The 1970s were not a good time for American automobiles. Commonly referred to as the “malaise” era, skyrocketing gas prices, insurance costs, and emissions regulations effectively put a halt to the gas-guzzling muscle cars that made the 60’s so fun. Even the Chevy Corvette weas not immune, coming equipped from the factory with a paltry 150 horsepower 350 cubic-inch V8 engine… and even those ratings were generous.
So how did 70’s Americans respond? With gratuitous amounts of bodywork and styling. Over on the Hemmings Auto Blog is a 1976 Chevy Corvette with a Daytona bodykit. Sure, it doesn’t make this Malaise-era Corvette go any faster, but it looks a lot faster, and that has to count for something, right?
Where do we start with this Corvette? Obviously the Daytona bodykit is over the top in every way imaginable, though there are aspects we like. For example, removing the hideaway headlights is a move current Corvettes have adopted, as is the “power bulge” hood scoop. Sure, the fender flares and hood vents might be a little fiddly, but from the front this Corvette isn’t half-bad. Right?
Then you walk around behind it and you are greeted by what looks like a SETI interstellar space antenna installation. It is so confusing and upsetting to look at because we have no clue what the inspiration or purpose of this back end is. You could feed a family of four off of that rear spoiler, and it should be against the law to have a roof wing on any Corvette. And… why is there a unicorn over the license plate holder? WHY?
While this fully-loaded Corvette is clean, well-kept, and has won a host of awards, the $39,900 asking price is as outrageous as that back spoiler. This is one malaise-era Corvette that may have been better off stock.