1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray T-Top Coupe
Chassis no. 1Z37J3S419885
Back in 1953, Chevrolet's launch of a two-seater sports car was a radical departure for a marque hitherto associated almost exclusively with sensible family transport. Motive power came from Chevrolet's 235.5cu in overhead-valve straight six and, unusually for a sportscar, there was automatic transmission, a feature that attracted much adverse criticism at the time. A V8 engine for 1955 and a radical restyle for '56 consolidated the 'Vette's position in the market, the model going on to become the world's best-selling and longest-lived sportscar.
The heavily revised Corvette Sting Ray arrived in 1963 sporting a totally new ladder-type chassis, and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupe in the range. Four years later a slight change of model name ushered in the totally restyled 'Stingray'. New for '68, the Stingray became a 'notchback' coupe with removable rear window and detachable two-piece Targa-type roof (colloquially known State-side as 'T-Tops'), while the convertible version could be ordered with optional hardtop. Restyled and improved annually, the Corvette in this form lasted well into the 1980s (although the 'Stingray' name was dropped in 1976) being replaced for '84 by the fourth generation of America's classic sports car.
The 1973 'Vette represented a slight transition from a muscle car to touring car. Sound levels in the cabin were reduced by 40% from the model year prior, but new Federal safety regulations resulted in the end of the chrome front bumpers in favor of body-colored molded plasticalthough the chrome bumpers remained until the start of '74 model year examples.
This Mille Miglia Red Corvette 'Sport Coupe' cost more than the convertible when new, with a base price of $5,561.50 ($163 more than the topless version). Equipped with the 4-speed manual transmission to shift the power produced by the L-48 350ci V8, the emissions standards of the day were beginning to take a toll, as the small-block produced a still-respectable 190hp, but this was still a drop from 300hp the year before. The interior, finished in Light Saddle leather, includes an AM-FM radio, a popular option featured on about half of the 'Vettes produced in '73.
Turn the dial to the local disco station, grow out a mustache, and unbutton a few more buttons than usual on the top of your wide collared shirtits time take the T-Tops off and hit the road. Just watch out for Smokey.