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rdefabri

1973 - 1977 Corvette

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    Anyone here own (or previously own) a 1973 - 1977 Corvette Stingray? I am curious as to thoughts, especially L82s. Also, thoughts on how it compares (or doesn't) to your S30.

    I have always liked the "soft" bumper cars, I've had opportunity to drive them when younger, but never owned.

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    I prefer the chrome bumper cars ('68-72) myself, appearance-wise. But every time I drive one, I am unimpressed. The chassis and suspension are essentially unchanged from '63 through '82, and the early Sixties design just doesn't cut it for me. They feel over large, rather flexy and crude.

    Then again, I'm a bit prejudiced - I've always preferred the smaller, lighter sports car design model. All Corvettes of that vintage have going for them (in my opinion) is looks and a big torquey motor.

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    Yea, I know they weren't exactly quick - my 240Z is an L24, so not that modified that I think I could smoke one.

    I got to thinking that my 240 might take more to get it right...it's in fair shape, but needs some work. That's not to say I expect a Vette to be cheaper, but I have always been intrigued by them.

    I know the SCM is high on them..

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    Then again, I'm a bit prejudiced - I've always preferred the smaller, lighter sports car design model. All Corvettes of that vintage have going for them (in my opinion) is looks and a big torquey motor.

    Thats why they made the Opel GT LOL LOL

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    Arne,

    Yes, I tend to like the smaller, lighter cars myself. My old man had a '61 Corvette (so pre-IRS), but it looked good, drove like a tank. Granted, my "E" is 5 years newer, but there's no comparison between the two. That is amongst the many things I enjoy about my 240Z.

    I know the "mid-years" Corvettes (C2) drove better than my Dad's car, but I don't recall they were so much better - point being that a 1982 "sports" car riding on a near 20-year old suspension doesn't say much for it.

    The flip side is that the big motor excites me (although it really wasn't that big in the smog years). I should go drive one to see how good/bad the car really is compared to my 240.

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    FWIW, there's a guy with a chrome bumper (pre '73?) vette who comes to our Z club track days. He's got a roll bar and some engine mods (not sure what though). He's about as fast as my L28 240 on the straights, but has weak brakes and evil handling through the twisties. It's not fun to get stuck behind him since all the passing is limited to the straight and he doesn't often pull over to be passed. I know his handling is evil because I've been stuck behind him before for laps at a time. His braking points are much earlier than mine.

    Not sure if there is much correlation to the newer vettes you originally asked about ...

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    I looked at a 74 once, I couldn't figure out why it was so slow until I researched it some. This should make you not consider one anymore.

    The base L48 engine put out 165 hp (123 kW), and the optional L82 engine put out 205 hp (153 kW). This was the lowest horsepower Corvette since the first year of production.

    205 HP in a very heavy car. No wonder a Z will smoke one.

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    My GF(at the time) had a 79 Vette and my stock 78 Z would walk it easy.Pissed her off to no end.

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    '79 Vette yes - 77 and earlier Vette, no way a stock Z smokes an L82 - no chance without mods. L48, I'd say possible, but not an L82. Somewhere in my archive, I have a road test of a 1977 L82, manual tranny and it ran something like a 7.3 - 7.4 second 0-60 time. An unmodified 280Z isn't going to run that quick, it's about a half to whole second off.

    All the C2 and C3s (1963 - 1982) had essentially the same suspension - compared to contemporary iron, the Corvette was likely the weakest handling sports car out there and it's not nimble by any means. Although in stock form, the 240Z has a tendency to oversteer, it's still nimble.

    By 1977, the L82 was neutered to the point of about 190 hp, so it's anemic for sure, but not a dog. Straight line for the mass-manufactured bunch, it's still pretty quick for the time.

    Of course, we as Z owners have our biases, but I am trying to look at it more objectively - I get the sense that the Vette is typical American iron - straight line quick, weaker handling.

    No one here has ever owned one I guess? Any desire or am I just nuts?

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    I drove a 1973 454 t-top Vette for 10 years as my daily driver from 76-86. I bought it after I sold my 1972 240z. I used to drag race with a friend of mine that had a stock 350 in his 69 Vette and we were about equal, but I don't think there was anyway my Z could have kept up with the 454.

    Handling wise, unless you want to go pretty fast (notice I didn't say very fast!) in a straight line, there is no comparison. The Z will outhandle the Vette in a heartbeat. Ride wise, the Vette is a big, heavy, smooth riding car. The Z, as you know, is a sports car.

    From 1973 forward the Vettes got more and more anemic, but the weight stayed pretty much the same, so an early 240Z or a 280z would probably outrun a later Vette. Embarrassing!

    Outside of the engine, expense wise, the Z is going to cost you a lot less to repair than the Vette. Get a Vette catalog and do some comparison shopping on parts.

