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Unrestored 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible ZR2!

This 1971 Corvette Convertible has a lot of good things going for it! For one, it’s a one-year-only ZR2, of which only 12 were ever built (just 2 as convertibles). And secondly, it’s an unrestored car with just 8,702! This is about as insane a find as you will ever come across. Due to its originality, it comes with a long list of awards and documents backing up its survivor status. These cars rarely come to market and none of the ones that do have this low of mileage or are in this original of condition, so it’s expected that this one will fetch over a million dollars at Mecum Auctions’ upcoming Indy 2022 event on May 13th. Our thanks to Larry D for this tip!

If you’ve never heard of the ZR2, don’t feel bad. With just 12 examples ever built, few people knew about these when they were new. Chevrolet kept the development of the ZR2 tightly under wraps and even when it did finally debut, it did so without any real fanfare. Between the lack of publicity and the high price tag, it’s no wonder only 12 were ordered. Clearly, these cars were meant to make it into the hands of just those who were diehard Corvette fans or those who wanted a factory-built Corvette race car. So what makes a ZR2? Much like the ZR1, it’s an option package that included a lot of go-fast parts, but the biggest difference was the engine. Rather than receiving the LT1 350 V8 that’s found in the ZR1, the ZR2 received the mighty LS6 454 which was rated at 425 horsepower. With this option checked, the only transmission option was the Muncie M22 4-speed.

The inside looks like any other ’70-’72 Corvette, albeit with the LS6 engine rating plate below the shifter. As you can see, the interior is in amazing shape and does back up the mileage. Clearly, the car was well cared for and properly stored from day one.

I’m a little surprised that there isn’t any information on the car’s previous ownership or history. This is a very significant car for the Corvette world and chances are it was well documented from day one, so you would think that history would be something that’s included. I know for me, knowing who originally owned it, how it was cared for, and how many owners it’s had is valuable information to have. Perhaps there’s concern that its ownership history will hurt bidding? Unless it was owned by someone less scrupulous, I find it hard to believe that anyone would hold back from bidding due to it having 3 or 4 previous owners.

This one will definitely be interesting to watch. It’s an incredibly rare car, to begin with, add in its low mileage survivor status and significance to the Corvette world I can see it easily passing the million-dollar mark. I do have to wonder what will happen to it next. Will it see any use on the street, will it go to a private collection and disappear, or will it find it’s way to a museum where we can all enjoy it?

Comments

  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Looks like the belt to the smog pump is MIA. Probably made its way to the luggage compartment. First thing I woulda done too.

    Like 16
  2. RATTLEHEAD

    I would daily drive it. What else do you do with a big block Corvette

    Like 24
  3. George Mattar

    This car is from the Ed Foss collection. It is not a barn find. It has been babied for 50 years. He only buys cars with fewer than 10,000 actual miles and they must have the original exhaust system. This will not be cheap at Mecum. I had a 71 green coupe 454, but it was the lowly LS5. Paid $5,300 for it in 1976. Only 188 LS6 cars built in 1971. Had rhe pleasure of driving a Steel Cities Gray LS6 in 2005. Had the noisy M22. What a sound.

  4. Frank Sumatra

    Two convertibles built. Is the other one accounted for? Seems as if hitting the $1,000,000 (Or higher) mark should be not too difficult.

    Like 11
  5. Frank Sumatra

    This gentleman was well-known in the NCRS community for having a collection of low-mile cars.

    EDWARD “ED” F. FOSS, 69, passed away Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, at his home in Roanoke, Ind. Born Feb. 23, 1952 in Fort Wayne, Ed graduated from New Haven High School in 1970 where he was a gifted wrestler and football player. He graduated with a Master of Education degree from Indiana University in 1975 where he was a member of Acacia Fraternity and an accomplished track and field athlete. Ed was a proud business owner of All Star Construction and Excavating, had a passion for collecting low-mileage vintage Corvettes, and was a member of the National Corvette Restoration Society.

