1974 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
The arrival of the 1974 Chevy Corvette occurred during an abysmal period in automotive history. The period in question actually began in October 1973 when OAPEC, (the Arab members of OPEC) plus Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia proclaimed an oil embargo against the United States. Long lines for gas sprung up nationwide, and the era of the large engine muscle car was coming to an end. Instead of pure power, companies focused on conveniences, and smooth ride, and this year Corvette is exemplary of the times.
For consignment, the beneficiary of a performance minded redux with a dash of custom touches added in for good measure. A 540ci stroker V8 was installed along with custom fuel injection, some serious suspension parts were updated, a color change to a more exciting Pearl Yellow from the original Bright Yellow, and custom bodywork make it hard to pass by this Cleveland Autorama and Detroit Autorama 1st in class winner.
One has to love the design on this curvaceous Corvette. From its sting ray-esque nose, flared fenders, low slung panels, blacked out rocker, and rounded off rear this is definitely my favorite Corvette design, right next to the 63 split window. All this fiberglass is bathed in Pearl Yellow applied by Roman Chariot of Cleveland, OH and it is a respray that presents very well with little to no flaws. Up front, the center section of a C4 Corvette hood has been meticulously molded into the factory forward hinged hood and we note a later model rear bumper has been installed and has a small integrated rear spoiler both of which have been molded into the clean undulating body creating a fully seamless look. The hood has the added bling of black striping reminiscent of the Baldwin Motion striping of yore. All window trimmings have been blacked out and 2006 badging has been added. Removable roof panels offer up the option of some open-air motoring. 18-inch ZO6 style wheels are on as well as staggered width performance rated radials.
A sea of black leather buckets, (courtesy of a 1982 Corvette), carpet, dash, and door panels, with just a few areas of added woodgrain make up the fully redone interior. VDO gauges now occupy the deeply sunk in round cluster and front the 3 spoke wood rimmed steering wheel, center of dash, and even A/C installed in the console controlled by horizontal wheels for temperature...modern! The 6-speed manual transmission shifter is here as well. As the dash rises up from the console our eyes are drawn to the Kenwood AM/FM/Cassette stereo and sprinkling of more VDO gauges that would look right at home in the cockpit of a Boeing 737. A pop of the roof panels and you can experience open air motoring pleasure. A new dash pad is noted as is all new weatherstripping. In back, clean black carpeting covers the extra storage area behind the seats and a trio of storage compartments are noted. Overall, the interior is very nice and is definitely a showstopper.
Lifting the custom hood we are met with near perfection in the form of a consignor-stated 540ci big block Chevrolet. This big mill started as a Bill Mitchell Merlin IV block and has been fitted with a forged crank, forged rods and Manley 10.0:1 forged pistons. Topping things off are Canfield rectangle port aluminum heads and a Weiand Team G intake manifold that has been modified for port fuel injection along with a 1000cfm throttle body with Holley fuel injection management. Feeding the copious amounts of air to the throttle body is more trick custom work to the underside of the hood allowing for true cowl induction to be in effect. All hoses are either stainless tube or braided, plus a polished Evens water pump is on. Lighting the fire is a Holley dual sync distributor with a hidden coil and keeping it all cool is a Griffin aluminum radiator with a custom-made shroud for the Spall electric fans. At first glance one would not know they are peering at a much larger cubic inch engine. A Tremec T56 6-speed manual is bolted on the back and sends power back to a rear axle weighing in at a 3.55 ratio.
Having the spare tire removed affords us a good view of the sumped fuel tank and rear frame rails. They are solid, rust free and painted black and are part of the custom tube frame from the Street Shop. The condition follows suit throughout the rest of the frame with not even a hint of surface rust showing through. We note C4 suspension, which is an independent style with unequal length control arms and transverse leaf springs, for both front and rear. All urethane bushings are noted for the suspension and a Mustang power steering rack is on. Hydroboost power assist is on for the C5 front disc brakes with drilled and slotted rotors and for the rear we note C4 disc brakes with more drilled and slotted rotors. Custom made headers with electric cutouts feed down to stainless dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers that help to create a deep thundering melodious tune.
I never pass up a chance to drive a mid 70's curvy Corvette so I donned my driving gloves and off I went. The car started quickly and the idle was music to my ears. Power was more than adequate thanks to the stroker V8, the transmission shifted smoothly and with new suspension bushings and upgraded suspension the handling was like a new car and then some. All functions were operating properly at the time of our drive and we enjoyed ourselves so much with the T-tops removed and the AC on we took an unprecedented 2nd and 3rd lap around our fabled asphalt.
A restification if you will, retaining almost all of its exterior styling and looking just fab the whole time. A great black interior with a new dash pad and weather seals make for a comfortable rattle free interior. Add in a rust-free undercarriage and a souped up V8 and you have a package that will not only impress your neighbors but will draw the attention of the local John Q. Law. I know, I know...License and registration....
37-2 Door Coupe
J-350ci V8 4bbl L48
S-St. Louis, MO Assy Plant
417930-Sequential Unit Number
C15-October 15th 1973 Build
TRIM 404-Black Leather
PAINT 56L-Bright Yellow
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.