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The 1973 Corvette

1973 Blue Convertible Corvette

The 1973 Chevrolet Corvette was the first "Rubber Bumper" Vette. The front chrome bumper was replaced with a federally mandated 5 MPH bumper. It added 35 pounds to the car and changed it's looks significantly. This is the only year that a rubber front bumper and chrome rear bumper were used at the same time. A new side brace was added as well to increase safety. This was also the last year for the small spoiler at the back of the car. During production of the 1973 model year 4,000 serial numbers were skipped. VIN numbers 24,001 through 28,000 were never manufactured. A new hood was introduced that featured cold air induction and removed the automatic panel that hid the windshield wipers. A vent in the hood by the windshield wipers provided cold outside air for the engine to injest. The new ducts on the sides behind the front wheels were non-trimmed and consist of just one large hole and some body styling. It was the first year for radial tires on a Vette. Increased sound insulation was added to make the ride more comfortable. A new coolant recycling system recovered overheated coolant into a overflow container for cooling. This coolant was then recycled back into the radiator. The rear window of the '73 coupe was now fixed. It had been decided that taking out the window with the t-tops off caused too much turbulance in the cabin. Even though there was no specific black exterior option it is thought that around 30 cars were painted black at the St. Louis assembly plant.

Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1973 Corvettes Built - 30,464

Total 1973 Coupes - 25,521
Total 1973 Convertibles - 4,943

Serial Numbers
Coupe1Z37x2S500001 - 1Z37x2S527004
Convertible1Z67x3S400001 - 1Z67x3S434464

The "Vehicle Identification Number" (also VIN or serial number) is stamped on a plate on the inner vertical surface of the left windshield pillar visible through the windshield.

Serial Number Decoder

11Chevrolet Division
5K350-cid V8
5TL82 350-cid V8 with dual exhausts
5X or WLS5 454-cid V8 with dual exhausts
7SAssembled in St. Louis, MO
8 to 13400001 to 434464Production Sequence

Engine Serial Number Decoder

1973 Corvette engines have the last six digits of the VIN stamped on the block after the engine number

1 to 70001001Sequential Production Number
8F or TFlint, MI or Tonawanda, NY
9 to 11CKZCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 190-hp V-88.5:1ManualFour-Barrel
9 to 11CLBCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 190-hp V-88.5:1Heavy-Duty 4-speed Manual with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CLACarburetion & Transmission350-cid 190-hp V-88.5:1THM-400 AutomaticFour-Barrel
9 to 11CLCCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 190-hp V-88.5:1THM-400 Automatic with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CLRCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 250-hp V-89.0:14-speed ManualFour-Barrel
9 to 11CLSCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 250-hp V-89.0:14-speed Manual with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CLDCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 250-hp V-89.0:1THM-400 AutomaticFour-Barrel
9 to 11CLHCarburetion & Transmission350-cid 250-hp V-89.0:1THM-400 Automatic with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CWSCarburetion & Transmission454-cid 275-hp V-88.5:1THM-400 Automatic with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CWTCarburetion & Transmission454-cid 275-hp V-88.5:14-speed Manual with NB2Four-Barrel
9 to 11CWMCarburetion & Transmission454-cid 275-hp V-88.5:14-speed ManualFour-Barrel
9 to 11CWRCarburetion & Transmission454-cid 275-hp V-88.5:1THM-400 AutomaticFour-Barrel

The body number plate is located on the engine side of the cowl. The Fisher Body Style Number identifies the model of Corvette. 73-1YZ67 - Corvette Sting Ray convertible 73-1YZ37 - Corvette Sting Ray coupe The body number is the serial number of the body. The trim number represents the color of the interior, the paint color is the exterior paint color.

Production Options

19437Base Coupe$5,561.50 25,521 83.8%
19467Base Convertible$5,398.50 4,943 16.2%
N/ACustom Interior Trim$154.00 13,434 44.1%
A31Power Windows$83.00 14,024 46.0%
A85Custom Shoulder Belts (std. w/ coupe)$41.00 788 2.6%
C07Auxiliary Hardtop (Convert.)$267.00 1,328 4.4%
C08Vinyl Covering for Aux. Hardtop$62.00 323 1.1%
C50Rear Window Defroster$41.00 4,412 14.5%
C60Air Conditioning$452.00 21,578 70.8%
N/AOptional Rear Axle$12.00 1,791 5.9%
J50Power Brakes$46.00 24,168 79.3%
LS4454ci, 275hp Engine$250.00 4,412 14.5%
L82350ci, 250hp Engine$299.00 5,710 18.7%
M214 Speed Manual, Close Ratio Transmission$0.00 3,704 12.2%
M40Turbo Hydra-Matic Automatic Transmission$0.00 17,927 58.8%
N37Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column$82.00 17,949 58.9%
N40Power Steering$113.00 27,872 91.5%
P02Deluxe Wheel Cover$62.00 1,739 5.7%
QRMWhite Stripe Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15$32.00 19,903 65.3%
QRZWhite Letter Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15$45.00 4,541 14.9%
T60Heavy Duty Battery (std. w/ LS4)$15.00 4,912 16.1%
U58AM/FM Radio Stereo$276.00 12,482 41.0%
U69AM/FM Radio$173.00 17,598 57.8%
UF1Rearview Mirror Map Light$5.00 8,186 26.9%
YF5California Emission Test$15.00 3,008 9.9%
YJ8Cast Aluminum Wheels (4)$175.00 4 0.0%
Z07Off Road Suspension and Brake Package$369.00 45 0.1%

