So You Want A Corvette? 1973 That Needs Everything

Well, it is a Corvette. However, let’s just say it’s not the nicest one I’ve ever seen. Still, it could be rebuilt–and right now it’s being auctioned at $510 here on eBay without a reserve! This piece of yellow fantastic plastic is waiting for you in a warehouse in Houston, Texas, along with several other cars (look closely at the pictures). 

This is probably the most flattering view of the car in the auction listing. This is one of the last of the early, chrome bumper C3s, even if that bumper (and the nose) is missing from the front of the car. We’ve debated the whole luggage rack on a ‘Vette issue here before, and most commenters seem to be against them in general. I share that point of view, but it least it looks like it’s in nice shape.

While metal rusts, fiberglass cracks or breaks, as you can see from this closeup of the left front fender. I’m glad the seller included so many good pictures of the body, but I wish there were some of the underside or the visible parts of the “bird cage.” I wonder about the silver hood as well.

Whoops! Something missing here! Now for all you concours loving folks, this is the time to stop reading. There’s no way it makes any kind of economical sense to restore a car like this to original specification; there are plenty of nicer cars to start with out there. So let’s hear it: “LS SWAP!” There, I said it for you. No reason not to. And you might want to modernize a few more things while you are at it.

Like the interior. Oh yes. I’d tear everything out (after putting on a haz mat suit) and start over. There are plenty of other C3 alternatives out there, from later stock cars to all kinds of customs. So what would you do to this C3 that’s almost being given away. Just for fun, let’s assume the birdcage and other metal parts just have surface rust. What modifications if any would you make?

Fast Finds


  1. KeithK

    Be a little different. Twin turbo DURAMAX. 3 inch side pipes. Roll some coal in your Coalvette.

    • Jeffro

      I like the way you think!

    • ChevyTruckGuy

      A very interesting idea. It would certainly be one-of-a-kind! The frame would definitely need to be modified to handle the amount of twist a ‘Max dishes out. Paint it in a vintage Corvette color…say, “Steel Cities Gray”. All the trim bits in a matte black finish. A killer set of wheels. I like your idea, Keith!!

  2. Howard A Member

    Meh, not really. Corvettes are kind of like boats, or Harleys, great fun, but just try and get rid of one. There are so many nice ones, ( almost 2,000 on Hemmings alone) I wouldn’t diddle with this one.

    • racer99

      Yeah, but a $600 Corvette with a blank palate might be fun. A nice counterpoint to the $5K cars that people think are worth $50K as long as the chassis is solid. Even a scrap-yard 5.3L drivetrain would give you more HP than the car had new.

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        That’s true, I’m not saying this isn’t a good deal, it’s just these aren’t the best to work on, and for the hassle ( and cost) of fixing this one, you can buy one, and be cruising that very afternoon. I guess it’s up to you.

  3. JW

    Man I thought there were a lot of Mustangs & Camaros for sale but Corvettes are falling from that big garage in the sky.

    Like 1
  4. Blyndgesser

    FYI, the ’73 had a chrome rear bumper but a body color front bumper.

    Like 1
  5. Dave Member

    Yea, not a Vette expert, but I think the ’73 was the last flatback.

    Like 1
    • Ed

      Dave I believe the 77 model had the last flatback or sugar scoop. 78 went to round window

      • Blyndgesser

        Correct, Ed.

    • Jc

      Think 77 was last year for flatback window.

      Like 1
  6. Dan

    Ok, the teaser write up on the home page made me think of several different ways to complete the sentence when it trailed off on “This piece…”. I thought of several ways to complete that sentence, none of which were actually used! Well played Jamie!

  7. Don

    I like the luggage rack ,could strap down a few cases of bud 🍺

  8. gbvette62

    With 6 days left, I’m guessing that thing will be a lot more than $600, when the auction’s done. I’ve seen worse, and for a lot more money. The tilt/tele column in it, is worth more than the current bid.

    Power steering, power brakes, automatic, air conditioning, tilt and leather. If you can pick the car up for a few grand, add a $250 fiberglass front bumper, a crate 350, a 700R4, seat covers, carpet, door panels, fresh paint and new wheels, you might have a nice little Corvette to run around in.

    And lose the luggage rack.

    Like 1
    • grant

      Don’t forget fixing the multiple cracks in the body, unless you think they can be painted over.

  9. The Real Diesel Dick

    Yellow paint with tan guts?! Yuck! Looks like a yellow shirt over khakis! Please fix that while you’re dropping in your junkyard LS.

  10. Vin in NJ

    Contact Mark Hamill.. perfect starting point for a Corvette Summer Stingray

    Like 1
  11. 86 Vette Convertible

    If I was going to do it as a keeper, and basic body was good including floor-pan and birdcage.
    Maybe convert the front to a 72 with the chrome bumpers. Stringer hood.
    fix the fiberglass cracks etc.
    Aftermarket frame, C4 suspension. Banski rear trailing arms, sway bar and toe rods.
    Baer or Wilwood Brakes
    LS power with probably a 4L80 trans (assuming it would fit) – Add paddle shifters
    gut the interior and replace the carpet, door panels etc – Recaro seats, Dakota Digital instruments. Change interior color.
    Good Paint job in better color.
    Some good 18″ rims and tires probably C6 or C7 design or custom – same style as originals but in 18″
    Convert the headlights and cowl opener to electric units.
    Obviously rewire the whole thing. Go with LED lights wherever possible.
    Drive it like you stole it.

    • LAB3

      Your thinking is along the lines of mine, this car would be a good candidate for a resto-mod.

      Like 1
  12. ACZ

    The price will be too insane by the time the auction closes. Junk interior, mildew, no drive train, junk radio, set up for automatic, missing A/C pieces, missing cooling system. Another boat anchor.

    Like 1
    • Waltguy

      True, unless you already had the parts? I’m thinking a nice solid small block? pre-LS, maybe LT1 from a 94-96 GM/700R4? IF the body cracks and chassis were worth saving…..

  13. Doug Towsley

    I like these, Im okay with Yellow too,, (Needs some black accents to pop), Orange as well. But they are not popular colors with many people,, Side pipes too. Not a DAMN thing wrong with a Automatic with a shift kit, especially makes sense as overdrive like a 700R4. I Like tan interior too, but I would update with modern leather seats out of a newer car, For the right price this could be cool. I got 5 motors sitting here that would all drop in.

  14. cudaman

    Here’s a ’71 I found here in South Georgia. It was rough and came from Michigan. Had a bad frame. He had chains holding the control arms together. It was sad and I had never seen such a rough Stingray……….

  15. moosie Craig

    Heres my contribution for Corvette dreamers to consider, a white ’80 rusty framed complete car & a ’82 Champagne Beige empty shelled roller, $1500 takes em both.

    Like 2
    • popawfox

      I just saw this… $1500! Where are you located?!

  16. Doug Towsley

    Smokin’ deal! Does that include delivery to Oregon?

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $2250, just a tad over what I figured it was worth: 2 G’s.

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