Real LT1!? 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Four-Speed

Dial up a ’71 ‘Vette with the benefit of hindsight and you’d probably go for the hot solid-lifter LT1 with a four-speed manual gearbox. Knowing the maxim “if the top goes down, the price goes up,” you have to choose the convertible. Some ’70s color schemes don’t hold as much appeal in 2020, but a blue body and interior with a white folding top maintains a classic look while not being too “far out.” This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette in Manahawkin, New Jersey (assuming it checks out as an original LT1 car) came with all that and more. Whether it was an LT1 or not, the original V8 is gone, and it shows some concerning rust underneath, but it’s not every day a could-be-LT1 car comes to market. Despite missing a title, the listing here on eBay has attracted two bidders, easing the long-parked Stingray’s value over the $6500 mark.

The previous owner drove this vehicle some three decades ago before toasting the engine and it’s been mostly parked since then. The claimed 73,408 miles could be original based on the wear of these seat. The tilt-wheel helps with ingress, egress, and finding your personal favorite steering wheel position. The 6500 RPM red line tachometer would be correct for an LT1 car, but of course that could be swapped in. That cue-ball shift knob would be a joy to handle while unleashing the high-strung small-block.

Though down from the ’69 LT1’s mighty 370 HP rating, the 1971’s number, 330, with 360 lb-ft of torque, answers the call for a balanced high-RPM road racer as praised by Car & Driver, married naturally to the four-speed manual transmission. Visible rust here suggests years of moisture from a wet natural surface below getting trapped under the hood. Visit CorvetteForum for ways to validate a genuine LT1 car.

Few cars of the early ’70s would have walked away from an LT1 four-speed on the nation’s back-roads, and there’s no better way to enjoy a scenic by-way than with the top-down experience. Potential buyers undaunted by rust and undecided on this car’s end-state might consider re-powering this classic with any old small-block while gathering the unique LT1 engine and under-hood parts. Anything (OK, almost anything) that puts this car on the road beats another long hiatus.

The original-looking console includes the proper data plate for the LT1, and the nifty fiber-optic indicators for select exterior lights. I’ve never owned a Corvette, let alone restored one, but I know how the fiberglass body can camouflage structural rust beneath, something you would simply power through on an LT1 with all the proper provenance and parts. This one’s more of a mixed bag, but you have to love the idea of putting what might be genuine LT1 ‘Vette back on the road, even if it’s not perfect. Would you restore this long-sidelined ‘Vette?

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Comments

  1. FLmikey

    In 71, I had a 70 LT1, and my friend had an LS 5, he was afraid to redline his….I wasn’t…beat him every time…

    Like 5
  2. Jeff

    The pistons are not correct for a LT1 motor.

    Like 7
  3. gbvette62

    The radiator shown is correct for an LT-1, but the hood on this car is from a base 350 Corvette. The LT-1’s high rise aluminum intake won’t fit under the flat, standard, small block hood, so LT-1’s came with the same domed hood as the 454’s. Like the tach and console data plate, the hood can also be changed, so who knows what engine was originally in this car? In the end, it doesn’t really matter though, since the original engine is long gone anyway.

    I’m pretty sure this car is being offered for sale by the same flipper from Manahawkin/Stafford Twp, who’s had 2 or 3 other “project” cars show up on here in the past.

    Like 3
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    It’s hard to think of New jersey and not think about flood cars. Only way you get that “dirt in every crook and cranny” look is submerging it in something mucky like sea water going over land. Lost nine engines in the 2017 Irma hurricane flood and they looked just like the one in this car.

    Like 3
  5. GuernseyPagoda Member

    I’m no Meteorologist, but this car has clearly been subjected to being submerged.

    Like 3
  6. Dan

    It has the wrong hood for an LT-1 also..

  7. Survivor69

    Correction to the article, the LT1 engine option was not available in 1969, just 1970-1972

    Like 5
  8. ACZ

    A lot of sharp folks commenting above. I have a 71 LT1 coupe. All those things came to mind while reading. Also look to see if it has a rear stabilizer bar. The best things are look for a tank sticker or a manifest hidden within a seat. How about a transistor ignition amplifier mounted near the core support?

    Like 2
    • Ron Goduti

      LT-1’s never came with a rear sway bar.

      – Ron G.

      • ACZ

        Wrong!

      • ACZ

        Wrong.

  9. Acton Tommy

    The perfect “Resto-Mod” candidate if no serious rust issues are found upon inspection. Unless the number-matching motor can be located; one should not fool themselves into thinking this might be an “investment”….

    I would buy this one and make it whatever I want, a fast, fun driver. Just imagine a 502 crate motor, with side exhaust, rumbling up and down PCH….you don’t even need a stereo as the side pipes provide the music…

    Like 2
  10. Mark

    By the looks of the fiberglass, this car needs re-gel coated. If you can do it yourself it isn’t too costly but be prepared to spend hours sanding it is a very slow process or it was 20 yrs ago when I did it. Whenever you get that done you can prime and prepare for paint.

    • Ron Goduti

      It’s my opinion that Acton Tommy has the right idea.

      – Ron G.

      Like 3
  11. bikefixr

    Manahawkin went under water during Hurricane Floyd. Pretty much all of it went under. I live close by. Sorry, this car reeks of flooding. Is there 1 single part not missing, damaged, or corroded? How does a 4sp stick rot like that unless doused in salt water and left to rot. Can’t imagine what the frame and birdcage look like.

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