454 Equipped! 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Sales of the 1971 Chevy Corvette rose slightly from the year before, so America’s love affair with the 2-seat sports car was still alive. The cars were little changed, but the engines detuned to run on unleaded fuel for the first time. This ’71 ‘Vette has a rebuilt 454 V8, but it and several other major components are all in crates, so re-assembly will be required. The car and the corresponding boxes are in a garage/barn in Fresno, California, and available here on craigslist for $20,000. We’re told that everything needed is present.

Chevrolet delivered 21,800 Corvettes in 1971, including 14,680 coupes like the seller’s car. There were two versions of the 454 big-block engine, the LS5 at 365 hp and the LS6 at 425. The former found its way into nearly 5,100 ‘Vettes while the LS6 found fewer than 200 buyers. We don’t’ know which of these 454s applies to the seller’s Chevy, which is said to be numbers-matching. We’re told it has been rebuilt by Engine Masters in Fresno with paperwork is there to verify the specs. However, the motor is sitting in a crate, not the car, as is the 4-speed manual transmission.

We don’t know a lot about this auto as only one photo of the whole car is provided and there are no interior photos. It looks to have been painted yellow, to begin with, and the body may be good, even prepped in some cases for new paint. It comes with T-tops and side exhaust pipes, which are likely in some of the boxes along with the gas tank and a bunch of other stuff. Top dollar, according to Hagerty, is at least $50,000 for a top-flight ’71 Corvette. The asking price for this project may be steep given the funds that will be required to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.


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  1. Jcs

    Libel to stay just as she is unless the seller is negotiable. Has lots of potential but the ask is on the very-high side of the equation.

    Like 10
  2. Steve R

    The seller is fishing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they recently bought it, packed up the parts for easy transport, took some pictures, stuck a 4x or 5x multiple on it then listed it on CL.

    If you have a big ask you need to justify it or it won’t sell. Throwing the parts in a couple of produce crates doesn’t get that done. Lay out the components, show VIN numbers on the engine and transmission include pertinent paperwork, including the receipt for the engine and the date it was done.

    Steve R

    Like 12
  3. Ike Onick

    Can we get some reference values from someone other than the ginned-up, auction figures stated by Hagerty? Their numbers have no connection to the reality most of us reside in. $50K for a Top-Flight 1971? Probably true but not in the rust-belt economy I am all too familiar with.

    Like 1
  4. Bamapoppy

    Numbers up from a strike-ridden 1970? Uh, yeah.

  5. bone

    I remember watching a 1971 episode of Bewitched recently and Larry Tate pulled into the driveway with a yellow 454 Stingray – long shot, but this car is in California , it would be amazing if this was the same car , not too increase its value, but to show part of its history

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      Far out, dude! Oh, and Dave’s not here!

      Like 1
  6. Ed Casala

    To put this in perspective, I bought my 68 big block Vette that needed a frame off restoration for 11K, I drove it home the day I bought it.

  7. glenn

    It’s a decent $6 or $7K project. Decent 454 drivers show up all the time in the $20’s and they don’t look like a spilled box of LEGO’s.

    Like 4
    • Purple sky

      Exactly! Maybe $20,000+ AFTER a body off resto.

  8. oilngas

    Unleaded fuel didn’t start until later. 74 or 75.

    Like 1
  9. Kenn

    I don’t understand the Corvette pricing apparently. Complaints here about the ask on this complete-but-unassembled ‘Vette, but not about the ’61 also listed here, with a substantially higher ask, that doesn’t even have an engine or tranny.

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