1974 Chevrolet Corvette - $119,900
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It’s downright gorgeous, but it doesn’t really deliver the full effect until you stomp on the gas.

Cost-no-object professional build by Corvette Conspiracy. Fuel injected 540 cubic inch Merlin V8, 6-speed, custom tube frame chassis with C4 suspension, C5 brakes. Paint by Roman Chariot. Incredible C3 resto-mod that can run with the biggest dogs.

This beautiful 1974 Corvette is the kind of car that you can spend a lot of time examining and not see all the amazing work that went into the build. It’s subtle in some ways, but subtle like a sledgehammer in others—that 540 cubic inch Merlin, for example. A lot of that low-key attitude comes from the beautiful yellow pearl paint applied by the legendary Jerry Roman of Roman Chariot, a finish that looks appropriate on the early ‘70s Corvette curves. It’s not quite as vivid as the original Bright Yellow, but the added pearl gives it a wonderful glowing effect that has to be seen in the sunlight to truly appreciate it. Of course, under the stunning paint job there’s a lot of creative modifications, including that tall cowl induction hood (which is fully functional), molded-in front and rear bumpers, and the ducktail spoiler, all of which improve on the already fantastic C3 look. Panel fit is exemplary, far better than anything the factory could manage, and even the headlight doors fit right. Black stripes on the hood scoop call out the massive big block living underneath, but otherwise this car prefers not to advertise too loudly—if a bright yellow Corvette can be subtle, this is it. It’s downright gorgeous, but it doesn’t really deliver the full effect until you stomp on the gas.

The black leather interior was fully restored using seats from a later Corvette that hold you in place superbly when you need it. The door panels, dash, and center console are pretty stock, but you’ll note that like the rest of the car, the details are what count here. The three-spoke wheel looks like a Corvette piece but with a beautiful wooden rim to warm things up. The stock shifter has been adapted to the Tremec 6-speed manual gearbox living underneath (and the shift diagram to match). Gauges are trick VDO pieces that almost look like they were born there but light up when you turn the key. But this is no uncivilized brute, because there’s also ice cold A/C, a tilt steering column, and a decent-sounding Kenwood stereo system that was intentionally installed as a throwback to the era. Even the engine tag has been updated to reflect the big Merlin’s 700 horsepower and 740 ft-lbs. of torque. Nice! Remarkably, there are no squeaks or rattles inside this C3 and you can pull the T-tops and stow them in the back for an open-air experience—that big V8 ripping through the gears is worth it, trust us! But perhaps the most remarkable thing is that you can slide behind the wheel, turn the key, hit the A/C, and drive this car anywhere in comfort. Not many cars with this much horsepower are this easy to drive.

Most of that is complements of the built 540 cubic inch Merlin V8 living under the hood. With Canfield aluminum heads, a custom fuel injection system with a Holley brain, electronic ignition, and some fabricated stainless headers, it delivers some serious power (700 horsepower and 740 ft-lbs. of torque) while remaining docile and user-friendly. Turn the key and it fires almost instantly, idles nicely at just a tick under 900 RPM, and jus goes about its business like any modern engine should. But stomp the loud pedal and you’d better make sure this yellow missile is pointed where you want to go because things start to happen very, very quickly. The power is no joke, so pay attention when you’re driving it. It’s also beautiful, with lots of polished aluminum and stainless, hand-fabricated hard lines throughout, and extreme attention to detail—just check out that fully functional cowl induction setup that fits snugly to the fuel injection throttle body. A giant Griffin aluminum radiator with a pair of Spaal fans keeps it cool even with the A/C cranking and the accessories are a polished setup from March. All the wiring was hidden and any plumbing that’s visible was expressly designed to be seen. This is a show-quality engine bay.

The chassis is a fabricated tube frame setup from Street Shop featuring C4 Corvette suspension with coil-over shocks, C5 brakes with drilled and slotted rotors, and a custom power rack-and-pinion steering system. No more limp 1970s handling, this car will dance on the razor’s edge with you. You can see the talent that went into the build just by looking at the fabricated stainless exhaust system, which is like artwork. Precise welds, perfect fit, and a gentle rumble from the Flowmaster mufflers that never gets annoying. And if you need a little more rumble, there are electronic cut-outs that really let the Merlin howl. Of course, it goes without saying that everything is brand new and thanks to effective testing and tuning it just works like it should. Ride quality is excellent, the platform is super stiff and solid, and thanks to reasonable sidewalls on the 18-inch Nittos, it doesn’t crash over bumps like a stock Corvette.

This build took years to complete and if you’re familiar with John Drahos and Corvette Conspiracy, you know the workmanship is off-the-charts nice. The plan was to build the ultimate C3 Corvette with all that awesome ‘70s style and none of the ‘70s performance, and in that regard we have to admit this car is a huge success. It just does everything well without any of the compromises you often find in builds like this. If that’s your kind of Corvette, give us a call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1974 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $119,900
Stock Number: 120087
Odometer Reading: 78,980
VIN: 1Z37J4S417930
Engine: 540 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.42
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 18-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 18-inch Nitto performance radials
Exterior Color: Yellow Pearl
Interior Color: Black leather
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