1971 Corvette


The 1971 Corvette would develop into a more balanced -- though tamer -- performer as the Seventies wore on and the engineers came to grips with the flurry of federal regulations before them. Due to a decrease in compression ratio for 1971, the 1971 Corvettes's base small-block engine ran on mild 8:5:1 compression and was down to 270 bhp at 4,800 rpm. To this end, the potent LT1 small block withered to 9.0:1 and dropped from 370 bhp to 330 bhp. These respective compression numbers also applied to a brace of 454s. The LS5 came in with 365 bhp at 4800 rpm, and a new aluminum-head big-block called LS6 boasted 425 bhp at 5,600 rpm. Clearly, 1971 Corvette engines weren't weak. If they seemed so at the time, it was only in relation to the prodigious power outputs enthusiasts had grown used to in the previously unregulated era of muscle cars.

The 1971 Corvette was retuned to run on low-lead fuel.
The 1971 Corvette was retuned to run on low-lead fuel.

The ZR1 option available exclusively with the LT1 is significant for engineering, though not many saw production. It was a special racing package that included the solid-lifter small-block engine, heavy-duty four-speed transmission, power brakes, aluminum radiator, and a revised suspension with special springs, shocks, stabilizer bar, and spindle-strut shafts. Since it was competition equipment, the ZR1 could not be ordered with power windows, power steering, air conditioning, a rear-window defogger, wheel covers, or a radio. But the ZR1 package was quite expensive, and few Corvettes were so equipped.

A similar ZR2 package was listed for the big LS6 engine and was just as rare. Per GM policy, 1971 Corvette engines were detuned to run on low-lead fuel -- save the LS6 454, which belatedly bowed with 425 bhp on premium gas. Installations totaled just 188, including a mere 12 cars with a $1,747 ZR2 package, basically the ZR1 with the big-block V-8. This would be the only year for both the LS6 engine and the associated ZR2 equipment.

The 1971 Corvette offered a custom trim package for $158.
The 1971 Corvette offered a custom trim package for $158.

Otherwise, Corvette again marked time for '71. Styling and equipment changes were virtually nonexistent, and no real tampering was called for. Prices bumped up a bit to $5,259 and $5,496 for the convertible and coupe, respectively. With supplies healthy again after the UAW strike, sales made a satisfying recovery, moving up to 21,801 units for the model year. The coupe had taken a slight lead over the convertible in 1969, perhaps reflecting the T-top model's greater all-weather versatility.

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1968 Corvette
1969 Corvette1970 Corvette
1971 Corvette
1972 Corvette
1973 Corvette
1974 Corvette
1975 Corvette
1976 Corvette
1977 Corvette
1978 Corvette
1979 Corvette
1980 Corvette
1981 Corvette
1982 Corvette

Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Corvette Pictures: Find pictures of the hottest classic and current-year Corvettes.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.

1971 Corvette Specifications

Due to stricter emissions requirements, the 1971 Corvette was retuned to run on low-lead fuel. Though it resulted in a tamer ride, other improvements made the 1971 a joy to drive. Here are the specifications for the 1971 Corvette:

A 1971 Corvette with a 330 hp, 4-speed manual transmission could go 0-60 in 6 seconds.
A 1971 Corvette with a 330 hp, 4-speed manual
transmission could go 0-60 in 6 seconds.

Vehicle Specifications
Convertible
Coupe
Wheelbase, inches
98.0
98.0
Length, inches
182.5
182.5
Width, inches
69.0
69.0
Track, inches
front: 58.7 rear: 59.4
front: 58.7 rear: 59.4
Height, inches
47.9
47.9
Curb weight, pounds
3,593
3,593

Mechanical Specifications (2-door convertible/coupe)

Suspension
front: Independent; upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, antiroll bar
rear: Independent, lateral leaf springs, struts, U-joint halfshafts, trailing arms, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers

Wheels/Tires
8x15

Brakes
front: 11.75-inch disc
rear: 11.75-inch disc

Transmission
3-speed Hydra-Matic
4-speed manual

Standard axle ratio
3.36:1

Engine Specifications

Typeohv V-8
ohv V-8
ohv V-8
ohv V-8
Displacement, liters/cu inch
5.7/350
5.7/350
7.4/454
7.4/454
Bore × stroke, inches
4.00 x 3.48 4.00 x 3.48 4.25 x 4.00 4.25 x 4.00
Fuel Management
1 x 4-bbl.
1 x 4-bbl. 1 x 4-bbl. 1 x 4-bbl.
Horsepower @ rpm
270 @ 4,800 330 @ 5,600 365 @ 4,800 425 @ 5,600
Torque @ rpm, pound-foot
360 @ 3,200 360 @ 3,600 465 @ 3,400 475 @ 4,000

Published Performance Numbers

Acceleration
270 hp, 4-sp man.
330 hp, 4-sp man.
0-60 mph, sec
7.1
6.0
0-100 mph, sec
19.8
14.5
1/4-mile, sec @ mph
15.55 @ 90.4
14.57 @ 100.6

(Source: Car and Driver)

Vehicle Production and Base Prices

Car Type
Production
Price
2-door convertible
7,121
$5,259.00
2-door coupe
14,6805,496.00

Options and Production

Option
Production
Price
Custom Interior Trim
2,602
$158.00
Power Windows 6,192
79.00
Custom Shoulder Belts (std w/coupe)
677

42.00

Auxiliary Hardtop
2,619
274.00
Vinyl Covering
832
63.00
Rear Window Defroster
1,598
42.00
Air Conditioning
11,481
459.00
Optional Rear Axle Ratio
2,395
13.00
Power Brakes
13,558
47.00
365 hp Engine
5,097
295.00
425 hp Engine188
1,221.00
330 hp Engine
1,949
483.00
4-speed Manual Transmission, close ratio
2,387
0.00
4-speed Manual Transmission, close ratio, heavy duty
130
100.00
Turbo Hydra-Matic Automatic Transmission
10,060
0.00
Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column
8,130
84.30
Power Steering
17,904
115.90
Deluxe Wheel Covers
3,007
63.00
White Stripe Tires, F70 x 15 nylon
6,711
28.00
White Letter Tires, F70 x 15 nylon12,449
42.00
Heavy Duty Battery (std w/LS5, LS6)
1,455
15.80
Alarm System
8,501
31.60
AM/FM Radio18,078
178.00
AM/FM Radio, stereo
3,431
283.00
Special Purpose LT1 Engine Package
8
1,010.00
Special Purpose LS6 Engine Package12
1,747.00

Color Choices and Production

Color Choice
Production Color Choice
Production
Nevada Silver
1,177
Sunflower Yellow
1,177
Classic White
1,875
Mille Miglia Red
2,180
Mulsanne Blue
2,465
Bridgehampton Blue
1,417
Brands Hatch Green
3,445
Ontario Orange
2,269
Steel Cities Gray
1,591
War Bonnet Yellow
3,706

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1968 Corvette
1969 Corvette1970 Corvette
1971 Corvette
1972 Corvette
1973 Corvette
1974 Corvette
1975 Corvette
1976 Corvette
1977 Corvette
1978 Corvette
1979 Corvette
1980 Corvette
1981 Corvette
1982 Corvette

Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Corvette Pictures: Find pictures of the hottest classic and current-year Corvettes.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.