A Transition Year
BY: Bob Kroupa of Vette-N-Vestments
The 1973 Corvette is a unique model that
provided the traditional
rear end treatment introduced in 1968, and a new front which
would be carried
through the 1977 model. The changed front end was also
functional as it met
the federal government's 5 MPH front impact protection
regulation. Another safety
addition was the steel reinforcement beams in the doors to
protect the passengers
against side impact intrusion.
This was also the first year for the use of
radial tires over the previously
used bias-belted tires. However this change, directed at
improving the handling
qualities of the Corvette, was questionable with the early
The original pricing of the 1973 Corvette
reflects minimal increases over the
1972 model. The T-Top reflected a $29 increase in the list
price of $5,562.
In today's market, the average price of a 1973 T-Top is at
a 4% decrease over last year. The current price is
approximately $2,800 less
than the early T-Tops (1968) are currently selling. Our
database for the 1973
Corvette reflects a high price of $13,000 and a low price of
Auction results substantiate our average
pricing, however, few appear at auctions.
Only two T-Tops crossed the auction block at last year's
Bloomington Gold Auction.
There was a restored one with the L-48 motor which bid
$13,000, and one in average
condition with a 454 motor which also bid $13,000. Neither one
sold at the bid
The 1973 Convertible was also priced right at
base list price of $5,399.
This was a $103 increase over the 1972 convertible for a 2%
increase. The popularity
of the convertible is definitely reflected in today's average
price of $14,600,
up 4% over last year. The high price was at $22,500 and the
low was at $10,800.
As with the Coupe, few 1973 convertibles are
offered for sale today. At last
year's Bloomington Gold Auction and the Carlisle Auction, none
for sale. A contributing factor may be the low production
number of only 5024
units, which was 1565 less than the 1972 model year, and the
lowest number produced
for a convertible since 1956.
The performance of the 1973 continued to be
respectable with three motors options
available. The base L-48, the optional 250 hp L-82 at $299 and
the 270 hp 454
at $250. The quarter mile speed was 95 mph with the optional
motors, and 0-60
time was in the 6.5 second range.
Numerous options were available for the 1973
Corvette. Probably the most controversial
was the new cast aluminum optional wheels. Rumor has it that
800 were produced
and a recall was placed due to structural problems. Some
originals may still
be available in the market and they are considered to be a
Most buyers were satisfied with the base
engine, however, 19% ordered the L-82
and 15% ordered the LS-4 454 motor option. The automatic
transmission was gaining
popularity as evidenced by only 12% of the buyers ordering a
close-ratio 4 speed
transmission which was a "no charge" item.
We classified the air conditioning option at
$452 in the comfort and convenience
category. It was ordered by 71% of the buyers and was
considered expensive at
The rarest option of the year was the off-
suspension and brake package
which was listed for $369. This was ordered by less than 50
buyers. White wall
tires were still a popular option and ordered by 65% of the
buyers as opposed
to the raised white letter tires which were selected by only
15% of the people.
Our call for the future? We look for 1-3%
appreciation for the T-Top and 5%
for the convertible.
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