THE 1974 CORVETTE
Thank you for joining us again here at Hobby Car Corvettes, located in Martinsburg PA, as we continue the series, C3 Vette Rundown. In each post of the series, we will highlight the changes and upgrades, or in some years, lack thereof, for each year of the third generation of Corvettes. We started six posts ago with the launch of the third generation in 1968, and today we bring you a thorough rundown of the seventh year in, the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette. Wasting no more time, let’s see what 1974 has in store!
FUEL RATIONS, END OF AN ERA
The release of the 1974 Chevrolet Corvette came around during hard times. As a result of international disputes, an oil embargo was placed against the United States. Though the embargo ended in March, and was not long lasting, the impact was. With a severely low supply of oil, gas prices soared and people found themselves waiting in long lines to fill their cars when more gas arrived.
As a result, people began to question the necessity and impact of fuel guzzling vehicles. In response to these ponderings, the 1974 Corvette would be the last year to have the option of a big-block 454 cubic inch V-8 engine.
In addition, all Corvette engines of the future would solely run on unleaded gasoline. We will see more changes as a result of this event in the 1975 Corvette.
1974 CORVETTE AESTHETICS
We had mentioned in the 1973 post, that the days of the dual chrome bumpers were gone. In 1973, Corvette introduced the front “rubber bumper”, which consisted of a steel frame covered with a urethane skin matching the Corvette’s exterior paint color. In 1974, this would be applied to the back bumper as well. The rear urethane skin was made of two sections divided by a seam down the center of the rear fascia. This is a notable design, unique to 1974 Corvettes, making them easy to pinpoint.
“Have you noticed how legends tend to improve with time?”
On the inside, there were few changes made. Most notable, would be the change in seatbelt design. The 1974 Coupe now featured an integrated shoulder belt/lap belt combo. This of course is the design we are all familiar with today, and is federally mandated, but this was a notable change for vehicle drivers and passengers of yesteryear. The convertible models still offered the option of the separate shoulder belt and lap belt.
1974 CORVETTE MECHANICAL CHANGES
Slightly more changes were made to the mechanics, than to the interior, but still not many. As a result of these changes, the standard RPO ZQ3 engine’s output increased slightly to 195 horsepower.
Because preference was growing for performance automatic transmissions, engineers took to enhancing the durability of the turbo hydra-matic. This transmission was a no-cost upgrade and installed in nearly two-thirds of the 1974 Corvettes.
A brand new option for Corvette, first offered in 1974, was the Gymkhana Suspension Package. A bargain performance package, this option could be added for only $7.00! Included in the Gymkhana package was a higher-rate spring assembly and firmer, specially calibrated shocks.
This option was a variation of Chevy’s F41 option. This option included the above features, plus heavy-duty brakes.
DID YOU KNOW
The Corvette rear “seam” is a feature unique to the 1974 Corvette, and makes it easy to identify a Corvette from this year.
The 1974 Corvette sales hit near record numbers, totalling 37,502 Corvettes sold this year!
The 1974 Chevrolet Corvette was the first to cost over $6,000, selling at $6,001.50 for the Coupe.
As the years race by, Corvette continues to impress, as an innovative influencer in the luxury sports car industry. Over the past six years, since the launch of the third generation, we have seen labor strikes, tighter regulations, and oil embargos. But the proud and inspired makers of Chevrolet Corvettes have not been discouraged. The one of a kind design continues to impress, and even more so, the power output never ceases to amaze us considering the obstacles Chevrolet has faced. Still in 1974, a Corvette equipped with the 250 brake horsepower L82 engine, could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in approximately 7.5 seconds.
Join us again next week, as we will be releasing our C3 Series posts weekly from here on out! If you have enjoyed our rundown so far, we have plenty more to come. As always, we are here at Hobby Car Corvettes, to share our knowledge and our passion with other Corvette lovers. Drop us a line and tell us your Corvette stories! We love to connect.
We currently have the following 1974 corvettes for sale:
Just Arrived Numbers matching, 454 engine, auto transmission, black leather interior, power steering, power brakes, rally wheels, AM/FM/Cassette, A/C, tilt and telescopic steering column, and much more. Just Arrived 350 engine, automatic transmission, black interior, power steering, power brakes, A/C, fiberglass bumpers, dual exhaust, and much more. Same owner since 1978.
Numbers matching, 454 engine, auto transmission, black leather interior, power steering, power brakes, rally wheels, AM/FM/Cassette, A/C, tilt and telescopic steering column, and much more.
