So in the face of choking mandates from the federal government and stiffening competition from overseas, how did the Corvette survive? Just as it did early in its history, and again in future troubled years, the marque simply toughed it out, relying on its inherent strengths and loyal following to see it through.
Also, keep in mind that while the '75 Corvette was the heaviest example yet at about 3,690 pounds, and the most expensive as well at $6,810 for a base coupe and about $9,000 for a fully loaded convertible, the competition was also getting fatter and more costly. In fact, whether it was a mainstream machine like the Datsun 280Z or an offbeat contender like General Vehicle Inc.'s Bricklin SV-1, Corvette's competitors faced all the same problems it did. So while stricter emissions and safety specifications took a discernible toll on both performance and appearance, the 1975 Corvette was still a relative standout. It did not have the blinding acceleration of earlier models, nor, in the eyes of many, their svelte good looks. But the same could be said for everything else in the sports car arena, and thus the '75s still attracted the performance-minded public, selling a record 38,465 units by year end.
The 1975 coupe featured is one of numerous low-mileage, unrestored Corvettes owned by brothers Bruce and Ken Silber. It features a number of desirable options, including the L82 engine, close-ratio four-speed manual transmission, air-conditioning, and full power. While the long list of options was certainly an enticement, it was not the only thing that attracted the Silber brothers to this car. There was also that eye-grabbing hue, appropriately dubbed Bright Yellow. Though we now think of it as symbolic of the '70s, only 2,883 buyers opted for this color in 1975. While it is more often seen in combination with a black interior, Bright Yellow looks especially rich when joined with Saddle, as here.
In addition to the bevy of options and attention-getting color, this car also offered a third prize to the Silber brothers. It has never been wrecked or abused and to this day remains almost entirely unrestored. Even normal expendables like belts, hoses, and tires are factory original units.
Critics of mid-'70s Corvettes have plenty of shortcomings to whine about, and they often do. Conversely, devotees of the rubber-bumper Sharks have plenty of attributes to extol, and they always do. But regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, it is impossible not to appreciate an example such as the coupe shown here. A quarter-century after it was initially built, this coupe remains one of the best examples of the breed in existence.