Wrecked But Repairable: 1973 Chevrolet Corvette

Whatever happened to this car, it’s a good thing that Corvettes were body-on-frame and made of Fiberglass back in the 1970s. I certainly hope the driver got out un-injured from this damaged-but-fixable 1973 Chevrolet Corvette, listed here on eBay in a no-reserve auction, with clean title, out of Mantua, New Jersey. Interested? Read on below…

Corvette enthusiasts like myself know that 1973 was the first year when government-mandated 5 mph urethane bumpers were put onto Corvettes. The following year, both front and rear were phased in, making the 1973s unique among the now 66-year history of the American legend from GM. It also marked the beginning of Corvette’s transformation from purely muscle-car to sports/touring car. Two small-block V8 engines and two transmissions were available, but none of them really kicked out nearly the horsepower that previous years could give, thanks to federal emissions standards taking hold, and American auto manufacturers struggling to find the right equation of emissions vs performance.

The seller doesn’t give us a whole lot to work within the way of details, so we have to look at the pictures in detail. Their assertion that it “Needs Work” is an understatement! What we can see, though, is that it has indeed sustained a pretty good whomp in the nose, but it’s otherwise mostly all there. We see a 4-speed with air conditioning, standard seats and deluxe door panels, brown interior, basic AM/FM radio, tilt wheel, and Rallye rims wearing radial tires. The odometer reads 1,983 miles, but it’s a safe bet that it has likely turned over at least once.

All in all, it looks from afar to be decent and fixable, even though it looks a mess. You’d need the entire front end, probably suspension parts, a few underhood components, and definitely some interior work. Even if the frame is tweaked, that’s not that big of a deal these days. As long as the “birdcage” is okay, nearly every single nut, bolt, washer, wire, and component is available nowadays, and you could probably get everything you needed in one trip to Corvettes At Carlisle in late August. I dare say you could be driving it before the end of the year if you play your cards right! Up for a challenge?

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Comments

  1. Dustin Lisner

    Its just begging for a chrome bumper

    10
    • JoeNYWF64

      If endura looks “bad” on ’73 vettes, why doesn’t it on ’70-3 firebird, some cudas, some ’69 camaros, ’71-3 mustangs, etc. with chrome rear bumpers?
      I wonder if pontiac ever considered or mocked up a CHROME version loop front bumper for the ’70-3 firebird (endura was not std on ’68-9 lemans/tempest/gto – chrome was). That would solve today’s aggravation with 46+ yr old firebird endura. lol
      I also wonder if a magazine back then ever raced a ’73 454 vette against a sd-455 —> ideal version would be a firebird formula with no options, including no power steering & no power brakes to save weight – both std on t/a &, i believe, corvette).

  2. jw454

    This car reminds me of how a friends car looked after his “soon-to-be” ex-wife took her ’73 Corvette and slammed it several times into his ’80 Corvette. Following a upsetting meeting at the lawyer’s office, both of the cars ended up looking just about the same as the feature car. Once the police were called, followed by the news media, a picture of the two cars, including the bits and pieces of yellow and red fiberglass scattered about the parking lot, made it into the local paper.
    Ironically, in the final divorce settlement, she was awarded both cars. Both were repaired and may still be on the road somewhere today. I’ll never forget the COLOR picture of them looking so destroyed. The ’80 was one month old at the time.

    4
  3. SquirrelyGig

    I’m not necessarily an expert in anything, let alone Corvettes, but from a “car guy” perspective, I could see it being an actual 1,983 original mile car. The general overall interior condition seems low mileage to me? Looking @ the interior, check out the seats, among other things. Particularly the drivers seat. If it is the original factory cover, I don’t think there’s any way that seat has seen 100K+ miles. Seats, carpet & interior otherwise appear to be moisture/sun/climate damage to me? Really. Look @ the shift knob. Wouldn’t it be a bit more “worn” if 100k+ miles? Obviously, could have been replaced @ some point, but I’m skeptical about that theory.
    Looks to have had a newer respray in a slightly different shade from factory, shortly before “the damage”?
    Not even sure why I chose to comment on this car? I guess because I felt like I had some potentially valid points?

    6
    • 71FXSuperGlide

      Given some of the pieces under the hood, carpet, door panels, etc. I would say that’s highly unlikely.

      Bidding up to $2,750, someone will likely pick this up for under $5 grand I bet.

      2
  4. David Fetty

    454’s were still available in 73. If the car in the attached picture was fixable (same car top and bottom), this one is an easy fix :)

    2
  5. 77Vette

    That’s the L-82 350. With the 4 speed it was fairly rare that year. It was the first year for the L-82 and made 250 horsepower.

    3
  6. bob

    Nothing special here, unless you are looking for a place to spend a lot of money. Once you pay to much for a wrecked car, then spend a load of money to fix crash damage, you will have a very well used, read worn out vette. I have seen worse but this falls into the road hard put away wet area. It’s not that rare. Look for a better starting point, they are out there.

    2
  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    From the ad. ‘Estate Sale, owner passed away never finished the project’. Project is right. Claims it runs, fuel line off, missing fan, junk interior. Not for me.

    5
  8. Dave Mika

    Yep, definitely not running unless I’m missing something here…

    1
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    In addition to everything stated previously, note the seller looks to have accumulated the repair parts but is selling them separately. Personally I’d steer clear here for a better starting point.
    Just my opinion.

    1
  10. Last 1LE

    Run like hell in the opposite direction. This isn’t a money pit it’s a Corvette Museum sinkhole sized cavity to dump a lot more money than this poor relic will be worth for at least a couple decades. There’s serious front frame damage, particularly on the left (driver side) corner — in the left profile photo on the eBay listing you can see that the left front tire/wheel/front suspension is shoved at least 2-3-inches rearward. If the frame is salvageable (iffy if the car has been in the snow belt for 40-plus years) you’re looking at a lot of expensive hours on a frame machine, before you look at the expense of new front suspension,all of the inside front structure parts, all new body parts (the hood may be saveable) and thousands more for front body parts, headlight systems, and all for a car that, to be charitable (from experience and studying all of the eBay photos) is a roach from front to back. It just ain’t worth the effort.

    1
  11. Ron Bajorek

    Maco Shark Conversion Material…sign me up

    1
  12. Karl

    I am just about ready for paint having did a complete frame off rest on a 76 Vette. Whoever buys this needs to check the frame very carefully for rust especially just ahead of the rear tires, critical spot. The front and rear endura I would automatically replace it. The front there was a day when I would fix those fenders and hood, that will never happen again!! Buy new fenders and front nose cone don’t get endura they fit beautiful, very amazing just how perfect the replacements are. Don’t get me wrong there is a hell of a hit of work here I it can sure be done!

  13. moosie moosie Member

    It looks like the frame may be tweaked a bit, the car sits a bit high on the right rear & low on the left . Its an a/c car but the compressor is not on the engine.

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