    Like 33
  6. Stu

    I don’t understand back in the day someone ordering such a special car then hardly driving it? You wouldn’t say it’s an investment in its early years! Now it is for sure…..

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      @Stu- From the Mecum write-up: “the RPO ZR2 Special Purpose LS6 Engine Package followed the same blueprint, matching the new 454/425 HP Mark IV big-block V-8 with the Muncie M22 close-ratio “Rock Crusher” 4-speed manual transmission, transistorized ignition, high capacity aluminum radiator with shroud delete, heavy duty power disc brakes, F41 Special Suspension with specific springs, shocks and front and rear sway bars.”

      Probably not a fun car to drive on a regular basis. They truly were designed to be raced. I think almost 9,000 miles is a pretty good run on this car. And it most likely never be driven again.

      Like 4
      • Ken

        @Frank Sumatra–I think you are absolutely right about this car being tough to daily drive. I suspect the clutch in this car is really heavy!

        I used to know a guy who traded in Corvettes, and he said the world is full of very high-spec, very low mileage Corvettes. It was usually a case of a guy who waited until his golden years to get his dream car. When he gets it home, he finds that it’s hard to get in and out, hard to drive, and the shocking amounts of power make him consider his mortality.

        I’d like to think that if I had this car, I would enjoy it as much as I could. Resale value be damned! I’m probably kidding myself :)

        Like 2
    • Mark Allen

      Well, it had 8,700mi. And if it’s part of a garage Queen collection. You would only drive it once in a while. Alternating between your other Corvettes and Hemis and what not. Your daily driver back then would have been a very late model Cadillac.. So before you know it 10 or 20 years pass by. And you’re stuck with a very desirable low milage master piece… That works.

  7. Claudio

    We are sadly witnessing many deaths of people and they seem to be dying from the side effects of the crazy jab (aka vaccine)
    True or not , there are a lot of car guys leaving us for the great grave yard in the sky …
    Now , for the car , what a crazy one ,i dont like green and i prefer auto
    But in this case I LOVE IT !
    YOLO

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      @Claudio- I never met Mr.Foss, but I was aware of him through my NCRS membership. There is nothing in his obit that referred to his passing being related to “the crazy jab”. And as long as you slid a “political” comment past the BF Boys,it is my turn- I will let you know that having two immediate family members working at a local hospital,has proven to me that “the crazy jab” has saved many folks. I just had my 4th “crazy jab” and I would take one a month if it keeps me out of the hospital. My apologies to BF and the readers. It will be worth getting a lifetime ban from BF if I can tell one person enough is enough with this stupid $hit about masks, vaccines, and “my personal freedom” Have a great weekend

      Like 14
      • Claudio

        The sad thing is no one will dare connect the dots
        No vaxx here and no deaths or even close
        YOLO

  8. Terry

    There was a write up in either corvette magazine or vette magazine about another convertible if not this one was a ZR2 same green colour GM wanted a last hurrah like the L88 which had the 427 the ZR2 with the 454 LS6 .

  9. Jeff

    Owning a chrome yellow C3 ’72 for many years and actually seeing one of the two ZL1 ever made,in yellow, incredible! The ZR2 LS6 w/ the M22 is something to behold. The L88 427 is the GM holy grail but the LS6 is also one of a kind. When you drive a C3 it’s very memorable, now a rare big block takes it to the top. The C3’s are fun!

    Like 2
  10. Terry

    Yep the C3 are fun had a 71 big block coupe a LS5 not numbers matching at all when i had it ran 11:06 in quarter

    Like 2
  11. swolf Member

    to Frank Sumatra; THANK YOU

    Like 4
  12. Carmanic Carmanic Member

    I got my first speeding ticket in a small-block, 4-speed, ’71 Corvette convertible. Totally deserved it, completely worth it.

    Like 4
    • Frank Sumatra

      My plan is to get my last speeding ticket in my Corvette on the way to the nursing home.

      Like 3
      • Mark

        Great goal there Frank. I would want to do the same if I had a Corvette.

        Like 2

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