    Investment wise, I'd have to say if you get a 454 or an L-82, I think you'll do better than a Z. There's still that Japanese thing going on with car values, even though I think the Z may come around one day.

    Which one would I pick today? Well, I've got 2 Z's in the garage and no Vette's :)

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    If you're looking at the plastic bumpers, dont unless its a rare one like the 454. My dad has a 72 454 vert. and should be getting a 2nd flight award this June. I have some videos on youtube.com search 72 454 xxjoeyxxeb is my login name. theres 3 I think. Its warbonnet yellow. As far as performance, its the only old car I've driven that is stock and its cushy and sways. (my Z has urethane bushings and new suspension so I have no real comparison). But in a straight line, even though 72 is when the emissions kicked the 454 in the but, its still pretty darn quick at the light with a mustang gt.

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    Sticker - you are right, my bad. The L82 never dropped below 205 (1975). The L48, however did go pretty low, 165 HP in the same year. At a curb weight of ~3,500 pounds, that's a dog for sure. Even at 205 HP, that's a lot of weight to move.

    bobc - I'd argue the Z is the better investment. Maybe the price of entry is lower, but the rate of appreciation is greater. I know most here are not Keith Martin/SCM fans, but he rated the 240Z higher than the 1973 - 1977 Corvette in terms of investment grade.

    FWIW - at the price some C3 'Vettes are going for, I'd consider a C4 and have a pretty decent performance vehicle, albeit one that isn't yet a "classic". Based on the forum input, I can't see why the C3s would be desirable at all, but that may just be a "bias" by people that don't really know...

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    I think it depends on what car you are talking about. Big Blocks, convertibles, L-82's, and highly optioned Vettes are surely appreciating faster than the normal Z. Just look at the prices. Granted, I think the Z is a sleeper and someday will be appreciated for what it is really worth, but for right now I'd argue that any of the cars above, 1974 and earlier are a better investment.

    Bob

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    This is outside of your parameters but I would have to vote for one of two variations of C3 if it were my choice:

    1978 Indy Pace Car Edition

    1982 Collector's Edition

    I always preferred either the skinny '68 to '72 or the "extended" nose of the

    '82 Collector's Edition. The next wave of Corvette collectors is already starting to hone in on the C3's so you might want to jump soon.

    If you're thinking C4 I would have to vote for the '97 Grand Sport. If you want a daily driver one of my Z car friends bought a '94 6 speed and that eventually led him to the '97 GS model. Funny thing was he ended up selling his restored '72 240Z and replaced it with a '67 coupe and that was before the prices went to the moon. Nothing like driving an old car that continues to increase in value like the mid-year Corvettes?

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    This is of course an apples to oranges comparison, I have both a 1970 z and a 1973 corvette c3 convertible . The gm has the v8 appeal , it's got a gm crate motor ( 330 horse ) , and it's been restored ( yellow with a black stripe ekklers stinger big block hood ) and torque thruster 11's . The z czr though is quicker ( built crown turbo, 5 lbs boost , fun fun ) . The vette wallows around corners , and the body and frame tourques and twists if you hammer it around corners . I must say the vette's brakes are much better though ( 4 wheel discs ) . Sadly due to storage issues the z is for sale , otherwise I think I have the best of both worlds !:)

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    daddz,

    Yep, I see the C3's starting to jump - I just don't dig the bubble rear of the 1978 - 1982 models, just looks too ungainly for me.

    C4, I'd also consider a ZR-1 - you'd be surprised how ridiculously cheap they are. Only bad thing is they look almost identical to a mainstream C4.

    Honestly, my thoughts are less about speculation/investment outside of the fact that prices are going up, which limits my ability to obtain. I originally wanted a mid-year 1966/1967 Coupe, but even in a shambles, those would run 30K+ (insane, IMHO, but what the market will bear). It was due to that sticker shock that I ended up getting a 1966 E-Type, since the price was right (19K) and they were contemporary to the mid-year Corvettes. I couldn't be happier - the E-Type is unique and (relatively) rare compared to the 'Vette, and decent performance-wise.

    Almost same with the 240Z - I wanted one, since I had a '76 280Z as a kid, but I saw prices starting to rise so I jumped in. Now same applies for the C3's - I want one, but I don't want to pay an exorbitant sum. I'd likely have to consider getting rid of one of my toys (and it WON'T be the Jag), which is why I am inquiring about thoughts.

    I took a ride in my 240Z over the weekend, it pretty much cleared up any idea of pawning it off for the 'Vette. While I am still enamored by the C3's, there's a mystique about the Z that just reinforced why I bought one.

    Like most of us, I'd guess, I am sort of a dreamer. I forsee having a stable of 10+ cars and motorcycles, but I have a family that must take precendent, so I should be happy that I have the toys I do...

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