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Only Two Owners! 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna

General Motors treated its mid-size automobiles to a new design in 1973, dubbed “Colonnade” styling. That’s because true hardtops were discontinued, though the doors would not be framed for the glass. The Laguna would become the top-level Chevelle and had a unique front clip with a rubber nose. Located in Yukon, Oklahoma, this Chevy looks to be cosmetically sound but will need some coaxing to get up and running. It’s available here on craigslist for $7,500. Tip finder Tony Primo seems to like these old Chevies!

The 1973 redesign was originally intended for 1972, but a labor strike pushed plans back a model year. The new Chevelles would ride on the same wheelbases as before, but the Colonnade layout provided a little more length and width and a bit more space for passengers. The venerable Malibu was pushed back to the mid-level entry while the Laguna (named after the beach resorts in SoCal) took over the top spot. They had a 350 cubic inch V8 as standard (like in the seller’s car) and a new body-colored urethane snout to adhere to the new 5-mph Federal impact requirements.

The well-known John DeLorean was Chevy’s division head at the time these cars were released, so their ultimate success was probably a feather in his cap. But he had no control over the roll-out of unleaded fuel which reduced compression ratios and thus horsepower. The 350-2V was only rated at 145 SAE net hp while the top-end 454-4V only managed 245. So, these cars were not as powerful as the 1968-72 models, but the changes may have been a blessing in disguise when the OPEC oil embargo emerged after the cars were launched and sent gasoline prices spiraling for the balance of the decade.

We’re told the seller has lowered the price of this car, but we don’t know what it was like before. He/she is only its second owner and has paperwork to prove it. The body, paint, and interior all look solid (and dirty) though the odometer reading is said to be 128,000 miles. It’s not currently running, but the seller says it will start. So perhaps it’s been sitting too long with old gas and a refresh of the fuel delivery system might be in order. For a proclaimed project car, this one looks fairly good.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo JCA Member

    A Laguna S3 with the 454/4spd would be a really cool and rare car. I’d guess less an 100 of those were made

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Jeff

      True…I know of only one….

      Like 5
    • Avatar photo Marty

      I had a ’74 S3 454. Wish I still had it.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Canadian Friend

    Although bigger wider, the front end- grill- headlights of the Laguna look almost identical to the front end-grill-headlights of the 1972 Mustang.

    I always thought that was strange.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Fox Owner

      My thoughts exactly. I saw the picture and thought that looks like a Mustang II. BTW, I Don know if it’s the lighting or what but that interior color is really ugly.

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Jeff

        Yes no one that knows about classics or collects them will buy ones with green interiors…

        Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Nelson C

    This resembles my old car. Same dark green with green cloth interior. Had the full vinyl top in white. Mine was a 454-automatic with tach and gauge cluster. Was probably a GM PEP vehicle when but didn’t find any identifying numbers on the wheel covers. Was pretty nice in 1987 but an old car just the same. Ran strong and got about 16 mpg on the highway but about 8 around town. Unique and interesting car.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Sal Monella

      A green, smog motored colonnade styled coupe with obvious front end repair that doesn’t run … No Thanks !!!

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Zen

    Looks like it might have cruise control. Pictures aren’t that great. Fix what it needs, get the A/C working, and enjoy it for what it is. Dual exhaust and a 4bbl would help it.

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Bill Pressler

    Love the color, like the car, but the aftermarket half-vinyl top and aftermarket pinstripe would disquality it for me. I like factory appearance.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo nlpnt

      They’re at least era-correct.

      Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Jeff

    Yes no one that knows about classics or collects them will buy ones with green interiors…

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Mike76

      The LS6 70SS Chevelle with green interior that sold for six figures on BAT just a few months ago was not a figment of my imagination. Plenty of people will buy (and collect) a car with green interior but the price paid will be typically be lower than an equal car with any other color interior. I will agree that it is not a preferred color though, that much is for sure, an evidenced by the lower prices that they bring.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo edward kas

        I sold used and new cars in the early 2000s. There is an ass for every seat. I can list a dozen cars that nobody could sell on the lot that I sold and there’s a story behind every one of them. I made more spiff money than the oldest salesman around. Give me a red Corvette with a green interior and I will have it sold for good money.

        Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Jwzg

    Why are Craigslist photos so BAD? Every. Freaking. Time.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Rex

    Save this one, there are very few of these surviving today. True not the most desirable Chevelle. Chevelle and Monte put on the Sumo training plan in 73 body parts suspension almost every part weighs more than a 72, probably 500 more pounds than a comparably equipped 72 or earlier Chevelle. That helps to save fuel, right.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Nelson C

      No, not really. Fuel economy wasn’t in the forefront when these went into development but safety and insurance regs were. The trend towards personal luxury was becoming apparent as boomers began to devote more to raising families than raising hell. Even their parents were in on the act. Manufacturers recognized this shift and boom everybody had something to offer. People bought them like hotcakes. Best selling car by mid decade, the Cutlass Supreme along with it’s siblings, cousins and all that wanted to be like it. Downsizing was something that GM stumbled upon before the first oil crisis mostly because of emissions and safety. Fuel economy was a secondary benefit.

      Like 3
  9. Avatar photo Dan

    Probably will need at least $4k plus a detailing to get this roadworthy again but 2-door Colonnades are starting to get respect among collectors and the Laguna is one of the more attractive Colonnades, thanks to that front end. So that asking price appears almost spot-on and this car looks sold from what I see from the lousy pictures. The 1968-72 GM mid-sizers are starting to become out of reach for some buyers, so they’re turning to the Colonnade Era cars. I see this appreciating slowly.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Dan

      I meant to say this car looks SOLID.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo RoadDog

      Lagunas were pretty rare back then, even more so nowadays.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Anthony Gaby

      Has anybody noticed the fitting of the front end? Possibly been in an accident..as not lining up…All in all I have a ’75 Chevelle/Malibu (yes it is badged as a Chevelle by Chevrolet)…with the large quarter windows..bare bones with inline 250….Medium green/ green interior…bought 14 years ago with 34,000 original miles..

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo $ where mouth is

        Id love a base model 75, though a 73 Laguna is a gem, emerald in this case. 73s got a nice rear end ;)
        Ya, the green interior is not easily changed but do-able. Find some black door cards, new carpet, ..
        A green paint however, i dig it..
        That top is likely factory, and id take it off and do a full top of a lighter green, or no top.

        Nice find Barn Finds 👌

        Like 1
  10. Avatar photo D-Smooth

    I had a 74 Chevelle laguna s-3. My first car and I loved it. I had the swivel bucket seats I see this is not the s3 model so it has the bench seat. Definitely worth restoring and putting on the road. Rare and beautiful! Best luck to whoever gets it. The S-3 models were limited to burgundy and white colors. That green would be cool to turn into an S-3. That’s what I would do. Cragars, dual exhaust, some S3 badging, nice project!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Nelson C

      Your S-3 replaced the SS in ’74. In ’73 it was the luxury model that would become Malibu Classic in ’74. Bucket or bench seats were available regardless of year. Sadly few people can tell you that Laguna is both a beach and a track.

      Like 1

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