The 1970s may not have been kind to the Corvette in the performance arena, but that decade certainly showed Chevy’s sports car to be at the peak of its popularity sales-wise.
Indeed, from 1970 to 1979, Chevrolet cranked out a remarkable 368,906 Corvettes – including this 1974 big-block convertible that marked a new look for the nameplate.
While collectors may now bemoan the loss of the chrome bumpers that had adorned the front and rear of the Corvette through 1972, the fact is that back in the day, the buying public didn’t seem to be very upset about the switch to the rubber bumpers to meet federal crash guidelines. In fact, sales of the ’74 model increased to 37,502 on the way to a record-setting number in 1979 when 53,807 cars left the St. Louis factory. I myself, as a 15-year-old high school student, can remember drooling for hours over the new look for the ’74 Corvette, dreaming of the day I would own one, too.
This Mille Miglia Red 1974, being offered on eBay at the “Buy It Now” price of $23,000, with the seller entertaining offers as well, is actually quite the rare car. Only 5,474 Corvettes that year were convertibles, and furthermore just 3,494 coupes AND convertibles featured the mighty 454/270 horsepower engine, making its last appearance as the 350 was the only choice for buyers in 1975.
This one appears to be nicely equipped, too, with power steering, power disc brakes, power windows, tilt-tele steering column, Turbo 400 automatic transmission, and rally wheels.
The seller boasts that the car “shows well” after he “just had the paint buffed out,” and the photos do indeed show a very nice-looking Corvette that also “runs and drives well.” The nicely contrasting black ragtop also seems to be in excellent condition, and the original saddle interior has held up nicely after almost half a century of use. Indeed, the most noticeable problem we could find was a few small cracks in the driver’s armrest.
The car is now located in Portland, Oregon, but spent most of its life in California so rust doesn’t appear to be a concern.
One quick tip: You can always tell a ’74 by the seam going down the middle of the two-piece rear bumper. From ’75 forward, the bumpers were one piece.
If this car lives up to an in-person inspection the way it appears in the photos, someone is going to have a nice ’74 in their garage soon, without breaking the bank in the process.
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