Original 350/4-Speed: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1

For Corvette enthusiasts, certain options separate a great vehicle from something considered truly special. This 1970 Corvette fits into the latter category because its engine bay features the desirable LT-1 V8. It is a structurally sound survivor that its next owner can drive and enjoy immediately. If that sounds too tempting to resist, you will find the ‘Vette located in Spring Hill, Kansas, and listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has been pretty solid on this classic and has pushed the price to $25,250. However, that figure remains short of the reserve.

There’s a lot to like about this Corvette and not a lot that rates serious criticism. The original Donnybrooke Green paint shines magnificently, and the depth of color is impressive for a vehicle of this age. Flaws are few and far between, with no significant chips or marks. Similarly, the fiberglass is in excellent order. There are no signs of stress cracks or issues around the bonding strips and no evidence that this vehicle has suffered neglect or abuse. Refreshingly, the often troublesome headlamps and wipers work as well today as they did when the Corvette was shiny and new. The trim and chrome appear to be close to perfect, which is also true of the glass. On the surface, this chrome bumper Corvette makes all of the right impressions.

It isn’t often that you will find a classic car of this age where the underside presents to the same level as the exterior, but this Corvette delivers on that front. It tells the story of a car that has been treated with respect. The frame is spotlessly clean, without so much as a hint of surface corrosion. Even the drivetrain components appear to be in as-new condition, with no signs of fluid leaks. It looks like there might be plenty of reasonably new parts under here, including brake discs and the exhaust. This bodes well for what we are about to find under the hood.

When you consider all of the V8 engines that Chevrolet has produced throughout its lifetime, one of the greatest small-blocks is the LT-1. This beautiful motor betters the magic mark of one horsepower per cubic inch by churning out an impressive 370hp. That is what we find lurking in this engine bay, and it is one part of a full numbers-matching drivetrain. Bolted to it is a four-speed close-ratio manual transmission, while four-wheel power disc brakes should help this beast to stop…yesterday. If the driver were to point the ‘Vette at a ¼ mile, the journey would be over in 14.1 seconds. If they were brave enough to keep the loud pedal pressed to the floor, the LT-1 would run out of breath at 137mph. The engine bay presents well, although I’ve noticed that the ignition shield is missing. Otherwise, it is as tidy as you might expect from a motor that the owner has recently treated to a rebuild. He didn’t stop there because the transmission and rear end have received the same treatment. Therefore, it should be no surprise to learn that the Corvette runs and drives extremely well, making it a turn-key classic that its new owner can enjoy immediately.

If this Corvette has a weak point, it is the state of the interior. It isn’t horrible, but it has some pretty obvious flaws. These include some substantial cracks in the dash pad and some cracks and deterioration on the door trims. Both areas are beyond repair, and the buyer will need to shop for replacements if the interior is to reach a similar standard to the rest of the vehicle. The seat upholstery is stretched, but it is free from rips or wear. The carpet is slightly faded, but I’m not sure whether it has reached the point where replacement would be justified unless the buyer seeks perfection. The buyer will have a few other functional issues to address because the radio, horn, voltmeter, and clock, are all inoperative. That may suggest a deeper electrical fault, so a trip to the auto electrician may be on the horizon. Hey, with the rest of the car being so spotless, we couldn’t let the buyer off the hook that easily!

When you consider the exterior presentation of this 1970 Corvette, it is a car that is guaranteed to turn heads. Its drivetrain is one of the most desirable that Chevrolet offered in that model year. The work that the owner has recently performed suggests that it will have years of reliable service to offer its next owner. With its interior issues addressed, this would be a stunning car that would put a smile on the driver’s face every time they slipped behind the wheel. It’s easy to see why the bidding has been so solid, and I won’t be surprised if at least one of our readers joins that party.

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Comments

  1. On and On On and On Member

    Mr. Sumatra, assessment please? This one seems like a good investment, no air that I can see though. Prices on nice ones seems stronger lately……….

    Like 3
    • doug

      I don’t think you could get air in ’70 with an LT-1.

      Like 14
      • 72 LT-1

        Could only get A/C on a 72 LT-1, and then there were only around 240 made before they stopped doing A/C in them.

    • Frank Sumatra

      Tough call. We know they aren’t making any more of these and at some point the supply of cars in this kind of shape will be dwindling. The missing parts can be found and the interior can be shaped up with a credit card. Now, about that pesky electrical system- Why doesn’t the seller have it looked at? I don’t understand the mentality of some sellers. Get it fixed for cripes sakes!

      Like 4
    • Richard Fasano

      If the car doesn’t have air. Why the the the dash have ac vents?

