The 1973 Chevrolet Corvette was the first Corvette to have what was known as the” Rubber Bumper." The front chrome bumper was replaced with a federally mandated 5 MPH resilient body-color bumper. It added 35 pounds to the car and changed its looks significantly. This is the only year that a rubber front bumper and chrome rear bumper were used at the same time.
The 1973 Corvette got a lot of other new features that year. A new side brace was added to increase safety, a new hood was introduced that featured cold air induction and removed the automatic panel that hid the windshield wipers, a vent in the hood by the windshield wipers that provided cold outside air for the engine, the first year for radial tires on a Corvette, new GR70-15 steel-belted radial ply black-wall tires are standard and gave a softer, quieter ride at highway speed, and the coupe also exchanged its removable back window for a fixed glass one.
The 1973 Corvette also had new versions of the 350 and 454 cubic inch V8’s. The base 350, RPO L48, at a rated 190 horse, an L82 option small block had 250 horse, and a LS4 optional 454 at 275 horse.
Included as standard equipment with all power teams was a fully synchronized 4-Speed transmission, Positraction rear axle, a full dual exhaust system, high-output Delcotron generator, and a sealed side-terminal energizer-type battery. A 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic automatic transmission could be ordered with all engines.
A long list of options included a removable hardtop for convertible models, power windows, custom wheel covers, Tilt-telescoping steering wheel, Air conditioning/heating/ventilating system which was one of the most sophisticated systems available in any sports car, AM/FM/Stereo radio options, Power Steering, Power brakes, and a Rearview mirror and map light combination.
Chevrolet sold 30,464 of the 1973 Corvettes as prices increased only slightly with a base coupe selling for $5,561.50 and a convertible selling for $5,398.50.