can only hope his clearly too high reserve goes unmet.

    • cyclemikey

      On the other hand……..he’s the guy who saw what he thought was a bargain, stepped up with the cash, and bought it. He’s entitled to market it for whatever he can get. And he was right, apparently, because he’s got two bidders willing to give 14K for it. Distorting the market? Meh. We’re all flippers on some scale. Are you still driving your first car?

      It’s a pretty darn nice ’73. I like the colors, and couldn’t care less about A/C. C3’s are a great Corvette experience. The “naysayers” do have a point that they’re not so much a car as a collection of loosely related parts going down the road together, but that doesn’t lessen the enjoyment one bit. Not as refined and capable as the C7 in my garage, for sure, but every bit as much fun in their own way.

      Like 1
  9. John B

    I really love this style C3 Corvette, but what the heck is that color supposed to be…algae green? Looks like the inspiration was a neglected aquarium. A deal-killer for me.

  10. ccrvtt

    The only C3s I ever drove rode like a buckboard but there is no denying they look cool and ooze with that Corvette cachet. Bill Mitchell preferred them to the C4 and though I liked my C4 better you can appreciate the iconic extravagance of the styling. Easily as recognizable as a 911 or E-type it’s a classic. As was stated earlier, you buy a Corvette and you won’t be disappointed. You don’t have to love it forever but you’ll love it while you have it. This one is probably worth the reserve.

    • 86 Vette Convertible

      I’ve not done one, but there are replacement frames out there that use C4 suspension under them that I’ve read very good reports on. Even allow you to use the engine and tranny of choice. If the frame was rusted or weak and had the car already in my posession, that’s what I would look into. As it is, I suspect the frame is OK and would leave it alone for the time being. Birdcages and frames are the two main things I continually see commented on as areas to watch out for damage to.

  11. Rocco

    I really like those darker greens. Very nice chebby. Like Jamie said, you can’t go bad with the third pedal. I like it, and I’m a Ford guy.

  12. Rock On

    I’m probably in the minority here, but I think this car would look great with side pipes.

    • John B

      You are right! Some contrast would really help me digest that gooey green. White letters on the radials, a subtle stripe on the raised area of the hood, factory side pipes…it’s just too stark all by itself.

      • Pa Tina

        luggage rack!!!!!!!!!

  13. C Carl

    Looks pretty good to me. Green is an acquired taste but it works for this car. I would enjoy wrenching/ hot rodding this one.
    270 ac.

  14. Eddie

    Very Nice Vette !!

  15. David J David J

    I was chatting with a vette guy recently. I asked him what he thought about 1973 C3 models. He said, “1970 was the last year of good C3’s.” After that, he changed the subject.

    I’m guessing the 1971 and on C3 Corvettes will continue to rise in value, while the 1968-1970 models will continue to remain ~ the same.

    Personally, I’d love a 1969 restomod with a big block, 5-speed, air conditioning, PB, PS and 4:11 rear end. Gold would be nice. Convertible mandatory. :)

    • Wayno

      David J, please explain your thoughts on the valuations of the 68 -70 and the 1971 and on vettes. Always wanted one of the 1972 or earlier years. Your comments would be appreciated.

      • David J David J

        Hi Wayno:

        The 1968-1970 (let’s toss 1971 in there, as well) Corvettes have reached a price “ceiling” over the past decade, if not longer. Values are not really rising in a significant manner, although tomorrow is a new day. :)

        On the other hand, the “newer” C3’s, while still stagnating at value levels, are lower cost. I’m guessing folks will start buying them up due to the lower cost, and of course, because of the fact that the cars are not a renewable resource, and that they can turn a profit on them.

  16. Bill

    73’s can be had for fairly cheap prices which surprises me. Theses are a one year only style and should command higher prices. This one’s a beauty and if I didn’t just buy a 2017 Corvette, I’d be interested.

  17. Pa Tina

    Current bid: $23,100. Reserve not met. Wow.

  18. Carl Schwanbeck

    I have a 73 convertible which I ordered new. It was elkhart green and showed that mold mark when delivered. It really irritated me at the time. It is now brilliant red and has had the frame changed. L48 and 4 speed. It has 188k on the engine. I was scraping the barrel for money at the time and ordered the car with power steering but not power brakes to save $48. I have since added that and AC from a 74 but the AC no longer works. Nice driver but shows some wear. I think it is a beautiful model though.

  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Not true on only being able to see the bonding strip on original paint cars.
    My ’70 had a couple of layers of different colors on it before I had it stripped down to the fiberglass before repainting it to the original Donnybrook Green.

    The bonding strips were clearly visible, especially on the rear quarters.

  20. RP

    I dunno…. Shiny, real pretty gloss, but green…………… Also, something about my theory that if it has a chrome bumper on the rear it oughta have another one up front. Something about a rubber baby buggy bumper just doesn’t do it for me. Whoever buys it will have a fun ride, but in the meantime I think I’ll stick with my C5 drop-top.

  21. C Carl
    • 86 Vette Convertible

      My how prices have changed. Back in 1979, tried to buy a 69 roadster. 350/350, 4 speed, gray with a black interior and black hardtop. Seller had just had it gone through and had the paperwork to prove it. Ran like a scalded dog. Offered him $3000 for the car and $400 for the hardtop. He sold both to someone that later offered him $3400 for everything. Mad as heck for losing that one but such is life. With my luck at the time, ex probably would have gotten it in the divorce anyway.

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Agreed. Look at the ’69 427 listed in this ad from ’76. Different car than the one you were looking at, but wish these prices were still around.

        To lend more perspective, I paid $9500 for my ’70 convertible in 1984, 350/300 with 4 speed and hardtop, ran great on rebuilt engine, but cosmetics weren’t good. Repainted baby blue with shag rug. And unbeknownst to me, frame rot at the kickups and windshield frame that needed to be replaced.

  22. David J David J

    Awesome 1976 ad! I’m guessing the prices listed were even a bit inflated, as this was a dealer ad. :)

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