1974 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 350cid/195hp 4bbl L48
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The U.S. auto industry was reeling from the gas crunch in 1974, and car sales fell 12.4% as prices increased, with Chevrolets averaging $400 more. Even so, Corvette sales increased to 37,502 units from 30,464, though the coupe now cost $6,001.50 and the proportion of convertibles fell to only 5,474.
For 1974, soft color-keyed urethane bumpers were now fitted front and back. The rear bumper was made in two parts, split vertically, but all future bumpers would be one-piece.
Performance remained modest, with 195 bhp for the base 350 cubic-inch Chevy V-8. The small-block L82 did a bit better with 250 bhp for $299 and 6,690 buyers opted for that. Meanwhile, the once mighty 454 cubic-inch big-block wheezed out 270 bhp for an extra $250 for the 3,494 buyers. This was the last year for the 454, true dual exhausts, and the last without catalytic converters.
The base car came with a wide-ratio 4-speed, while 3,494 buyers chose the close-ratio 4-speed at no extra charge. Looking at the equipment selected by customers, it looked like the boulevard era had truly arrived. Automatic transmission, power windows, air conditioning, power steering, and tilt/telescopic steering column were fitted to the majority of 1974 Chevrolet Corvettes.
The Z07 “performance package” for the L82 and LS4 included heavy duty front suspension and bigger power brakes, but only 40 buyers opted for that. The FE7 gymkhana suspension added stiffer sway bars and springs, and attracted 1,905 enthusiasts. White letter tires were chosen by 24,102 buyers.
Once again, 10 colors were offered, though totals were missing. Buyers could have Corvette Orange, Corvette Gray, Corvette Medium Blue, Classic White, Silver Mist Dark Green, Dark Brown, Bright Yellow, Medium Red and Mille Miglia Red.