The arrival of the 1974 Chevy Corvette occurred during an abysmal period in automotive history. The period in question actually began in October, 1973 when OAPEC, (the Arab members of OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) plus Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo against the United States after the United States came to the aid of the Israelis during a military altercation between Egypt, Syria, and Israel.
In many ways, the 1974 Corvette would represent the end of an era. Perhaps because of the embargo, and certainly a byproduct of it, The 1974 model would be the last year to be offered with an optional big-block 454 cubic inch V-8 engine. Additionally, all future engines offered with the Corvette would only run on unleaded gasoline – a decision would come in conjunction with the industry-wide requirement to install catalytic converters in every 1975 (and later) model.
The 1974 Corvette would become widely recognized as a very refined, grand touring car with plenty of creature comforts. The 1974 Corvette defined industry standards by having a near-record sales year. In total, 37,502 Corvettes were sold – 32,028 coupes at a base price of $6,001.50, and a mere 5,474 convertibles at a base price of $5,765.50.