1971 Corvette 454
1971 Corvette 454
This 1971 Corvette 454 was owned by the original owner for 40 years until he sold it to Ed Foss in 2011. In the Corvette world, long-term ownership is not uncommon, but for one to be in the care of the same owner for four complete decades is almost unheard of. That was the case with this sparkling 1971 Corvette 454 LS5 convertible.
In addition to stringent quality-control measures, in 1969 Chevrolet general manager John DeLorean also introduced a supply and demand-based production regime that was designed to cause Corvette’s price to increase on a yearly basis, a result that was practically guaranteed anyway by the proliferation of costly federal legislation and rampant inflation of the period. DeLorean’s purpose, of course, was to increase profits. His investment of resources in quality control had slowed production, and orders outstripped production capacity mere months after the delayed 1970 rollout. The base price of the 1971 coupe was set at $5,496 and the convertible at $5,259, yet production was boosted to 21,801, almost all of the increase attributable to higher coupe numbers. Optional equipment added even more to the bottom line, with 17,901 buyers adding power steering, 13,558 choosing power brakes, 18,078 opting for an AM/FM radio and 11,481 ordering air conditioning. Another option was a new addition to the engine lineup, the LS6 454 CI big-block V-8 that produced 425 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque on the strength of 9:1 compression, aluminum heads, a high-lift solid-lifter cam and a single Holley four-barrel carburetor. At $1,221 the LS6 was pricey, and only 188 customers chose to foot the bill. Ordering the LS6 as part of the ZR2 Special Purpose (read racing) Engine Package added a full $1,747 to the base price; at a mere 18 units, this was the rarest and most expensive Corvette of the 1971 production year. Far more popular, and a steal in comparison at just $295, was the LS5 version of the 454 CI big block, which generated a healthy 365 horses and 460 lb-ft of torque and found its way into 5,097 Corvettes.
A full 44 years and 9,529 miles ago, this 1971 Corvette 454 convertible arrived at Midway Chevrolet in Pocomoke City, Maryland, to be prepared for delivery to its first owner, Roland Satchell of Chincoteague, Virginia. Festively adorned in Mille Miglia Red with a Red interior and White soft top, it was exactly the car Roland had dreamed of, powered by the LS5 454 CI big-block V-8 rated at 365 HP and a massive 460 lb-ft of torque. Teamed with a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction third member, the LS5, even in slightly detuned 1971 specification, still gave the Corvette the performance to match its head-turning looks, which were completed with standard Rally wheels and Goodyear White-letter F70-15 Wide-tread tires. Unencumbered with most extra accessories, the Red Corvette incorporated power steering and brakes, Soft Ray-tinted glass and a Delco AM/FM radio. For four decades it was driven only sparingly and maintained in excellent condition, so when Ed Foss took possession in 2011 he was able to submit it for judging at Bloomington Gold, where it received Gold, Survivor and Benchmark Certification in short order. That same year the car also earned NCRS Regional Top Flight honors, scoring 97.9, followed by a National NCRS Bowtie Award in 2012. After 40 years with only two caring owners, this elite big-block convertible is being offered with documentation including the original tank sticker, bill of sale, Protect-O-Plate and copies of the original title, registrations, state inspections and temporary registration.
– Unrestored with 9,529 original miles – Documented with the original tank sticker, bill of sale, Protect-O-Plate and copies of the original title, registrations, state inspections and temporary registration – Bloomington Gold Benchmark, Survivor and Gold Certified in 2011 – Regional NCRS Top Flight Award in 2011 scoring 97.9 – National NCRS 4-Star Bowtie Award in 2012 – 454/365 HP big block V-8 engine – 4-speed transmission – Power steering and brakes – Delco AM/FM radio – Rally wheels with Goodyear tires – Mille Miglia Red with Red interior and White soft top – Two owners since new – Sold new at Midway Chevrolet in Pocomoke City, Maryland – The original owner kept the car until 2011 – Part of the Ed Foss Collection since 2011
This 1971 454 Corvette sold for $110,000 in August 2015
Source: Mecum Auctions