350 engine, automatic transmission, black interior, power steering, power brakes, A/C, fiberglass bumpers, dual exhaust, and much more. Same owner since 1978.
|MODEL||1974 CHEVROLET CORVETTE|
|BODY STYLE||Two-door convertible/coupe, front engine, rear wheel drive|
|MANUFACTURING LOCATION||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Original Price||$6,001.50 (Coupe), $5,765.50 (Convertible)|
|Classic White, Silver Mist, Corvette Gray, Corvette Med Blue, Dark Green, Bright Yellow, Dark Brown, Medium Red, Mille Miglie, Corvette Orange|
|Black, Silver, Dark Red, Saddle, Dark Blue, Neutral|
|CONSTRUCTION||Uniconstruction: fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, backboned by a steel cage outlining the passenger compartment. Principal members – underbody, front and rear end assemblies, dash panel and hinge pillars are bonded, riveted, or bolted together and to each other. Hood is plastic with bonded plastic reinforcement. Coupe: two removable roof panels and removable rear window. Frame: all welded, full length, ladder construction with 5 crossmembers. Side Rails and intermediate crossmembers box section; front crossmember box girder section. Eight body-mounting points.|
|VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN)||1Z37J4S400001 – 1Z37J4S434464|
|ENGINE SUFFIX||CKZ: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CLA: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC
CLB: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
CLC: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
CLD: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC
CLH: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
CLR: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CLS: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
CWM: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL
CWR: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC
CWS: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, AUTOMATIC, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
CWT: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270 HORSEPOWER, MANUAL, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
|ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER||3970010: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195 HP, 250HP
3999289: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
|HEAD NUMBER||333881: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP
333882: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP, 250HP
336781: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
|CARBURETOR NUMBERS||ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044221: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044206: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044207: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044210: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044211: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250HP, MANUAL TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044225: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044505: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
ROCHESTER Q-jet #7044506: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250HP, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
|DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER||1112114: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
1112526: 454 CUBIC INCH, 270HP
1112150: 350 CUBIC INCH, 250HP
1112247: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP
1112544: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP MANUAL, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
1112850: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP MANUAL, CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS
1112851: 350 CUBIC INCH, 195HP AUTOMATIC, CALIFORNIA
|ALTERNATOR NUMBER||1100544: 350, 454 CUBIC INCH, AIR CONDITIONING
1100950: 350, 454 CUBIC INCH
1102353: 454 CUBIC INCH
|AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER||AA: 3.55:1 RATIO
AB: 3.70:1 RATIO
AC: 4.11:1 RATIO
AW: 3.08:1 RATIO
AX: 3.36:1 RATIO
LR: 3.36:1 RATIO
|PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE||AUG., 1973: 401250, DEC., 1973: 412830, APR., 1974: 425751, AUG., 1974: 433257, SEP.. 1973: 404111, JAN., 1974: 416184, MAY, 1974: 429602, SEP., 1974: 437251, OCT., 1973: 407605, FEB., 1974: 419258, JUNE., 1974: 433257, OCT., 1974: 437502, NOV., 1973: 410813, MAR., 1974: 422367, JULY, 1974: 433257|
Options Codes, Production, & Pricing
|1YZ37||Base Corvette Sport Coupe||32,028||$6,001.50|
|1YZ67||Base Corvette Convertible||5,474||$5,765.50|
|–||Custom Interior Trim||19,959||$154.00|
|A85||Custom Shoulder Belts (std with coupe)||618||$41.00|
|C07||Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible)||2,612||$267.00|
|C08||Vinyl Covered Auxiliary Hardtop||367||$329.00|
|C50||Rear Window Defogger||9,322||$43.00|
|–||Optional Rear Axle Ratio||1,219||$12.00|
|LS4||454ci, 270hp Engine||3,494||$250.00|
|L82||350ci, 250hp Engine||6,690||$299.00|
|M21||4-Speed Manual Transmission, close-ratio||3,494||$0.00|
|M40||Turbo-Hydro-matic Automatic Transmission||25,146||$0.00|
|N37||Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column||27,700||$82.00|
|QRM||White Stripe Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15||9,140||$32.00|
|QRZ||White Letter Steel Belted Tires, GR70x15||24,102||$45.00|
|U58||AM-FM Radio, Stereo||19,581||$276.00|
|UA1||Heavy Duty Battery (std with LS4)||9,169||$15.00|
|UF1||Map Light (on rearview mirror)||16,101||$5.00|
|YF5||California Emission Test||4||$20.00|
|Z07||Off Road Suspension and Brake Package||47||$400.00|
|P||Muncie 4-Speed, Heavy-Duty Aluminum Case|
|A||Muncie 4-Speed M20 Wide-Range (2.52:1 1st gear)|
|B||Muncie 4-Speed M21 Close-Range (2.20:1 1st gear)|
|W||Warner 4-Speed, Heavy-Duty Aluminum Case|
|CK||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 350 L-48 Engine|
|CZ||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 350 L-82 Engine|
|CS||Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 with 454 Engine|