Curiously, engine sizes didn’t diminish, but performance nose-dived so hard it could have been measured in groundhog-power, thus sparing the mighty horse from a dishonoring association with pushrods.
We probably will never experience a similar incident to what motoring radicals had to endure when the legendary machines of the late sixties and 1970 got axed by anti-hydro-carbon countermeasures. Take Chevrolet as an example: after taunting the V8 universe with the L-88 and the ZL-1 deities, the carmaker had to settle buyers’ craving for motoring with dismal replacements.
Since we mentioned 1973, here’s one victim of that double-impact year. A big-block Chevrolet Corvette with a 454 plant under its cowl. Sadly, it’s not the mighty LS6 – it couldn’t be – but the decrepit LS-4. This big 7.4-liter V8 would be Corvette’s last big-block song, which didn’t last long. At the end of 1974, it was gone forever.
Luckily, there are cars from that era that have made it to 2023 to tell the sagging truth about the Malaise Era. This red 1973 Corvette was born half a century ago and has managed to hold on to its factory-installed LS-4 motor to this day.
Its current owner has decided to let go of the classic. Initially acquired as a project, the Corvette has received new suspensions with recessed trailing arms, new headers, and 2.5-inch (63.5-mm) exhausts. As the seller claims, this veteran ‘Vette needs plenty of tender loving care – the paint, body, and interior need work (the gallery could give a better glimpse of its condition).
The car is said to be run and drive, but its polished alloy wheels haven’t seen much road life in recent years. The vehicle is advertised by a seller from Bend, Oregon, but is sold on a clean California title for the asking price of $16,500.
The demoted 454 V8 is linked to an automatic transmission (the three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic), but we don’t know if its numbers match the chassis and engine. The car is listed on Craigslist with approximately 74,500 miles on its tab (almost 120k kilometers).