If you find a fuel filter made for fuel injection it might work. Fuel pumps for engines with carbs operate at pressures typically <= ~ 5psi, while every fuel injection system I've looked at operates between 40-50 psi. Generally FI Fuel filters have metal housings to withstand the higher pressure. You probably wouldn't want to be riding the thing if it ruptured from overpressure. I've read about cleaning out tanks by putting stuff in it and shaking it a long time like maybe bb's, a few handfuls of metal nuts, or gravel might even work so long as you could get it all out. Sort of a manual bead blasting....
I still have the pressure gauge for your old Corvette. If you can get one in the discharge side of the pump, it would tell you if it's making enough pressure. Generally > 40 psi is reguired to make it run right. The caveat here is the only ones I've had any issue with are on GM car engines.
The flaking material would make me suspect the filter first