Driven: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray could be a great entry-level classic

In the debut episode of Driven, Nick and Kristen discuss why the car could be a good classic entry point

The Chevrolet Corvette is a titan in the classic car world. There are slews of clubs, events and groups out there dedicated to the model that has been popular since it rolled onto streets for the 1953 model year.

However, there are some years that don’t enjoy the same support. One such year, 1975, is particularly maligned by some Corvette enthusiasts because of the power restrictions forced upon the examples by new federal government regulations.

But there’s a silver lining to that. Cars from that model year are typically cheaper and more easily found, which makes them perfectly suited for newcomers to the classic car world who aren’t ready to break the bank or struggle to find parts.

We found a 1975 Corvette Stingray for the debut episode of our new video series, Driven. In it, hosts Nick Calderone and Kristen Keogh take you behind the wheel and under the hood of some great classic cars. In this case, it was Mulsanne Blue with the L-48 small block engine.

To start off, Nick and Kristen take you on a tour of the exterior of the car and its signature Corvette styling. A new designer resulted in a more curved front end, while a new rear bumper removed the middle seam seen in previous models.

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Like a majority of ’75 Corvettes, this one has a T-top for open-roof driving. Only 12 percent of Corvettes from that year were produced as convertibles.

Inside, the Corvette has a silver interior, which was overdue for a remodel: that was delayed so Chevy could focus on upgrading safety.  But think of it as a silver lining.

The biggest complaints over the 1975 model year stem from the restrictive use of catalytic converters. Dual exhausts were fed into a single converter before being split into dual exhausts again. The design stifled power.

But because of that, the cars can be had now at relatively low prices compared with most classic cars. The Corvette in the video sold for $10,000, and a pristine example would peak at about $30,000 – a number significantly lower than other Corvettes.

So while the 1975 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will not be taking home any concours titles, it’s not a bad way to jump into the classic car world with a car you can drive regularly and bring to your local cars and coffee.

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  • Kate Weed
    September 13, 2018, 9:48 PM

    Such a fun video series! Can’t wait to see what they drive next!

    REPLY
    • Norman Spirit@Kate Weed
      September 14, 2018, 4:45 PM

      Wow, 1975 Corvettes! My Dad traded his high-optioned big-block ’66 for a white ’75 with a blue interior. It had that fantastic 170 hp engine (the trans tunnel had a plaque that said so! Yay!) I passengered with him to the ’76 Indy 500. The worst, absolutely worst long-distance ride (800 miles one way) we ever had with the possible exception of his early-80’s Trans Am, the year it had the Sunbird seats. T tops rattled; body squeaked; the sight line from the drivers’ seat was terrible (and we’re both 6 footers); seats were uncomfortable; and you had to be really careful filling the tank because (as we found out) if the attendant overfilled even a little you smelled gas for 1/2 an hour . When you used the trunk rack, it completely blocked the already-bad rear view. Oh, and it was as anemic beyond words. So yeah collect that car! Go for it!

      REPLY
      • James McIntire@Norman Spirit
        September 18, 2018, 8:16 AM

        That’s kinda the whole point of it. As the author implied, the mid-’70’s were not a good time for anyone in the auto industry. But when you can pick up a running, driving Corvette for $10k or less for a fun weekend driver, that represents a great way for beginners and newcomers to enter the hobby! Compare that price to a 1965 Corvette in similar condition and let me know what you come up with.

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