Great Driver 1974 Chevrolet Corevtte
The Chevrolet Corvette (C3) was a sport car that was produced by Chevrolet for the 1968 through 1982 model years. Engines and chassis components were mostly carried over from the previous generation, but the body and interior were new.
For 1974, a new rear bumper system replaced the squared tail and chrome rear bumper blades introduced in 1968 with a trim, tapering urethane cover carrying an integral license plate holder and recesses for the trademark round taillights. Underneath sat a box-section aluminum impact bar on two Omark-bolt slider brackets similar to the system used in the nose which allowed the Corvette to pass federal five-mph impact tests at the rear as well as the front.
The new rear design was quite beautiful, and more up-to-date than the 60's shape that it replaced with the vast majority of enthusiasts embracing the new design. For the 1974 model only, casting limitations mandated left and right bumper covers with a vertical center seam.
The anti-theft alarm key activator was moved from the rear panel to the front left fender. Tailpipes were now turned down as the new bumper cover eliminated the tailpipe extensions.
Features & Options
The 1974 Corvette here at Skyway Classics has a correct 425 Code Red interior with the also correct 14L Silver exterior it came with from the factory.
Turning to the red interior, it has all the power options you would expect as well as performance gauges, console, sport steering wheel, air, stereo system, and more. The 1974 Corvettes most notable improvement over the previous models was that the 1974 Coupe now featured an integrated shoulder belt/lap belt assembly for the first time. The locking mechanisms in the shoulder restraints also changed design from a pull-rate type (which would catch based on the amount of force applied to the belt) to a swinging-weight type that was activated by the car's deceleration.
The market's growing preference for performance automatic transmissions resulted in a more durable Turbo Hydra-Matic. Designated by RPO M40, the transmission was no-cost upgrade to consumers and is installed in this Corvette.
The 1974 Stingray is equipped with the L48 195 horsepower small-block that has been upgraded with a lot of performance parts including headers, aluminum intake, performance carb, high-performance spark plug wires, chrome valve covers and air cleaner, and more. Resonators were added to the dual exhaust system on 1974 models which further helped quiet the interior. The radiator and shroud were revised for better low-speed cooling. 1974 was the end of an era for the Corvette with the last true dual exhaust systems, the last without a catalytic converter.
It was capable of 0-60 in 6.8 seconds comparable to the 6.5 second time of the 1968 small-block rated at 300 hp, proof the 1972-74 Corvette engines had ample power regardless of reduced horsepower and net (bhp) ratings.
Car and Driver magazine said: "...We think the front and rear together produce a 'molded' shape that speaks of function rather than decor." Chevrolet commented on the new tailpiece in the '74 Corvette sales brochure: “Take the styling. We wouldn't just change it for the sake of change. But when we made the rear bumper stronger, we made Corvette's rear styling look different. And, we think better...”
Hi-Performance Cars magazine in a L48, L82, and LS4 comparison test, September 1973, said: "Our choice for the all-around best performer must go to the base 350 L48 engine...The L48 delivers all the acceleration you'll ever need on the road in a steady, forceful manner...in addition it runs cool, idles smoothly, and can cruise all day at 100 mph (160 km/h). The L48 took 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph (97 km/h), the L82, 6.7 seconds and the LS4 454, 6.4 seconds. On the Bridgehampton road course and over the ride and handling course at Suffolk County Raceway, the base L48 coupe was again our choice...the L-82 had the same balance as the L48 but if we weren't at the right rpm through a corner, or in the wrong gear, the (L82's) lack of torque made itself felt once again...the L48 was the best balanced of the three."
The 1974 Corvette we have at Skyway Classics is a great example of those C3 Corvettes and will take you anywhere you would like to go in Corvette Style.
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- Engine Type
- Engine Size
- 350 4 Barrel
- Fuel Specification
- 91 Octane or below
- Body Color
- Body Style
- Seating Type
- Seat Material
- Shifter Type
- Center Console