1973–1976: New Bumper, Who Dis?
To meet federal safety standards, the 1973 Corvette sports a new mug with a body-color urethane bumper cover. The cover adds 35 pounds to the car’s weight and is able to withstand impacts of up to 5 mph without causing damage to the lights or safety features. Power continues to fall, and the entry-level 1973 Corvette spits out just 190 horsepower. Opting for the most powerful big-block engine brings just 275 horses to the stable. Chevy adds a body-color rear bumper to the Corvette in 1974. The big-block engine is pulled from the 1975 Corvette, as is the convertible body style. Catalytic converters are added, and output of the entry-level 5.7-liter V-8 falls to 165 horsepower, although a 205-hp option is available for those in search of more grunt. At this time, we put to 1975 Corvette up against a gullwinged Bricklin SV-1, finding that both front-engined vehicles lack the “essential ingredients of a modern high-performance car.”
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