Color Options for 1973

Interior options for exterior colors are suggested by Chevrolet. Any combination could be ordered.
Soft Top Color
Interior Color
910Classic White$0.00B/WB-DR-DS-MB-MS N/A N/A
914Silver$0.00B/WB-DR-DS-MB-MS N/A N/A
922Medium Blue$0.00B/WB-MB-MS N/A N/A
927Dark Blue$0.00B/WB-DR-MB-MS N/A N/A
945Blue-Green$0.00B/WB-DR-DS-MS N/A N/A
947Elkhart-Green$0.00B/WB-MS N/A N/A
952Yellow$0.00B/WB-DS-MB N/A N/A
953Metallic Yellow$0.00B/WB-MB N/A N/A
976Mille Miglia Red$0.00B/WB-DR-DS-MB-MS N/A N/A
980Orange$0.00B/WB-MS N/A N/A
Color Codes: B=Black, DR=Dark Red, DS=Dark Saddle, L=Leather, MB=Midnight Blue, MS=Medium Saddle, V=Vinyl, W=White

Interior Colors

400Black Vinyl$0.00 N/A N/A
404Black Leather$0.00 N/A N/A
425Dark Red Vinyl$0.00 N/A N/A
413Midnight Blue Vinyl$0.00 N/A N/A
415Medium Saddle Vinyl$0.00 N/A N/A
416Medium Saddle Leather$0.00 N/A N/A
418Dark Saddle Vinyl$0.00 N/A N/A
422Dark Saddle Leather$0.00 N/A N/A

1973 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Wheelbase98 inches (2.489 m)98 inches (2.489 m)
Overall length182.5 inches (4.636 m)182.5 inches (4.636 m)
Overall width69.0 inches (1.753 m)69.0 inches (1.753 m)
Overall height47.4 inches (1.204 m)
Ground Clearance4.5 inches (11.4 cm)4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Front tread58.7 inches (1.491 m)58.7 inches (1.491 m)
Rear tread59.4 inches (1.509 m)59.4 inches (1.509 m)
FrameFull-length welded-steel ladder type with five cross members. Steel box sections, welded.Full-length welded-steel ladder type with five cross members. Steel box sections, welded.
Front suspensionIndependent, unequal-length A-arms, coil springs tubular shocks and stabilizer barIndependent, unequal-length A-arms, coil springs tubular shocks and stabilizer bar
Rear suspensionIndependent, trailing arms, toe links, transverse chromium-carbon steel leaf spring, tube shocks, and anti-roll barIndependent, trailing arms, toe links, transverse chromium-carbon steel leaf spring, tube shocks, and anti-roll bar
SteeringSaginaw recirculating ball, 17.6:1 ratio, 2.9 turns to lock, 39.0 turning circleSaginaw recirculating ball, 17.6:1 ratio, 2.9 turns to lock, 39.0 turning circle
Rear axle typeSprung differential, Hypoid gearSprung differential, Hypoid gear
BrakesHydraulic, vented four wheel discs 11.75-inch diameter, single calipers, optional power assistHydraulic, vented four wheel discs 11.75-inch diameter, single calipers, optional power assist
Swept area11.75" front and back11.75" front and back
Total swept area461 sq. in.461 sq. in.
Wheels8" wide slotted steel 15" 5-lug disc8" wide slotted steel 15" 5-lug disc
Standard rear axle ratio3.36:13.36:1
Optional rear axle ratio3.70:1, 3.08:1, 3.36:1, 3.55:1, 4.11:13.70:1, 3.08:1, 3.36:1, 3.55:1, 4.11:1

Engine Specifications

FeatureBase Engine RPO ZQ3RPO LS4RPO LT82
TypeV-8, Overhead valveV-8, Overhead valveV-8, Overhead valve
BlockCast IronCast IronCast Iron
Displacement350 cid454 cid350 cid
Bore & Stroke4.00 x 3.48"4.251 x 4.00"4.00 x 3.48"
Compression Ratio8.5:18.5:19.0:1
Brake Horsepower190 @ 4400275 @ 4000250 @ 5200
Torque300 lb-ft @ 2800390 lb-ft @ 3200285 lb-ft @ 4000
Main BearingsFiveFiveFive
Valve LiftersHydraulicHydraulicHydraulic
Fuel SupplyRochester Quadra-Jet Four-Barrel Model 4MVRochester Quadra-Jet Four-BarrelRochester Four-Barrel with 2.50-inch Diameter Dual Exhaust System

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