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True Blue – 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Antti Kautonen April 25, 2012 Finnish Line, Nostalgia, Streetwalker 25 Comments

When I was a kid, there was a maroon ’80ish C3 Corvette just around the block from our house. At the time, it was the definition of an American sports car for me: incredibly low and swoopy, straight from the pages of a Chevrolet book I used to leaf through. While those years of the Corvette weren’t the best of the C3 bodystyle, it was still the same iconic shape and undeniably the coolest car in town.

Now that I’m living on the other side of the country, it’s nice to see I can still walk around the block and spot another C3: I saw this deep, deep blue 1973 Corvette just 300 metres from my apartment. It’s a better car and a better design, as it still has chrome even if the front section now has an urethane nose. Like yesterday’s Spitfire, it’s a classic piece of ’70s nostalgia that never really goes out of vogue.

The 1973 car is still closeenough.jpg to the astronaut Vettes, the epitome of cool on Earth at the time. Mull it over for a while: day job is riding a rocket to the moon, company car is a Vette. I’m sure that’s the dictionary definition of “Ballin'”.

The way the tail has a little kick to end the shape is the automotive equivalent of throwing your hair back with a flick of the wrist. For 1974, the chrome rear bumper was gone and the rear shape was only again echoed in the C4 of ’84.

From some angles the Vette looks like a cartoon car, no joke. It’s a hero car, no doubt about it, but the fender swoops are exaggerated beyond belief.

The nose cone could fit a bit better, as it rides on the other side and gapes on the other. But were they like that factory fresh?

And behind that Dirk Diggler front is a 5.7-litre /350 cu.in engine, but I do not know which one of the two available ones; the 190-hp or the 250-hp. Like with yesterday’s Triumph, a little searchin’ time provided me with an old ad for the Vette, but the power output has not been disclosed. The small-block is mated to an auto box on this one.

Anyway, it’s said to be a 126 000 km car on history plates, which makes owning a Vette a damn sight more affordable as road tax and insurance are cheaper and you don’t need to have it inspected every year. True, you can only do a set amount of driving every year, but you wouldn’t want to drive this Vette year-round anyway. It’s too nice for that; especially given the original asking price of 16 500 EUR which isn’t beater Vette money.

By the looks of things, the Stingray could do with a set of fresher rubber and perhaps a tracking alignment. But the rally wheels that wear the “Widetrack” rubber are as cool as the rest of the car.

 

[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

  • tonyola

    I think the 1973 is the best-looking of the C3s – it has the body-color front bumper yet also keeps the duck's-ass rear styling. It also did away with the fussy '70-'72 eggcrate side vent.

    • OA5599

      Hmm. i like the 68-69 the best because they have neither the rubber bumper nor the eggcrates.

    • I would have to agree with you.
      I believe the 1973 model still has the drop down rear window for a closer to convertible feel.

  • TurboBrick

    Original HP figures are kind of irrelevant with 30… jeesus, 40 year old cars – either half the nags have been ground into salami sent to the glue factory or the engine has been swapped / rebuilt properly and it pumps out twice what it did on day #1. That is still a cool summertime ride.

    I love these photos, btw, just that perfect late April evening with the sun setting, slightly cold weather… I can just feel it and smell it.

  • facelvega

    I think we've finally hit the car that I most would want to drive– if I lived in Finland. Also seeing one out of its native habitat reminds you what a tidy styling job it really was, still instantly desirable even if you try to imagine not knowing what it was and never having seen one before.

    • Out of its natural habitat? You mean that street could not be straight out of Michigan? 🙂

      • Marcal

        Not enough hypodermic needles. Or despair.

      • Impalamino

        That road surface is in WAY too good of condition to be anywhere in Michigan!

        I'm glad these cars still get some love. Normally it's all negativity from '73 to '96, and a lot of that is undeserved. I went through Corvette appreciation in these stages:

        Ages 0-12: Any Corvette is awesome!
        Ages 13-15: Meh, C1s and C2s are cool. C3s and 4s are laaaame and underpowered!
        Ages 16-18: Woah, maybe C3s aren't THAT lame! (drove a few, loved the view…)
        Ages 19-25: Hell yeah I'd buy a clean C4 for $4000! Too bad there aren't many…
        Ages 26-present: Any Corvette is awesome! (just for different reasons!)

        At a minimum, respect to Chevrolet for keeping the line alive. Great feature, Antii.

      • TurboBrick

        Not enough potholes. Those guys are so broke they're converting paved roads back to dirt roads.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        With a few more cracks in the road surface, it could be New Hampshire.

      • Nat

        *That'd be St. Louis, Missouri for the 68-81 C3. Then Bowling Greene, Kentucky for Vettes 1982 and up.

  • OA5599

    While this isn't quite ballsy enough to be an Apollovette, it's still a step above the Discovette driven by Nicholson's astronaut character in Terms of Endearment.

    <img src="http://www.imcdb.org/i081450.jpg&quot; width=500>

    It's nice to see some old iron…er…fiberglass on the Finnish roads, but I want to see a Finn car with fins next.

  • *Looking at the thumbnail on FB* An Opel GT! Hurray!

    *click*

    Oh. *sigh*

    • tonyola

      You should have known that an Opel GT would have been nothing more than a pile of oxide flakes.

  • CherokeeOwner

    My aunt has a '66 Stingray in a darker shade of blue. It's a very good-looking car.

    It also had a three-speed automatic. Needless to say, when I — at the encouragement of my dad who was with me, mind you — tried to do a smoking start and just slowly and loudly rolled away… I was disappointed. That kind of sullied my opinion of Corvettes.

    • HTWHLS

      Must have been out of tune …the non-screeching start didn't commence until the 1976 model year..

  • Oh google translate….(from the ad linked in post)

    Notes
    So stick very well mannered and second vette which should probably give up when there are too many cars for one man. Gorgeous electric blue color which is in good condition and the inside of the jacket very clean condition. All the works or in any way any artifacts. Tested museum 12/10 and inspected in 1/11, 2013 the next inspection. This is a hassle-free summer of miles comfortably muristessa casino. And speaking of kilometers so that mileage is really kilometers or miles and the car shall be a kokonaisajomäärän should be mentioned that 126,000 km.