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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
Convertibles - 4,943
Coupes - 25,521

Convertible Serial Numbers: 1Z67x3S400001 to 1Z67x3S434464
Coupe Serial numbers: 1Z37x2S500001 to 1Z37x2S527004

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.
Position Character Description
1 1 Chevrolet Division
2 Z Corvette
3 & 4 67 Convertible
37 Coupe
5 K 350-cid V8
T L82 350-cid V8 with dual exhausts
X or W LS5 454-cid V8 with dual exhausts
6 3 1973
7 S Assembled in St. Louis, MO
8 to 13 400001 to 434464 Production Sequence

Engine Serial Number

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

Position Character Description
1 to 7 0001001 Sequential Production Number
8 F or T Flint, MI or Tonawanda, NY
9 to 11 Carburetion & Transmission Code Engine Compression Transmission Carburetor
CKZ 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.5:1 Manual Four-Barrel
CLB 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.5:1 Heavy-Duty 4-speed Manual with NB2 Four-Barrel
CLA 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.5:1 THM-400 Automatic Four-Barrel
CLC 350-cid 190-hp V-8 8.5:1 THM-400 Automatic with NB2 Four-Barrel
CLR 350-cid 250-hp V-8 9.0:1 4-speed Manual Four-Barrel
CLS 350-cid 250-hp V-8 9.0:1 4-speed Manual with NB2 Four-Barrel
CLD 350-cid 250-hp V-8 9.0:1 THM-400 Automatic Four-Barrel
CLH 350-cid 250-hp V-8 9.0:1 THM-400 Automatic with NB2 Four-Barrel
CWS 454-cid 275-hp V-8 8.5:1 THM-400 Automatic with NB2 Four-Barrel
CWT 454-cid 275-hp V-8 8.5:1 4-speed Manual with NB2 Four-Barrel
CWM 454-cid 275-hp V-8 8.5:1 4-speed Manual Four-Barrel
CWR 454-cid 275-hp V-8 8.5:1 THM-400 Automatic Four-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

RPO Description Price Production
19437 Base Coupe $5,561.50 25,521
19467 Base Convertible $5,398.50 4,943
N/A Custom Interior Trim $154 13,434
A31 Power Windows $83 14,024
A85 Custom Shoulder Belts (std. w/ coupe) $41 788
C07 Auxiliary Hardtop (Convert.) $267 1,328
C08 Vinyl Covering for Aux. Hardtop $62 323
C50 Rear Window Defroster $41 4,412
C60 Air Conditioning $452 21,578
N/A Optional Rear Axle $12 1,791
J50 Power Brakes $46 24,168
LS4 454ci, 275hp Engine $250 4,412
L82 350ci, 250hp Engine $299 5,710
M21 4 Speed Manual, Close Ratio Transmission $0.00 3,704
M40 Turbo Hydra-Matic Automatic Transmission $0.00 17,927
N37 Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column $82 17,949
N40 Power Steering $113 27,872
P02 Deluxe Wheel Cover $62 1,739
QRM White Stripe Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15 $32 19,903
QRZ White Letter Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15 $45 4,541
T60 Heavy Duty Battery (std. w/ LS4) $15 4,912
U58 AM/FM Radio Stereo $276 12,482
U69 AM/FM Radio $173 17,598
UF1 Rearview Mirror Map Light $5 8,186
YF5 California Emission Test $15 3,008
YJ8 Cast Aluminum Wheels (4) $175 4
Z07 Off Road Suspension and Brake Package $369 45

Color Options for 1973

Interior options for exterior colors are suggested by Chevrolet. Any combination could be ordered.

RPO Exterior Interior Soft Top
910 Classic White B-DR-DS-MB-MS B/W
914 Silver B-DR-DS-MB-MS B/W
922 Medium Blue B-MB-MS B/W
927 Dark Blue B-DR-MB-MS B/W
945 Blue-Green B-DR-DS-MS B/W
947 Elkhart-Green B-MS B/W
952 Yellow B-DS-MB B/W
953 Metallic Yellow B-MB B/W
976 Mille Miglia Red B-DR-DS-MB-MS B/W
980 Orange B-MS B/W
Color Codes: B=Black, DR=Dark Red, DS=Dark Saddle, L=Leather, MB=Midnight Blue, MS=Medium Saddle, V=Vinyl, W=White

Interior Colors

Color Vinyl RPO Leather RPO
Black 400 404
Dark Red 425 ;
Midnight Blue 413 ;
Medium Saddle 415 416
Dark Saddle 418 422

1973 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Feature Convertible Coupe
Wheelbase 98 inches (2.489 m) 98 inches (2.489 m)
Overall length 182.5 inches (4.636 m) 182.5 inches (4.636 m)
Overall width 69.0 inches (1.753 m) 69.0 inches (1.753 m)
Overall height ; 47.4 inches (1.204 m)
Ground Clearance 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Front tread 58.7 inches (1.491 m) 58.7 inches (1.491 m)
Rear tread 59.4 inches (1.509 m) 59.4 inches (1.509 m)
Tires F70-15 F70-15
Frame Full-length welded-steel ladder type with five cross members. Steel box sections, welded.
Front suspension Independent, unequal-length A-arms, coil springs tubular shocks and stabilizer bar
Rear suspension Independent, trailing arms, toe links, transverse chromium-carbon steel leaf spring, tube shocks, and anti-roll bar
Steering Saginaw recirculating ball, 17.6:1 ratio, 2.9 turns to lock, 39.0 turning circle
Rear axle type Sprung differential, Hypoid gear
Brakes Hydraulic, vented four wheel discs 11.75-inch diameter, single calipers, optional power assist
Swept area 11.75" front and back
Total swept area 461 sq. in.
Wheels 8" wide slotted steel 15" 5-lug disc
Standard rear axle ratio 3.36:1
Optional rear axle ratio 3.70:1, 3.08:1, 3.36:1, 3.55:1, 4.11:1

Engine Specifications

Feature Base Engine RPO ZQ3 RPO LS4 RPO LT82
Type V-8, Overhead valve
Block Cast Iron
Displacement 350 cid 454 cid 350 cid
Bore & Stroke 4.00 x 3.48" 4.251 x 4.00" 4.00 x 3.48"
Compression Ratio 8.5:1 8.5:1 9.0:1
Brake Horsepower 190 @ 4400 275 @ 4000 250 @ 5200
Torque 300 lb-ft @ 2800 390 lb-ft @ 3200 285 lb-ft @ 4000
Main Bearings Five
Valve Lifters Hydraulic
Camshaft ; High-performance
Fuel Supply Rochester Quadra-Jet Four-Barrel Model 4MV Rochester Quadra-Jet Four-Barrel Rochester Four-Barrel with 2.50-inch Diameter Dual Exhaust System

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