True Blue – 1973 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

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 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]

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