1973 started Corvette's transformation from muscle to touring sports car. A Chevrolet advertisement headlined: "We gave it radials, a quieter ride, guard beams and a nose job." Indeed, redesigned body mounts and radial tires did improve.
Corvette's ride, and interior sound levels were reduced by 40%. The chrome rear bumper was essentially carried over from the previous year. However, the chrome blade front bumper was dropped for the federally required 5 mph (8.0 km/h) standard for a light-weight front bumper system with an inner transverse tube attached to the frame with two Omark-bolts-(special steel fasteners which absorbed energy when a forming die, pushed back by the bumper, was forced down their length), and an injection-molded urethane bumper cover. The urethane nose was chosen over Chevy's other alternative, a more protruding version of the previous metal bumper. The new urethane bumper assembly added thirty-five pounds to the front end.Two 350 cu in (5.7 L) small block engines were available. The base L-48 engine produced 190 hp (142 kW).