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C3 Registry Weblog: 74Shark

by Robert Spinello (4 views)
Ascending Descending
12/08/2012 03:51

1974 Stingray in Old Glory, Showfield and Parade at 2010 Corvettes at Carlisle
I drove my '74 Corvette from Long Island, NY 259 miles to Carlisle Pa. for the annual Corvette event "Corvettes at Carlisle" - August 27-29, 2010.

I registered for the Corvette "Fun Field" for the three-day event. The center of the action, it's a non-judged showfield with over 2000 Corvettes that pre-registered. I displayed my car with other third generation Corvettes, joining fellow members at the C3 'Vette Registry display area.

I also registered in two events.
Friday the 27th - My Corvette participated in the Star Spangled 'Vette American Flag display - an American Flag made entirely of Corvettes as a tribute to both the American Dream and the Sports Car - 155 Corvettes (57 red, 51 white, 35 blue, 10 silver and 2 gold) Proceeds will benefit Homes For Our Troops, which builds specially adapted homes for severely injured soldiers.

Saturday the 28th - My Corvette was one of 400 participating in the Downtown Corvettes Parade from the fairgrounds to downtown Carlisle, then the parade parked on Main St until 10 PM. The Corvettes got lots of attention.

(Other events included a NCCC Concours Judged Showfield limited to 175 Corvettes, an NCRS Best of the Best of 22 Corvettes, A 50th Anniversary of 1960 models display, a Corvettes For Sale car corral, a Corvette Parts for Sale swap meet, an on-site Autocross, and more)

I stayed at a new Hotel Fri. & Sat. night - Candlewood Suites Harrisburg/Hershey..The room featured a fully-stocked kitchen and a very comfy full-size bed and was only $89. per night. No wonder the ratings were perfect.
I recently booked a night at the Hotel for the 2013 Corvettes at Carlisle.
12/08/2012 03:29

1974 Corvette Stingray - The Shark in transition
The 1974 Corvette Stingray marked the end of an era for Chevy's sports car. It was the last year Corvettes had a true dual exhaust system, the last year for non-catalyst systems, and the last big-block 454 engine option in a Corvette. Chevrolet's response to the government's 1974 revised 5 mph bumper standards for the Corvette was a lightweight rear bumper system with a tapered body-colored bumper cover (hiding the crash bar) matching the front 5 mph bumper system used in 1973. The Corvette's new, updated look was widely accepted as sales reached an all-time high. Production-line speed was ramped up in '74 as 8000 orders could not be filled the previous year. With rubber body mounts and radial tires taming the car's harsh ride added in '73 and resonators to quiet the dual exhaust system and integrated lap and shoulder seat belts for coupes added in '74, this more refined Corvette had a broader appeal, attracting the usual sports/GT buyers to Corvette owners with older cars to personal-luxury car buyers, as only one in five '74 Corvettes had a manual transmission and most were equipped with air conditioning.

Chevrolet engineers had managed to keep the Corvette an acceptable performer despite the weight increases to meet the emissions, safety and bumper standards. A rear air induction hood introduced in '73 (and used through '75) was good for a few extra horsepower that didn't show up in the conservative net hp ratings. A '74 Corvette base engine L-48 350 4-speed 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds was only three tenths of a second slower than a '68 base engine 327 4-speed. Regardless of the reduced engine compression ratio and additional weight, the '74 Corvette's performance was quite close to the earlier small-block, and was still one of the fastest cars you could buy at the time. With the lack of anything like it made here, and being lower priced than its European counterparts, (Porsche, Jaguar) sales increased to 37,507 for 1974 (7,038 more than 1973, and 10,498 more than 1972)

In the annual Car and Driver Readers Choice Poll the 1974 Corvette was chosen
"Best Sports/GT Catagory III" and "Best All-Around Car":

In March 1974, Popular Hot Rodding tested a new 1974 Corvette. Chuck Koch wrote:
"Generally speaking the 1974 version of the Corvette is a more subtle automobile than previous models of the fiberglass monster. It is quieter, better-riding and somewhat more luxurious than in former years. The car still has its sexy, sporty image and people continue to stare as you drive along, but the nagging feeling of something missing lingers...
Saddled by gas-consuming and power-robbing emissions gear and weighted with safety equipment, the Corvette has mutated from an all-out performance machine into a slick boulevard cruiser, a metamorphosis that began several years ago. While we regret the loss of absolute power and acceleration, these things are no longer relevant in an era of gasoline shortages and lowered speed limits. The Corvette has had to change. For the most part the Corvette's transition has been achieved with style and grace which allows the car to prosper.
In the final analysis, it can be said that external catalysts have worked to revise the personality of the 'Vette. But a Corvette is still a Corvette. No amount of government regulations or new marketing philosophies directed at changing ownership profiles can alter that fact. And it is encouraging to note that when compared to other automobiles in its class, the Corvette remains as one of the best sports/GT cars this world has ever seen.
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