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1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Illustration for article titled 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. There's been just one Corvette so far in this series (also a '73), and I assume so few are on the street for the same reason so few first-generation Camaros are on the street: Car Show Guys! Yes, most old Corvettes now live in garages, emerging only for shows and cruise nights; I'm thinking of shooting a few early C4s for this series, but even those are pretty hard to find parked on the street these days.

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Illustration for article titled 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray


This car is in pretty nice shape and worth plenty, yet here it is parked on the street in Alameda's West End. I don't see it every day, so I suspect it lives at least part-time in a garage somewhere. It does get used for transportation, much to the envy of all those gilded-cage show/cruise-only Vettes.

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Illustration for article titled 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray


This is the first Malaise Era Corvette, with power out of the standard 350 down to 190 horsepower. Some of that power loss was all too real, from the smog-mandated reduced compression ratio, and some was just the result of the switch from overoptimistic gross horsepower ratings to more realistic net ratings. You could still get the LS4 big-block with 275 horses for an extra 250 bucks; the 454 Corvette would be extinct by 1975.

Illustration for article titled 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray


Normally I'd prefer to see a car like this without the "custom" touches such as the bullet taillights and weird rocker panel moldings, but the idea of making Corvette purists (who are rivaled only by Porsche purists for their obsession with numbers-matching nonsense, though I've seen Mopar freaks who are just as tedious) cringe in horror is appealing.

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DISCUSSION

ash78
Ash78, voting early and often

When I was a kid, this era 'Vette was a real headturner. This was the car that the chain-smoking divorcee in Boca Raton would drive around. Of course she paid cash from her malaise-era divorce settlement (or late husband's death benefits). The car would only be driven once a week or so, whenever she might be bothered to change out of her housecoat into normal clothes to make the 3-block journey to the convenience store for $50 worth of groceries and $100 in smokes.