4-Speed Survivor: 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LT1

As the ’60’s came to end and the ’70s kicked off, things were growing difficult for American car manufactures. Between the growing concerns over emissions, the fuel crisis and the demand for safer cars, it was getting difficult to build a true high-performance speed machine. By ’71 compression ratios were already on their way down, but that didn’t stop Chevy from trying to keep the Corvette fun! Take this survivor LT1, while its 350 V8 only has a compression ratio of 9.0 to 1, it still produced a healthy 330 horsepower which is sent to a 4-speed close ratio transmission and a 4:11 rear end. It looks to be in beautiful shape and should be just as much today as it was back in 1971! You can find it here on eBay in Newport, North Carolina with a BIN of $45k or best offer.

The LT1 was the more powerful of the two small block options for this year. The LS5 and LS6 big block engines were also available, but the LT1 offered a nice balance of power, weight, and efficiency. Add the ZR1 option and you had a Corvette that could go fast in the straights and get through the twisties as well as any European sports car. Sadly, this car didn’t get the ZR option, but it should still handle well and you can always upgrade the suspension and brakes.

The odometer is showing 66k miles and based on the condition of the interior, it seems plausible. Everything looks correct and original, but the seller does note that the carpets were replaced prior to them buying the car. The original carpet is with it though and comes with the car, not that you will want to reinstall 47-year-old used carpet.

While the paint is looking a little thin, this really is a great looking car. Personally, I’d leave it exactly as it is and just add some miles to that odometer. The 350 is a great engine and should provide years of fun if properly maintained. The Muncie 4-speed can be a bit tricky to master but is a tough enough transmission, so as long as you aren’t doing burnouts every day and aren’t constantly powershifting this should prove to be a great collector’s items.

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Comments

  1. Blueprint

    Gorgeous!

    • Llewellyn Keller

      Just for historical accuracy, the first fuel crisis (lines at gas stations) didn’t happen until 1973, so it was not a concern when this ’71 Vette was produced. Gas was plentiful in 71, and cheap – never over 35 cents per gallon, but often as low as 25 cents, when stations competed with “gas war” low prices.

  2. Michael

    Beautiful car. Love the color. I am also a fan of the luggage racks on these.

  3. Pat

    Muncie a bit tricky? The right gear oil and shifter they’re sweet! Easy peasy

  4. Pa Tina

    Wow.

  5. Pa Tina

    I’m guessing that was also a pretty rare color combination. Add in the 4.11 gears and that might be a really rare combo. Interesting

  6. Mike

    411’s I would certainly change the gears, lots of (r’s) given the price of fuel. Is this a 12 bolt posi? Can anyone, say turn key, drive and enjoy…nice car!

    • Rich

      I had a ’71 LT-1 convertible that came with the 3.55 axle ratio. With an M21 tranny, sometimes I wondered if I was taking off in 3rd gear. I switched out the rear to a 4.11, and the car was definitely a lot quicker and more fun. On the highway at 70 mph, rpms were about 3200. Just starting to sing at that point. No strain at all. Perfect ratio for that engine, IMO. If you’re worried about gas mileage, you better not be looking at old Vettes anyway, lol.

  7. skagit340@gmail,com

    Nice vette. My 68 327/4spd had 4:11 posi-not a true axel it had irs so half shafts I seem to think it was a 12 bolt center section.

  8. howard

    I love it. The only thing I would change would be the rear end gearing.

  9. Karguy James

    I worked at the two Vette Shops in Detroit in the late 70’s and got to drive just about all of them. The 67 427 tri-power cars, 66 396’s, the 68 L-88, Fuelies…all of them.

    With the exception of the L-88, the LT-1 was faster and more fun to drive than all of them. What a great package.

  10. MikeSuperSport

    On picture 16 the plate looks better than brand new which is odd to me. Otherwise a great car.

    • ACZ

      That’s the way the body plate looks on mine. It’s stainless steel.

  11. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Though not the biggest of C3 lovers, I like this one for what it is.

  12. ACZ

    Love the luggage rack.

  13. Gus

    I’d leave the rear gears but put in a 5 speed Tremax (?). One more shift-a little more fun to drive.

  14. Pa Tina

    Fun fact of the day- The hood stripes were hand painted.on the 1st shift at the St.Louis assembly plant by a guy named Ronnie Hunt.
    Corvette News Number 14, Volume 1 October/November 1970

  15. gto4ever

    Nice find!! I remember gas price 0.35/gal, used to save my pennies to fill my Elsinore. Those where the days

  16. Tyler

    Absolutely love it! The blue interior with the Nevada Silver exterior has to be a pretty rare combination. Not sure I would want to pay $45k, but I’d certainly rather have this than that clapped out Porsche 936, or whatever it was for almost 60. Why didn’t I buy bitcoin when it was a buck?

  17. Utes

    It’s almost perfect….& would be without that HIDEOUS luggage rack!

    Sooo detracts from the car’s otherwise magnificent styling.

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