Take a look at this numbers-matching 1971 big block Corvette. This car has been with the same owner for almost 40 years, during which it has seen an engine rebuild, a repaint, and a variety of other work. With its factory 365hp LS5 engine, it really captures the essence of the Corvette Stingray, before emission requirements and fuel crises took their toll on performance.
This example is a very early 1971 build, with a sequence number of 302 (out of almost 15,000) and a build date of August 18, 1970. As you may know, Chevrolet did not make any black Corvettes in 1971. This one was originally War Bonnet Yellow but was completely stripped and repainted black. The present paint is about 20 years old and looks great with a beautiful shine. Chrome side pipes were added along with a front air dam and L88 style hood for a little more flair. The wheels are from a C4 Corvette and wear BF Goodrich 255/50ZR16 tires from 2014.
This Corvette retains its original 454ci 365hp big-block engine with an assembly date of August 8 and the correct CPJ suffix code. The matching factory VIN stamp is readily visible as well. This motor was rebuilt 30 years ago and has a few performance upgrades including roller rocker arms, a vintage Edelbrock Streetmaster intake manifold, Holley 800cfm carburetor, and MSD ignition. The headers and side pipes have a great sound too. The transmission is the original TH400 automatic operated by a Cheetah SCS shifter with working neutral safety and backup light functions. The rear end was redone with 3.55 gears along with a new fiberglass leaf spring. Power steering and power brakes are also present.
The interior of the car was changed from Saddle to black vinyl. It is standard Corvette with the exception of the shifter. All gauges work as do the courtesy lights, headlights, wipers, horn, turn signals, and parking brake. The vacuum headlight doors and vacuum wiper door operate properly (these can be a big headache on the early C3 models). The optional power windows are also in good shape.
This model represents one of the most desirable C3 Corvettes, that being a steel bumper version with its original big block engine. It looks fantastic with its extra features and black paint (really makes you wonder why Chevrolet stopped making them in black). LS5 Corvettes have been getting a lot of attention lately, with some sales exceeding $60k. This is a great chance to get into one for a whole lot less.