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  1. #1
    JLMvette73
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    Default '73 & '74 Front Bumper (Cover)

    The original (what's left of it) front bumper on my '73 had a removable metal licence plate bracket. This bracket could be removed and replaced with a center grill (which seem to be scarce as hen's teeth) on cars that were tagged in states that don't require a front tag. I was fortunate enough to run across an original metal center grill, plus a complete NOS set of grills for my 73. I live in Indiana and don't have use the front licence plate bracket.
    My question to '74 owners: Is your front bumper the same as on a '73, or is it solid in the center? The reason that I ask, is that almost all vendors list replacement bumpers for '73 & '74 as being the same, and it seems that a majority of them sell a bumper that is solid in the center, rather than having the allowance to install the center grill. Most that I've seen at shows are made this way, although I believe the Trueflex bumpers sold by Toledo Pro Glass has the correct opening, at least for a '73. And on a side note, what's your opinions of the Trueflex bumper? They look well made. I got examine one at a show last year, and was able to stand on it and bounce up and down, without causing any damage!

  2. #2
    Member Tom73's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
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    1,648
    Corvette(s)
    73 LS4 Coupe - 04 CE Conv

    Default

    The 73 and 74 used the same front bumper. Both had the three piece grills. The 73's grills had chromed leading edges while the 74's were all black. The 75 - 79 bumpers had a solid section in the center for the licence plate. It also had the "bumper blocks" on either side of the plate area.

    tom...
    Need info on the '73 Vette? Click below.

    www.73spot.com

  3. #3
    Lee74C3
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    Default

    My 1974 Coupe still has the original front bumper (it is looking a bit weary) and is open in the center for the license plate bracket.

    The rear bumper is a Trueflex. It looks great. Paint is very glossy and matches the car. It is flexible just like the urethane.

  4. #4
    JLMvette73
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    Default

    Tom73 & Lee74C3,
    Thank's for the feedback! Exactly the info I was looking for.


    Jerry

  5. #5
    Registered User tx73vette's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Location
    Ft. Worth, Texas
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    93
    Corvette(s)
    1973 Red on Red Coupe

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    When I bught my car a 73 t-top it had the metal center grill, but about a year ago some guy at work backed up and hit the rubber cover (original one) and it shattered in a bunch of pieces. He left me a note and paid for it all I replaced it with an original one from GM. The guy at the body shop recomended that insted of the true-fles or the "original" one from Eklers. He said thet even that one is hard to make it fit right. I got put on and painted and it looks great. You can look at my car in Tom's 73 Spot on his web page mine is the res 73 on the front an a larger pic of it on the second page. under Tx73Vette. Hope that this helps.

  6. #6
    JLMvette73
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    Default

    Thanks, tx73vette! I've seen the picture of your '73 on Tom's site. Absolutely gorgeous!! Mine's a red, automatic, L48, small block coupe also. Certainly hope it turns out as nice as yours when I'm finished with it!!!

    Jerry

  7. #7
    Registered User tx73vette's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
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    Ft. Worth, Texas
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    93
    Corvette(s)
    1973 Red on Red Coupe

    Default

    Im sure it will ... and thanks for the compliment. If you have any questions let me know.

  8. #8
    old coot
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    Default

    It was myunderstanding that Eckler's bought the tooling from GM to make bumpers and corvette parts. It seems to me they should fit like when they were new. Did I dream this?

  9. #9
    Registered User tx73vette's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Location
    Ft. Worth, Texas
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    93
    Corvette(s)
    1973 Red on Red Coupe

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    Well old coot, when I had mine replaced on my 73 they guy at the body shop said that even those where not really original covers. So he ordered mine from GM and the price where the same so I opted for the one from GM. He said that the fit would be much better and easier to install.

    If Im wrong maybe someone can shed more info on this.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massillon,Ohio
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    118
    Corvette(s)
    1968, 1968, 1974, 1975

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    I believe GM Restoration gets their '73/'74 front bumpers from Eckler's. I put one on my 46K mile '74 Orange coupe two years ago and this "GM Restoration" bumper is virtually EXACT in every way of the original GM '73/'74 front except one tiny detail. It did NOT have the "INLAND" manufacturer embossed logo on the inside of it, other than that-it was perfect & identical.

  11. #11
    Lee74C3
    Guest

    Default

    GM Restoration liscenses different reproduction part manuafacturers to reproduce OEM parts. Eckler may be liscensed to make bumper covers. I know they make other fiberglass panels. It is interesting to note that almost everyone sells the same part since GM usually liscenses only one or two companies for the reproduction. The rear bumper on my car is from Toledo Pro Fiberglass. This was represented as a "True-Flex" to the previous owner.

    There is one other emerging and very significant element to consider on reproduction parts, that is unlicensed/counterfit parts imported from China. Be carful on what you purchase... especially on e-bay. I have found the catalog houses (Ecklers, Corvette Central, etc.) to be 100% up-front in disclosing manufacturing source. They will not sell unlicensed parts. Don't take my comments to mean that just because the part came from China it is bad! The issue is liscensed vs. unlicensed. The quality of the unlicensed parts I have seen is very poor. China is the worst offender because there is little that can be done to enforce US copyrights.

    The last comment I have regards the 1974 front bumper that you may still be able to purchase from GM or found as NOS. These are not fiberglass products. These bumpers are the original urethane material. Nothing wrong on them. A little different paint process for refinishing. They will have a slight warped look when installed, depending on temperature. That's the original look. From a durability standpoint, they will last another 20 years or so. They will also take a slight bump much better than fiberglass.

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