Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1973 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
GM uses the term COPO (Central Office Production Orders) mainly for fleet sales. Thanks to a bit of manipulation of "da rules," they used a definition of purpose. In other words, some reason (true or otherwise) needed to be conjured up for this office to grant your request. Read on to see the request!
When a dealership salesman you may have heard of named Bill Kolb (look him up!) from a dealership in Larchmont, New York was asked to see if they could get a black 1973 Corvette Coupe (unavailable in this color), they contacted the necessary authorities, worked the channels, and behold the St. Louis assembly plant granted their wish. The plant built 3 Black 1973 L82 4-speed Corvettes, and 1 tan one. The build plates were all labeled SPEC for the color, and on the actual build sheet, the person spraying the car wrote in handwriting Tuxedo Black. 2 Of the 3 black ones were long ago wrecked, engines salvaged, and bodies crushed. So that leaves 1, the ONLY documented actual BLACK Corvette from 1973, built specially at the St Louis plant at the request of this very well known salesman who is still alive today and has a Subaru Dealership in New Jersey. The original engine was taken out to put an LT1 engine in from 1970, but then the current consigner took that engine out and put the original back in, which came with the car.
Save for some touchup areas (seen in photos) the car is still sporting its original paint, as consigner states likely 85% of the car is original paint. Hidden headlights, a stainless rocker, integrated front polyethylene crash bumper, and rear dual chromed bumpers in excellent condition. The removable "T" top is dual panels in shiny steel and opens the cockpit up for some fresh air. Window surrounds are very nice, and it has the larger flying buttress B pillars which frame an inserted rear glass that is nearly perfectly vertical in the cove created. Iconic round taillights, and built in rectangular exhaust, framed above by each bumper are seen. Chevrolet rally wheels are deep dish chrome with a central hub and are wrapped by the factory red line tires that were delivered with the car. Note the Hory Dealership badge in the center of the rear, which is where Bill Kolb elevated his status in the sports car world.
A swing of the highly styled curved doors, and we see black molded vinyl with chromed surround trimmings and a wood appliqu panel behind the door pull. Inside the high back buckets in well preserved black leather flank a center console with the parking brake lever, and wood and chrome appliqu gear shift panel, complete with ashtray and lighter, and heater and fan control wheels. Moving forward a central vertical panel houses the AM/FM radio, a cluster of 5 round gauges some warning lights, and wiper switch. Deep rounded coves house the tach and speedo gauges and are fronted by the pristine original tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Black carpet floods the clean floors, and shiny trimmed rubber covered pedals float above on the driver's side.
Under the hood is the original numbers matching L82 350 CI engine showing just beautifully in screaming red engine block and heads, aluminum valve covers and a 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor underneath a shiny black air cleaner cover. The Muncie M21 4-speed, numbers matching transmission, is on back and the original rear and axle (3.36:1) are on this car.
Factory in a word, as any part that has grease on it was replaced with GM certified parts, and all surfaces present as a low mileage car. Super shiny exhaust in dual form, shiny molded floor pans, and like new suspension (independent front, upper and lower A arms, tubular hydraulic shocks, and anti roll bar... for the rear independent leaf springs, struts, U joint half shafts, trailing arms, and tubular hydraulic shock absorbers.)
I slipped inside and anxiously fired it right up. It was off to the test track, where it performed excellent as expected. Fantastic acceleration, great handling, smooth straight stopping, and the steering was nice and tight. The A/C blows cold, and I found the passenger window to be inoperable, and I could not get the hidden headlights to lift for me.
Color: SPEC...check! Original engine and drive train...check!, Original interior....check! Copious amounts of documentation have been provided by the consigner, photos with Emerson Fittipaldi riding in the passenger side at one point at the 1972 Watkins Glen Grand Prix, and original build sheet, along with lots of stories as to how this car came about, verified by an actual conversation with Bill Kolb. One 1 left, low mileage, factory COPO car direct from St Louis.
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