  2. gbvette62

    There are more than a few things under the hood that are wrong or missing, ignition shielding, fan clutch, air cleaner breather tube & hose, boot on the wiper actuator, master cylinder, and so on. I’m having a senior moment right now, but I think the 70 LT-1 should also have an A.I.R. pump and pollution system too. Also the seat covers are not original and not in the original pattern.

    The big thing to me is that it looks like the block may have been restamped. There’s no sign of the factory broach marks, and the digits sure don’t look like they were stamped using a gang holder, like the factory would have.

    The chassis and under hood have been nicely detailed, and it may be a nice car for someone who can live with the green on green, but any serious buyer better have it looked at by someone familiar with 70 LT-1’s, before dropping $25K or more on it.

    Like 9
    • 1-mac

      “Smog Pump” was the first thing to go in the trash when you got your new car home. Removed plenty of them along with the other smog junk. Later we removed catalytic converters and put on dual exhaust. Amazing how much better they run without all that trash on the engines. My cousin had a 71 LT-1 and I promptly removed that trash air pump,plugged the holes in the manifolds. It did run better.

      Like 3
  3. Hans L

    I’m puzzled by this LT1. Under carriage appears to have been through a significant restoration but the interior, albeit original is pretty worn and the engine bay also well driven, shall we say.

    Something doesn’t quite make sense.

    And agree with GBVette62 – many things missing in the engine bay. Definitely should have A.I.R. (smog system).

    Like 7
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    When we toyed with the idea of buying a ’70 Corvette the AC was one of the almost standard items listed on the options list. If the big block ’67 green coupe we almost bought for 13K in the late ’80s had factory AC why would it not be an order option a couple of years later?. Nit picking the missing items aside this is a nice Corvette. Note: if this was our car for sale it wouldn’t have the smog gear on it.

    Like 4
    • Dave in Dayton

      With only two known exceptions, Chevy solid lifter engines like the LT-1 revved too high for the AC compressor so AC wasn’t an option. This was for big or small blocks. The two exceptions were the 1965 327-365HP in the Corvette with a hundred or so cars and the 1972 LT-1 again in the Corvette with I believe less than 300 produced. The latter one even mandated a 3:36 rear gear in place of the standard 3:73 and a 5600 RPM tach redline in place of the normal 6500 RPM redline.

      Like 3
    • gbvette62

      Air conditioning was an available option on all Corvettes with a hydraulic cam engine starting around April 1963. Air conditioning was never available on solid lifter Corvettes, except for the 65 327/365 and some very late production 72 LT-1’s (around 240-280 AC 72 LT-1’s are believed to have been built). The same was true with power steering, the only solid lifter small block Corvettes it was ever offered on were late 71 and 72 LT-1’s.

      In 67 AC was available with every engine except the 427/435, so the 67 you almost bought was either a 327/300, 327/350, 427/390 or 427/400, all of which were hydraulic cam engines.

      I’m sorry but I don’t consider it nit picking when I look at a car the seller claims is numbers matching, and I see a stamp pad that’s quite suspect, and a lot of original parts have been changed or are missing. Admittedly I may be pickier than most people, because I get paid to do pre-purchase inspections of Corvettes, but that doesn’t mean I should ignore it when I see a lot of wrong or missing parts after taking just a quick glance at a couple pictures on the internet.

      Like 21
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Agree with what you are saying gbvette62. The problem you and I both have is there are hardly any cars like this that haven’t been tinkered with over the years. My read on this car is as it sits is it’s a good solid car that you can drive and enjoy. The ’67 we didn’t buy had the 427 with the single 4 barrel carb on it. Why no AC on the solid lifter engines? Thanks for your inputs. P.S. I probably wouldn’t have commented at all on this car but the ’67 was the same color.

    Like 4
    • 19sixty5 Member

      bobhess, AC compressors and high RPM, basically over 6,000 don’t cooperate well. Most factory AC systems in “musclecars” back in the 60’s and 70’s had maybe a 3:23/3:31 rear gear as well. Not sure of Ford or Chrysler AC gearing, but I would expect about the same.

      Like 1
  6. George Mattar

    Wrong seat covers, smog missing, aftermarket breather on driver side rocker cover, cheap plug wires, shielding missing and that is why it won’t bring LT-1 money. For my money, the best performing Corvette ever. Have driven several and there is nothing better than the tach climbing toward 6,500 and listening to real music. These engines used the best TRW internals money could buy in 1970.

    Like 3
  7. Jay Bree

    Aint nobody got time for smog pumps!

    Nice car at a good price

    Like 1
  8. FrankY Member

    LT1 did not come with AC. And this car has no AC vents above the gauges where it would normally be found. White letter tires would at least make it stand out a little bit more.

    Like 2
  9. Mark396

    I would buy it if I were not retired with only social “security”. Always been one of my favorite Corvettes.

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Made it to $36,501.01 but didn’t meet reserve.

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