1975 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 350cid/165hp 4bbl L48
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
In the mid-1970s, Chevrolet was expanding its line as catalytic converters were introduced to clean up exhausts and “no points” high-energy electronic ignition (HEI) was soon standardized. Dual exhausts were fed into one converter, then divided into dual exhausts again.
C3 Corvette production rose to 38,465 units, but only 4,629 were convertibles and this would be the last year for a soft top until 1986. The rest were T-top coupes. The soft bumpers were redesigned, with a honeycomb core up front and internal shock absorbers at the back.
Only one engine size was offered for the 1975 Corvette. Base horsepower dropped to a fairly disappointing 165 bhp from the 350 cubic-inch V-8, with a wide-ratio 4-speed gearbox. A total of 2,372 buyers spent an extra $336 for the 205 bhp L82 engine and 1,057 ordered the close-ratio 4-speed gearbox at no extra charge. The mechanical tachometer was dropped in favor of an electronic unit. The coupe now cost $6,810, with the convertible at $6,550.
As performance dropped and the engine options dwindled, America’s sports car became more of a boulevard cruiser, and this is reflected in buyers’ option choices. In 1975, 28,743 units were built with the Turbo Hydra-Matic auto transmission, 28,745 with power windows, 35,842 with power brakes, 31,830 with tilt-telescopic steering wheel and 37,591 favoring power steering. White letter tires were fitted to 30,407 cars.
Performance packages, such as they were, included the Z07 package with L82 engine, with the M21 close-ratio 4-speed and the FE7 gymkhana package added stiffer front stabilizer bar and springs. It was included with the Z07 package but only 144 buyers took the option. The fuel bladder was used inside the fuel tank for the first time.
There were 10 colors again and this year the numbers sold were recorded. Classic White led the list with 8,007 built. It was followed by Silver (4,710) Medium Saddle (3,403), Mille Miglia Red (3,355), Dark Red (3,342), Orange Flame (3,030), Bright Yellow (2,883), Bright Blue (2,869), Bright Green (1,664) and Steel Blue (1,268), which was only available for three months. Custom interior trim could be ordered with leather seats in black, dark blue, dark red saddle and silver.