Numbers Matching 454: 1971 Chevy Corvette

This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette has been with the current owner for 14 years and comes with a desirable numbers-matching 454 under the hood. Featuring excellent body work and paint with a black interior, the Corvette is equipped with an automatic transmission, which is about the only thing I can ding it on. Find the Corvette here on craigslist in California for $25,000.

The Corvette looks to have lead a pleasant like on the West Coast, touring vineyards and some pretty idealic blacktop. Featuring the pretty split chrome bumpers and far, far less restrictive emissions equipment than later models, this Corvette hails from an era when Chevy’s halo car was still a genuine threat to other muscle cars from domestic automakers.

With the arrival of the mid-engined Corvette, I’m curious if values for the “traditional” models will begin to rise as nostalgia kicks into high gear. A 454-powered, front-engined Corvette is pretty much a textbook recipe for a classic ‘Vette, and this one comes with a nicely preserved interior with excellent condition bucket seats and center console.

The engine bay is extremely nice on this example, and clearly where the seller has focused much of his attention. While somewhat showy for my tastes, I do have to give credit to the seller for the level of detail seen here. Assuming the Corvette comes with a thick maintenance file (it does come with lots of trophies), I’m OK with some bling in the engine compartment.


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  1. socaljoe

    I like a big block 454 Vette. If only it were not white…..

    Like 4
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Probably the easiest thing to change about the car. These days, you can get a great wrap for less than paint, in any color your heart desires.

      This listing has me scratching my head a bit….. Maybe the auto trans has the price seeming so reasonable for a Chrome Bumper C3 with a Big Block. Based on only one photo, I think that maybe some suspension work might be in order. And it seems as though many here and elsewhere pine for AC, which this one does not have.

      But there is no denying that this Vette is really clean, and in great condition, as long as the underside is OK rust-wise.

      I’d drive it, a Lot.

      Like 3
  2. Troy s

    Not much of a ‘Vette guy, but a high powered big block always catches my interest. Really nice looking car here probably a real blast to drive.
    As far as the new mid engine Corvette goes I’m more curious to see how buyers respond to such a change. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Like 2
    • grant

      Lol the buyers have been asking for it for literal decades. GM saw the writing on the wall, the average Corvette buyer is in his early 60s. And a midengine Ferrari fighter that’s actually drivable on a daily basis for 60k? They’re gonna sell like hotcakes.

      Like 9
      • Frank Sumatra

        They have SOLD like hotcakes. I have been told the entire 2020 production allotment has been spoken for through firm orders.

        Like 5
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Local dealer (largest selling Vette dealer in Mn.) said they have an allocation of 40 of the mid engine Vettes of which half are committed currently and they expect the rest to be sold soon. Personally unless buying as an investment, I’d wait at least a year to get the new-car bugs worked out of it which will likely be present.
        Personally if I was looking at a new Vette, I’d give serious consideration to finding a C7. The price has been dropping on what’s on the dealers lots since announcement of the C8’s.
        As far as the C3’s go, this one looks good appearance wise. 2 biggest issues are the basic car and how it was ordered. To my thinking, BBC Vettes are nose heavy and drive that way and the other is thirsty. You need to have deep pockets when you stop at the gas station.

        Like 4
      • Troy s

        I hope you’re right, grant, sounds like an outstanding performance car. I hope the enthusiasm lasts for a mid engine Vette. You just never know given some time.

    • Steve R

      This really isn’t a high powered Corvette, that 454 is the same one that came on all of their passenger cars, except for a short water pump. The only true performance engines in 1971 were the aluminum head LS-6 which only came in a handful of Corvettes or the LT-1 small block.

      Steve R

      Like 4
      • Rosco

        Yes, a high powered Corvette, for 1971. Many don’t consider the ’71 LT-1 a performance engine with the horsepower being just 330 hp. Way down from the 1970.

        Like 3
  3. rpol35

    “The engine bay is extremely nice on this example, and clearly where the seller has focused much of his attention. While somewhat showy for my tastes, I do have to give credit to the seller for the level of detail seen here.”

    I believe these came with orange painted valve covers. Also, looks like the passenger side cover’s oil fill is modified with a “tower”, I guess to ease oil entry.

    Also, ought to at least turn the air cleaner lid around so the engine decal is facing the front as it was originally intended.

    All in all a really nice Vette; I pretty much lost interest after these steel bumper models ceased production.

    Like 1
  4. Arthell64 Member

    If the birdcage and frame are solid this doesn’t appear to be a bad deal.

    Like 2
  5. George Mattar

    In 1976, I bought a Brands Hatch Green LS5 air coupe, four speed with 3.08 rear. It had aftermarket wheels and chrome Hooker side exhaust, common for the summer of 76. I paid $5,350 for it from the third owner. The car would fly past almost anything, but a gas station. Gas was about 58 cents then and it almost broke me. The car was a total gas hog. I sold it in 1978 for about $6,000. I miss the car. The guy I sold it to still has it.

    Like 3
  6. christopher george lawrence

    who would bother with this when you can get a mid engine vette now?

    • ccrvtt

      Someone who doesn’t have the spare $35K extra for a new C8.

      Seriously, this car has likely reached the bottom of its depreciation curve and will not lose value going forward. It may not appreciate greatly in the years to come, but I doubt the buyer will lose money on it.

      Like 2
  7. TimM

    Yes it is a 454 and with a few minor adjustments under the hood it would give this car the horsepower it deserves!!

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